Hi friends! As you all know I am deep in Christmas movie season which is taking all of my time and energy over at Hallmarkies Podcast. But today I got a break from Christmas with my sister Anna coming over for a little lunch. She normally lives in the UK, so I don’t get to see her very much. It’s funny because I go about my life not missing my family far away too strongly but when I do get to see them I am almost overwhelmed with how much I miss them. So suffice it to say I was very glad to see my sister.
I wanted to do something nice for my sister but I didn’t have time to labor over a meal. So what I came up with is to make a ‘fancy’ meal but make it easy using some cheats.
To begin with it’s amazing how it makes a meal feel special to use nice china, serving containers (as opposed to just serving out of jars), and having sparkling cider in nice glasses. It elevates everything.
For the main meal we had:
Chicken Cordon Bleu- this staple feels fancy even though I purchased it at the deli at Harmons Grocery store.
Alfredo Sauce- the only way to cheat on this is the alfredo sauce in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. I like the Contadina Alfredo Sauce which is located where they keep the fresh pastas. Jarred white sauces are not good in my opinion.
Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almond- this I made from a Near East box mix and cooked in my rice cooker. Couldn’t be easier but feels fancy
Next is a Fresh Arugula Holiday Salad:
This salad contains arugula, shaved parmesean cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds, raspberries and champagne dressing (you could use any vinegar based dressing).
We had Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider to drink.
For a light dessert we had a double pudding bowl:
To make this I put a piece of plastic in the middle of the bowls and on one side put in Kozy Shack Rice Pudding and the other Kozy Shack Chocolate Pudding. Then I pull the plastic out and it stays separate. Then I topped with some of the pumpkin seeds, raspberries and bottled chocolate sauce (from Ghiradelli’s). It felt decadent and fancy but was very easy!
It ended up being such a pleasant lunch, which would not have been the case if I was running ragged cooking. It got me curious of what other cheats I could use. What about you? What do you like to sub out to make entertaining (or just eating) easy? I would love to hear your tips!