MALVERN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Despite the roaring fires and winter wonderland landscapes, visions of sugar-plums don’t necessarily dance in everyone’s heads during the holidays. Between picking the perfect decorations, hosting a multitude of relatives and cooking the holiday meal, it’s no wonder that this season is thought of as one of the most stressful of the year. And the stress is magnified even more for those of us hosting holiday gatherings. To help alleviate the strain of the holidays, ACME® Markets is offering tips, tricks and meal ideas to ensure everyone can enjoy their time under the tinsel.
“If you’ve volunteered to host this year’s festivities, be sure to begin preparing well in advance. Keep your menu items simple, cook early, and plan to serve non-bake items so you’re not spending every holiday hour in the kitchen.”
“It’s all about planning ahead,” notes ACME registered dietitian Jennifer Shea Rawn MS, MPH, RD. “If you’ve volunteered to host this year’s festivities, be sure to begin preparing well in advance. Keep your menu items simple, cook early, and plan to serve non-bake items so you’re not spending every holiday hour in the kitchen.”
Rawn outlines her top five tips for a stress-free holiday:
- Plan Your Menu – Preparation is key. Don’t be afraid to plan your holiday menu weeks in advance – especially if you’re feeding a large group. Check out the ACME “Holiday Recipes” portal to get recipe ideas and cooking tips. With special articles and videos, you’ll find everything you’ll need to make the perfect rib roast or whatever your holiday favorite might be.
- Lists Aren’t Just For Santa – Once you’ve decided on your holiday meal, it’s time to write it down. Whether in your favorite notepad or on the ACME virtual shopping list, you’ll feel much more prepared to take on the jam-packed grocery aisles with a map in hand.
- Enlist Elves – Take advantage of those family members crashing at your house over the holidays. Ask for help with setting the table, lighting the candles or prepping the no-bake appetizers that can be placed around the house. Also enlist someone to be the house bartender so you can keep focused on the food while others’ worry about re-filling glasses.
- Start Your Ovens… Early! – Read your recipes and plan out which items can be prepared early so you only need to heat them up the day of the holiday meal. Most side dishes, breads, desserts, etc., can be tackled the day before. This will help keep the oven free for the “pièce de résistance.”
- Delete the Dishes – No one wants to spend their time washing dishes after a big holiday feast. Instead, encourage guests and family members to use paper plates, napkins and cups. With an array of festive paper décor available at many of your favorite retailers including ACME, you don’t have to skimp on the holiday decorations either.
Rawn also suggests mixing up the holiday feast with easy finger-foods. “Non-cook appetizers placed throughout the house are great for guests while you’re cooking,” notes Rawn. “Not only will they help curb their hunger, but they require little prep time so you’re able to focus on the main attraction.”
ACME and Rawn recommend stocking up on festive, holiday foods for your appetizers, including:
- Pistachios - Because of their fiber, fat, and protein content, pistachios are a satisfying snack. Try combining shelled nuts with cranberries in a silver or glass bowl for a quick and festive red & green appetizer that people can feel good about eating.
- Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire - Or in your oven! For an easy app, wipe off your chestnuts and, using a sharp knife, mark an “X” on them to allow steam to escape while they’re roasting. Place them in a 350 degree oven on a roasting pan and roast for about 30-35 minutes or until the nutmeat becomes golden and the shells have begun to curl open. Let cool slightly, peel back the shells and set out for all to enjoy.
- Pop the Pomegranates! – Pomegranate seeds provide an excellent source of vitamin C and satisfying fiber, and are rich in potassium and health-promoting antioxidants. Add pomegranate seeds to sparkling wine, water or cider. They add color, juiciness, sweetness and sparkle to any drink or quick app.
ACME Markets, part of the nationwide SUPERVALU® INC. (NYSE: SVU) family of grocery stores, is a 120-year-old institution that operates 113 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, employing more than 14,000 associates. With a market-leading position in the Delaware Valley, ACME offers consumers fresh and convenient supermarket solutions, in addition to services such as Sav-on Pharmacies at select locations. Established in 1891, the company and its associates remain committed to the communities they serve. For more information about ACME visit www.acmemarkets.com.