You don't have to be chef to whip up great holiday meals!
While I love the holidays, holiday entertaining has a tendency to make me very nervous. Don’t get me wrong, I love catching up with friends I haven’t seen in awhile. Overnight guests don’t bug me (unless they leaves their shoes on chairs) and while I do feeding people in general, holiday entertaining has a lot more emotional weight to it. Everything, from to soup to nuts (feels like) it has to be perfect. Absolutely perfect. How can you throw a feast without losing your mind? Shortcuts! Lots of shortcuts!
Target recently gave me a $75 gift card to go and explore their food offerings. I’ll be honest, I occasionally whip through the food section (their cinnamon cereal is very yummy), but I usually get distracted by all their accessories.
My mission was to stock up on food I’d use for upcoming dinners. What did I find? Well, the day I was there, bags of Market Pantry frozen cooked large cleaned and de-veined shrimp was on sale for $5.79. I picked up two for that price. There’s so much you can do with cooked, clean shrimp. I can go retro and serve them as an appetizer with cocktail sauce. I can add them to any pasta dish; I can grill them and serve them with vegetables. The list is endless.
I also picked up an Archer Farm spiral sliced honey ham. It was on sale for $1.89 a pound; I got a pretty good-sized one for $16.84, and promptly stuck it in my freezer. Why? Because it’ll keep! Yes! When I’m surrounded by exhausted tourists, I can pop this baby in the oven and they’ll have no idea that I bought it ahead of time. On that trip, I also picked up other items for my pantry that could be turned into tasty meals for the holidays.
For a recent dinner party, everything on the menu was from Target! Archer Farms pre-made potato bacon soup (it came in a box), started off the meal. For the entrée, I used Archer Farms ready-made bacon wrapped chicken breasts stuffed with cream cheese jalapenos at $8.04 for two. I paired the breasts with home made mashed potatoes (bought at Target-yes, they do have fresh produce), Archer Farms steam in the bag asparagus tips, mushroom, cauliflower, carrot vegetable blend $1.99, with Heinz gravy on sale for $1 with some biscuits I had all ready had on hand. For dessert, I had picked up a Market Pantry pumpkin pie for $3.99.
Since all the hard work had been done by the Archer Farm elves, I just popped them in the oven and spent time with friends. The best part of this meal? Everyone thought I had done all the hard work myself!
The next time you run over to Target to pick up something, set aside some time to go food shopping there. I found tons of tasty bargains. Their brands Market Pantry, Archer Farms have so many offerings. From ready-made (just pop in the oven) entrees to desserts and drinks, you can easily create a multi-course holiday meal or have enough snacks on hand to feed everyone who pops on by your home. Why drive yourself crazy making it from scratch, when Target can give you a (huge) helping hand to create an amazing spread.
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PJ Gach is Editor Queen of Style.