Christmas Dinner Menu and a New Discovery

This is the first year EV-ER that I’m hosting Christmas Day.  We have been home on Christmas Day before, but it was just our immediate family so it was pretty low-key.  I have never, ever cooked a big Christmas or Thanksgiving meal.

This year my parents are coming to our house for Christmas, and I am SO excited.  We will be going to my inlaws’ home on the 26th to have a Christmas celebration with my husband’s family where there will be a big turkey dinner and all that jazz, so I have decided to buck tradition and cook something other than turkey on Christmas Day.

My friend girlymama suggested a rib roast, and she told me about a recipe she highly recommends.  I think I’m going to try it.  For some reason, although I cook well and often, cooking a roast seems somewhat intimidating.  I’m terrified of ruining an expensive piece of meat.  But I want to do something special, and this seems as good as anything.

I was watching Emeril’s Thanksgiving special a few weeks ago where he made crab stuffed twice baked potatoes.  Omigosh.  YUM.  I have been waiting for the opportunity to make these, and I think this is just the occasion I’ve been looking for.

Beyond that, I’m not sure what I’m doing.  Although I have recently discovered that I love brussels sprouts.  As a child my mom would make them and make me eat a few, and I remember gagging as I tried to swallow them down.  Of course, that could have something to do with the fact that my mom boiled them from one of those boxes in the frozen foods section.  But for whatever reason, I have always thought that I hated brussels sprouts.

Until last weekend.

I was at a "potluck" dinner where someone brought a dish of roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and onion.  They looked so good that I decided to give them a try.  And they were DELICIOUS! 

In fact.  When I went out to eat a few days later with some friends, I ordered a dish that came with roasted brussels sprouts just to get the brussels sprouts.  Fortunately the pork chop was good too.  I was afraid it had been just a fluke (about the brussels sprouts) but no.  These were fabulous too. 

So.  I guess I like brussels sprouts.  Who knew!?   This revelation has caused me to question my entire identity.  I mean, I thought I knew who I was, what I was all about.  Can I still be the same person without my hatred for brussels sprouts?  This has opened up a whole new world of vegetable possibilities.

So in honor of my newfound obsession with brussels sprouts, I think I’ll try to make them for Christmas dinner.  Won’t my mom be thrilled!  Now all I need to do is find a good recipe.

The next big question is dessert.  My mom always makes pies for Christmas, and my mother-in-law always makes cookies.  I think I will continue with my rebellious theme and do something totally different.  I KNOW!  I’m just living on the edge.

Do you have any ideas for me?  We’re a pretty easy crowd to please.  Just about any kind of sugary treat will do.

What are YOU having for Christmas dinner?  Are you cooking, or are you going somewhere to mooch off of someone else and let them do all the hard work?  Frankly I’m quite a fan of the latter, but perhaps I’ll feel differently if all goes well with my very first attempt at The Holiday Meal. 

I mean, now that I’ve discovered my love for brussels sprouts, I suppose anything is possible!

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21 Responses

  1. I’m having 35 on Christmas day! I’m having my extended family and some families from church who had no place else to go. It’ll be hectic but fun! Much to my mother’s horror, we are using paper plates and plastic cups for dinner this year!

    I’m making filet, turkey and lasagna. Everyone is bringing something so the sides should be covered. I’m thinking of trying to make a cheesecake for dessert. If I run out of time, I may go to my fall back 7-up cake.

    It’ll be crazy but fun!

  2. Hey! Even on vacation I can make it online!

    I will help cook Christmas dinner, but it’s not my responsibility. My MIL is cooking since we’re at her house. I have cooked an entire Christmas dinner myself, but not this year. Personally, I would rather help than prepare it myself!

    I can give you a recipe to an easy dessert, that can be prepared a day or two ahead of time.

    Key Lime Pie

    1 small can of limeaid
    1 cn of sweetened condensed milk
    1 large container of whipped cream
    1 graham cracker crust
    almonds for garnish

    Let limeade defrost. Then mix limeade, condensed milk and whipped cream together. Pour into graham cracker crust. Sprinkle a few sliced almonds on the pie and you can use lime zest or sliced limes for garnish. Then just put in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours before serving. It’s delicious and easy!

    Good Luck with dinner. Let us know how it goes!!!

  3. ooh…i’m thinking “roast beast” a la The Grinch 😛

    i made mexican hot chocolate to bring to work today…yum yum 🙂

    good luck…i had my first brussel sprout a few weeks ago, and i didn’t like it one bit. i HAVE been thinking about the bacony ones, though. i think Tyler Florence has a recipe for them on the foodnetwork site.

  4. I went through that same thing with lima beans AND brussel sprouts. I’ve even been known on occasion to enjoy a BEET. (gag, not recently though) It does make you wonder what you’ve become, doesn’t it?

    It also validates what my Mom has always said… try it now. Try it again. Keep trying it. One day, you WILL like it. Which is good info to have as one raises one’s picky-eater daughter. 🙂

    Oh yea, desserts. For me, Christmas is the time for coconut cake with lemon filling, decorated on top with those red and green candied cherries cut and arranged to look like holly leaves and berries. So festive!


