There's no shame in grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. They're easy to dress up though - try Jaime's version with crisp bacon and caramelized onions for the grown-ups, paired with a bagged salad and bottle of wine.
Photo credit: Jaime of Sophistimom
Mini Calzones - like homemade pizza pockets - are perfect to take with you to hockey practice or Christmas concerts - make them ahead and freeze, if you like, then bake and wrap in paper towels for kids to eat in the back seat. A great defence against the drive-thru!
Photo credit: Canola Info
Cheese-stuffed meatballs are a total hit with kids - and fun to assemble when you have little helpers that need to be kept busy in the kitchen one afternoon. Make extra and freeze some if you anticipate extra holiday visitors - especially the under-ten kind.
Photo credit: Amy of Family Feedbag
That's right, sandwiches again - but these will be welcome, stuffed with ham and melted cheese, dipped in egg and cooked French toast-style. Traditionally, a Monte Cristo is served dusted with snowy powdered sugar with jam alongside; a treat for kids beside themselves with excitement over the end of school and Christmas holidays.
Photo credit: Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen
A smooth, sippable soup is simple to make in large batches and serve from an insulated to-go cup if need be; this carrot-orange version appeals to kids and delivers a healthy dose of beta-carotene. It makes a perfect pre-party filler, providing veggies and keeping your appetite at bay so you don't arrive at the buffet ravenous. You can even sip it out of a cup on the bathroom sink as you get ready to go out.