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Preparing for a Christmas Eve Open House
We are down to less than 12 days to Christmas and everyone is in preparation mode. I’m done shopping for gifts and decorating, so now I am all about getting ready to make memories with my family and friends as we eat, drink and be merry together.
Of course, when friends and family come over you want your home to look presentable and like you took the extra time to make it look special for your guests. My goal for when I entertain is to make my home look like kids do not actually live there for a few hours. When the kids see me cleaning, they always ask “who is coming over”.
After making my entertaining shopping list, I head over to Costco. Because of the time of year, I don’t want to miss a thing going on, shopping at Costco helps save me time and keeps me stocked up on all of the Procter & Gamble Household Products that I need to clean up the mess. I started shopping at Costco a few years ago when our family started growing and I got tired of running out of the products I used often. Plus, with all that is going on this time of the year, it is just too much for me to be running in and out of stores.
Now that I am stocked up on my favorite Procter & Gamble Household products from Costco, I am ready to clean and get ready for my favorite night of the year – our Christmas Eve open house. I don’t get through this unless I have a list! That’s why I created this Holiday Cleaning Checklist printable to help me get ready.
Cascade Action Pacs help me get my dishes, silverware and cookware sparkling clean, before and after our Open House.
You never want your guests to pick up a dirty plate or fork at your buffet and the last thing you want to be doing at your own party is washing dishes.
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers help get the walls, cabinets and baseboards free of fingerprints and crayon marks and scuff marks off of the floors. I sort of get a little obsessed once I start with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I could always use a few more and thankfully the variety pack from Costco lets me use a Magic Eraser on just about everything!
Here’s a peak at my Christmas Eve open house buffet:
For dinner, I keep things simple with just a few recipes since it is an open house setting. This year, I’ll be serving homemade baked Stuffed Shells.
Baked Stuffed Shells
Delicious cheesy baked stuffed shell recipe.
- 1 package of Jumbo Shells
- 30 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- salt (pepper)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb ground italian sausage
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2-3 minced garlic cloves
- 2 cans of 28oz crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella
- Cook pasta according to directions, drain, rinse in cold water.
- Saute garlic in olive oil and then add sausage. Brown the sausage, breaking it into small pieces.
- Add red wine and let it simmer 2-3 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt.
- Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- While that is simmering, mix ricotta, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper together.
- Spoon the bottom of a baking dish with sauce.
- Fill up each shell with the cheese mixture and then place in the baking dish open side down.
- Top with remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until bubbling.
I’ve been making this recipe for years and the baked on cheese and sauce can be brutal to remove. Cascade Action Pacs get my baking dish looking brand new again!