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Super-Fast Holiday Recipe Ideas

Contributed by: Colleen Langenfeld

Every year someone in my family faces the same simple dilemma. They are invited to a holiday feast and asked to bring a dish to share. I used to fumble around looking for the perfect holiday recipe. After a few years of that I came to my senses and compiled my fast and favorite list of holiday recipe ideas.

Now, no more fumbling. Folks in my family can just grab an idea and be out the door PDQ, as my mom used to say. (That's 'pretty darn quick' for you novices.)

See if any of these ideas will work for you.

Potluck Holiday Recipe Ideas

  • Volunteer to bring the hot apple cider. Just open a jug of cider, pour into a crock-pot. Plug it in. If you want to get fancy, you can spice it up to taste with yummies like cinnamon and cloves. Personally, we like it just fine straight from the jug, heated.
  • Buy a nice round hunk of bread. Slice off the top and pull out the inside bread (don't make the bread walls too thin). Fill with a packaged spinach dip and serve with the bread hunks.
  • Okay, okay. I will divulge one of my most popular recipes. There are a lot of guacamole recipes available, but mine is the best (yes, I'm biased). I mash about four avocadoes, chop onion and tomato (I leave these quite chunky), add a little salt (or salt substitute), pepper and lemon juice. Mix together and enjoy. I intentionally don't say how much of each ingredient to use because you should make this according to your own taste. And the result is delicious. Not many folks serve chunky guacamole and this is as fresh as it gets. You can whip up this dip in only five minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Holiday Recipe Appetizers

Repeat after me... cream cheese is my friend. This stuff is so versatile you'll do yourself a favor keeping it on hand all the time.

Start with a block of cream cheese (we like the low fat kind) and drizzle one of the following over the top.

  • Salsa
  • Jam (strawberry is great) or marmalade
  • Chopped nuts
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Chocolate bits
  • Shredded cheese

You can also slice the cream cheese brick first for a pretty presentation (do this with a sharp knife and while the cheese is still cold). Either way works.

Serve these tasty appetizers as a spread for crackers.

Holiday Recipe Ideas You Can Use As Handmade Gifts

If you're like me, you love to give little gifts that are personal. But spending all day in the kitchen (or worse, DAYS in the kitchen), is just not in my schedule. So I've collected a few super-fast-but-still-handmade gifts that always get plenty of oohs and aahs.

My kids like to help with these recipes, too, so they have gifts to give their friends that are greatly appreciated but don't cost very much.

  • Partially dip ready-made (sturdy) cookies, pretzels, etc. into melted chocolate and then roll in sprinkles or candy bits. Cool on waxed paper. I split the batch between white chocolate and dark chocolate. These make up fast. Tie up in bags or colored cellophane and finish with ribbons.
  • Melt chocolate (again) and spoon into candy molds. Place in freezer for just a few minutes, then pop out. Decorate with colored, melted chocolate using small artists' paintbrushes. The decorating part is optional, but it's the part my kids love to do. These little candies look quite professional and get rave reviews.

Wrap Up In A Cute Bag Or Mug To Give Away

  • Purchase a variety of small candies and nuts. Combine into small net bags and tie up with ribbon. For fun, add a strip of paper with a riddle or a famous saying on it (think fortune-cookies).
  • Using a box mix, make mini-muffins and tie up two or three to a tiny gift bag.

Ummmm. I'm getting hungry. How about you?

Use these holiday recipe ideas to spin off creative ideas of your own. and keep on give, give, giving.

Happy Holidays!

Colleen Langenfeld shares her 25 years of parenting experience with busy moms at . Get a grab-bag of holiday party theme ideas and throw parties together FAST without all the work. Sign up here:



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