This post is about what we baked and cooked during Christmas of 2017. You can read about our decor here and our crafts and other fun projects here.
For whatever reason (kids are older? broken toes? more conscious about the weight?) we baked a lot less than in previous years and nobody seems to have suffered from sugar deficiency.
We kicked the season off with some quick breads. If you follow me on Facebook you might remember this bread (cake?). I baked it in mini loaf pans.
I took one loaf to my foot doctor since I’ve been practically living in his office for the last two years.
We were more selective about baking this year and only baked the favorites. We were definitely a lot more relaxed about it this year too, not striving for perfection.
Gingerbread men and women still tasted delicious, although missing limbs here and there.
I wanted to try a new cookie recipe. These toffee almond sandies were really yummy, I’ll be making them again for sure. They are from Once Upon a Chef blog.
I also baked this Apple fritter bread, which is definitely not bread at all but a very sweet cake. It was good but I recommend cutting sugar in half.
For the holiday meal, which we enjoyed hosting and sharing with our family, we went with prime rib roast, potatoes au gratin, green beans and crab cakes. For dessert we had Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake and Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. I didn’t take any pictures but it was all delicious and worth the calories.
Speaking about the calories, I am going to write more about weight management during holidays, but, in a couple of words, I am of the conviction that holidays are for indulging– it is a special time of the year for a reason. I still try to eat reasonable quantities, but I am a lot more flexible than during the rest of the year. I will eat a cookie or two but not a dozen. I will eat a couple of tablespoons of potato gratin (that dish was SO rich) but will skip bread. It is all about balancing things out and not letting yourself get off the rails completely.
Here are some pictures of our dining table decor. We had everything set up a day before and used “edible” centerpiece and some votive candles that we already had. We used Ikea kitchen towels for napkins so they can be re-purposed in the kitchen later.
We set up an additional table for the kids.
Breakfast and snack were served in the kitchen, buffet style.
Everything that could be prepared ahead, was. I cooked or partially cooked the entire menu in advance. I put together a detailed spreadsheet with everything food related: the menu, the shopping list, cooking times, the timeline for what needs to go in the oven when, etc. It was a huge help and I didn’t have to keep it all in my head. The day before Christmas dinner Sonia and I had a lot fun setting up the tables.
Here is a list of recipes I used and recommend:
Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
How about you? Did you make any special dishes you can recommend? I am always looking for suggestions!
Judy B says
Like you with your broken toes, we had terrible colds and bronchitis and didn’t do much baking. One batch of M&M Cookies was all we got to and it was enough. We had Chicken Parmesan and vegetables. It was a red and green meal! There were only three of us since we weren’t feeling well and didn’t want to share our germs instead of holiday cheer. But it was a nice time and lots of time to relax. I would like to sit at your kids table because I was drawn to the little holiday houses!
So sorry to hear you had a rough patch during Christmas! There is something to be said though for slowing down and just relaxing and enjoying the time with the family. Honestly, this is the most important part of the holidays for me, although I’d much refer it without sickness. Chicken parm and veggies is one of our favorite meals. My husband put a request in a few weeks ago, I need to put it on the menu! I hope your family are all feeling better now and your year is off to a great start!