This post is brought to you by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association through Mom It Forward. All opinions are my own.
The holidays are fast approaching and I’m so far behind that I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off (horrible visual, I know). I still have presents to buy, holiday cards to send out, and a million other little things on an seemingly endless to-do list. The farthest thing on my mind right now is the menu for our annual Christmas Day brunch, which is held at my home for extended family.
I always go with brunch rather than a full dinner because it seems easier … and hey, who doesn’t love mimosas!? I usually serve a spiral sliced ham along with a bunch of appetizers. The reason for this comes down to convenience— it’s easy to buy all my ingredients from the frozen food and refrigerated dairy sections and then assemble them quickly on Christmas morning.
Here are some of my favorite quick & easy bites from previous holiday parties.
Mini Spinach Quiches – Frozen spinach, frozen pie crust, Parmesan cheese, half ‘n half, eggs, green onion and spices make a simple and elegant appetizer for any holiday party or brunch. Here’s a recipe I have used many times successfully.
Shrimp with cocktail sauce – My daughter loves shrimp and always requests shrimp cocktail at every family function. I purchase frozen shrimp rings in advance and let them thaw in the fridge the night before serving. Buying frozen items, like seafood, helps me avoid going out at the last minute — who wants to be in the grocery store the day before a holiday? Not me.
Deviled eggs – An all-time family favorite is deviled eggs made with fresh boiled eggs (can boil in advance), Dijon mustard, mayo and a little picked relish topped with a sprinkle of paprika. Delish!
Artichoke Dip – Everyone goes nuts for hot artichoke dip made with artichokes (canned or frozen), sour cream, grated Parmesan cheese and a dollop a mayo. Serve with sliced baguette — Here’s a simple recipe from Easy Home Meals.
Cocktail Meatballs – Another fan favorite is easy to prepare in a crock pot. Just add a bag of frozen meatballs (1lb) with a can of cranberry sauce and a bottle of BBQ sauce and cook on low for 2-5 hours.
Holiday Sangria – Every good party needs a cocktail and my favorite is easy to prepare in advance. In a large pitcher, add one bottle of red wine (your choice!), with 1 bottle Cran-Raspberry juice, 2 Tablespoons OJ, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup frozen cranberries and 1 cup frozen raspberries. Stir in 2 cups club soda when ready to serve.
And if you’re running really short on time, you can add frozen cranberries to a crisp white wine for a festive twist.
Frozen Foods Are Real Food, Frozen.
Frozen foods sometimes get a bad rap, but the reality is that many frozen foods are the same as fresh— with real ingredients that are captured at the height of ripeness. By purchasing frozen, I know that I’m reducing waste and getting a quality product at an affordable price.
The Dairy Aisle is Beyond Cool
The refrigerated dairy aisle is where we go to find the foods we count on every day – but there is more to this aisle than meets the eye. While they may be grouped together because they need to be in a cool place … if you look closely you’ll see there’s a creative, fun side to these foods that’s beyond cool and waiting to be unleashed. From using Greek Yogurt for a soup or creating a minty cookie with coffee creamer, the refrigerated dairy aisle is a destination for culinary inspiration.
For more information about the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association visit http://bit.ly/eeSHsU.
Do you use frozen & refrigerated foods for holiday entertaining?