Having a list of holiday go-to meals at your fingertips would be wonderful for this year. Right? This quick post will give suggestions to create a collection of easy holiday meals. We’ll also chat about ways to simplify the hosting process while sharing ways to gain more confidence in hosting. And lastly, we’re offering an awesome resource you’ll find yourself putting to use immediately!
We coined the phrase Happy Hostess here on Quiet Hollow to mean those of us 60+ girls (some 50 or 70+), who might verge on introversion, but love to share time and a meal with the people we care about. Happy Hostesses see hospitality as totally different from entertaining. Hospitality for us starts from a biblical perspective. Our purpose for opening our home, meeting someone for coffee, or having the gang over for lunch is to “bless, not to impress.” Check out this post (How to Be a Stress-Free Happy Hostess) for a fun chat on Happy Hostessing!
Most of us quickly recognize the difference between fixing things up cute, cleaning your home, and even taking out the nice dishes as opposed to spending a ton of time and money to do all the fancy things so the people who come to your house for your event will be impressed and maybe a little jealous. We also recognize that is the exact opposite of what we’re called to do. Plus, it’s not even close to being as fun!
What’s a Holiday Go-To Meal?
Maybe you already have a mental list of your ‘company’s coming’ holiday meals. Our Holiday Go-To Meals is like that with a twist. It’s a list of meals that almost everyone loves. These meals could have a family tradition story attached to them, or they could simply be a meal you are confident will turn out well. It’s also something YOU like to eat. You’ll be more likely to look forward to the event if the food choices also make you happy!
Start thinking about those easy holiday meal ideas. At the top of my list would be my Grandma’s Homemade Chicken and Noodles. It’s a hearty, delicious soup that uses my mom’s homemade noodles. I know it will turn out, it tastes great, and it’s a perfect winter meal. Do you have something like that in your repertoire?
Of course, you could put together a grocery store meal; some occasions are in the emergency, last-minute category and require emergency measures! So, occasionally, grab a freezer lasagna, deluxe pizza, or even drive-through for a big order of Panda Express. However, if it’s not an emergency (and most won’t be), consider a yummy holiday go-to meal for your guests.
Pin to Your Favorite Holiday Board!
What is NOT a Holiday Go-To Meal?
If you have saved a fancy recipe that you know will impress your mother-in-law or new neighbors, DON’T USE IT! This is the exact opposite of the Happy Hosting philosophy (remember ‘bless not impress’ ?), and the likelihood of you enjoying yourself, feeling confident, and having a tasty result are very slim. I’ve fallen into this trap, and it never turns out well! If you want to use a new recipe, try it out on yourself or your husband. You will learn a lot with your dry run… Ingredients adjustments, oven temp, and length of cook time are a few I can name. You might also find you don’t even like the recipe.
This even goes for heirloom/family recipes. Word to the wise: if the recipe’s new to you, resist the temptation to serve it to a group. Practice first (unless these people live in your household)! 🥰
How to Create Your Holiday Go-To Meals List
Get your cookbooks, hand-written recipe cards, and scraps of paper in that recipe box, or go to your online collection. I have all of those! Speaking of online collections…I use Plan to Eat. It “helps busy households get healthy dinners on the table. Collect and organize your recipes, add those recipes to your meal planning calendar and Plan to Eat will make your organized grocery list. Collect recipes from anywhere. Recipes can be added to your account from websites, cookbooks, recipe cards… or anywhere else! (description is taken from their website.) If you choose to add PTE, we can be friends and share! I currently have 565 recipes saved there.
One of my favorite recipes in my Holiday Go-To Meals category in PTE is Slow Cooker Fiesta Chili Supper Recipe. You can sign up for the 30 day free trial and check out the 20ish recipes I have in that collection!
Here is your FREE Holiday Go-To Meals Workbook!
Whatever you use to store your recipes, even if it’s just your head, search for your holiday ‘go-to’ meals possibilities. And, then write them down with references to the source recorded (so you can find the recipe unless you know it by heart). I have an actual Holiday Meals Collection in Plan to Eat that helps greatly. Also, I have a gift for you that will help with this task. It includes eleven meal suggestions (shared by some of my best FB friends ❤️) and lots of room to list your favorites and good ol’ stand-bys.
I just picked up a great Christmas magazine called Paula Deen’s Chrstmas Festive Dishes for Holiday Meals. It’s awesome…although it’s a little on the fancy side for me. No problem, I’m good at ‘un-fancying’ recipes. Most of the time it’s determined by the ingredients I have on hand! There are ideas in the magazine for “Snips & Snacks”, “12 Days of Christmas Cookies”, “Festive Meals”, “Cakes & Cheesecakes”, and “Homemade Gifts”.
Our Favorite Food Posts
Let’s Wrap This Up
There is so much to think about during the holidays. From gifts to decorating, to hosting, to what to wear for events, to cooking for your guests! If we can find a few ways to enjoy this wonderful time of year while alleviating unnecessary stress, let’s do it! This post has focused on one small yet powerful tool for planning your holiday meals list to crank down the stress meter in your life, home, and heart.
Here are a couple of other ways to find peace rather than panic during this time.
#1 is to sit down, away from everything, rest, calm your mind and pray. God says this too. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10 He loves hanging out in the stillness with us. Playing worship music calms and refocuses my heart. The song Peace, Be Still by Lauren Daigle comes to mind now. (You can find it on youtube).
#2 is to pick up your Bible while you’re peacefully sitting there and go back to what you are currently reading or pop into Psalms or one of the letters in the New Testament. I love Psalm 23. You just can’t beat it! Short, but packed with love and encouragement, and hope.
So, I leave you sitting by the still waters with your soul is refreshed. Enjoy our two big winter holidays this year; the one that reminds us to be grateful and the other that celebrates the birth of the Baby who grew up to be the Savior of the world! ❤️
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Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.