Easy Holiday Recipe Ideas for Entertaining!

During the holiday season it’s not out of the ordinary for family or friends to come visit. Whether they are visiting for the holiday or just during the holiday season I’m often at a loss of what to make. I love having a few easy recipes on hand that I can whip together and they appear that I spent forever on them. That way my guests can feel welcomed and special! The other day I went to Smart & Final and was inspired by all of the great deals you can find. Smart & Final is great because they carry warehouse size items with no membership fees! It’s always a one stop shop, which is my kind of store. The last thing I want to do is lug my kids all over town to five different stores in order to purchase everything I need. Time is essential and if I can cut corners I will! Smart & Final is also a great place to go for your holiday needs, they have everything from quality produce, party supplies, bakery items and everything in between!

While shopping, I discovered Smart & Final was about to have a great sale. If you purchase any five participating General Mills, Kraft, or Mars products you get $5.00 off instantly PLUS two free movie tickets! I was instantly inspired and wanted to see what sort of easy treats I could whip up for holiday guests with these products, many of them being products that I purchase and use regularly. See for yourself on the Smart & Final circular.

We love yogurt in this house, and Yoplait Fat Free yogurt is a favorite. I love that I can purchase the 18 pack at Smart & Final and get six cartons each of all three flavors! I knew I wanted to make a parfait, and I wanted to give it a holiday flavor. I decided to whip up my cranberry sauce and add some fresh raspberries and then chop up some Nature Valley Oat’s and Honey bars for a delicious granola sprinkle on top! This is just one of those treats that looks so fancy and appears like a lot of work. Secretly, it’s easy!

For my second treat I decided to use something that is my personal favorite. Multi-Grain Cheerios! I have a bowl every morning, but I wanted to do something different. I remembered a few years ago I had made some Cheerios Treats in a pan and cut them up into bars. Very similar to Rice Krispies treats, but replacing with Cheerios and adding some peanut butter. They got rave reviews, but I wanted to change it up a little more. Those treats can be a pain to cut through, so I decided why not create little balls? And add some Planter’s Salted Nuts that are a part of this sale too! The finishing touch was some melted chocolate drizzled over the balls!

Both of these treats are so simple to make, even the kids can join the fun in making them. While they are both great treats for your adult guests, they’re fun enough that the kids can enjoy them too!


Holiday Berry Parfait:
(makes 6 parfaits)

  • 1-1/2 cups cranberry sauce, I used my recipe but you could buy canned too
  • 4 six ounce cartons Yoplait Fat Free Strawberry Yogurt
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries, washed and sliced in half
  • 2 packages Nature Valley Oats & Honey Granola Bars (4 bars total), roughly chopped
Directions:
 
Layer 2-3 teaspoons of cranberry sauce in the bottom of each parfait cup.
Open two cartons of yogurt and split them between the cups.
Top with cut raspberries, reserving at least 6 halves for garnish.
Top with the other two cartons of strawberry yogurt, splitting between each cup.
Top each cup with the chopped granola.
Add a few drops of cranberry sauce and a raspberry half for garnish.
Finish with a dab of whipped cream.
Enjoy!
 
Peanut Butter & Cheerios Balls:
(makes about 18 balls)
  • 5 cups mini marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup chopped Planter’s Salted Peanuts
  • 2-1/2 cups Multi-Grain Cheerios
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
Directions:
Begin by melting marshmallows in medium saucepan over medium heat.
When marshmallows are halfway melted, add the butter and continue to stir over heat.
Once butter and marshmallows are almost smooth, add peanut butter and nutmeg.
Add Cheerios and peanuts to a medium mixing bowl.
Pour melted peanut butter marshmallow mix over cheerios and peanuts.
Mix to combine.
Once cooled, grab a small handful of the mixture and roll into balls.
(A tip to help prevent sticking to fingers, spray hands with baking spray!)
Once balls are rolled, place on wax paper to set and cool completely.
Melt chocolate chips, and drizzle over the cooled snacks.
Let set for 10-15 minutes, then serve.
Enjoy!
What are your favorite holiday treats to whip up for your guests?
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