Traditionally, the holidays are the time of year for visiting friends and family, gathering together, and having parties. And, traditionally, these events involve food…and lots of it! Our family celebrates Christmas – so far, we’ve attended four Christmas parties (typically, it would have been 6 by now had my husband not been sick), with party number five later today.
If your parties and gatherings are like mine, you are often asked to bring a dish to share.
Pot-luck style parties are great! When everyone brings a dish to share, the cost of hosting is spread out and everyone gets to sample a variety of new or different foods.
But…when you have many pot-luck parties to go to, you can quickly feel it in your pocketbook.
That’s why I started looking no further than my pantry to make my shareable dishes.
This Christmas, I made several plates of simple-but-tasty holiday shortbread cookies. I found the recipe on AllRecipes and made a tweak to the recipe for a more festive cookie.
I chose this recipe because all I needed were 4 ingredients that I already had in my kitchen – sugar, flour, vanilla, and butter.
The tweak I made to my cookies – red and green food coloring (which I already had in the pantry).
I had enough ingredients to make 2 batches of shortbread cookies. I dyed one batch red, and one batch green. Once each batch of cookie dough was ready, I rolled each batch out separately on wax paper (also already in the kitchen), then flipped the red dough atop the green and pressed the two colored doughs together.
Next, using the wax paper, I hand-rolled the dough up into a log – this gave me a festive red-and-green swirl effect.
After briefly chilling the cookie dough log, I unwrapped it and cut it into 1/2″ slices.
This gave me 85 cookies total! Plenty to split between several of my pot-luck parties.
So, after spending no extra money to make a holiday treat to share, I simply divided up my cookies onto platters and grabbed a platter before heading out to each party. (Note: Our holiday parties were no more than 2 days apart – but, if need be, freeze your pot-luck food in batches for gatherings scheduled farther apart).
For our New Year’s friend-gathering, I’ve already planned for simple, sweet-and-sour meatballs. We already have the meatballs, grape jelly, and ketchup we need to make this pot-luck creation! (So, I’m calling them our money-saving meatballs). I’ll let you know how it goes!
Happy Holidays, Savers!