Saturday, December 21, 2013

What I'm Eating on Christmas:

We're getting down to the wire...the last week has been a blur of Christmas parties but we have the next few nights relatively free, I got the last few Christmas cards in the mail and now I'm sitting down to put together the menu for Christmas dinner. I love sharing recipes and getting recommendations from other people so I thought, "why not kill two birds with one stone and blog my Christmas dinner?"

Most people who know me know that I almost never cook. Nathan does most of our day to day cooking (really.) I just have the hard time wanting to put in the effort for just two people...but I LOVE cooking for groups of people, dinner parties are my jam. This year Nathan's family is going to be down in San Diego so I'll only be cooking for seven, it's a little more manageable than the usual 15 so I decided to be a little more ambitious with my menu.

Some of you may recognize some of these recipes because they're yours (thank you), others are ones that I'm "famous" for, and I'm even trying a few new ones...bold, I know.

Two things before I get started:

- These recipes are actually going to span Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day...but I'm going to lay them out as if it's all one day.

-Gotta give a shout out to Pepperplate! My friend Mackenzie turned me on to this website and I LOVE it for organizing and uploading my recipes all to one place. PLUS Nathan has the app on his phone so I can send him a grocery list when we're not together.


Raspberry Goat Cheese Breakfast Strata

This is a new recipe for me so we'll see how it turns out. But I really like that I can make it the day before and then bake it on Christmas morning.

Hors d'ouevres:

Triscuits with Cucumber, Cream Cheese, and Dill

I got this recipe from my friend Claire and it is always one of the first plates empty at a party!

Triscuits (plain or one of their fun flavors like peppercorn)
Cream Cheese
Powdered Ranch Dressing
Fresh Dill

-Mix one packet of the powdered ranch dressing into some cream cheese (probably about a cup)
-Spread onto a Triscuit
-Top with sliced (and peeled, if you like) cucumber
-Garnish with a sprig of dill on top

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates 

This recipes has you also stuffing the dates with almonds but I'm not a huge almond fan so I just stick to the goat cheese.

A little tip our friends Claire (different Claire) and Brian showed us on vacation one time...coat the bacon in two parts brown sugar, one part cayenne pepper...the sugar caramelizes onto the bacon and gives it a sweet/spicy kick.


Caesar Salad (nothing special) 

Artisan Bread w/ Oil & Vinegar for Dipping

Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese

  We love this soup, it's easy but it feels fancy, and it's green which adds some nice color to the table.

Roasted Marinated Lamb with Lemon and Rosemary Potatoes
Another new recipe! When I saw this recipe it made me think of THIS "iconic" movie scene.

Side note: I'm going to use red potatoes instead of Yukon


Candycane Cheesecake

1 1/3 c. chocolate cookie crumbs [for crust]
2 tbsp. granulated sugar [for crust]
1/4 c. butter, melted [for crust]
1 1/2 c. sour cream [for filling]
1/2 c. granulated sugar [for filling]
3 eggs [for filling]
1 tbsp. flour [for filling]
2 tsp. vanilla extract [for filling]
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract [for filling]
3 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese [for filling]
2 tbsp. butter, softened [for filling]
                                                               2/3 c. crushed peppermint candy [for filling]
                                                               Sweetened whipped cream (1/2 of recipe)[for
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine first 3 ingredients and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. In blender, blend sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, flour, and extracts until smooth. Add cream cheese and 2 tablespoons butter, blending until completely smooth. Stir in crushed candy.

 Pour into crust. Bake on lowest rack of oven for 50-60 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool (cheesecake may crack while cooling), refrigerate overnight. 

To serve, use knife to loosen sides of cheesecake from pan; remove springform. Spread top of cheesecake with sweetened whipped cream. Garnish with round candy cane. Serves 10. 

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