Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last Minute Ordinary to Family Size Extraordinary!

#ad - I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. I stocked my freezer with Nestle party size entrees and seasonal ice cream to prepare for unexpected situations. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client. #PlanAhead

Bring on the holidays. This year I am determined to be ready.

My daughter and I have already started decorating the house while my son is at school. I love adding a little fun to our dinner table with Fall colored leaves, pumpkins, decorative corn and gourds. She loves helping me and it has created some fun mother/daughter moments to remember. I like making the house more inviting as we all look forward to the holidays.

Another part of my plan in preparing for the holidays is having food stashed in the freezer for life's unexpected moments. Ever have one of those?

For the past two years my kids have unexpectedly gotten sick around the holidays. Last year my daughter got sick right as we were packing up the car. With elderly Great Grandparents attending, we just couldn't expose them to our germs. Disappointed, we had to change gears and stay home. I was faced with having nothing ready for dinner. I don't even think there was much in the fridge to work with. All I had was the homemade cranberry sauce I was planning to take to the family meal.

I don't remember what we scrounged up, but I am sure it was pancakes or waffles, something easy.

This year I promised myself I would not be caught unprepared again.

This year whether we get sick again (I sure hope not!), have unexpected guests drop by, or my turkey gets devoured by the dog (any Christmas Story fans out there?), I have a back-up in our deep freeze.

Nestle frozen foods make several options for stocking my freezer. Our first choice is always Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese. Don't let the simplicity fool you, it is easy to dress it up and please any dinner guest. Here are my suggestions:

Macaroni and cheese with smoked salmon? How about bacon and broccoli mixed in? I like to top our macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs for crunch during the final 10 minutes of baking time and then I top mine with a little of everything and finish it off with a squeeze of sriracha sauce for heat.

Oh, so good! This family size entree is plenty for my family and any other hungry dinner guests I have. With a nice side salad or warm loaf of bread it will stretch even farther and feed a few more.

Another crowd-pleasing trick up my sleeve is Digiorno Rising Crust Pizza. I like to get it simple, either plain cheese or pepperoni so I can dress it up with additional toppings for adults, or leave it as is if I need to feed a bunch of kids. I like to add any veggies I have on hand like bell peppers, mushrooms or sun dried tomatoes.

Another favorite I have stashed away is Stouffer's Party Size lasagna. Served with a side of steamed vegetables or garlic bread, it warms us up on cold evenings.

So many choices, so many options for those last minute meals.

But, if you really want to be a hero this holiday season, stock up on a few seasonal treats like Dreyer's Slow Churned Light Ice Cream Limited Edition: Peppermint Wonderland. I wait all year for the seasonal flavors to come out. Another one I am looking forward to is Dreyer’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream Limited Edition: A Very Merry Eggnog which should be on shelves today, November 1st.

Warm food and cold ice cream stocked up for whatever life throws my way, that is my secret for planning ahead this year.

Connect with Nestle on their Facebook page or @Nestle on Twitter.

How do you plan ahead for the holiday season?
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