When loved ones ask me what I want for the holidays, I invariably answer “time.” Time to tackle all the items on my to-do and then bonus time to slow down and enjoy the season. But, unfortunately, time is not a tangible gift; it can’t be purchased at the mall or wrapped up with a nice, neat ribbon. Too bad there’s not a magic gift card that would entitle me to a couple extra hours per day. But, there are ways I can efficiently use the limited time I have during the hustle and bustle of the holidays – and that’s why my Christmas wish list is loaded up with products from Litehouse Foods . . . and a pair of diamond earrings!
On my wish list: My favorites from Litehouse Foods and mega-carat diamond earrings!
I love how high-quality, convenience products, like the freeze-dried herbs and dressings, free me up from the chore of cooking all day. As much as I love the process of creating recipes and making good food for my family, I dislike the idea of being tied to the kitchen for hours prepping food in the old-school ways of family matriarchs. I’m all about making things faster, simplifying steps, and making food a little lighter – without sacrificing flavor. Today, I’m sharing my favorite Litehouse Foods products for the holidays and how these modern conveniences help me create a home-cooked, old-fashioned Christmas experience for my family and save time (and money) in the process.
Instantly Fresh Poultry Seasoning perks up your bird in a flash with traditional herbs
Instantly Fresh Poultry Seasoning: I have vivid recollections of my German-immigrant great-grandmother telling me how she, as a teenager, would pluck and prepare several turkeys from their farm to feed the other 12 hardworking kids in the family. Back then, it was a special event to get more than just a scrap of meat for supper and her secret holiday stuffing recipe rounded out the feast. I’m a modern girl and don’t have the time, inclination or stomach to take an active hand in taking my dinner from farm to fork. However, I can share the same traditional flavors (including onion, thyme, sage, marjoram, garlic and rosemary) with my own family using Instantly Fresh Poultry Seasoning on my supermarket procured bird and seasonal sides.
A simple cheese board makes a sophisticated statement before or after holiday meals.
Center Cut Gorgonzola Cheese and Center Cut Blue Cheese: Ever wondered where the tradition of a cheese tray originated? For hundreds of years, hosts in many European countries offered a cheese course before dessert to sooth the tongue and aid in digestion. Often, cheese was the actual finale to a meal, served in lieu of something sweet. With today’s more casual entertaining style, there is no right or wrong time to serve cheese – frequently an assortment is presented as a starter to the main meal. A board brimming with artisanal cheeses, nuts and dried fruits, and a collection of crackers is my go-to easy appetizer when company s coming. I can’t even imagine having to round up a wheel of blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese as was done back in the olden days. Back then, if your town was without a local cheesemonger, the cheese would have to be homemade, a tedious process involving curdling, needling, turning and at least a couple months of ageing. Who has time for this?! Today, I just run over to the closest market to grab some deliciously rich, hand-crafted artisanal cheeses from Litehouse Foods -- aged to perfection and extracted right from the center of the wheel, the most premium spot! Old-fashioned Caramel Dip: Fruit is naturally delicious when served solo, but add rich buttery-sweet caramel to the mix – and, oh my! Litehouse Foods has a mouthwatering array of fruit dips that include everything from caramel, chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla yogurt. One of the most popular at my house is the Old-fashioned Caramel Dip; after just a few seconds in the microwave my kids have a fun “fondue” in which to dip marshmallows, gingersnaps, banana slices and other goodies. Drizzling warm caramel dip on apple pie or pound cake will earn you raves from guests who will most likely assume that you spent hours in the kitchen. Making caramel from scratch should be easy, but there are many ways it can go wrong. Seizing, crystalizing and burning are all frequent homemade caramel fails– plus there are really messy, sticky pots to wash up. No thank you; I’m starting a new tradition of convenience with store-bought caramel dips!
Cheers to your health with apple cider wassail.
Apple Cider: Nothing warms a soul up and makes a statement of holiday hospitality than serving guests a steaming hot mug of apple cider. Ciders, in some form or another, have been around seemingly forever. In the disease-ridden Medieval times, hard cider was considered the safest (and often only) beverage around. In Colonial America, prolific cider consumption was correlated to an abundance of apple orchards. Making the beloved beverage is no easy task; it takes up to 16 pounds of apples just to make one gallon of apple cider. Even if you own a juicer, the expense of making apple cider at home becomes all too real when you consider apples that cost a dollar or two a pound! During the holiday season, I lie to make “wassail,” a warm beverage of German origin that literally means “Be Healthy.” Just pour Litehouse Food’s apple cider into a big pot and add the flavors you crave including citrus slices, apple slices cinnamon sticks, grated ginger and whole cloves. You can also add other juices or adult libations, if desired! Cheers and happy holidays! What's your favorite holiday time saver?