Holiday entertaining shortcuts

Who doesn’t love a good time-saver? I know I do! That is why this year I’ve decided to make some of my dishes the old fashioned way, from scratch, and to save time on others by choose a great ready-to-eat side dishes and party trays.

Holiday Entertaining 101

How often have you reminded yourself or others that time with family and friends is the most important part of the holiday season? As wonderful as this sentiment is, it’s easy for it to go right out the window when you’re stressed about an unexpected house guest or a last-minute pot luck. Luckily, these simple tips from the Hormel Foods test kitchen will help keep the stress at bay, leaving you time to focus on what really what matters this fall.Hormel Loaded mashed potatoes

  • Time it Right: Whether this is your first year entertaining or you’re known as a pro, everyone could use an extra few minutes around the holidays. One way to cut corners in the kitchen, while still delivering a rave-worthy meal, is to rely on products that eliminate your prep time. For example, Hormel® Side Dishes and Hormel® refrigerated entreestake just minutes in the microwave to heat, allowing you to enjoy your favorite meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Easy Apps: No need to stuff, skewer, bake or broil elaborate or hard-to-make appetizers. Save time and energy by purchasing stand-alone finger foods like roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and Greek olives. Pair with an assortment of cheeses, crackers and meats from a HORMEL GATHERINGS™ Party Tray, and decorate with cranberries or ivy for an attractive presentation.
  • Send-a-Side Dish: Host a pot-luck dinner and ask each guest to bring a side dish or dessert. Flex your entertaining skills by offering to prepare the main course – a HORMEL® CURE 81® Classic Boneless Ham. For an extra special touch, add a simple glaze from
  • Make-Ahead Menu. If you are planning a sit-down dinner, create a menu that can be prepared in advance. Lasagnas, casseroles (like this Bacon and Green Bean Casserole Deluxe featuringHormel® bacon bits), stuffing and many desserts can be cooked or baked ahead of time and frozen. The day before, chop, slice and dice any additional ingredients you’ll need the day of the gathering. A few hours before the party, you’ll be able to simply warm, assemble and serve.


Thanks to Hormel for the great tips and providing me with some wonderful holiday treats!

Jesica H

When she isn’t drowning in a pile of never-ending laundry or picking up Legos, Jesica is busy helping other parents make their lives a little less stressful with homemaking hacks, easy recipes, fun DIY projects, and more. On her successful blog, The Mommy Bunch, her Cricut crafting tutorials are the most popular articles and are what sparked her passion for helping others build a business of their own. Jesica started where you can find loads more craft tutorials and business advice. In her FREE Facebook group, Rock Your Craft Business, Jesica teaches other entrepreneurs how to take their craft business to the next level by building their brand, targeting the right customers, and utilizing smart social media strategies. Join us!

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