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Christmas Recipes and Menus

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Candle Image MERRY CHRISTMAS Candle Image

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 Christmas Eve menu, I chose a festive and delicious meal featuring braised turkey legs. With easy side dishes and a make-ahead first course and dessert, you can enjoy the festivities along with your family and guests. The Christmas breakfast menu, including eggs, hash browns, Canadian bacon and cheese-filled crumb cake, is based on what my mother served every Christmas morning after the presents were opened. The Christmas dinner buffet, featuring baked ham with make-ahead sides and desserts, is another old tradition that can be served as a family sit-down dinner or a convenient spread 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.



Menus



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Additional Christmas Pages

Christmas Cookies

Gifts from the Kitchen

New Year's Menus




Christmas Eve Menu

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Festive Cheese Ball
served with crackers


Turkey Legs Braised
with Tomatoes



Fettuccine with Garlic,
Olive Oil and Parsley



Sautéed Green Beans with
Olive Oil and Garlic



Angel Food Cake with
Chocolate Whipped
Cream Frosting


Preparation Notes

This is a festive and delicious menu that will delight your family and guests and, with a little planning, is very easy to prepare. Make the cheese ball several days ahead and refrigerate. Place at room temperature about one hour before serving. If making your own angel food cake, bake it the day before, cool completely, wrap well in plastic wrap or place in an air-tight cake container and refrigerate. The morning of the event, make the frosting, frost the cake and refrigerate until serving. If the green beans are not prewashed, rinse, dry and refrigerate. About one hour before dinner, prepare the turkey legs and place in the oven. Set out the cheese ball and crackers so guests can help themselves while you cook the pasta, sauté the green beans and finish the turkey. Enjoy!

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


Mom's Fluffy
Scrambled Eggs



Homemade Hash Brown Potatoes


Baked Canadian Bacon with
Maple-Mustard Glaze



Cream Cheese-Filled Crumb Cake


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 crumb cake can be made a day ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated. The fruit and berries can be prepared as desired and refrigerated the day before. Christmas morning, place the crumb cake at room temperature to remove the chill. Heat the bacon, fry the potatoes and make the eggs. If necessary, they can all be kept warm in a very low oven for a short time. Serve the juice cocktails straight up or with a little gin or vodka, as my mother did when we were older.


Christmas Dinner Buffet

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Homemade Eggnog


Ruth's Spiked Baked Ham
with Port Wine



Cocktail or Party
Rye or Pumpernickel Bread


Baked Sweet Potato Slices


Baked Macaroni and Cheese


Red and Green Bean 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 at indefinite times because many people are obligated to visit several relatives or friends on Christmas day. 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 bean salad several days ahead and refrigerate. 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 bread and your favorite condiments so guests can make little sandwiches, if desired. The sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese can be made that day or up to two days ahead and reheated. 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.



Turkey Legs Braised with Tomatoes

Braised Turkey Legs Recipe Photo

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Cream Cheese-Filled Crumb Cake

Cheese-Filled Crumb Cake Recipe Photo

Favorite Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies Recipe Photo

Merry
Christmas!