Monday, December 9, 2013

January Jeans 2014: Cut the Recipe by Half-and-Skip some Recipes


Half the usual recipe: This is actually my oldest daughter's idea. She told me that we should make smaller amounts of each holiday food. Instead of doubling a recipe of cookies to make 6 dozen, we should make just one recipe of 3 dozen cookies. Give most of them away, and leave just a few for taste testing among the family. A few treats is all that is needed to have fun with holiday baking.

Only make some favorite recipes: More types of cookies is not necessarily better. Really, who needs buckets of cookies as leftovers? I have so much trouble tossing out extra cookies that nobody else in the family will eat--except me--but I don't want to eat them either. So many women I know hate tossing out food. It's just better to never bake it in the first place.

How many pies does a family really need? One slice per guest who wants pie. More than that, it's high calorie leftovers. 

Smaller amounts of treat foods for holiday dinner: For holiday dinners, we are planning to make smaller amounts of treat foods with no anticipated leftovers. When it's done, it's really done. (I probably will make a double-dose of veggies, though, for leftovers.) I was thinking about how *wonderful* it would to be to have less leftovers to put away and manage in the fridge. Yay. 

Skip some excess foods: There have been holidays where I made so many types of foods that they all didn't fit on the table, or I forgot to serve something I made. We have decided on a more simple Christmas dinner this year. We'll pick some family favorites and skip some excess recipes entirely.  It's easier, and no one will miss the upteenth food on the menu.

One bag of candy to be shared, and no candy in stockings:  Teen son told me to save my money by not buying candy for stockings. One bag of candy shared is not much candy per person, and this one change saves about $15 in my household (we did this last year). This might not work if you have little ones, but it sure does with a bunch of older kids. A little candy is fun, but a lot of candy is just excessive and stomach-ache making.

I anticipate that all of these strategies will keep everyone slimmer but also save me money. What will I do with the money saved? How about a holiday movie with the kids?! :D

What do *you* think? Are you planning to cut recipes or any related idea for the holidays? And, as usual, please say whatever you'd like to add.

Have a Happy Day!

:-) Marion

P.S. Please see the list of January Jeans Club Members/Blog links. This is such a cool international group! We have people from 9 countries participating! We have people from at least 10 U.S. states participating too. Go check out someone else's blog! If I missed your name on this list, just tell me and I'll add you on. :D

19 comments:

  1. Good suggestions! When I was little, my mom used to make 12 to 15 different types of Christmas cookies. I didn't like sweets back then, so I never had any. She ended up giving many of them away, but somehow for her Christmas wasn't complete without all the baking craziness. It's so easy to get stuck in traditions without questioning why...

    I'm making a few gluten-free, grain-free cookies. The recipes yield only 12 cookies, which is perfect.

    Over the years, I have gradually changed what I make for the holidays, and the unhealthy recipes are now gone... I always make lots of vegetable dishes, as I LOVE having healthy leftovers. :)

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  2. Those are some great food ideas! I love: one slice of pie per guest!

    For those who can't decide on one kind of candy, (no one in our family could possibly agree), the bulk food store usually has a good selection of favourites... just limit the amount you buy to a handful per person.

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  3. I don't bake anything. I don't have sweets. There will be some dessert but nothing we can't handle. I fail to see why Christmas needs to be all about food? We have a lovely roast lunch with vegetables and some dessert. That's it. I stopped putting out lots of food a long time ago and certainly don't buy any of the stuff you see in the shops.

    I'm lucky though that everyone around me feels the same way. I know it must be really hard to be the only person trying to keep healthy at this time of year.

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  4. All sound choices. I never put candy in the kid's stockings, but I do in hubby's, and still plan to. But nothing that would tempt ME. ;)

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  5. I totally agree. No more than one slice and still people have more than they should

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  6. I used some of these ideas for my Thanksgiving menu. I had enough leftovers for a big lunch. It worked out fine and nobody missed eating leftovers for every meal for a week. I will put my kiddo's favorite candy in their stockings. I can resist it and it's one of the few times I buy it.

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  7. Actually, I've already been cutting recipes with the thought that I just don't want that much around (and also, baking turns out to be more expensive than you'd think!) We still bake, lots, but I'm realizing more and more that I'm going to be making less and less...

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  8. I make a cranberry pie every Christmas Eve, and plan to do that again this year. There will be no more desserts or baking. I used to make bourbon balls for my daughter, but she can not eat them now. That's fine as it is one less thing to worry about.

    All of your ideas are excellent. :)

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  9. Great ideas! On Thanksgiving, we really aren't into turkey but considered making both a ham and a turkey breast. But then we decided we'd skip the turkey because then we'd end up making all the usual sides - stuffing/dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy. We just didn't need all that food.

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  10. Great suggestions as always!

    I second Kyra's comment--baking is expensive. This month I opted to buy veggies instead of pecans and mince meat. It was such a treat last evening to come home famished and in minutes make an omelet with fresh spinach, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes.

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  11. Hi Marion, as usual these are great suggestions, I always cut the recipes and I also have tiny muffin and cake molds so I am usually baking a few tiny things :)

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  12. Hi Everyone, Thanks for all of the great comments. I've been sick, but already getting better.

    Baking really is expensive. So is huge holiday meals. Since we've toned it down, I'm probably saving $75 of food costs for Christmas, between extra baking, excess holiday food, and many bags of candy. Bulk candy is a great idea for getting everyone's favorites in small amounts. I've been eating quite a few omelets lately, which is an excellent meal for any time of the day.

    Lastly, as Lynda says, holidays should be about something more. Definitely. :D

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    1. hope you are doing better Marion :)

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    2. I hope you are feeling much better Marion. I couldn't agree more about the holidays being about something more than food and sweets. My mother outdoes herself for any holiday she hosts. Then she complains about all the food leftover. I hosted Christmas breakfast for a few years and every year she would call me for days prior to make sure I was going to have enough food. She would also offer to bring a large platter of cookies which I declined rationalizing that no one needed to eat cookies in the morning. Each year I had enough food for everyone, but not a lot of leftovers. No one complained about being hungry. My guests all had other engagements for dinner in the afternoon.

      I'm so excited to be spending Christmas with just my husband and son this year so we can eat normally, enjoy the peace of the day and not be faced with temptations none of us really need.

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  13. I love your posts! I have been off the grid for awhile. But --you rock!

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  14. Since Thanksgiving has passed, I'm pretty much out of the woods. My Christmas eats are much more toned down compared to Thanksgiving. Whew!

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  15. I believe that if people ate normally for the year, they can do whatever on the actual holiday day.

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  16. those are all great ideas! and I agree no candy in stockings mayhaps an apple or orange or nuts. but word finds, mini puzzles, crayons, a bouncy ball and such stuff will thrill kids far more than candy. a friend also took her crazed birthday party of kids (12 of em) to the dollar tree and gace then each $5 for toys only and 15 minutes to shop. then they went home and had an absolute blast playing with all their "goodies"

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  17. Since it's just D & I for Christmas (plus my brother this year), we're going out for dinner. That saves us the hassle of cooking, cleaning, and leftovers. One meal out and we're done!

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