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Planning a holiday party and going crazy over the details? Preparing for last minute dinner guests? Need inspiration for simple and delicious meals for your family? Then this post is for you! Let’s talk about easy holiday entertaining…
I just hosted a few friends for a Christmas themed dinner. As I prepared I was thinking “I would really like to actually enjoy this evening and not be tied to the stove!” Do you know the feeling? You’ve been cooking, cleaning, and decorating like mad. Then your guests arrive but you’re too busy serving to sit and enjoy your company. No fun!
For this dinner I decided my personal theme would be simple and good food. This was my menu:
- Stouffer’s lasagna served in Mason jars
- Lasagna stuffed garlic bread
- Cucumber tomato salad
- Green beans with almonds
- Toll House Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Decorate you own sugar cookies
First, for the lasagna served in jars, I wrapped each jar in a napkin (use cloth or disposable) and tied them with ribbon. I found this to be easiest to do upside down so that the napkin draped over the jar and I could use both hands to tie the ribbon.
Aren’t these cute?!
For a fun and creative twist on lasagna, I made Lasagna Stuffed Garlic Bread. This is such a simple way to make an impression with a dish on your table. Frozen bread dough paired with Stouffer’s Lasagna makes a fabulous combo!
Here is how you can make this easy Lasagna Stuffed Garlic Bread for your family:
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
3 slices of Stouffer’s Lasagna (1/4 of the 90 ounce pan), cooked according to package drections
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1. Roll the bread dough out into a rectangle; approximately 18 inches by 12 inches.
2. Cut the lasagna into bite sized pieces and then scoop onto the center of the bread dough (see pictures above).
3. Sprinkle the lasagna with shredded cheese.
4. Make cuts along both sides of the bread dough, about 1 inch apart. Cut just up to the lasagna filling (see pictures above). Create a loaf by crisscrossing the dough over the filling. Start at one end and work your way from side to side until you reach the other end.
5. Bake the loaf at 350 for 35 minutes.
6. Combine the melted butter and garlic powder then brush the mixture over the baked lasagna bread.
Makes 8 servings.
In addition to lasagna and lasagna stuffed garlic bread, I served green beans (toss a few bags of frozen green beans into a slow cooker on low for a couple of hours with a stick of butter then add slivered almonds before serving), a tomato and cucumber salad (sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions mixed with Italian dressings), and a basic garlic bread. Easy!
After my simple and yummy dinner buffet, there was no way I was about to spend a ton of time baking desserts. I picked up a package of Toll House Rolled and Ready Sugar Dough Sheets and Toll House Dark Chocolate Peppermint Refrigerated Cookie Dough. LOVE them! This is the ultimate easy party hack for an awesome cookie decorating station. It’s dessert and an activity!
Set up a cookie decorating station with butter cream frosting, knives for spreading, Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate Morsels and other items for decorating.
Baking some cookies right before a party serves a dual purpose: for eating and they make your house smell wonderful! When I pulled the Toll House Dark Chocolate Peppermint cookies out of the oven, I thought “wow, this is what Christmas smells like!”
Here are my tips for easy holiday entertaining:
- Use awesome products like the Stouffer’s Lasagna and Toll House cookie dough’s as I did in this post to make a delicious buffet with minimal effort.
- Use disposable plates, cups, and silverware to make clean up easy.
- Go simple with the decoration. I used Christmas wrapping paper for table cloths! That’s one of my favorite party decorating tricks. You can do a lot with some ribbon, candles, and wrapping paper. A few pieces of garland with white lights are also very helpful.
- Play the music! Set a party mood with some great Christmas music.
- Plan ahead! Do as much as you can the day before the party.
- Set aside time for yourself. Make sure to schedule time for you to change clothes and freshen up before your guests arrive.
A little extra tip for you is found right on the Stouffer’s lasagna box:
Macaroni and cheese with toppings for your next gathering? That would be awesome!
I purchased all of these products at Walmart, and you can too! Be sure to visit Flavorful Moments for more easy recipes and ideas for holiday entertaining.