I was given a Stop & Shop gift card to help facilitate this post. All ideas, recipes and opinions are, as always, my own.
This holiday season, we are fostering new experiences for the whole family- not just the kids. Looking to create new traditions and holiday cheer after spending 31 Christmases in Philadelphia at my childhood home, Dave and I are building a New England holiday for the girls to build on year-after-year.
For our perfect holiday, we must have gatherings. Friends and family filling our home brings full hearts and bellies all around. Kids playing and dancing to Christmas music while our friends share stories and hopes for the New Year by the fire are just a few of our favorite holiday moments.
To bring the warmth and spirit into our home, we’ve decorated everything from hearth to railing, in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. Lights twinkle and candles flicker; nothing could ever compare to the sparkle that the holidays bring.
Elegant Tablescapes Start Here
To bring elegance to our holiday dinners, I opted to fill my favorite, over-sized gold vase with a gorgeous bouquet. Throughout the year, I fill vases in our home from the garden, but when I want something special, only a florist’s eye can bring the beauty I am looking for.
As I shopped for one of my favorite better-for-you meals, I stopped by Stop & Shop’s floral department and got to planning the perfect arrangement. Choosing holiday colors of deep reds and bright whites, I am thrilled by the look, selection, pre-made arrangements and freshness of flowers. There are also tons of options for vases and accessories right in the floral department! Gift ideas ran through my head- something for everyone!
Healthy Broccoli and Chicken Casserole
This dish is one of my faves. It takes a better-for-you twist on the typical ingredients, and adding the amazing all natural and organic ingredients from Nature’s Promise at Stop & Shop, it’s a simple meal that will fill your family and friends with wholesome goodness and a well-rounded, one pan meal.
- 1# frozen broccoli crowns
- 1# (cooked) shredded chicken (about three large chicken breasts)
- 1c cooked brown rice
- 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- ½c non-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼c unsweetened coconut milk
- 1t garlic powder
- ½t Himalayan pink salt
- ¼t thyme
- 1t dried rosemary
- ½t corn starch
- ½c shredded mozzarella
- 1c shredded mild cheddar, separated
- 3T Panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add broccoli, chicken, rice, and water chestnuts to a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, fold ingredients together until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, coconut milk, corn starch and seasonings. Once mixed completely, stir in the mozzarella and ½c of shredded cheddar.
- Pour the yogurt mixture over broccoli and chicken mixture, and mix until all ingredients are covered with yogurt.
- Spray casserole dish with coconut oil non-stick cooking spray. Pour the bowl of mixed ingredients into dish.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of dish, then sprinkle Panko.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- For extra flavor, cook the brown rice in low sodium chicken broth instead of water
To begin the Christmas countdown, we wanted to spread love and joy to our community. By baking cookies, the kids and I got to laugh while we learned about measuring, mixing and giving back to our neighbors. All throughout the year our neighborhood comes together, but in the winter, we are especially blessed as we all chip in to help with snowplowing and salting. It only made sense to share some sugar cookies!
The baking department had everything we needed from sugar cookie mix to sugar sprinkles, and the holiday aisle offered up the most durable cookie bags I’ve ever used!
With homemade tags, we placed 3 cookies into each bag and passed out 123 cookies, and got almost as many smiles back! After all of our shopping, preparing, decorating and baking were done, we were also blessed to be able to give a $25 gift card to a friend in the community, too. Spreading the gift of a better tomorrow and truly loving thy neighbor gave my girls a lesson in sharing what you have.You don't have to have a lot, to give a lot. #giveback #holidays Click To Tweet
It’s one of the reasons we love shopping at Stop & Shop so much. They have the best foods and everything we need to entertain, but they also have gifts to fit every occasion- especially ones where we want to give back.
The spirit of the season
The holidays are a time for not just remembering the meaning of the season, but to actively live it. Coming together with great company over delicious food, surrounded by a winter wonderland, in the spirit of giving and sharing has made our first New England holiday season one we will always remember.
How do you bring your community together for the holidays?