Tag Archives: Christmas

christmas meal

Easy Christmas Cooking that is Sure to Please

christmas meal

hotblack via morguefile.com

Christmas is a hectic time of year. (Now there’s an understatement!) Many families find that they barely have time to breathe much less cook dishes to bring for this or that function. In fact, a Christmas tradition that is developing for many is going out for Chinese! Grocery stores have gotten on the “help you have a happy holiday” bandwagon and offer “cheat” dishes that can be purchased and prepared for the occasions with very few people becoming the wiser. Though Christmas may be about being with friends and family it is not about broadcasting a possible lack of talent in the kitchen, time on hand, or a shortage of attention span that is required in order to prepare a stellar dish for your Christmas needs.

Of course, you could begin preparing and freezing large casserole favorites as early as August for the Christmas season. In this instance you could freeze all your family favorites and have great dishes not only for family functions that require a pitch-in dish, but also for those nights when you are far too busy to be bothered with something as demanding on your limited time as actually preparing a home cooked meal. If you prepare casseroles and similar dishes that work well with a holiday theme throughout the year be sure to double your efforts next time and freeze half for busier months such as November and December.
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sneaking a santa cookie

Fun Christmas Cooking for Everyone

sneaking a santa cookie

snowbear via morguefile.com

It’s great to have friends and family over for Christmas, but if you’re the one stuck in the kitchen doing all the cooking every year, that’s not so much fun. One way to avoid this is by rotating locations for the festivities from one year to the next. Another way — a much simpler way — is to delegate items of contribution from all guests in attendance each year so that the cooking and meal preparation duties are shared among them all.

Of course this isn’t a perfect plan. Pot lucks can often lack the flavor compliments that a meal prepared by one individual may have. So, another great plan is to prepare pieces and parts of your Christmas dinner well ahead of time. With careful planning there are recipes that can be prepared as much as a few weeks ahead of the big day and stored either in air tight containers at room temperature or frozen for heating or baking on the big day for best results. Any of the prep work that can be taken care of before the big day is one less thing to be taken care of when the time comes and that takes a load off your mind.
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christmas feast

Traditional Christmas Cooking

christmas feast

Kakisky via MorgueFile.com

Christmas is a time of year when families around the world gather together and observe traditions that are the same for them year after year and yet vastly different from those that other families share around the block. There are very few universal Christmas traditions any more and there is nothing wrong with that. In America however, there are some recipes that many people consider traditional holiday cooking and there is little that will be done to dissuade these opinions. The truth is that many of these traditional holiday foods are largely traditional in specific regions rather than the United States having one nation-wide traditional Christmas dinner.

For example, my family usually served turkey and ham. Appetizers always included black olives and a relish made with pepperoccini. Many families are like mine and serve both ham and turkey. While others answer quite quickly that it is neither. One of the best all-American Christmas cooking ideas I’ve ever seen was lasagna. There are no right or wrong traditions — only those traditions that work well for you and your family. If you feel the need to change a long-standing tradition for a large extended family, by all means discuss it with everyone involved. Otherwise it is your tradition and you should feel free to make it your own.
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