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Although Christmas has passed, the “holiday season” is still here. The time span from Christmas to New Year’s Eve is all really included in the holidays, and for some, the month of January is also part of that! Many workplaces and families choose to celebrate in January once everything is on sale and the busy hustle bustle of the season has died down a bit. For me personally, I plan on having a quiet night in on New Year’s Eve, and we will be inviting a few family members over to celebrate.
I am going to walk you through how I create the perfect holiday party meal with Marie Callender’s Pot Pies and how to prep your house for the ambiance of a relaxed night in. I’m not going to show you any Christmas tree shaped fruit platters, Pinterest-perfect cookies, or anything complicated. It’s the holidays, and I have been gone away from home for so many party celebrations that it’s all I can do to keep my house clean enough to have guests over, not to mention go through loads of party prep and complicated recipes. My ideas are easy peasy lemon squeezy and I think you’ll love them!
The first thing I usually do when planning a party is get out the paper plates, however seeing that it’s the holidays, I like to use real dishes. Everyone associates the holiday season with their fine china, so I do enjoy getting out the nice dishes, my extra coffee pot, and red napkins. ‘Tis the season!
My fridge has a stockpile of food left over from Christmas, and I don’t have a whole lot of space leftover for storing pop. So, I like to get out a big bucket, fill it with ice, and few liter bottles of pop and wine, and it will be there sitting in a corner for when my guests want to help themselves. Pop is good for drinking by itself, or for mixed drinks too!
Marie Callender’s Pot Pies have a golden, flaky crust, and they are just perfect for the holiday party you are hosting. They are inexpensive (at my Walmart they cost between $2-2.50 each!) and they are the perfect savory meal for the winter months. They are super duper easy to make and the meal I’m going to show you in this post requires very little effort on your part but is SO tasty as well as having loads of fruit and vegetables. Considering everyone I know is aiming to clean up their diet in 2015, I’m resolving to end 2014 by ringing in the New Year with a healthy start.
If you’ve ever made a pot pie before, you may know that you can really only mess it up by burning the crust. There is a super simple way to avoid this- simply wrap the crust in tin foil before placing it in the oven. I followed the package directions exactly, setting my oven to the temperature indicated for 40 minutes, and I wrapped my crust in tinfoil before beginning. At this point I basically used my oven timer as a gauge for how long I had to pick up the house for party time!
It’s a good idea when you’re having guests over to pick a room in your house to congregate in that has lots of seating. I like the kitchen/dining room area because there is a lot of seating and we are near all of the food.
I have a holiday card holder and have stuck some of my cutest cards in it and placed it on top of the piano. There is holiday music on the piano just waiting for someone to play it. We may be a little tardy for “Oh, Christmas Tree,” but renditions of “Frosty the Snowman” are still perfectly in season.
In my family, we tend to leave the Christmas tree up until New Year’s Day and if you’re having guests over to celebrate the holidays, there’s no reason to take it down quite yet. I love to have more than one tree in my house. This one is a simple table top tree with just a few dangling ornaments.
A simple centerpiece of a table runner, a few votives with LED on/off lights, and a festive metal basket is perfect for the winter months. It’s simple to put together, and helps the homey party vibe along if you are having guests! I wish I took the time to keep a centerpiece on the table even when guests weren’t around, because I do love how homey it makes everything feel.
Before guests arrive, I pick up toys, do a quick sweep/mop and check the bathroom and I am set. Keeping my eyes and ears on the stove, I can see that my pot pies are done in no time at all. The tin foil helped and I have a golden, buttery, flaky crust, and most importantly, it’s not burnt at all.
My favorite side to make this a meal is my fruit salad recipe. As with most of my recipes, they are more like a couple things thrown together that just seem to work, and this is no exception. I simply wash and cut up green and red grapes, add blueberries, and tear up a few mint leaves. It’s tasty and the mint leaves add an unexpected, fresh flair that I love.
It’s easy to feed your guests a delicious, well rounded meal complete with a few food groups. It’s a crowd pleaser and it’s a lot of fun to go to a party and get your own individual meal. I would love if someone handed me a whole pot pie to eat at a party! If you can’t tell above, we have our grapes and blueberries from the salad, and then we have gravy, carrots, peas, potatoes, and chicken in our pot pies. So many delicious foods all at once!
I was able to easily find the Marie Callender’s pies in the frozen section at Walmart. You can also find all of the home decor items and decorations you need for hosting a holiday party there! A one stop shop.
I hosted this little party as a time to experiment for New Year’s Eve and my husband loved the pot pies and said he was pleasantly surprised that it was the best he’d ever tried. I am totally recreating the table scape and the whole nine yards later this week! As a veteran he was also pleased to learn about the Comforts From Home Project– every time you enter a code from a specially marked package of Marie Callender’s meals or desserts, Marie Callender’s will make a donation to USO2GO, a USO program that brings electronics, sports gear, books, games, and more to troops stationed in remote locations. Not everyone can be in the comfort of their own home and delicious food for the holidays, so it’s nice that companies take the time to help bring them some creature comforts.
What are you doing to enjoy the rest of the holiday season? Will you be having guests, and what are you serving?