12 Easy Make-Ahead Ideas for Christmas

12 Easy Make-Ahead Ideas for Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, as the song says. Christmas also goes by in a blur. Time seems to speed up, leaving us gasping & wondering how we are going to get it ALL done! Betty Crocker to the rescue with a selection of recipes you can make ahead. Being able to prepare dishes ahead of time calms me. I feel a bit more in control of the situation, whether or not I really am. So take a breath & take moment to decide which of these delicious recipes might give you more time to celebrate Christmas! Enjoy!

Make Ahead

Christmas Countdown C -6

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Baked Spaghetti

My cousin, Mary would always prepare this dish for family gatherings. It is simple, filling and may be prepared ahead of time. I am able to expand this recipe as needed, enabling me to make more than one pan of spaghetti at a time. 

  • 12 oz pasta
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 small onion, chopped (or ½ cup frozen chopped onions)
  • 2 small cans tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon
  • seasoning as listed 

Preheat oven to 350. Brown ground meat. Drain and set aside.

Boil 1 ½ quarts water in a large stock pot. Add bouillon cubes and allow to dissolve. Add 1 tablespoon oil to boiling water. Add pasta. Stir to prevent sticking. Cook pasta until just tender.  DO NOT DRAIN.

Add tomato sauce and paste. Season with 1 tablespoon crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, 1 tablespoon basil and salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly.

Add meat. Mix. Pour mixture into large flat baking dish. It will look sloppy. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Bake one hour or until firm. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cut into squares.

The Simple Joy of Holiday Baking Part 4

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Christmas & baking go together like hands in gloves. There are so many delicious things you can bake for your family or friends that it can be hard to know where to begin. Of course, time can be so short during the busy holiday season that it might be difficult to find the time to do any baking at all. You could always buy your Holiday goodies but that can be very expensive. What’s a Mother to do?

Jean Ann & Simple Joy to the rescue. This week, Jean Ann offers you tips, ideas & recipes to help simplify your Holiday baking. Continue your Holiday baking tradition or begin a new tradition in your family when you make Holiday baking a Simple Joy!

66 Festive Christmas Cookie Recipes for the Best Cookie Swap Ever

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I LOVE making Christmas cookies. Sometimes, however, I get a bit tired of the same old cookies. How wonderful that Country Living has come up with such an extensive list of recipes for Christmas cookies. This should keep me busy for awhile! And inspire you to begin your baking! Enjoy!

Christmas Cookies

6 Santa Cookie Creations

6 Santa Cookie Creations

Kids LOVE making Christmas cookies. Making cookies with my mom is one of my favorite Christmas memories. I always made cookies with The Child when she was growing up to continue the tradition. Both Katy & I share our creations with friends during the Holidays, passing the joy of baking along!

Betty Crocker shares her baking traditions with these darling Santa cookies. Your kids are going to enjoy making each of these sweet treats. Start your own tradition this year or continue an ongoing one when add these cookies to your Holiday baking schedule!

Santa Baby

40 Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure

40 Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure

Cookies are a traditional treat for Christmas. Whether you only bake a batch for Santa or prepare dozens for friends & family, it’s always fun to add a new recipe to the mix!  Midwest Living offers us a BIG selection of cookie recipes from which to choose this Christmas! Pick one or two. Let your kids pick a new cookie to make. However you decide, it’s guaranteed to be a Simple Joy!

Christmas Cookies

Cake Mix Gooey Butter Cookies 

Cake Mix Gooey Butter Cookies

Growing up in St. Louis, Gooey Butter Coffee Cake was one of my favorite things. Years later, I enjoy creating & making cake mix cookies. Imagine my delight when I saw that Betty Crocker had combined 2 of my very favorite things! I admit I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I promise I am going to make them as soon as we get settled in our new home. If you make them before I do, let me know what you think of them. Enjoy!

Cake Mix Gooey Butter Cookies

30 Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Recipes to Get You Pumped for Fall 

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Nothing says Autumn like pumpkins. This time of year, there are dozens of pumpkin products in stores & restaurants for us to enjoy. I love the way my home smells when I make pumpkin bread. What a wonderful, welcoming fragrance for any home!

I always pick up a few pumpkin products to enjoy but I also like making my own pumpkin goodies. Therefore, I am ALWAYS looking for new recipes that use pumpkin. How wonderful that Good Housekeeping offers, not just a few but 30 pumpkin recipes for all of us to try!

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe? I invite you to share it with me & other women. It’s always fun to learn all the creative ways we use such a basic ingredient like pumpkin. Enjoy!

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Recipes

9 Poke Cakes Perfect for Fall from Betty Crocker 

9 Poke Cakes Perfect for Fall

I remember the first time I tried poke cake. HEAVEN! Poke cake allows you to combine flavors, creating moist unique cakes for family & friends. Poke cake are great for potluck events, parties, & small get togethers. Now that the weather has turned cool, it’s the perfect time to begin baking & poke cake is a great way to begin.

Betty Crocker offers you 9 wonderful cakes including the Salted Caramel Apple Cake in the photo above. Enjoy!

9 Poke Cakes Perfect for Fall