Christmas dinner/snack ideas I can make in advance?

Since we have a busy household with four children I am worried I won't have a lot of time to make Christmas dinner this year. We are hosting for extended family and including a few kids should be about 19-20 if not more.

I am wondering about ideas for things I could make ahead and freeze (or store). I have never frozen much but willing to try. Buns, cookies, desserts, main dishes, even snack ideas to help keep people fed would be helpful.



Nancy November 26, 2014
on the cookies question (in addition to whatever you already like & make), three relatively unusual ones: pferrenusse spicy cookies
kipfel (Eastern European cookies with sour cream dough, filled with nuts +/or jam) and a chocolate entry, Nanaimo bars
equilibrium November 26, 2014
I live right near Nanaimo actually and totally forgot about these bars. I have never made them myself. Thank you for the links and other suggestions!
equilibrium November 26, 2014
Can someone tell me ideas for what types of cookies (besides shortbread) I could do? Any recipes for rolls that you know are delicious? I seem to get lost googling and never get anywhere . Any tried and true ideas out there? I appreciate the suggestions and the snack ideas. I think half our day will be sort of traditional Christmas food (rolls, yams, stuffing, roasted vegetables) and then half at least will be anything to keep kids fed and out of the kitchen. I love the roasted chickpeas idea, and I think veggies and dip would work well too. We will have to feed the 6 of us first thing Christmas morning and hope to make my favourite cinnamon bun recipe (bread maker) but haven't tried to freeze them yet so unsure if I bake first or just rise and freeze.

Can traditional Christmas dinner items be prepped and frozen, or just done ahead of time? Perhaps the day before?

Smelky November 26, 2014
I do a very simple pan of chicken enchiladas that I assemble a day or two before and bake when ready. When I serve, I do a taco bar kind of buffet, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, avocado, salsa, sour cream, and tortilla chips.
Yianna November 26, 2014
any cookies would do really well frozen, just mix up the dough and freeze, and bake up till the day before or even before that and store in an airtight container. Shortbread is a favourite during christmas times and could be decorated and flavoured in so many different ways, sweet or savoury are both amazing. Most baked cakes also defrost beautifully!
Nancy November 26, 2014
you can freeze buns, cookies, rolls (baked or unbaked), then quickly bake or defrost. make a lasagna or simplhy sauced other pasta casserole for one side dish and/or kid meals. for snacks and energy, nuts (raw or roasted) and dried fruit, also roasted garbanzos (chick peas) with simple salt-pepper or more ambitious seasoning (India, Middle-East, Mexico) depending on your family preferences. Standard or fancy crudites and good dips. Again - easy, nutritious, child- and adult-friendly.
Nancy November 26, 2014
to Equilibrium - realize my suggestions were not TRADITIONAL Christmas foods. Was thinking, rather, of those to use around your TRAD menu, for advance prep &/or quick use with hungry hordes. Hope they help.
equilibrium November 26, 2014
Perfect list, thank you!!
lloreen November 25, 2014
Boeuf Bourguignon makes for a festive and impressive main course and it freezes really well. Can't go worn with the Classic Julia Child recipe...You can make it up to several weeks in advance and then reheat in the oven or a crockpot.
I hope you can make this a potluck!
equilibrium November 26, 2014
Definitely going to bookmark that recipe! Making me hungry! :) Curious now if other Julia Child recipes would be worth bookmarking as well (not necessarily Christmas-related).
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