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Christmas Recipes and Menus
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Christmas celebrations are based on traditions, including family foods and the holiday feast. Many of us spend a great portion of our time cooking, baking and, the best part, eating our finest recipes, some of which have been passed down through many generations, others that will provide future traditions. It is time well spent because we get to do something very special for those we love, as well as for ourselves.

The Christmas Eve menu I chose is a festive meal featuring a quick and delicious beef tenderloin roast. With an easy first course and side dishes, as well as a make-ahead dessert, you can enjoy the celebration along with your family and guests. The Christmas breakfast menu, including eggs, raw-fried potatoes, sausage and/or bacon and a delicious cranberry-orange nut bread, is based on what my mother served every Christmas morning after the presents were opened. The Christmas dinner buffet, featuring baked ham with sides and a dessert that can be prepared ahead, is another old tradition that can be served as a family sit-down dinner or a convenient offering for visitors making the rounds. All of the menus come with preparation notes and each recipe with similar options. Additionally, you will find links to my favorite Christmas cookies recipes, homemade gifts from the kitchen and menus for New Year's Eve and day. If you do not find what you are looking for, use the search box above or browse the Recipe Files for many more choices. No matter what holiday you celebrate during the winter season, get cooking, set your most festive holiday table and enjoy.


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Additional Christmas Pages

Christmas Cookies

Homemade Gifts from the Kitchen

New Year's Menus
Christmas Tree Photo

Christmas Eve Menu

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Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

Beef Tenderloin Roast
Red Wine Sauce

Potato, Onion and Cheese Gratin

Sautéed Green Beans
Bacon and Tomatoes

Creamy Cheesecake with
Graham Cracker-Walnut Crust
and Sour Cream Topping

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Preparation Notes

This is a festive and delicious menu that will delight your family and guests. For maximum flavor, the cheesecake should be prepared one or two days ahead and refrigerated. In the morning, cook the shrimp, prepare the cocktail sauce and refrigerate both. Clean the beans and tomatoes and refrigerate. The cheese for the potatoes can be grated and refrigerated. Later in the day, assemble the potatoes gratin, allowing enough time for baking as indicated in the recipe. Place the roast at room temperature for about 30 minutes. When the potatoes are done, remove from the oven, cover with foil and keep warm. Increase the oven temperature, roast the beef and cook the green beans. Meanwhile, serve the shrimp cocktails. While the roast is resting, return the potatoes to the oven if desired to reheat and make the wine sauce. Slice the beef, place on individual plates with the potatoes and beans and drizzle the beef with sauce. After the main course, serve that scrumptious dessert and enjoy.

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Fresh Orange or Tomato Juice
(Spiked with gin or vodka, if desired)

Mom's Fluffy
Scrambled Eggs

Raw Fried Potatoes

Homemade Breakfast Sausage
Maple-Glazed Baked Bacon

Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread

Assorted Fruits and Berries

Coffee, Tea and/or
Hot Chocolate

Preparation Notes

On Christmas Day, my mother always served a hearty breakfast after the presents were opened. She made a beautiful table setting using her red depression glass. Eventually, I took on the tradition. Like Mom, I alter the menu on occasion, but the basics of eggs, meats and quick breads or breakfast cakes remain. This is an easy menu, most of which can be made that morning with little effort. The cranberry bread can be baked one or two days ahead, cooled, wrapped in foil and refrigerated. The fruit and berries can be prepared as desired and refrigerated the day before. Christmas morning, place the cranberry bread at room temperature to remove the chill. Fry the potatoes, cook the sausage or bacon and make the eggs. If necessary, they can all be kept warm in a very low oven for a short time. If desired, serve the juice cocktails spiked with a little gin or vodka and the cranberry bread with softened or whipped cream cheese.

Christmas Dinner Buffet

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Classic Eggnog

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Ham

Dinner Rolls
Small Sandwich Buns

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with
Red and Green Bell Peppers

Homemade Baked Beans from Scratch

Seven-Layer Salad

Assorted Christmas Cookies

Coffee, Tea and/or Hot Chocolate

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Preparation Notes

This is a simple, informal menu with items that can be prepared the day of or before the event, storing and reheating dishes as needed. That is a plus for those who receive guests who are obligated to visit several relatives or friends at indefinite times. Like my mother before me, I always make cookies several weeks before Christmas so I can serve them any time during the holiday season. Make the eggnog and beans several days ahead and refrigerate. Prepare the salad the day before, cover and refrigerate. If desired, the ham can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated. Slice and serve at room temperature, or cover and gently reheated in the oven in a little of the cooking juices. Serve with the rolls or buns and your favorite condiments so guests who prefer to do so can make little sandwiches. The macaroni and cheese can be made that day or assembled and refrigerated up to two days ahead, then baked when needed. To accentuate the holiday theme and make cleanup quick and easy, purchase festive paper plates and cups for serving. That is it. Relax and enjoy the day.

Beef Tenderloin Roast with Red Wine Sauce

Beef Tenderloin Roast Recipe Photo

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Red and Green Bell Peppers

Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Photo

Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies Recipe Photo

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