9 Easy Foods To Prepare For The Holidays

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Stephanie lives in Culpeper, Va. where she enjoys hiking in the Shenandoah National Park. She has always enjoyed being outdoors, either hiking, camping or working in her garden. She has a website, www.always-outdoors.com where she explores these topics and also writes reviews for various outdoor products.
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Holiday Cookies

Colorful Holiday Cookies

Easy Holiday Foods

Christmas is fast approaching and with it a busy whirlwind of activities.  There will be a round of parties for you to attend as well as the entertaining you plan to do.  Here are some ideas for easy and festive holiday foods to prepare ahead of time.


Hot Spiced Cider is is a delicious drink on cold wintry days.  It is very simple to make and can be kept in the refrigerator and reheated as needed.  Here’s all you have to do.

Place 1 gallon of apple cider in a large pot.  In a cheese cloth combine:  1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp of whole allspice, 1 tsp of whole cloves and 3 cinnamon sticks.  Tie the bag tightly and add to the cider in the pot.  Heat to boiling and then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.  Remove the cheese cloth and serve hot.  Aside from tasting delicious, it also makes the house smell wonderful.

A nice hot pot of fresh brewed coffee is always welcome.  If you want something special, try making a latte on a stove top espresso maker.  If you’re really adventurous, try imitating some of the special holiday drinks at Starbucks.

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without a carton of eggnog at hand.  There’s no preparation required here.  Just add a sprinkle of nutmeg on top and serve in a pretty glass.

These holiday drinks will please all your guests, both young and old.


Holiday foods should easy to prepare, and hearty enough to please any size appetite.

Homemade spaghetti is always welcome.  Make a big pot of Italian sauce and freeze it in serving size containers.   You can serve it with spaghetti or any of the many shaped pastas available in your local supermarket.  Served in decorative Italian pasta bowls, your meal will make a big hit.

Any type of homemade soup is welcome, especially on cold snowy days.  This is another meal that can be made ahead and frozen for later use.  The aroma of the soup while it is simmering is out of this world.  When friends drop in or when your family just wants a hearty meal, you’ve got one ready to go in the freezer.  Just pair it with fresh Italian bread and you’ve got a hit.

Chili is another cold weather treat.  You have a choice of chili with meat or a meatless variety.  It is very easy to make.  This is

a good choice for serving at home or at tailgate parties where you can heat it up on your outdoor portable grill.  Here’s how to make it.   Just fry up some chopped onion and green pepper in a pan.  If you’re adding meat, this is when you fry up the meat.  Be sure to drain off the fat.  Once the frying is done, add crushed tomatoes and kidney and or pinto beans.  I like to use several types of beans.  Season with chili powder and cumin.  I also like to add  grated carrots to increase the nutritional impact.  Just simmer for about an hour, taste and adjust the seasoning.  Add salt if you like.  This meal is a winner.  Corn muffins go great with this meal.


The holidays are a good excuse to make all kinds of delicious cookies.  Here are some suggestions to please your guests.

Christmas cookies are a great dessert.  Usually they are not too high in calories, which is good because we tend to eat a lot of rich meals during the holidays.  Cookies can be made well in advance and stored in airtight containers during the holiday season.  I’m sure everyone has their own traditional varieties that they make year after year.

Pizzelles are an Italian cookie that I make every year.  You need a pizzelle maker which is similar to a waffle iron, except the irons have designs on them.  Here is my recipe for Pizzelles.

Italian Cookies

Traditional Italian Cookie

6 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of shortening
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 1/2 teaspoons of anise extract (You can add more if you really like the licorice flavor)
2 1/2 cups of flour

Mix all the ingredients together and drop by the teaspoon full on a hot, oiled pizzelle maker.  Close the lid and cook for about 1 minute.  You will have to experiment with the timing.  Lay the cooked pizzelles on a flat surface and when they have cooled, dust them with confectioner’s sugar.  Delicious!

Biscotti are another Italian tradition that I enjoy.  Homemade biscotti taste a lot better than the store bought ones.  There are many variations to the biscotti recipe which you can find on cooking sites.  The best way to eat them is to dip them in your coffee.  They keep forever and make nice hostess gifts if you are invited out to dinner.

These are some simple ideas for holiday eating and entertaining.  These holiday foods are easy to make, and best of all, they can be made ahead.  So go ahead, put on your apron and get cooking!