The holidays are one of the busiest, craziest and joyful times of the year. Too often in the past, the stress of cooking the perfect meal interfered with my enjoyment of the important things – my family and friends. It wasn’t until I broke my foot last year and was forced to simplify that I realized that the details are not important. Nobody missed the house being decorated from top to bottom or the plethora of homemade chocolates and treats we usually had. I just chose a few favourites and asked one of my fellow Dairy Diva’s to help the actual baking.

Here are a few of our favourite recipes that we hope will allow you to relax and experience the joy of the season with easy and delicious food.

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Colinda’s Simple Cheese Plate

Bethany’s Hot Crab Dip

Kristina’s Gingerbread Cookies

Santa Came!

Jaclyn’s Land’o Nod Cinnamon Buns

Lee’s Broccoli, Cheese and Ham Strata

The Feast

Our Friends at Canada Turkey’s Roasted Turkey

Lee’s Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Lee’s Roasted Vegetables

Kelsie’s Comfort Scalloped Potatoes or Lee’s Sweet Potato Carrot Streusel

Jaclyn’s Not Out of the Box Stuffing

Mixed Grain and Lentil Pilaf  (vegetarian option)

Something Sweet

Jaclyn’s Berries and Potted Cream

Jaclyn’s Pumpkin and Cranberry Bread Pudding  

Tips for a Joyful Christmas

In order to take the stress out when the big day comes, here are some tips to help you enjoy the season and the big day.

  1. Prepare as much food ahead of time as you can.

For example, the Christmas morning Land o’ Nod Cinnamon Buns and the Broccoli Cheese Strata can both be prepared the day before and just popped in the oven in the morning.

  1. Use your freezer when possible.

Make the sweet potato carrot streusel up to two weeks before and freeze it without the topping. Simply thaw, add the topping and reheat when it’s time to eat.

 

  • Ask for and accept help. Ask family and friends to contribute a dish to the meal. One year, my nephew offered to make the cranberry sauce. I can still remember the relief I felt to have this simple task looked after.
  • Simplify, period. You don’t have to bake a dozen different kinds of cookies. Just pick a few favourites like shortbread or sugar cookies and let your family have fun helping you decorate. They will remember the fun and you will be establishing a holiday tradition to be enjoyed year after year.

 

Do you have a favourite holiday recipe? We would love to hear from you.

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Written by a Registered Dietitian.