I am so thankful that the holidays are around the corner! Next week is Thanksgiving, my favorite of all holidays. Not only does Thanksgiving mean family, friends and great food, it is a time for us to reflect on how blessed we are and to remember those who no longer sit at our tables.  Thanksgiving is a blessed time of year, but it can be stressful too!  We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle, the pie crusts and gravy, sometimes we are so stressed we don’t take the time to enjoy this great holiday and all that it brings.  I love to feed people, my home is always open for friends and family and there is ALWAYS extra room at the dinner table, especially during this season.  Today I am going to share a few tips to stay sane during the holidays as well as a quick roast recipe cause ya know you have to eat the rest of the week too!

Proper planning prior to the holidays can help alleviate any stress you might run into.  Here are a few simple tips I learned from Karen Myers, MS, RD/LD, a consultant to the Oklahoma Beef Council, in a seminar today!

  • Schedule your day with flexibility and purpose.   Know what you need to get done, make a list, check things off but don’t be rigid.  Leave room for life to happen, because it will happen!
  • Cook things you are good at.  The holidays are not the time to try new recipes, that will only add stress! Cook what you love to cook and what your family loves to eat! If something doesn’t turn out, it’s ok you don’t have to tell anyone!  “If your chocolate cake falls just rename it, it becomes a chocolate torte, no one will know!”
  • Spread food tables throughout your living area.  Guests will gravitate to the food, if all the food is served in the kitchen, they will be in the kitchen too and the last thing you need is 30 people watching you whisk gravy!
  • Serve the same menu over and over.  If you are having several holiday parties, serve the same menu, or a variation of it.  The guests will never know, and it will save your sanity because you will be able to purchase in bulk, also saving you money.

Stress doesn’t only happen in our lives during the holidays if we are hosting a party.  Stress happens just because of life.  Here are some of Karen’s tips on how to manage stress so that you can enjoy the holidays, after all, they are HOLIDAYS!

  • Identify your stressors and make a plan of how you will deal with them.
  • Avoid negative people.  Sometimes you can’t avoid them, cause let’s face it, they may be in your family, but you can limit the time you spend with them.  Spending time with negative people will put you in a negative mood as well!
  • Develop a positive attitude.
  • Keep in mind the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.  I like to think of this one as focusing on the fact that all of your loved ones are spending time together, so what if your pie crust isn’t very flaky.
  • Let go of perfection.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Start the day with breakfast.
  • Ensure adequate protein intake. Don’t skip the beef!

A lot of us worry about eating healthy during the holiday.  Karen shared two tips to keep your diet healthy during the holidays.

  • Avoid Processed Foods  “If it didn’t have a mamma or didn’t grow in the ground, don’t eat it!”
  • Use the 3 bite rule.  Studies show that after 3 bites, you don’t enjoy food to its entirety, so why eat anymore.  Take 3 bites and move on to the next delicious thing guilt free!

I really enjoyed learning some of these tips and  I hope you enjoyed it too!  While you are busy preparing all the fixing for your Thanksgiving meal, don’t forget you have to eat the rest of the week too! I threw together this roast this week and it would be the perfect meal to eat on all week during the Thanksgiving prep! I named this roast the Ronald Reagan Roast cause I think he would of liked it!

Ronald Reagan Roast
1 2lb Chuck Roast
1 Onion
2 Bell Peppers
1 Can RoTel
1 Can Black Eyed Peas
1 Clove Garlic
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper

Brown all the sides of your roast.  Place it in the crock pot.  Chunk up an onion and place it in the crock pot.  Add one can of RoTel, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper and the clove of garlic.  Add water until it is halfway up the side of the roast.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Slice the bell peppers and add them and the black eyed peas to the crock pot.  Cook on high for another 30 minutes.  Serve! I served this with salted toasted tortillas! Just quarter a tortilla, spray with Pam or any other spray oil, salt and stick under the broiler until they are golden brown! I also included a great new recipe for Jalapeno spread.  Use the jalapenos you have in the fridge that are nearly too ripe, chop them up real fine.  Mix with salt and a little lemon or lime juice and use to garnish anything! Great on soups and stews like this one! Delicious!

Ronald Reagan Roast Costs
1 2lb Chuck Roast – $8.50
1 Onion- $0.70
2 Bell Peppers- $1.20
1 Can RoTel- $0.78
1 Can Black Eyed Peas- $0.68
1 Clove Garlic- $0.20
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper- $0.20
Total Costs – $12.26 (Serves 5)
Cost Per Plate – $2.45

Have a blessed Thanksgiving All!

Happy Trails,