Give the Gift of Delicious Family Meals

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By Elesha Ergle, RDN




It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The movies, magic, gifts and the biggest part of it all…the stress.  I love Christmas, but the stress it can bring with cooking, traveling, gift-buying, elf moving and decorating doesn’t seem worth it. We all spend plenty of time in the kitchen during the holidays, so here are some beefy, time-saving and stress-relieving ideas to help you manage your holidays.



Crowd Pleasers and Stress Relievers

We spend a lot of time in crowds during the holidays. Whether it’s church socials, school parties, work parties or family traditions, there is always some kind of gathering that requires our attendance. I love to take finger foods to parties or have plenty on-hand when hosting a gathering, and beef is the perfect, versatile ingredient that can make it all possible. Make several batches of these Cranberry Meatballs and then you will only need to reheat when you need them.  And who doesn’t love a good dip?  This Slow Cooked Reuben Dip is sure to be a crowd pleaser…and with a prep time of only 10 minutes, it will lighten your cooking load!



Christmas Morning

The kids are up at the crack of dawn and you’ve been up half the night assembling a trampoline that you wish you had paid the assembly fee. We’ve all  been there. The last thing you want is to spend the following morning cooking breakfast.  Prepare for Christmas morning by prepping ingredients for these Beef Sticky Buns a couple of days in advance. Then, on Christmas morning, all you have to do is assemble the sticky buns and bake. A much easier task than the trampoline, I assure you.



Traveling Home for the Holidays

So many of us travel to family during the holidays and don’t want to show up empty-handed. It seems like such a chore to get something prepared that we end up volunteering to bring rolls. Make your life easier by choosing dishes that can be prepped ahead of time and then cooked in a slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker (EPC).  If you plan to take something that requires an oven, it will likely be full of other dishes. Carry your EPC or slow cooker with you and impress your family by bringing beef this year!  Make your dish center stage with this amazing roast recipe using an EPC and all your family will want the recipe. No EPC? No problem! Use this recipe for the slow cooker version.



Visit Beef It’s What’s For Dinner for even more recipes, nutrition information and to learn all about beef from pasture to plate.  Here’s to hoping your holidays are filled with love, joy, peace and plenty of beef!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




State Checkoff color_nobackgroundThis article was funded by the Alabama Beef Checkoff Progam. Paid for by Alabama beef farmers and ranchers. 

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