Potluck recipes for the roommates

(Photo by Kate Turner)

The holiday season is upon us. Christmas music constantly circulating in shopping malls, crowded department stores filled with frantic shoppers and the ever constant worry that your weekly beer budget will instead need to be used to buy gifts for family and friends.

The buildup to the holiday season at Laurier however is often clouded with an onslaught of exams and final term papers – usually resulting in under-nourished students struggling to keep their eyes open.

Despite the mass amount of work that we will have to overcome during the month of December, it’s important to remember what this time of year is all about: friends, family and embracing holiday spirit.

What better way to do this than gathering all of the important people in your life and holding your own holiday dinner?

Think only your mom or grandma can pull of this sort of feast? Well, think again. Whether you’re a regular cook or new to the kitchen, anyone can create a delicious and easy holiday dinner through my careful instructions.

To execute the perfect holiday meal you need a few things. First on the list, are a group of friends not only willing to eat your cooking, but also willing to bring something to the table as well.

Second is a plan, because without one, your home cooked meal idea could quickly turn into Chinese take-out or a group McDonald’s run.

Lastly and most importantly you need the food. Keep in mind, this doesn’t need to be an exact replica of Christmas dinner at home. Instead, put your own spin on things and start some of your own traditions.

Making a whole turkey, which is both expensive and time consuming, is not the most ideal thing for a student-inspired dinner.

However, a one dish stuffing casserole is easy to serve for large groups and is equally delicious. Have someone make a salad (bagged salad and a bottled dressing make for an easy starter), instant mashed potatoes and bread rolls as fast and inexpensive sides.

If you’re feeling creative you or a friend can attempt a homemade dessert. One of my favourite holiday recipes is chocolate candy cane cake.

However, if baking isn’t your thing, grocery stores and bakeries are filled with delicious holiday treats that will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

In just a few shorts hours you can be surrounded by your closest friends, enjoying a delicious, ‘almost like mom’s’ meal for a fraction of the budget and an even smaller fraction of the effort.

Grab a Samuel Adams Winter Classics six pack, turn on the holiday tunes and relax for a night. The holiday season only comes once a year, studying can wait until tomorrow.

Christmas in a Casserole

1 box of stuffing mix
6 boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup of sour cream
1 package of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained

HEAT oven to 400ºF.
PREPARE stuffing as directed on package.
MIX remaining ingredients in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with stuffing.
BAKE for 30 minutes

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

Chocolate cake mix
About 15 mini candy canes, crushed
Tub of Cool Whip, thawed

PREPARE cake mix as directed.
MIX handful of crushed candy canes into the cake mix, and pour into greased cake pan.
BAKE as directed.
FROST cake with cool whip and sprinkle remaining crushed candy canes

More Holiday tips from Cord Life

Gift ideas from our resident sex expert, The Naughty Prude

Life writer Kylie Conner explains why being single for the holidays doesn’t have to be a bad thing

The Cord’s Ally Bongard encourages you to take advantage of the holiday season

Arts Editor Amy Grief looks at the roots of some Chanukah traditions

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