Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Holiday Food- The Menu (Day 7)

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I don't know about you, but one of my favorite parts of the holidays is the food. Turkey with mashed potatoes, delicious vegetables and casseroles, cranberry sauce, and all of the sublime desserts: pumpkin pie, Christmas cookies, fudge, and candies.

If you are not responsible for cooking any holiday meals this year, please feel free to tune out today and tomorrow. Use the time to catch up on your Christmas cards and gift making/buying.

Perhaps you are going to someone else's home for Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. Why not give them a call this week and ask what you can bring? An extra side dish, loaf of bread, or dessert can greatly bless a busy cook!

If you are cooking a big meal or two, I want to keep you ten steps ahead of the pack by planning it out now :). Whether you are cooking Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner (or both!), a big meal requires thoughtful planning.

The big question is, of course, what are you making?

We are going to celebrate Thanksgiving at a friend's house, but Christmas dinner is on me. I am super excited that we will be entertaining my husband's parents, sister, brother-in-law, and brother-in-law's mother from Ireland (and Spain!) this year.

Extra company makes me extra anxious to impress. I want to serve up an all-American Christmas experience that will delight all.

Now is the time to consult pinboards and foodie blogs :). My husband and I have really enjoyed watching Christmas cooking shows with famous chefs (like Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson) in the past for inspiration.

You can likely find Christmas episodes from whatever cooks inspire you somewhere online, or via Netflix or Amazon Prime. I love watching them because they are usually filmed in the chef's home, so you see their families and festive Christmas decor. It will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit, while making your mouth water ;).

This is the framework I plan to hang my meal plan on. As I find recipes that I want to incorporate, I will fill the corresponding slot:
  • Appetizers (optional, but nice if people have a long wait before dinner. 2-3 would be a good number)
  • Main dish (Turkey, Ham, etc.)
  • One green vegetable (brussel sprouts? asparagus? broccoli? Don't just serve them plain, get creative!)
  • Potatoes (mashed? boiled? roasted?)
  • Bread
  • A casserole (green bean? sweet potato? cheesy potato? stuffing?)
  • Cranberry Sauce (or something else fruity and sweet as a condiment)
  • At least one dessert (pumpkin pie is a must in this house! I'm thinking I'd like to make chocolate mint truffles too, and have a variety of Christmas cookies available)
  • Beverages (you can keep it simple- water, milk, soda, coffee, tea- or make a fancy punch or offer sparkling cider)

Today's Assignment: Get yourself inspired! Watch a cooking show or two, consult Pinterest, dust off that cookbook you've been meaning to explore. Plan a meal that will be fun for you to make. Write out your meal plan and corresponding shopping list. Tuck them away for future reference (make sure they don't get lost before the holiday meal!).

Not cooking? Call the person who will be cooking for you and ask how you can contribute to the meal!
Photo Credit
Looking to get ready for Christmas early this year? Be sure to check out the other posts in this series if you've missed them!

Introduction
Gifting- Your Plan of Attack
Gifting- Think Outside the Box
Gifting- To Make or Purchase?
Christmas Cards- Your Plan of Attack
Christmas Cards- Making Your List and Checking It Twice
Christmas Cards- I've Got Your Number

Linked With: Growing Home, and Time Warp Wife.

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