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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The snacky foods for our Christmas tree decorating gathering . . .

. . . all from what we had on hand.

It's a family tradition for us all to spend one evening together in December to put up our Christmas tree and other holiday decor in the house, and have a snacky sort of dinner, together. I don't make special purchases at the store, but instead I use whatever I find in our pantry, fridge and freezer. Even though I don't buy a lot of snack foods, routinely, it's always surprising how much of a meal I can throw together with what I have already.

This year, we had tomato and cheese cube kabobs (leftovers given to us after working at a fundraiser), smoked salmon spread (salmon from the freezer, a gift over a year ago), candy canes (bought last year at Dollar Tree), tortilla chips and salsa, smoked almonds, some cheese and onion pastries (son's girlfriend brought those), dried cranberries, veggies and dip, nut bar cookies and brownie cookies (leftovers given to us after working at the fundraiser), and orange segments. We had cola, which I was a "Friday freebie" a while ago at Fred Meyer, and hidden in the pantry until now.

The dinner was affordable, fun, festive and very easy on the cook! My kind of holiday cooking.


  1. I love snacky/finger food dinners like that. I'm with you, this year I am using even more of what I have on hand rather than going out and buying more food to make for the holiday. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    1. Hi Belinda,
      In addition to saving money, there's something of a challenge, that I find fun, to dream up holiday meals, using what I have on hand. Good job on using what you have, rather than going out to buy more food, for your holiday meals!

      Have a lovely Christmas, Belinda!

  2. Sounds like a fun stress-free meal! We do a snack meal like this on New Year's Eve and the kids seem to look forward to it.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Yes, I think in addition to being easy for me, I do believe the family really enjoys this kind of meal. It's a fun event everyone looks forward to.

      Have a great day, Cat!

  3. We had our annual Christmas snacky dinner on Sunday. Ours wasn't as thrifty as yours. I kinda pull out all the stops for this particular tradition. We watch "It's a Wonderful Life" together every year.

    I do buy things ahead in anticipation of this dinner. I bought good quality salami on special last month at Costco. I also bought some spreadable cheese on clearance at Fred Meyer in October (date was good through Christmas). I bought crackers combining coupons & sales at Thanksgiving. I've given up trying to find the best sale price on Lil' Smokies as Costco sells theirs for a very fair price & in the large sized packages our family needs.

    We did have leftovers, so we ate those for lunch yesterday.

    I also used my Friday Freebie of 2 liter 7UP for this dinner. Great minds think alike :) Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      My daughters and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" one afternoon last week. I love that movie. I put a hold on it at the library, back in early November, not knowing when my turn would come up. (Last year, I waited to long, and it didn't come in for me until late January!) One daughter made a really good batch of caramel corn to eat while watching the movie. I am guessing your family enjoys that movie as much as my daughters and I do. And it sounds like you had a yummy, snacky meal with your movie!

      Too funny about the Friday Freebie soda pop!! Great minds, all right! I still need to pick my 7-Up up. That will go into the pantry for some occasion (probably a bout of stomach virus later this winter).

      Have a wonderful day, Melissa!

  4. We are not hosting the Christmas eve get-together this year, but in the past I've found that a semi-snacky meal works out best. Cheese/crackers/summer sausage, bread and spreads if you want to make a sandwich, veggie tray, cookies. Easy to pull off after the church service. I think this will be an odd year, between Christmas falling on a Sunday and my mom living out here--developing new traditions--my hubby will do a big midday meal for Christmas but I'm thinking that a small snacky evening meal might be the way to go for supper.

    1. Hi Kris,
      What a great idea for Christmas Eve dinner. It's always hard to plan that dinner, around the church service. It sounds like you have a winner! I wish you much success in developing your new traditions. This will be good for your mom, I think, too, to have something completely new for Christmas Eve. My mom passed away in December when I was younger, and Christmas, as it had been was really difficult for us. We had to reinvent the details of how we celebrated holiday meals. (Sorry to bring up a difficult topic, here, just saying I understand for all of us who have lost one or both parents and have to change some holiday traditions.)

      And on that note, wishing you a lovely day, Kris.

    2. Thanks for your thoughts. Last year was the first year without dad and we made a point of having our family celebration at a different location (mom lit a candle and we raised a glass in his memory). Unfortunately, our extended family celebration for 2016 was canceled due to weather this past Saturday. Mom visited us last year for Christmas (before she moved)--we usually attend church with my brother/SIL and any adult nieces/nephews who are around and until this year, I have hosted the party afterwards. However, my brother moved into a new condo this past fall (close to where we live) so they are hosting. While I enjoy having the celebration here, it's kinda nice to be off the hook for entertaining everyone. Christmas day we will take mom to church with us and then have her here afterwards--that part will be new for all of us. I'm hoping that being around my kids makes it seem more fun.

    3. Kris, I do think that your mom will love being around your kids on Christmas. Children have a way of uplifting the "mood". And I think your kids will live having their grandma with them on Christmas day, in their home.

      Will your extended family do something later in the season, to replace the gathering that was canceled?

      Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas, Kris!

    4. Not sure--we may discuss it Saturday evening.

  5. We kinda had snacky foods all weekend. Sometimes it is just nice :)Kristi made cheese cubes and grapes on fancy tooth picks for one of the parties we went to. It was a fun and very busy weekend.

    1. Hi Patti,
      Your snacky weekend sounds fun! And good job to Kristi for putting together the cheese cubes and grapes! It is just nice -- like having a party at home for a day or two. It does sound like you were very busy all weekend long!

      Have a wonderful day, Patti!

  6. Snacky meals are my favorite. I've always been a grazer, so they suit me perfectly. Your table looks really good.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Thank you. We did all sort of graze that dinner!
      Have a lovely evening, live and learn!


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