Tuesday, December 10 2013 12:22

Easing the Stress of The Holidays with Quick, Family Size Meals... #PlanAhead #Shop #Cbias

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It's December 10, and already, I'm exhausted. Regardless of the fact that I love the Holiday season, what I don't love is the amount of running around and what feels like a mad scramble, despite all the preparation. With it getting dark at 4pm, my wife working long hours (sometimes not home until 8), and the cold temperatures (it's 13 degrees as I write this), the days just feel shorter as it is, and I'm always looking for ways to ease the stress, expedite the process of certain things, and keep those warm feelings going... sometimes while multi-tasking. It's not always easy when I'm doing the balancing act between working at home and taking care of my two little girls, but it can be done. If there's one month where I could use some help making family size meals a little quicker, it's December.

Who shops at Walmart at midnight? This guy. Looking for presents (I was chasing something specific - mission accomplished) and grabbing some basics, it's also a great time to stock-up on some of those quick meal helpers. Stouffer's Family Size entrees, Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream, and even a couple of Digiorno Pizzas (all from Nestle) made it into my cart.

#PlanAhead #Shop #Cbias

Shopping at night also allows me to get my groove on while driving home. A little old-school rap with DJ Kool on Backspin? I think so. Now, "Let Me Clear My Throat..."

MIDWEEK MACARONI: Wife's working until 7. The girls and I are having adventures, which means a prime time to pop something in the oven so we can keep playing while the main course cooks. Boom - Macaroni within an hour, and we can dress-it up however the girls like. For me (the only meat-eater in the house), a little bacon on top. For the kids, some bread crumbs. Served with apples, we've got plenty left-over for snacking during the week.

Midweek Macaroni - #PlanAhead #Shop #Cbias

PIZZA & COOKIES: No, we're not serving cookies and pizza together, but multi-tasking yet again. With the oven already fired-up to 400 degrees so my oldest and I can do some marathon baking (in this case, Christmas Cutout Cookies), we save time by sliding a couple of those Digiorno Pizzas into the mix. 

Pizza and Cookies! #PlanAhead #Shop #Cbias

PRE-CHRISTMAS FAMILY MEAL: Why plan ahead and have things on-hand and ready to rock at short notice? A prime example was this past Sunday. With a big, and scattered family, our Christmas gatherings happen throughout December (and sometimes into January). This year, My Dad and his Wife made a visit to Rock Father HQ from Michigan to do gifts with the girls early. Thing is, we got an unexpected snowstorm, and that made going out for dinner a non-option. With Stouffer's Lasagna on-hand, I built an early afternoon dinner around it, busting out some vegetables, potatoes, salad and bread to go with it. Peppermint Ice Cream for later, and the whole experience was complete. A fine meal, on a Day that felt more Christmas-y than Christmas usually does. 

Pre-Holiday Meal! #PlanAhead #Shop #Cbias

For more great Holiday Ideas from Nestle, check out the Live SoFab Holiday Digital Magazine. 

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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