I love holiday weeks – slow but busy, with lots of food

Holiday weeks are awesome.  As we get closer to the actual holiday, emails slow down.  No press events get planned.  It doesn’t mean that I work less, it just means that I get a chance to catch up a bit, finish the dozens (I’m not exaggerating) of posts that are sitting in draft mode, and I can stop waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat muttering “I swear, I’m getting to it today!”

I also love holiday weeks because, let’s face it, I’m not little miss domesticity most of the time.  My son is a picky eater, my daughter wants tomato soup every night, and my husband usually gets home late and makes his own dinner at about 9pm.  The dreams I originally had of setting the table each night and serving an elaborate homemade meal changed to grilled cheese, plain pasta, and delivered pizza years ago.

So, I try to get my fill of cooking on the big food holidays.  I’m a bit disappointed that we’re not having any friends or family joining us this year, but I’ll probably make enough food for ten people anyway.

When I figure out the menu for holiday dinners I do not take into consideration calories or variety.  I make sure that everybody has at least one thing on the table they love.  If Jake wants to eat a plate full of fluffy white rolls, so be it.  He’ll be thrilled.

Some years we have a turkey, some years not.  Yes, this vegetarian can make her own turkey, and I have many times.  But we’ve also gotten into the habit since moving to Brooklyn of picking up a turkey from a local restaurant that deep fries them, and has a line around the block in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  This year, with only my husband and daughter eating meat, neither of them wanted a turkey; we’re having a roast chicken instead.  Blasphemy, I know. :-)

So, tomorrow’s menu will be a hodgepodge of comfort food, old favorites, and artery busters.  I’m also making a couple of recipes for the first time, which breaks one of my cardinal rules for big fancy dinners.  But since we’re not having any guests, I’m using my family as guinea pigs.  They won’t mind.

  • Fresh Direct soft white dinner rolls, the kind you just heat up in the oven.  They’re Jake’s favorite
  • Caesar salad.  But with the dressing on the side, since I don’t eat fish (or whatever anchovies are).  I’ll be having ranch.
  • A Perdue roast chicken, already dressed and rubbed and soaked and tied and whatever you do to a chicken.  I just have to put it in the oven.  There are some things I think benefit from being totally homemade, and that’s not one of them.
  • Martha Stewart’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve never made this recipe, but my husband made it once and it turned out pretty well.  But I bet mine will be better. ;-)
  • Green beans sauteed in olive oil and garlic.
  • Butternut squash, roasted and mashed with butter and a little brown sugar.
  • Stove Top Stuffing. Do not try to feed me homemade, fancy stuffing.  Stove Top is my favorite and the only stuffing I want on holidays.  The chicken flavor, even though I’m a vegetarian.  Go figure.
  • Mashed potato bake. This is the kind of dish I can ONLY make on holidays.  If I started making it regularly I would weigh 300 pounds.
  • Apple pie, my favorite.
  • Pumpkin pie, which I don’t like and have never made but my husband requested.  The kids don’t like pie.  So, yes, we will each have our own pie.  So?
  • Brownies for the kids.
  • Homemade ice cream with this amazingly easy and fast in-the-bowl soft ice cream maker from Hamilton Beach I was given at a BJ’s event last week.  Fiona’s had homemade ice cream for dessert every single night since the event.  Trust me, at under $30 this would make a great gift.  Fiona likes it with cut up Kit Kats and rainbow sprinkles. :-)

So that’s it!  By this time tomorrow I’ll be licking my fingers, in the home stretch.  I hope you all have a great holiday, whatever you do.

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 1 (for the ice cream maker). Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, and Momtourage, and podcasts with The Blogging Angels.


    • says

      @Elissa: OMG. Oh. Em. Gee. It was the best mac & cheese recipe ever. Ever! If you make it and see the mounds of cheese you throw in there you may start to wonder if perhaps you should just hook yourself up to a heart monitor while you eat it, just to be safe, but it will be worth it.

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