December is for Takeout

Somewhere along the way, the month of December started to really stress me out. More than one Christmas has involved crying on my part because it was just SO NOT FUN, in frustrating contrast to my hopes for the day. Last year I made some progress with having a more enjoyable and mellow Christmas, mainly by concentrating on gifts for kids and donating all other gift money to the Vermont Food Bank. (With a matching donation from my employer, our gift became 600 meals for Vermonters in need!)

This year I've made another discovery in getting through December in one less-stressed piece: minimize cooking! Some quick tips to share:

Get takeout! In addition to Chinese and Japanese food from Panda North, we also got pulled pork dinner from Hazel this month. (It's huge and comes with two sides, try collards and mac & cheese.)

Trust in TJ's! Tamales from Trader Joe's are both delicious and Christmasy. We had them on Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday this year, also known as December 12th. Tonight we had Trader Joe's pork gyoza, the savory dumplings that are excellent dipped in homemade Sichuan Chili Oil mixed with soy sauce.

Go local! I recently discovered VT Dinners, Brattleboro-area maker of frozen dinners with emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. I tried their Fill the Freezer offer (it's still going until December 31st if you're in the area!) and am now STOCKED with yummy meals.

Soup it Up! Soup can be dinner, add toast if you want to fill in the corners. We always keep cans of clam chowder and Progresso Chickarina for those just-in-case evenings when I don't know what's for dinner.

PIZZA! Of course.

Photo gallery:

Hearty, savory, and a little spicy—this is the VT Dinners Shepherd's Pie.

VT Dinners is running a "Fill the Freezer" holiday deal (20% off 12 dinners or 6 family packs, use code "freezer" at checkout, expires 12/31/15). I went for it and am inordinately excited to have a freezer-full of double serving meals at my fingertips. I'm also very enthusiastic about VT Dinners in general, it sounds so much like my CSA Gourmet Business Plan come to life! VT Dinners, let me know if you're hiring, haha!


One more VT Dinners photo—I've gotten very strong recommendations to try the mouthwatering Chicken Pot Pie. Next on my list. (By the way, I get no compensation for mentioning anything in this post, this is just what I'm loving right now.)

Trader Joe's is 45 minutes away, near Amherst Massachusetts. Whenever we go anywhere near Amherst we take a cooler along so we can hit Trader Joe's and not have things melt on the way home. Just like soup in the cabinet, we try to have some Trader Joe's always in the freezer.

What are your favorite easy dinners? Do you find the holidays stressful sometimes? I hope yours are very merry and bright!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope you had a fun Xmas Day!
Cheers, M.