I can’t believe that November is already here and as I gear to start some serious holiday celebrations and even some fun holiday shopping, I mean who is not looking forward to Black Friday?; my days just keep getting busier and busier. I need to be prepared for any last minute visitors, or those that let me know that they are coming with enough time but then I’m so busy running around I remember at the last minute. Yes, this happens to me a lot! This year I have decided to reduce my holiday stress and enjoy every moment I spend with family and friends so I want to make things easier for myself by spending less time in the kitchen. So on my last trip to Walmart I stocked up on lots of family size, party ready food that I can store in my freezer and just heat up when I am entertaining.
So when my in laws and my husband’s aunt came over the other day to wish me an early happy birthday, I was ready and all I had to do was get the food out of the freezer and give it a bit of a personal touch. I started off with a box of Stouffer’s party size Lasagna and Stouffer’s party size Macaroni and Cheese. The lasagna I transferred into a casserole dish before baking and everyone thought I had made it before and just had it in the freezer. I added some red spanish chorizo to the mac & cheese and made delicious baked chorizo mac & cheese. Everyone loved it and my husband who does not eat mac & cheese even had a second helping.
Chorizo Mac & Cheese
- 1 box of Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese
- 3 red chorizos
- 1/4 shredded cheese I used Mexican blend or taco blend
- 1/2 Cup bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sweet paparika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 Tbsp Butter melted
- Bake the mac & cheese according to the package instructions.
- While mac & cheese is baking remove casing from chorizos, cut into 1 inch pieces and place them in a food processor.
- Pulse 2 or 3 times until chorizo is finely chopped.
- Mix mac & cheese with chorizo and transfer into a casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the mac & cheese.
- Spread the breadcrumbs on top of the cheese.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until it lightly browns on the top and the edges start to bubble a bit.
For a milder version leave out the chili.
While the lasagna and mac & cheese where in the oven I got out a Digiorno Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza from the freezer for the kids. I decided to make the pizza more festive and the kids helped me turn it into a beautiful “turkey pizza”, perfect for Thanksgiving.
The kids had so much fun making it and not only did it look and taste great but it was also healthier since we added some veggies. To make the pizza all you need to add is some sliced red and orange sweet bell peppers, black olives for the turkey’s eyes, a slice of salami for the turkey’s body and yellow bell pepper to make the beak and the feet. I used the pepperoni that was already on the pizza and added about 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella to make it cheesier.
Nothing makes a party more festive than adding some cheerful holiday flavors so for dessert I pulled out Edy’s Slow Churned A Very Merry Eggnog ice cream and Edy’s Slow Churned Peppermint Wonderland ice cream. These are both limited edition ice creams and I love that they have half the fat of regular ice cream and only 100 calories per serving, yes just 100 calories.
I used the Peppermint Wonderland ice cream to make a delicious peppermint milk shake. I just added some almond milk to make this healthier and crushed ice and put everything in the blender. To serve this I covered the rim of the glasses in crushed candy cane, for this I used some melted white chocolate which I had on hand from some white chocolate strawberries I made recently. You just dip the rims of the glasses in the melted chocolate and then dip in the crushed candy canes. I topped it with some whipped cream, yes from a can, sprinkled some red sugar crystals on the whipped cream and garnished with a candy cane and some fresh peppermint from my garden. I also made a peppermint holiday cocktail and shared the recipe on a separate post HERE. Needless to say both the milk shake and the peppermint cocktail where a total hit and the only mistake I made was buying only one Peppermint Wonderland ice cream as I ran out of it and everyone was left wanting more.
Since the lasagna takes a while to heat up I put this in as soon as my guests arrived and while it was in the oven I whipped up some eggnog flan. Although I have made eggnog flan from scratch before, and I will be posting the recipe for it soon this time I took a bit of a short cut. I grabbed a box of flan mix and made it according to the directions on the box but substituted half of the milk for Edy’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream Limited Edition A Very Merry Eggnog.
The result was a rich and firm flan with a light eggnog flavor that did not overpower the flan at all. These where delicious and so easy to make and they where set and ready to serve by the time the lasagna was done (about an hour and a half).
This pre birthday get together was a complete success and everything I did came out of the freezer but by giving it a bit of a personal touch and getting creative my guests where wowed and I did not spend all day in the kitchen. For this party I bought Stouffers’s party size Macaroni and Cheese, Stouffer’s party size Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Digiorno Pepperoni Rising Crust Pizza, Edy’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream A Very Merry Eggnog and Edy’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream Peppermint Wonderland.
I set the table up with fall colors, threw some fall leaves here and there, made a salad and garnished the flan using some fresh cranberries and peppermint leaves and everything looked really nice. No one would have ever thought that all this food came from the freezer aisle of Walmart! You can visit www.meals.com for some more great ideas, like Nestle on Facebook and follow @Nestle on twitter for great recipes and to learn about specials, offers and coupons.
You can check out some of my other holiday recipes on my Pinterest board below. I’m sure you will find something you like!