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Tasty Cheats for the Harried Host

With a toddler, a newborn and a to-do list as long as Santa’s elf assembly line, shortcuts go a long way with me during the holidays. I’m especially looking to cut down my work in the kitchen without sacrificing quality or adding unnecessary costs. So I asked around the office for my peers’ favorite party essentials at Whole Foods Market® and compiled a shopping list for my next gathering.

These delicious bites get the party started and keep your schedule on track. Plus, with these shortcuts, you’re not cutting corners. Like all food in our stores, they meet all our quality standards too meaning they’re all made without hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners.

Tasty Time-Savers

With saving money also in mind, I’ve singled out a few convenient favorites from the 365 Everyday Value® line and current Sure Deals from The Whole Deal value guide. (Check out all the deals, coupons and recipes here.) I’m also particularly excited about our new line of frozen pizzas, dinners, appetizers and desserts, so I’ve included a few of them but recommend you taste your way through the whole line. Without further ado, here’s my holiday cheat sheet:

Chill out with sensational starters.
  • 365 Everyday Value® frozen appetizers: Mozzarella Sticks, Taquitos or Onion Rings
  • Whole Foods Market™ frozen appetizers: including quiche and six new Chinese and Indian favorites like samosas, potstickers and egg rolls.
  • Whole Catch™ appetizers: Buffalo Shrimp, Coconut Shrimp, Tempura Shrimp or Popcorn Shrimp

Cheese please! Your guests will surely ask for more of these seasonal favorites.

  • ­Wellspring Creamery™ Cranberry Orange Goat Cheese (a Sure Deal)
  • Isigny Sainte Mére Bon Homme Brie

Party must-haves when saving time is as important as saving money.

  • In-store-made fresh guacamole and salsa.
  • Pre-cut fruit and veggies.

Sweet treats. Arrange them on a platter and viola! Dessert in a jiffy.
  • 365 Everyday Value® holiday cookies: Shortbread, Gingerbread Cookies or Chocolate Candy Cane or Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Sandwich Cremes
  • Whole Foods MarketTM Marshmallows: Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate (a Sure Deal)
  • Whole Foods MarketOrganic Truffles: Cappuccino, Chocolate, Caramel or Cookie Crumble
  • Whole Foods Market French Fleur de Sel Caramels

With this shopping list, I’m giving you permission not to make anything if you want. Heck, with convenient solutions that taste this good, why bother?

Oh, Wine!

Thirsty for drink suggestions? You can serve reds and whites without spending a lot of green with our Top 10 Holiday Wines, all priced under $15. Our wine experts did the research and even provided pairing ideas so you can entertain with ease.

Recipes with Ease

Keen on making some, buying some? I’ve got you covered there too. Here are a few quick and easy crowd-pleasing recipes and presentation tips:

What's your favorite ready-to-serve product at Whole Foods Market or quick tip for entertaining?