Last Minute Christmas Dinner
After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives. – Oscar Wilde
Dashing through the halls of the office trying to tie up loose ends, rushing home only to be greeted with an array of household chores, dealing with the car that decided it just had to act up right now, and decking the home with boughs of faux holly left me exhausted. Fortunately I took a few moments to sit, relax, and sip my favorite white plum tea, or I may not have remembered one very important thing - the fact that I needed to plan Christmas Eve dinner.
What to serve? Definitely time to turn to recipes that look wonderful, are foolproof, and so quick to prepare I can focus on spending more time enjoying our guests. Now I just have to decide – plain and simple, or a fancy feast?
Keeping it simple recipes:
Traditional holiday colors of red white and green are all present and accounted for in Meatball Soup. This soup only takes about an hour or so to make. It's both hearty and comfortingly nourishing. If you are a Vegetarian, simply substitute your favorite veggie or mock meatball and change the beef stock to veggie stock.
Serve the soup with warm single rise brioche rolls that take only an hour and a half from start to finish. Your guests will think you slaved away all day making these simple rolls!
For an east sweet treat after dinner, try Sheila’s Lemon Cake Mix Cookies. They can be made in just a few minutes!
Recipes for a fast yet fancy feast:
Choose your roast: A roast is the way to go for a main course as it can be left relatively unattended while you prepare the side dishes.
Standing Prime Rib Roasts are often on sale at this time of year and are extremely easy to prep, cook, and serve. The left over roast makes the most wonderful sandwiches ever for Christmas dinner.
Vegetarians will love this Vegetarian Roast from All British Food!
If a prime rib roast is not in your budget or you just don’t eat beef, impress your company with this gorgeous white pepper and tarragon rubbed Roasted Chicken – there’s no stuffing, instead the cavity is seasoned to perfection then stuffed with skin on onion and carrot. A plump Sunday Roaster is a good choice for this meaty dinner.
Pick two vegetable sides:
If you are going to make gravy with the rib drippings, then obviously you need to make your favorite mashed potatoes!
Squash is a great alternative to potatoes and can be cooked in so many ways. Susan’s Roasted Delicata Squash takes advantage of a delicious low calorie winter squash that is being stocked on more grocery shelves – if your grocer does not carry it, ask for it!
No more room in the oven but want to make squash? Then try this terrific About.com recipe for cooking Butternut Squash in a Crock Pot!
Add a touch of Christmas color and some great nutrition to the table with Green Beans with Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions.
Don’t forget the rolls!
Brioche rolls – are perfect here too. To make your dinner even easier, bake these to the brown and serve point early in the day or up to a couple days before. Brown them while your roast is resting.
For a simply fantastic ending:
Warm Blueberry Sauce is a treat I usually serve over Grilled Angel Food Cake (the "how to" for the cake is included in this recipe), but it is equally delicious served over ice cream – make the sauce early in the day or the day in just 15 minutes and reheat right before it’s time for dessert!
Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends.
What is your favorite meal for the holiday you celebrate at this time of year? What is your favorite way to make mashed potatoes calorie friendly? If you don't eat potatoes, what do you prefer for a side dish? Is your meal going to be fancy or simple? Share your favorite holiday recipes! If you would like your recipe to be considered for the CC Palate, pm it to me here.
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