I remember feeling like that ^ when I made dinner for the family. That was before the shopping lists, the cleaning lists, the wrapping lists, the decorating lists, the errands, and parties, and Fun Fun Fun.
Any one else having heart palpitations about the holiday busyness?
Well here we are in the final push. If you celebrate Christmas like we do, you're in the midst of the last-minute baking and prepping for the big celebration. But darnit if that family of yours doesn't still require eating Every Single Day between then and now! When my mind is wrapped up with menu planning for the holiday it is so hard to figure out what's for dinner right in the moment.
I'm here to share a little secret with you:
I don't cook this week. There, I said it.
Maybe I should clarify, I don't cook dinners for tonight when I'm already cooking and prepping food for next week. Our dinners of choice?
No, not felt play food. Pizza. Oh do we love our holiday pizza marathons.
Want to know the best way to erase the mommy guilt? You're totally going to laugh. Ready?
Spice up your favorite brand of frozen pizza with . . . Fresh Toppings! No, I'm not kidding at all.
I stock up on 3 packs of frozen cheese pizzas at Costco and then we scrounge through our fridge for the particular toppings my family loves most. It elevates the frozen to something that honestly rivals a restaurant served pizza.
Want to know the hands-down winner? Chopped up canned pineapple with sliced terriyaki flavored chicken sausages (both also from Costco!) For me, I add sliced red peppers and onions to the mix, for the girls and Tim we leave it sans-veg.
Other fantastic toppings combos I love to experiment with:
- Shredded rotisserie chicken, green onions, corn
- Thawed and sliced caramelized onion flavor meatballs (from Costco!), jarred roasted red peppers, basil
- Turkey pepperoni & pineapple
- Spicy shrimp & arugula
- Pulled pork, a drizzle of bbq sauce, sliced red onions
That's 5 completely different dinners right there! All of those meat toppings come from my freezer that I've stored small portions of leftovers for nights just like these. The shrimp recipe is the only one I'd do fresh but is so insanely simple it wouldn't really count as cooking.
Would any of those recipes taste better on a fresh homemade crust? Yes, probably. I happen to love the one from Annie at Annie's Eats. But you could also grab prepared dough from your grocery store or even a nice dough in a tube variety (I'm waving at you Pillsbury.)
Or you just accept that this time of year is crazy and some dinner is better than, let's say, crackers. Eh hem:
What, that totally makes a decent toddler lunch. Right?
Little Pea loved lining up all the ingredients again and again.You can tell just from those photos just how familiar she is with this particular food group! And don't get me started on how adorable the set is once you round it up in it's pizza delivery box.
This post is sponsored by Melissa & Doug. I received compensation for featuring them but the thoughts and opinions are all mine. I'm very proud to share their products with you as I have purchased their excellent quality toys for my own children. You can see my full disclosure here.