10 Holiday Season Tips #DoMoreWithLess

The days and weeks leading to Christmas are truly the busiest times of the year. And with the hustle and bustle of the season, I’m all for maximizing, prioritizing and being productive still. And while I don’t usually go around tagging myself as a supermom, I do my best to make sure I hack my way through crazy holidays such as this. Otherwise, I might just miss what Christmas is really all about.

Precisely why I decided in advance that I’m hibernating starting middle of this week. I won’t be back covering events until after the holidays, thank you. It’s unbelievable how crazy traffic has worsened (yes, just when you think it can’t get any worse). It would’ve been awesome to watch the Star Wars blocked advanced screening with the boys yesterday, but we can wait. 🙂

It cannot be more timely that the last event I’ve attended for 2015 has something to do with an advocacy that our family has long embraced. It was the Electrolux Bloggers Kitchen Class wherein I learned more tips on how to “do more with less” in the kitchen with Chef Bruce Lim. 🙂

I have a number of Do More With Less posts on this, including these:

> Stewardship Begins at Home
> Do More with Less with Electrolux

Do More with Less with These Holiday Season Tips

1. Plan and List

Now while you’re at planning your holiday dishes, it’s always best to go to the grocery armed with a list of everything you need.  This saves you time back unnecessarily.

Our Groceries App

You can have your list the old school way but I find that having an app on my smartphone like “Our Groceries” has made my grocery shopping more efficient. Since I always have my phone with me, I don’t just suddenly lose it like I sometimes would with a piece of paper. This mommy mind can be very, very busy.

When I trot my way around the kitchen, that’s also when I find out that we’ve run out of something, so I just tell my son to jot it for me. That explains the “Chili dog a la Sonic” recipe entry. This boy’s crazy over Sonic.

2. Freeze  meals.

Electrolux Kitchen Studio
Electrolux Kitchen Studio

Together with 7 other bloggers, we trooped to Chef Bruce Lim’s kitchen hideout in Pasig and learned more tips around the kitchen. I’m digging the idea of making use of whatever’s in the pantry to whip up the most exciting dishes. I’m kind of doing that exactly for many years now. But we all know that even a kitchen diva can make use of a brush up every now and then. 🙂

This is another thing I’ve learned during the Bloggers Kitchen Class. Instead of stashing leftovers in the regular section of the fridge, store them instead in the freezer. This way, food wastage is brought down to its minimum. Properly frozen meals in your Electrolux NutriFresh™ Refrigerator and it can last up to 2 months without losing their taste and texture.

Chef Bruce Lim

Chef Bruce Lim working on his Day After Chicken Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna is one of my sons most favorite dishes (oh he’s got lots, I tell ya) and I do indulge him when I have the luxury of time. While I usually make lasagna the classic way, it was truly interesting to know that I can incorporate left over chicken, even add thawed frozen spinach for more nutritional value.

Chef Bruce’s Day After Chicken Lasagna Recipe:

Chicken with Tomato Sauce:
20g Garlic, minced
80g Onions
80g Celery
80g Carrots
30g Butter
300g Tomato sauce
1g Basil, dried
300g Leftover roasted chicken
100g Chicken stock
Salt, Pepper and Sugar to taste

Bolognese Sauce:
20g Garlic, minced
80g Onions
80g Celery
80g Carrots
400g Canned whole peeled tomatoes
100g Chicken stock
300g Ground beef
1g Basil, dried
1g Oregano, dried
Salt, Pepper and Sugar to taste

White Sauce:
50g Butter
50g Flour
400g Milk
1/2 pc. Onion
1pc. Bayleaf
Pinch Nutmeg
Pinch Garlic powder
Pinch Onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

100g Spinach, blanched and chopped
500g cooked lasagna (9 sheets)
Eden cheese (topping)

Procedure for the Chicken with Tomato Sauce:
1. Blend garlic, onions, celery and carrots until chopped.
2. Saute the blended veggies for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add ground beef.
4. Add the canned whole peeled tomatoes and chicken stock and boil.

