In late December and all the way through early January, it’s a time for celebration. The end-of-year holidays don’t just mean gifts, time off work, and vibrant decorations. They also mean time with loved ones. This time together doesn’t always happen in the course of a few hours; sometimes you’ll have guests over for days or even weeks.
While you may be glad to have your family close by, there’s one big question many people have – how do you make their stay enjoyable?
In the U.S. alone, about one in three Americans will travel during the holidays. It’s likely a good portion of those will be staying with relatives, and life becomes much more enjoyable with tasty treats. To make sure your company feels right at home and enjoys the holiday season, consider these three easy-to-make holiday recipes.
Make Your Guests These Delicious Holiday Treats
1. Breakfast Strata
Whether you have it on Christmas morning, New Year’s Day, or any other occasion during the holiday season, there’s nothing quite like waking up to a delicious breakfast. This strata puts a unique twist on the classic combo of bacon and potatoes. Simply crisp up your bacon on medium heat for at least eight minutes and do the same with potatoes until they’re nice and tender. Add some potato mix, bread crumbs, your favorite cheese, and maybe some diced veggies for a little extra crunch.
In a separate bowl, add some eggs and pepper together then pour in milk. Once you’ve mixed it well, pour it over the bread mixture. Bake the mixed product for a half hour in a 375 degree oven, then sprinkle a little cheese and bake for another ten minutes or until the cheese is melted.
2. Mini Apple Pies
Bite sized and mini snacks are a great idea for the holiday season. When people are gathered around, maybe engaging in a fun activity together, it’s nice to have some easy-to-eat treats nearby. It can be a bit challenging to think about how to entertain everyone for the rest of the night. You have a wide range of options, starting with the classics like Monopoly, Trivial or Cluedo, all of them have different editions so you can end up playing Game of Thrones Monopoly or The Big Bang Theory Cluedo. If you want something more specific, you can go for card games, and why not organizing a home poker game? you just have to consider three main aspects: the gear, the players, and what to play. You could use a card table if you have one, but if not, the kitchen table will work just fine. All you need for this game is a deck of cards and a set of chips, both of which can be bought together at many retailers. If you’re just playing for fun, you don’t even need the chips. If regular poker, also known as draw poker isn’t your thing, try five-card stud. This is great when you have groups of people over to play, as it uses a combination of face down and face up cards, so everyone can speculate about what others may have. You could also play the Texas Hold’em variant, which sees players share a set of face up cards.
If you want a yummy food to have alongside your game, simply chop the insides of apples into a pan with butter, cinnamon, and water. Cook on medium heat for around 15 minutes and stir slowly. Roll pastry crust into a rectangle and cut into 1/4-1/3″ strips. Transfer the apple mixture to a baking pan and arrange the crust strips over it in a crossing pattern. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 35 minutes. Add a little caramel if you prefer, then serve.
3. Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops
This one may seem a little unique, as holiday dinners often consist of turkey, ham, or some other type of meat main course. However, pork chops don’t get nearly enough love. Add in a subtle hint of apple cinnamon and you have a filing dish that could be the perfect centrepiece of your holiday meal. Not only will it fill you up, it will fit right in with the seasonal ambiance you’re trying to create. Take about four bone-in pork chops and season them generously. You may want more or less depending on how many guests you have to feed.
Next melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the pork which you’ll cook until it is brown. Usually, this takes about three minutes per side. Once the skillet is hot again, melt another tablespoon of butter and this time add in apples and onions. Stir well, then after about five minutes, add brown sugar to the mix along with cinnamon, apple cider, and cream. Nestle the pork chops in the liquid, and cook until your preference of medium rare or medium. Spoon some of the apple mixture on top before serving.