by Texas Homesteader ~
Our big family holidays always involve lots of delicious foods. Come see my favorite holiday cooking tips for getting in and out of the kitchen fast.
Plus I’m sharing some family-favorite recipes that we most enjoy during our own special family holidays.
Food For Big Holiday Gatherings
The holidays are quickly approaching, y’all. This time of year is filled with many gatherings of friends and family, along with lots of good food.
I like to streamline cooking to the largest degree possible. I’m just not a fan of being chained in the kitchen. You too? Read on, dear friends. You can click the links for more detailed information.
NOTE: There’s a more complete list of favorite foods & tips at the bottom of this post.
Pre-Roasting The Turkey
If turkey is on the menu, this is (BY FAR) my greatest time-saving hack. More time with family, less time in the kitchen cooking and no cleaning greasy pans on the big day.
I Roast the Turkey beforehand, allow it to cool and then carve it.
The carved meat is layered attractively on a foil-covered metal tray and stored in the freezer.
Truly, pre-cooking the turkey is the biggest and most used convenience when hosting our holiday!
Holiday Side Dishes
There are several side dishes that are favorites in our family holidays. They’re listed below along with links for each one to read more details:
Old Fashioned Southern Cornbread Dressing – No more dressing from a box for me. Most of the dressing recipes included white or wheat bread. I wanted one that used cornbread instead. This one doesn’t disappoint!
Green Bean Casserole – This is RancherMan’s dish and it’s always, always, ALWAYS requested. The kids associate this dish with the holidays of their childhood so it’s very much a tradition for us. And tradition also dictates that it make & serve it in that crappy green vintage casserole dish. LOL
Ranch-Style Beans – An easy and inexpensive dish. Ranch-Style Beans are simply beans with a chili-type gravy. It’s a very popular dish down south – maybe where you live too?
Roasted Vegetables – it’s easy to roast up veggies for a quick eye-catching and healthy side. Be sure to choose many colors of fresh veggies to chop & mix.
Pico-de-Gallo Deviled Eggs – This is like traditional deviled eggs, but with a spicy kick! We mix fresh pico-de-gallo into the egg filling. Sometimes we’ll top it with a thin slice of jalapeno.
Holiday Dessert Ideas
And what about dessert? Here are some of our most-requested holiday delights.
Cherry Shtuff – My most-requested dessert during the holidays. It’s quick & easy. Cherry pie filling mixed with whipped topping, sweetened condensed milk & crushed pineapple. I’m sure it has an actual name, but in our family we’ve named it Cherry Shtuff. 🙂
Cherry Pie Filling – I used to buy a can of cherry pie filling for my Cherry Shtuff dessert. But I was always disappointed in the lack of actual cherries in the can! Nowadays I typically whip up a batch of my own cherry pie filling so it can be as cherry-y as I want.
Apple Pie – What’s more traditional that good ole apple pie? And this one is made with apples picked over the summer from my aunt’s tree. You don’t get more homemade than that!
Double 9″ Flaky Pie Crust – I always make my own pie crust. This one is super easy and nice & flaky. Just mix it up and roll it out.
Honey-Sweetened Whipped Cream – All the whipped cream recipes I found before were made with powdered sugar. So when I found one sweetened with honey? Well I knew that would be my fave. It does not disappoint.
Rich Chocolate-Frosted Brownies – Chocolate brownies frosted with a quick no-cook chocolate frosting. There’s a secret ingredient to make the chocolate flavor pop!
Chocolate Crazy Cake – The quickest & easiest of all desserts – chocolate crazy cake. No eggs, no milk, no butter. Mix & bake in the same pan!
Other Helpful Homemade-Ingredient Tips
Homemade Broth – The commercial stuff is loaded with sodium & other things. But it’s deceptively easy to make your own broth.
Simple Cream-of-Chicken Soup Recipe – My go-to recipe for cream-of-anything soup. I can whip it up in minutes!
Sweetened Condensed Milk – This is a mandatory ingredient in my Cherry Shtuff dessert. I was surprised to learn how quick & easy it was to make sweetened condensed milk myself.
Easier Filling For Resealable Bags – I use this genius kitchen hack – you can use a canning jar lifter turned upside down to hold open a resealable bag!
Veggies? Meat? Gravy? Soup? No problem. And no more spills & messes to clean up!
Faster, Easier Way To Fill Deviled Eggs – Don’t you hate the mess of trying to fill deviled eggs? How are you supposed to present them neatly? Check out this tip for making neater deviled eggs faster and with no mess!
Don’t Put Fat Down The Kitchen Drain! It’s easy to set it aside. I use a labeled jar in my refrigerator. When the fat cools and turns hard, I tighten the lid and throw it away. No plumbing disasters!
Keep That Broccoli Fresh – Do you worry about your broccoli keeping its bright crispy texture? Don’t worry, It’s easy to keep broccoli crisp and fresh in your refrigerator using this tip.
More Efficient Slow Cooker Hack – Use this simple kitchen hack to make your slow cooker more efficient and cook your food in less time.
Easy Baking Measure Reminders – Did you just add two cups of flour to the mixing bowl, or three? Ugh. How do you keep track with so many holiday distractions? I’ve used this simple hack for decades and it works for me every time.
Food Safety During The Holidays
Keeping Food Safely Hot – Food safety is important, y’all! But you’re trekking over the river & through the woods to grandmother’s house, how do you keep your family’s favorite casserole at a safe temperature?
Keeping Food Safely Chilled – Conversely, you need a way to keep food safely cold too. I hate to buy bagged ice (because, you know – plastic) but our crappy refrigerator would never produce enough ice to fill a cooler. So we’ve come up with a better way using longer-lasting ice to keep our food cold.
So there ya go. A few holiday cooking tips & recipes that RancherMan & I will be enjoying during the holiday season. Oh and don’t forget – food safety is important!
Want More Holiday Cooking Tips & Recipes?
- Holiday Cooking Shortcuts & Tips
- Use Jar Lifters To Hold Open Resealable Bags
- Simple Way To Clean Cast-Iron Skillet
- List Of Quick Ingredient Substitutions
- Enjoy The Holiday – Pre-Cook The Turkey
- How To Spatchcock & Smoke A Whole Turkey With Pecan Wood
- Instant Pot Roast & Brown Gravy
- Homemade Tamales!
- RancherMan’s Green Bean Casserole Recipe
- Old Fashioned Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Quick & Easy Roasted Vegetables
- Zesty Ranch-Style Beans
- Rosemary Rice
- Crispy Southwest Egg Rolls
- No-Cook Cherry Dessert
- MYO Cherry Pie Filling Quickly
- Apple Pie With Home-Canned Apples
- Easy Instant Pot Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Bread (with Cake Mix Shortcut)
- Honey-Sweetened Whipped Cream
- Double Pie Crust Recipe
- Easiest 3-Ingredient Graham Cracker Crust
- MYO Sweetened Condensed Milk
- MYO Broth Easily!
- Easy Cream-Of-ANYTHING Soup Recipe
- Easier Peeling For Boiled Eggs
- How To Tell If Your Baking Powder Is Still Good
- What Do The Dates On The Food Labels Mean?
- Keeping Hot Dishes HOT In Transit
- Keeping Food Safely COLD
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea. There are lots of good folks sharing! And you can also follow along on Pinterest, on Instagram and on Twitter
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