We've all had those moments — the ones where we realize that either our carefully laid plans for the holidays have fallen apart, or that we completely neglected to make any in the first place.
But regardless of the reason, pretty much everyone wants to have a delicious Christmas dinner of some capacity, and if you'd like to go the more traditional homemade route, then even today, there are options for you.
We took a look at the best prepared foods available at Canadian grocery stores, many of which are (surprise!) geared toward the Christmas season. Check out these options for making the easiest holiday dinner you ever pulled together, and next year, even with some time on your hands, you may just opt to do the same thing all over again.
Puff Pastry Appetizers
It's pretty much impossible to resist food wrapped in puff pastry — and why would you want to? Walmart's Our Finest products include appetizers like Brie and apple phyllo cups, crispy shrimps and Indian mini vegetable samosa. From $5 to $10, Walmart.
Almost every grocery store has an impressive selection of cheese available these days, with each one virtually guaranteed to make guests happy. Loblaws' experts recommend these options for a well-rounded plate: Beemster Vlaaskaas, 18-Month Comté, 18-Month Gruyère and 4-Year Perron Cheddar.
Salt And Pepper Calamari Rings
A twist on a favourite, these calamari rings with a kick with get guests ready for a dinner of epic proportions. <a href="http://www.mmmeatshops.com/en/products/product.asp?productID=899&catID=999">Salt And Pepper Calamari Rings, $8.99, M&M Meat Shops</a>.
Mini Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fillets
Meat on meat? You know that'll satisfy more than a few of your guests' cravings. <a href="http://www.mmmeatshops.com/en/products/product.asp?productID=869&catID=2">Mini Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fillets, 20 pieces, $15.99, M&M Meat Shops</a>.
Olive Oil And Garlic Wafers
Christmas is the time for the fancy stuff, isn't it? Forget your usual crackers and try out something new, like these Olive Oil and Garlic wafters from President's Choice's Black Label collection. <a href="http://www.pc.ca/blacklabel/pcBlackLabel_product_category_landing.jsp?categoryId=300011">Approximately $4.49, Loblaws and affiliated stores</a>.
Easy Roast Turkey
And now for the main course. This Irresistibles Easy Roast Turkey is cooked right from frozen for serious ease of serving. <a href="http://www.metro.ca/les-secrets-de-mon-epicier/la-magie-des-fetes/le-dindon.en.html">Approximately $1.50 per pound, Metro</a>.
Easy-Carve Turkey Breast Roast
Keeping in the poultry theme, but with a twist, this seasoned, boneless turkey breast is great for a smaller crowd of four to six people. PC Easy-Carve Turkey Breast Roast with Cranberry Stuffing and Gravy, $12.99, Loblaws and affiliated stores.
Yes, you still have to thaw and cook the meat (which takes about 24 hours), but how great is it that you can get a Turducken of your own? If, of course, you're into that sort of thing. <a href="http://www.costco.ca/The-Original-Turducken-with-Spicy-Italian-Sausage.product.100006315.html">Approximately $119, Costco.</a>
"Fall off the Bone" Barbecue Back Ribs
Opting for something different? Ribs that are, well, prepared will surprise and delight. with their maplewood smoke, southwest spice dry rub and sweet barbecue sauce. All you need to do it unpack, thaw and heat the 1.5 pounds of yumminess. <a href="http://www.mmmeatshops.com/en/products/product.asp?productID=598&catID=3">$13.99, M&M Meat Shops.</a>
Don't feel like crafting that pie crust? Rely on a tarte tatin made with Granny Smith apples and a caramel sauce — all ready for you. Tarte Tatin, Sobeys.
Looking for an after-dinner activity? A do-it-yourself gingerbread decorating kit (which doesn't require baking) can be hilarious (or mortifying, for the less-than-artistically inclined). Featured here is <a href="http://allthebestfinefoods.com/">Toronto's All The Best's option</a> ($12.95), while Sobeys has a <a href="http://www.compliments.ca/en/Products/product.aspx?b=1&s=5&c=10&t=2&u=44&sku=00068820122074">Gingerbread House Kit</a> that can work the same magic.
Milk Chocolate Bing Cherries
Dessert can come in bite-size form as well. These yummy Milk Chocolate Bing Cherries can ease the guilt of those who have indulged (like everyone) with a hint of fruit inside. <a href="http://www.pc.ca/blacklabel/pcBlackLabel_product_category_landing.jsp?categoryId=300006">Approximately $7.99, Loblaws and affiliated stores</a>.
Chocolate And Marscapone Cheesecake
And then on the other end of the scale is the full-fledged delectable dessert — this Sensations Chocolate and Marscapone Cheesecake is a rich way to end the meal. Approximately $9.49, Sobeys.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Fresh, with an unexpected twist of flavour, the Salted Caramel Ice Cream from PC's Black Label collection will send everyone home happy. Approximately $4.99, Loblaws and affiliated stores.
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