  5. Easy Brussel Sprout recipe.

    Toss Brussel sprouts with olive oil, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Put them in the oven on 400 for 15 or so minutes until they get pretty dark.

    That’s it!

  6. Good luck with taking on the official family Big Dinner!! You’ll do great! I do a Christmas Day brunch and that’s our big meal.
    I say you can’t go wrong with a roast. How about a trifle for one of your desserts? They are easy and feed a lot of people. I can send you a few recipes if you’re interested.

  7. Oh I forgot about the brussel sprouts–I’ve rediscovered them lately and roasting them sounds yummy. Have you heard of Bubble and Squeak? It’s a dish made in England of leftover brussel sprouts and other leftover treats the day after Christmas. There’s your next day meal! Ha!

  8. We’re going to have filet mignon and this really delicious spinach salad that my friend brought to a potluck the other day. Probably will make a starch too, but haven’t decided which one.
    We’ll probably just have cookies for dessert (since it will just be the 3 of us on xmas day).

    I like brussells sprouts too, if they are cooked well.

    How about cheesecake for dessert!? That is a big crowd pleaser!

  9. Something different. I have a wonderful recipe for chocolate mousse. If you’re interested it’s here: https://deatonlife.blogspot.com/2007/06/tasty-thursday-12.html
    And I just posted a yummy recipe for Chocolate Candy Cane Cake…sooo good! https://deatonlife.blogspot.com/2007/12/tasty-thursday.html

    I’m going to have to give brussel sprouts a try – I’ve never tasted them! But my discovery was asparagus. My mom would cook it until it was mush. YUCK! But once I discovered how wonderful it is roasted, I’m a fan!

  10. Here’s an idea for dessert. Bake a chocolate cake, cut it into cubes. put a layer of the cake in the bottom of a large bowl (like a trifle bowl) next put some cool whip onto of the cake cubes, squirt some caramel sundae topping over the cool whip, sprinkle Heath bar bits (from the baking isle). repeat the layers. ending with the cool whip and heath bits. it’s really delicious.

  11. Here’s an idea for dessert. Bake a chocolate cake, cut it into cubes. put a layer of the cake in the bottom of a large bowl (like a trifle bowl) next put some cool whip onto of the cake cubes, squirt some caramel sundae topping over the cool whip, sprinkle Heath bar bits (from the baking isle). repeat the layers. ending with the cool whip and heath bits. it’s really delicious.

  12. i’ve always done Christmas dinner since about our 2nd Christmas, and the main entree is always the same – lasagna. why? cause it’s one of those things that you can make 3 days before Christmas & put it in your fridge. All you have to do on Christmas day is pop it in the oven!! yummmmmmm.

    in that same vein, I’m making eclair cake for dessert. it HAS to chill for at least 24 hours, so darn, can’t be made on Christmas day either.

    I’m putting it all together on Saturday. mmmmm…. now i’m hungry!!

  13. brownies go with everything! dress em up a bit: make your batch of regular brownies, cook for about 10 min, then top with pecans, choc chips, coconut & drizzle a can of condensed milk evenly(ish) over the whole deal and bake it off for another 20 min or so. ta da. the only caveat, you must let them cool to cut/eat. let me tell ya, it’s torture!
    merry christmas

  14. I am so fortunate that my MIL does Christmas lunch and my SIL does dinner. Oddly enough, we have oysters for lunch along with hush puppies and slaw and homemade cream puffs for dessert. My SIL serves ham and turkey and a variety of desserts and things. We usually make pumpkin roll or a cheese ball for her meal. The only cooking I have to do on Christmas is breakfast. I make a batch of sausage balls and fix various types of muffins. My mom likes to eat pumpkin roll for breakfast so we usually have some of that on hand for her too. Good luck with the meal! I guess my day is coming one day.

  15. We’re having a casual open house type buffet this year. We’re getting together here on Christmas Eve so my kids can go to their husbands’ families on Christmas Day, so I’m keeping it very simple this year.

    Brussels sprouts have been my favorite vegetable forever. And it’s funny, but I never even tasted them until I was grown, married and doing my own grocery shopping. I’m not sure my mother even knew what they were. LOL

    Merry Christmas! Your roast sounds like a winner and I’m sure it will be great.

  16. We always make trifle. Homemade sponge cake between layers of fruit and homemade custard and whipped cream, and a little sherry if you are so inclined (which I am). Kids love it, it’s pretty and festive, and layered and you can make a lot of it ahead of time and then just assemble it a couple of hours before dinner.

  17. I hate brussel sprouts. But that recipe sounds good. Goodness gracious. My father might have another heart attack if I decide to like brussel sprouts.

  18. We ALWAYS have pie at Christmas. But last year I hosted an open house and made a chocolate cake with a chocolate/peppermint ganache that was super yummy.
    I’ve made trifle before too, which is very festive.
    Sounds sooo yummy!! We’re having lamb this year – Husbands favorite!

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