{Eat Well, Spend Less} Cooks Food for the Holidays

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And now for the fabulous ladies of the Eat Well, Spend Less series – here’s what they had to say this month about homemade food gifts, pie crusts, and keeping your family (and party guests) fed all this busy month. If you missed my contribution, which was kind of lost in the emails earlier this week, I shared some strategies for successful menu planning for holiday events (that you host or attend) and how to fit it all in your already-busy kitchen schedule:

"I Already Spend All Day in the Kitchen – How Will I Ever Have Time for Special Holiday Food???"

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do a ton of dishes from this hectic week and make two dishes for a party I’m co-hosting tomorrow…’cause I just might be better at writing advice than following it! 

35 Easy, Overnight Breakfasts

from Mandi of Easy, Homemade


While overnight dishes are my favorite ones to serve on Christmas because they allow me to focus on my family while still serving a delicious meal, they’re not just for Christmas morning! Overnight breakfasts are perfect for the entire holiday season, with its extra hustle and bustle, especially travel days and those days with holiday functions (whether you’re attending or hosting).

Some of these breakfast dishes are assembled the night before and baked in the morning. Some are baked ahead of time. And many can be frozen and then thawed and baked when you’re ready for them!

For egg dishes, French toast casseroles, fruit-n-yogurt, plus oatmeal baked, frig’d, or slow cooked, click HERE

Edible Homemade Gifts

from Shaina of Food for my Family


There are certain times of the year where I start to feel as though we are bleeding money. The beginning of the school year is a great time for this feeling, with new backpacks, school clothes and shoes, supplies, fall sports payments, field trip forms, and everything else that comes along with having four kids. Then right after we’ve recovered from that, Christmas hits.

The real issue with the holiday season is that I truly enjoy the gifting, and my heart is always bigger than my wallet.

Between work colleagues and the kids’ teachers, neighbors, aunts and uncles, a cousin here or there, the number of small gifts we send out to the holidays can add up quickly. In an effort to curtail the spending associated with the holiday season, we look at taking things the homemade route instead by pooling money and ingredients into easy gifts that the whole family can help get together.

For more things to think about when making homemade gifts plus lots of links to good ideas, click HERE

Freezer Cooking at the Holidays

from Jessica of Life as MOM


At the start of November I did a full-blown freezer cooking plan that filled my freezer to the brim. To the brim! I’ve been reaping the benefits of that for weeks and will continue to do so far into December as we still have enough meals to last us for most of the month!

I was stunned when I wrote out the month’s menus and saw that I don’t need to buy much in the way of dinnertime groceries. What a huge time and budget saver that Busy Holiday Nights cooking plan was.

It’s now freed me up to do some fun cooking. Coming up in the next week or two, hubby and I are going to do a big tamale making session, our yearly tradition. The kids and I are going to spend a day topping off the freezer with Christmas cookies, scones, cinnamon rolls, and baking mixes. We will be set with make-ahead meals and treats to take through to the New Year.

Indeed, the freezer is my very best friend this busy holiday season.

Read the rest right HERE

Aimee’s Hubby Makes Dainty Pies with a Fancy French Name

from Aimee of Simple Bites

imageAimee’s husband wrote this post!

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting up with an old friend for supper and a beer tasting. 8 people and 13 beer over 2.5-3  hours (no one was keeping time) made for an enjoyable time of meeting new friends and tasting new beers.

As it happens, the only other time I had participated in a beer tasting was about 10 years earlier.  3 people tasting 8 high-alcohol content beers made for a bit of a disaster.  Okay, a lot of a disaster.  We were genuinely interested in tasting the beers, but didn’t want to waste any. And one of us had to leave early (me) for a reason I can’t remember.

I’m planning to host a beer tasting of my own over the holidays, and want to ensure that it is not a disaster, and that everyone makes it home safely.  Part of my secret arsenal to do so is to serve lots of food, and these will include some hand pies.

Read on to see how easy it is to make mini Tourtière hand pies, and get the recipe for these savory holiday bites.

Check out the recipe and Aimee’s husband’s talents right HERE

Don’t be Afraid of Homemade Pie Crusts

from Amy at Kingdom First Mom

I actually don’t think I have ever bought a crust from a box; for me it is much cheaper and easier to make at home.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Abby Grace (who is 8 years old) decided she wanted to make all of the crusts for our holiday pies. I turned her loose, and she is now our “official” pie crust maker.

Many people are intimidated by the thought of making their own crust, but it really is easier than you might think. All it takes is a little practice!

Read the rest right HERE

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