One of the benefits of becoming so Zoom-oriented is realizing that we can connect more often with friends and family who live far away. Need to social distance this holiday season? Just can’t make it out to see people? Live far apart? Want to host a virtual party? We’ve got you covered! Here are five virtual recipes to try with your crew this holiday season, plus some virtual games and tips!
3 Things to Consider When Setting Up a Holiday Call:
- Set clear expectations ahead of time so that everyone has everything they need, knows what time to be there, and knows what’s going to happen.
- If you’re cooking or eating together—or even just playing an online game—make sure that everyone on the call has time to collect what they need. Or that all will be able to connect easily to both a zoom call and an online game.
- Make a troubleshooting plan in case someone has a hard time logging on, or a backup plan if the game won’t connect or keeps lagging. Being extra prepared will ensure that little hiccups don’t mess up the whole time together. *Also make sure that if there are multiple people logged on in one house, have a plan for who will be muted and whose microphone will be on!
5 virtual recipes to make with your online crew this season:
1. Charcuterie Board
Agree on a few fun things to add and then go rogue on the rest. See who can find the weirdest and tastiest cheese! Or who can create the pretties board. I recently discovered meat flowers! You can even take a virtual on-demand class together. Take a poll afterward and see who liked what the best. Then you know what to get the next time you can meet in person!
2. Try making puppy dog chow at the same time!
I feel like every grandparent has a slightly different variation of this, but here’s the one from Chex. This one is fun because you can put your own twist on the finished product. Plus it’s fun to shake them up together.
INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS
Pour nine cups of Chex cereal (Get chocolate or peanut-butter flavored for an extra punch) onto parchment or wax paper fairly evenly.
Microwave or verrrry carefully melt on a stovetop:
• 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup CREAMY peanut butter (Costco brand works really well for this!)
• 1/4 cup of butter (some people trade coconut oil here, but you can taste the difference, IMO)
Mix with a cooking spatula, ADD a dash of vanilla, and pour lightly over cereal.
Make the parchment paper into a funnel and pour a section of the cereal into a giant Ziploc baggie.
Pour a little chocolate on top, and SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE!
Pour in a generous heap of powdered sugar and SHAKE again.
Pour out to dry.
Add some toppings if desired: chocolate pieces, extra powdered sugar, pretzels, candy cane pieces.
3. Try a Chopped-style dessert together.
Agree on three ingredients that are sweet and one ingredient that is strange, savory, or sour. Something like chocolate, graham crackers, cream cheese, and spicy jam (or go a little easier, with something like Parmesan cheese). Then, see who can make the best desert from those ingredients. Never heard of Chopped? Here’s a little info guide with ingredient ideas. Not comfortable doing a by-the-seat-of-your-pants cooking competition? Try to make this fabulous Christmas tree or turkey cheeseball together! Make your own cheeseball with a dash of lemon and a whole lot of cream cheese and cheddar cheese or buy a pre-made one and go to town decorating them together.
4. Have a meal together.
Have each family or group make a mail-able holiday treat. *Make sure it’s within everyone’s budget and comfort zone to do this!* Mail each other the treats and then you can all be eating the same things! The food should be easily sent in the mail. Things like trail mix, cookies, popcorn, dry dip mixes or meat rubs, candies, or bread mixes. Or, make your own meal or dessert and just eat together while you’re chatting! Discuss who is eating what and which recipes people want to share.
5. Decorate cookies or gingerbread houses together.
If you’ve got older kids or it’s just adults, you can have a decorating contest. Take a screenshot of everyone’s final product and post them on social media to have your friends vote for their favorite. My little one had a ton of fun reading the Ninjabread Man and decorating gingerbread men last year. We started by making gingerbread cookies, but the second time around we just used the cookie cutters to make sugar cookie men instead. I like to buy our gingerbread houses assembled, but if you feel like trying to impress Paul Hollywood—try it yourself! Throw on an episode of The Great British Baking Show (like season 5, episode 8 where they make and build with gingerbread) for inspiration! And let the kids help make the gingerbread men ahead of the call time. We love this gingerbread man recipe because it is easy for the kids to help with!
Have you made anything virtually with anyone yet? What was your favorite thing to make or eat together?
Here’s 5 other fun things you can do on a virtual group call this holiday season!
Play a game.
Our favorites are the online ones where everyone can use their phones to play like Jackbox TV. Drawful (on Jackbox) is a particular favorite, but we also like to play the good ole classics, like “I Spy” or “Guess What I’m Thinking Of.”
Take a painting class together.
I did this with a group of girlfriends last year, and it was SO much fun! You find a YouTube or Facebook DIY painting video (or pick a Bob Ross episode), gather the supplies, and get started together! You can all watch it on your own TVs so you can pause at will, or you can have one person screen share and go through it step by step together. Social distancing this holiday season? Need some more virtual call ideas? Check out this list of 10 socially-distanced holiday activities with zoom call ideas!
Make Gratitude Chains.
Try alternating green and red strips of paper; everyone can contribute what they are thankful for on the call. Go around and ask what food each person is grateful for, which comfort item, which entertainment item, etc.
Play Minute to Win It Family Games.
This family’s quarantine, Olympics, and Minute To Win It TikTok games were inspiring and hilarious! There are SO many options out there and a ton of holiday-themed ideas. Pick a few with basic supplies, agree on the rules, and make sure to record it.
Make holiday cards for your local senior living center, hospital, community helpers, soldiers, or another group you all agree on. Decorate the cards together (virtually) and help each other come up with new phrases and ideas. Ship them off or deliver them once you’re all done. A card can be such a great encouragement for someone, and they can be so fun to make!