Sunday, December 20, 2015

EASY MEAL IDEAS FOR SIMPLE ENTERTAINING FOR THOSE WITH CHRONIC PAIN

EASY MEAL IDEAS FOR SIMPLE ENTERTAINING

Not only does simplifying, making smart choices and choosing to eliminate things from our holiday work for shopping and decorating, it is huge with making meals and entertaining. It helps to cut down on stress, it requires less work, less cleanup, helps lessen the chance of increasing pain and  leaves for more time to just hang out with loved ones. Unless you have a lot of help for a full fledged traditional meal you seriously might want to consider choosing an easier option from below:

  • Traditional Holiday Meal - have everyone contribute by bringing a dish or two. You could make one thing and everyone else brings the rest! If we decide to do this, Hubby and I usually make the turkey, gravy and have a dessert (store bought). I set the table the night ahead of time with his help. Everyone helps to clean up afterwards.
  • Buy a full meal at a store – Stores sell full meals all prepare. Yes, it is pricey, but perhaps everyone can chip in. You do have to put your order in ahead of time.
  •  Buffet style – is an alternative to having to get all the food to the table! Saves time and energy having to drag it from the kitchen to the dining room and back again!  I love this! I am not able to carry all this stuff around due to nerve damage in my neck. Image result for MEAL CHRISTMAS FREE IMAGES
  •  Cook some dishes ahead of time and freeze - If you would rather make a different meal you could make the main dish ahead of time (i.e. lasagna freezes great) and freeze it. Assign others to bring sides, help set the table, serve and clean up.
  •  Potluck - Consider having a potluck for dinner instead of a big spread! We do a potluck brunch on Christmas. Everyone LOVES it!
  • Appetizers – everyone brings one or two of their favorites!  Makes for fun choices to eat! (Or as we call them, “Pinteresting!” Due to the when asked where they got the ideas from for their creation the answer is always, “Pinterest!”).Image result for APPETIZER CHRISTMAS BUFFET FREE IMAGE
  • Ready made appetizers - You can pick up easy to serve vegetable trays and fruit trays at many stores. Yes, they can be a bit pricey, but so much easier than preparing your own. When you think about standing there with all the washing, cutting and chopping fruits and vegetables require, it is so worth it! There are many lovely appetizers in the bakery and the freezer sections as well!

 I know it all can seem so simple to do yourself, however, remember your pain doesn’t think like you do! All the activity you do adds up and you usually end up paying for trying to sneak in one more thing and then again, just one more thing. All this leaves you with increased pain and not being able to enjoy your cherished time with loved ones because you snuck in too many, “one more things!” Be good to you!
Image result for SALAD CHRISTMAS BUFFET FREE IMAGE
  •  Soup, Salad and Sandwich Buffet - will probably be as welcome as a full meal. Make it a potluck as well if having guests! There are many pre-chopped salads, homemade soups, as well as sandwiches you can buy! Buy yourself the gift of time and physical energy! If you do wish to make your own soup, it can be done weeks in advance and frozen! (creamed soups don’t freeze well)  Or, just do a soup and sandwich and forget the salad! Or just soup! Even easier! Through in some fun breads!
  • Pizza-go way out of tradition and order a pizza! If for Christmas, you would have to do it the day before and keep it refrigerated and reheat it! I have done that with Chinese as well!
  • Coffee and dessert-instead of having family and friends over for a full meal, have a gathering with coffee and desserts!  This can be done potluck as well or just go to a bakery and pick up a few items! Image result for BUFFET CHRISTMAS FREE IMAGES
  • Use paper plates, cups and disposable silverware for even less work! Love them! Just toss away when done!

Remember! As you are able, throughout the holiday and a few months before, when making a meal, double or triple your recipe of what you are making and freeze portions in foil freezer pans from the Dollar Store! We buy large lasagna size foil pans, as well as smaller ones. The smaller ones are for hubby and me!  Larger portions are great to have ready-made meals on hand to serve unexpected company! As well as a great item to give to someone that just had surgery or some illness. I do have to have hubby’s assist with all this due to my never damage and the inability to lift, reach, bend, stir, and chop too much! It is so awesome to just be able to pull a readymade meal out of the freezer and toss it into the oven to heat up! Be sure if you decide to do this that you have the help you need so you don’t overdo it and cause harm to yourself!

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