This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are 100% mine.

My Secret to Getting Out of the Kitchen Faster During the Holidays So I Can Spend More Time with Family

Want to spend less time in the kitchen & more time with family this holiday season? Find out why Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken is my best-kept secret!

When I think back to all my childhood and young adulthood holidays, I can almost hear the voices of my whole family sitting around the table talking and laughing. My mom, little brother, aunts & uncles, cousins, family friends, my grandfather…all mingling together in a wonderful chorus of holiday cheer. But wait? What about my grandmother? Where is her voice? Why, there it is, coming from the kitchen! It’s a bit muffled by distance and fractured by the sound of boiling water, oven timers, and clanging dishes, but it’s there.

“Come sit down, Jackie,” I hear my grandfather say. “In a minute, Charlie, I just need to stir the sauce,” she replies. A minute comes and goes. The chicken needs to come out. The fresh Parmesan needs shredding. The salad isn’t ready. The rolls need heating. It goes on and on. All throughout dinner, she’s either busy preparing for the next course or getting a head start on washing all the pots, pans and mixing bowls. Long story short, if you wanted to see my grandmother at all during the holidays, you had to go to the kitchen.

My Secret to Getting Out of the Kitchen Faster During the Holidays So I Can Spend More Time with Family

While I will forever associate the kitchen and all the tasty treats that came from it with my Gran (that her above, with my Pop on their wedding day) , and while I appreciate all the amazing meals she prepared for us, I often wish that she spent a little more time around the table with us. Today, my mom is the grandmother in the story. Unless something changes fast, decades from now, my son will look back on holidays and hear her voice muffled by boiling water, buzzing oven timers, and the clang of dishes. While he will savor the memory of all the tasty treats that came from her hard work, I bet he’ll think, “I wish she had more time to just sit, relax, chat, and laugh.”

With our big family holiday party just over two weeks away, I’m determined to help my mom spend less time in the kitchen and more time around the table this year. For the first time ever, I’m taking over some of the cooking duties. Shocking, I know, but don’t worry, I finally learned how to cook! Sort of. I can make a fantastic meatless ziti that will feed a small army…or about half of my family. The problem? Everyone expects some sort of meat dish. While I’ve gotten decent at making small chicken casseroles for three, I’m no where near good enough to pull off a holiday-worthy recipe. Thanks to Barber Foods®, though, I don’t have to!

My Secret to Getting Out of the Kitchen Faster During the Holidays So I Can Spend More Time with Family

Barber Foods® Gets You Out of the Kitchen Faster During the Holidays

With any dish, be it an appetizer, main course, or dessert, it’s the prep work that keeps you tethered to the kitchen. Once the dish goes into the oven, you’re free to wander anywhere within hearing range of the timer. Say, to the dining room table, where your whole family has gathered! For me, it’s also the prep work that scares me away from most recipes. There’s a reason all my chicken dishes consist of tiny bite-size pieces. I’m miles away from pulling off a stuffed chicken recipe, like Cordon Bleu or stuffed chicken Parm. Miles and miles away. Good thing Barber Foods knows what they’re doing, right?

Thanks to them, I can actually serve Chicken Cordon Bleu, Stuffed Chicken Parmesan, Kiev (which I don’t even know how to say let alone make) and more with zero prep work and zero chance of messing it up. I just need to preheat the oven, put the prepared chicken breasts on a cookie sheet, and bake according to the directions. Even I can do that! In fact, I just did. It’s in the oven now. I wanted to try out a couple of their entrees before the holiday party, so I could determine the right cooking time (our oven is older and not always consistent with package directions).

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Frozen prepackaged chicken dishes don’t scream “holiday-worthy recipe.” These aren’t you average “found in your grocer’s freezer section” entrees, though. Each combination is full of flavorful high-quality raw (NOT precooked) chicken that’s hand-stuffed with delicious ingredients. If you’ve ever prepped dishes ahead of time and put them in the freezer to use later, Barber Foods® stuffed chicken recipes are basically the same concept…except someone else did the hard part!

My Secret to Getting Out of the Kitchen Faster During the Holidays So I Can Spend More Time with Family

Make something for everyone, including picky eaters!

Every family has that one picky eater who won’t touch hardly anything on the table. We have three. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m one of them. My son and my favorite uncle are the others. The worst part? We’re all picky in different ways, so there isn’t just one go-to recipe that we’ll all actually eat. Now, we never expect anyone to prepare special meals just for us. Honestly, we don’t.

My Gran was a proud Italian woman and leaving someone with a bare plate at the table was out of the question, though. My mom is the same way. Me? I’m a people pleaser, so I literally have panic attacks if anyone looks even remotely unhappy during our family gatherings (and no, I’m not kidding or using literally incorrectly there).

If I can barely pull off one holiday-worthy entree, what makes you think I can pull off four (the main entree and three “picky eater” dishes)? Barber Foods® makes eight versatile breaded stuffed chicken entrees. Two of them are also available in their “Fit and Flavorful” line, and four in their signature recipe line. In other words, you have over a dozen different ways to please picky eaters.

My son and I both love the Chicken Parmesan, and I think my uncle will as well. Wow, so there really is one recipe we’ll all eat! Look at all that saucy cheesy goodness! It tastes beyond amazing. Don’t tell on me, but I like them even better than the expensive chicken parm from my favorite Italian restaurant down the street!

My Secret to Getting Out of the Kitchen Faster During the Holidays So I Can Spend More Time with Family

For the rest of the family, the Chicken Cordon Bleu will be a huge hit. It’s stuffed with premium chicken, ham, and a yummy blend of cheeses. It looks amazing and almost makes me wish I ate ham. I’m going to look like such a genius this holiday season! The best part? I won’t be just a muffled voice fractured by the sounds of clanging dishes.

My Secret to Getting Out of the Kitchen Faster During the Holidays So I Can Spend More Time with Family

Bottom line, Barber Foods® delivers amazingly delicious and totally holiday-worthy entrees that you’ll be proud to serve. Even better, since there’s no prep work, you won’t be tethered to the kitchen all day. Less time at the oven means more time for family, and that’s really what the holidays are all about.

Learn more about all the yummy Barber Foods® Stuffed Chicken entrees here, then find at Giant, Martin’s or Stop & Shop!