With the holidays upon us and Christmas Day a little over a week a way, I’m sure many of you are gearing up for your holiday celebrations and planning what meals you’ll be dishing up at your next party. Lifestyle expert and chef Ceci Carmichael stopped by recently to dish on her favorite ways to cook up and serve a fabulous holiday meal in record time and with ease!
Candace Rose: We all know how stressful throwing a holiday party can be. What can we do to ensure it goes smoothly and as stress-free as possible?
Ceci Carmichael: “Candace, you know, we’ve had this discussion before about getting everything planned as far ahead of time as you possibly can, so when you open that door and your first guest comes through the door you’re relaxed, relatively and have everything set out and you’re ready to go.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any advice when it comes to cooking and serving?
Ceci Carmichael: “Well, I’m a chef and I don’t make everything from scratch. I give everyone full permission not to make everything from scratch- a few homemade things are great, but supplement it. At any given time in my freezer I have a Marie Callender’s pie. They are the way to go, they do it so much better than I do so I don’t even mess with that aspect. So when you’re about to sit down for dinner and you pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw. You don’t even have to heat up your oven. It looks beautiful. I have the peanut butter cream pie here and it’s just one of my absolute favorites; and then they have a peppermint pie for the holidays that is just amazing and it looks beautiful. When you have products that do it better than you do, let them do it.
And also jazzing up any of your own homemade recipes or pies, or whatever you’ve got- I always have Reddi-Wip in my refrigerator. It’s fifteen calories a serving, and it’s made with real dairy cream…so why spend the time whipping it up when you’ve got it so conveniently easy.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions for keeping prep and cleanup really simple?
Ceci Carmichael: “Well, again that’s another thing where if you just get the right product to help you. Nobody likes scrubbing pots and pans so I always have Pam Less Residue No-Stick cooking spray in my cabinet ready to go. I made a pumpkin spice cake, sprayed the pan down and everything just slides right out. It also leaves 99% less residue build up on your pots and pans. You’re basically saving by cutting down on time right then and there because everything is going to be so much easier to clean up?
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Ceci Carmichael: “Have the right refrigerator for all your storage needs, the Amana is great. And your signature cocktail which is the Jose Cuervo Wild Berry Light margarita which is going to be my drink this year, which is my drink this year. It’s 95 calories and you can dress it up.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Ceci Carmichael: “Go to VideoPump.tv.”