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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.

This year, for the Christmas Eve menu, I chose a festive and delicious meal featuring pan-seared filet mignon, steaks cut from the beef tenderloin. With a quick and easy first course and side dishes, as well as a make-ahead dessert, you can enjoy the festivities 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

Gifts from the Kitchen

New Year's Menus

Christmas Eve Menu

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Baby Greens, Beets and
Goat Cheese Salad
Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

Pan-Seared Filet Mignon
(Beef Tenderloin Steaks)

Roasted Cheddar Potatoes

Sautéed Green Beans with
Olive Oil and Garlic

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

Preparation Notes

This is a festive and delicious menu that will delight your family and guests. With the exception of the cheesecake which, for maximum flavor, should be prepared one or two days ahead and refrigerated, everything can be accomplished shortly before cooking or serving. However, if desired, a few items can be prepared ahead. If using fresh beets for the salad, cook, slice and refrigerate one or two days ahead. If necessary, clean the salad greens and green beans in the morning and refrigerate. The cheese for the potatoes can be grated and refrigerated. Follow the potato and green bean recipes for cooking times. Place the steaks at room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking. Meanwhile, serve the salad on individual plates as a first course. To complete the main portion of the meal, cook the steaks and present with the potatoes and green beans. All that remains is to serve that delicious 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

Cooked Greens with Sweet Potatoes

Homemade Baked Beans from Scratch

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. If desired, the ham can be made up to three days ahead, sliced and served at room temperature, or covered 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 up to two days ahead, then baked. The greens with sweet potatoes can be prepared 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.

Roasted Cheddar Potatoes

Roasted Cheddar Potatoes Recipe Photo

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Red and Green Bell Peppers

Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Photo

Bird's Nest Cookies (Jam-Filled Thumbprints)

Bird's Nest Cookies Recipe Photo