Procedure for the Bolognese Sauce:
1. Blend garlic, onions, celery and carrots until chopped.
2. Saute the blended veggies in butter for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the leftover roasted chicken.
4. Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock and boil.
5. Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Procedure for White Sauce:
1. In a pan, mix butter and flour.
2. Add the milk, onion and bay leaf and bring to a light boil until thick.
3. Remove onion and bay leaf.
4. Add nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

1. Spread a small amount of meat sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
2. Cover the sauce with lasagna sheets.
3. Cover the noodles with chicken and tomato sauce and top with spinach.
4. Repeat the layers alternately using the two sauces.
5. Top the lasagna with white sauce and grated cheese.
6. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown.

Chef Bruce also shared a trick on flipping food in the pan. I have yet to try this myself. Might do a video selfie on IG if I got this figured out. Abangan! 🙂

3. Freeze fruits.

Planning a party at home? Surprise your guests with richer drinks by freezing some fruits and popping them in their juices or iced tea to keep it cold without watering it down. You can also freeze leftover wines in ice-cube trays for reuse when preparing meat dishes and spaghetti sauces.

4. Maximize your rice cooker.

Believe it or not, the humble rice cooker can actually go beyond its initial purpose. Electrolux rice cookers are designed with a 4-in-1 cooking feature that keeps dishes warm, cooks soups and porridge, and steams dishes. If you don’t have the space for a full stove or a large kitchen in your living space, it might be just what you need for your next potluck weekend.

5. Maintain the quality of your carpets with a vacuum cleaner.

While spills on your carpet are unavoidable with kids running around, the abrasive rubbing of stains will only cause the fiber to mat. Instead, use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner such as the Electrolux Wet and Dry Z931 vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt around the stain. Then try soaking up the stain with a wet towel pressed repeatedly onto it, repeat the process with a dry towel to ensure all the liquid has been absorbed.

6. Steam your clothes for a wrinkle-free finish.

Leaving your un-ironed shirt hanging in the bathroom while you take a hot shower will practically get all the wrinkles out. Or better yet, treat yourself this Christmas to an Electrolux UltraMix™ Front Load Washing Machine with a Refresh Cycleprogram that removes creases and folds and naturally de-wrinkles your clothes. Less time for laundry, more time for the family.

7. Floss.

Besides using it to clean your teeth, unwaxed dental floss can also be your trusty kitchen helper. It can be used to slice cakes and soft cheeses, as well as to tie-up poultry and rolled meats.

8. Run no more.

Make your stockings last longer by spritzing a little hairspray to avoid getting runs in them. The sticky residue will hold the fabric together, and stressful moments will be the last thing on your mind.

9. Upcycle.

Turn ordinary moments into fun bonding sessions with the kids through upcycling. Gather used Christmas wrappers for decorations in scrapbooks and school projects; make handmade dolls from old materials like socks, buttons and hairpins; or upcycle an old dress into a pretty apron. Be creative and resourceful, the possibilities are endless!

10. Clean your refrigerator with salt.

Now is the perfect time to clear the unnecessary clutter in your refrigerator for the upcoming rush of hams, fruitcakes and all the goodies you need for Noche Buena. Clean your fridge by mixing a handful of salt with about 3 liters of warm water. The mixture is chemical free and gentle on sensitive surfaces.


Bloggers Kitchen Class

Together with these fun-loving ladies, Electrolux team and Chef Bruce, we went a la “Masterchef” and whipped up our own recipes.

Cheesy Chicken Spinach Pasta

I was teamed up with JR and we came up with this Cheesy Chicken Spinach Pasta.

As we each get busy in our own respective kitchens this holiday season, let’s try to take note of these tips. Because truth be told, Christmas season is when people over indulge and accumulate a good percentage of food wastage. Don’t forget to stash those leftover in the freezer after Noche Buena and Media Noche! I know I won’t. 🙂

10 Holiday Season Tips #DoMoreWithLess

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