The most festive of times are upon us, and 'tis the season shop, prep, wrap, and travel, but unlike Thanksgiving where the focus is on a big meal, the last two weeks of December are an incredibly busy time that involve so much more. The days leading up to New Year's Eve are merry, bright and full of cheer, but also stressful due holiday parties, recitals, finances, flights, family dynamics and sleepless nights. So, how can you make the season a little easier on you? Let someone else do the planning and prepping!
You may remember how the HelloFresh Thanksgiving Feast helped me save turkey day, right? Well, they did launch a Holiday Hosting Box and a Buddy the Elf spaghetti kit, but unfortunately, I was too late for these festive offerings. However, since I don't eat beef tenderloin or prime rib—and they're not favorites amongst my family either—I didn't feel defeated and created my own holiday box to bring home to the fam.
Have you heard about HelloFresh? It's only one of the most popular meal kit delivery services and subscriptions that helps you save time and money! Not sure what to cook for Christmas and don't have time to plan? They've got you covered! Whether you're feeding a family of 2 or 10, you'll get high-quality, pre-portioned and fresh ingredients, along with easy-to-follow recipes that you can choose week by week. It’s no wonder HelloFresh is consistently one of our readers’ favorite meal kits, coming it at #1 on this year's list of Best Meal Kit Delivery Subscriptions.
Whether it's holiday season or not, HelloFresh sources high-quality and totally fresh ingredients like produce (fruits & veggies), organic items, and meat, seafood and poultry from sustainable suppliers and delivers them right to your door (and right before the holidays). They offer vegetarian, pescatarian, and reduced-calorie menu plans, and you can customize your order, so if you're oddly picky like me (I don't eat pork, beef or fish) simply use the HelloCustom option to swap out sides or proteins.
When you sign up, choose your plan preference—Meats & Veggies, Veggies, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome (around 700 calories per serving), Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian—the number of people you'll be serving (2-4), and the number of recipes you'd like to receive per week. Then, confirm your plan and scroll through the meal choices—each week you'll get to choose from over 30 different recipes.
HelloFresh for the Holidays?
Since my family has been so impressed with my newfound Martha Stewart cooking skills, they didn't flinch when I suggested helping out with Christmas too. This time I won't enlist the help of my sister (although I might consider elves) and I'll do it myself, which might be tricky since I live in a small apartment with limited storage. But luckily my family is located only about an hour away so if I need a little more space or assistance, they've got me covered.
Even though the holiday box was sold out, I had lots of other options. First of all, I went to HelloFresh to change my preferences and updated the meals to feed four people, instead of two—I'll go back and change my preferences again in January since I normally only cook for myself. Then, I scrolled through all the meals, looking for delish dishes that would appeal to everyone and was able to find quite a few festive choices! If it were up to me, we'd be eating spicy, Asian-inspired meals all week long, but that's just not going to fly with my Irish and Ukrainian crew.
My Hand-Picked Holiday Feast
After scrolling through 30 meals this week, I found three hearty dishes that would appeal to everyone, and one of them was even labeled as "Festive Eats". I chose the Brown Sugar Bourbon Organic Chicken, Balsamic & Fig Beef Tenderloin, and the Garlic Herb Butter Shrimp & Lobster Tails.
I know you may be thinking, "wow, that's a lot of starch", but we really like wine and beer so the more potatoes we eat, the better we'll feel the next morning! In addition to the HelloFresh meals, I will also make a green bean casserole and jumbo lump crabcakes because that's what Maryland does.
What about dessert? Even though the Buddy the Elf Spaghetti meal kit—a limited-edition kit inspired by the 2003 Christmas film "Elf" featuring Will Ferrell—was also sold out, HelloFresh included the ingredients list and recipe on their site, so you can recreate Buddy the Elf's favorite meal at home for the kids. I'm going to create this masterpiece for my cousin's little ones, and they'll absolutely devoure it!
I know you may be judging me because I didn't do it all myself, but the past three years have been so stressful, we could all use a break! And while the HelloFresh Holiday Hosting Box is an amazing alternative to the traditional plan, prep and cook routine we've become so accustomed to, the truth is your options are limited and that's why I preferred picking my own meals this year. Next year, I'll order early to ensure I get the Holiday Hosting Box and whatever special dessert they've got planned too.
Happy holidays to you and your family!