Christmas Menus 2017

Merry Christmas!
In an effort to create traditions for my nuclear family that combine those of my childhood with those of my husband’s it seems like we should have some standard holiday menus.  I’m afraid that every year, we ask the same question, “What are we going to eat for ________ (insert holiday) breakfast/lunch/dinner?  It just occurred to me that if I post what we ate this year on this here blog at least we’ll have a good jumping off point for next year! I recently found inspiration from “The Edna Lewis Cookbook” by Edna Lewis and Evangeline Peterson.  Edna Lewis doesn’t just have recipes in her book, she has seasonal menus.  It’s just so nicely put together.  I would love to make a family recipe book that has seasonal menus with all the recipes included for each dish.  So that is what I’m going to attempt here.
I’ll mark our favorite dishes with an * so I’ll know what I want to make next year.  I apologize because I’m writing this after the fact and I don’t have photos for most of this.  I’ll add them in as I make the dishes again… or perhaps I’ll do another post next year with updated dishes and recipes.

Christmas Eve Dinner:  We watch Disney’s WALL-E on Christmas Eve because last year our youngest son (then age 2 1/2) was watching WALL-E and said, “Look, Christmas Ev-ah!” When the character EVE came into her first scene. So Cute!  The kids also get to open up one gift each which is always new pajamas.
*Vegan Lasagna (I want to test this out at least once more before I post a recipe… it’s almost there…)
*Bagged Mediterranean Salad by Taylor Farms
*French Bread from Safeway
Dessert = Christmas Cookies:
Meemaw’s Kitchen Sink Cookies (these are good but I want to try something else next year) from Paula Deen
*Gingerbread Men from Taste of Home
Kahlua fudge

Christmas Morning Breakfast:  Our rule growing up was that we all had to sit down and eat breakfast together before we could start opening up gifts.  We let the kiddos open their stockings while we waited for Bubba & Muga (grandparents) to come over.
*Cinnamon Roll Wreath from Trader Joe’s
*hot chocolate with candy canes and whipped cream (I scored the cutest mugs at Salvation Army this year.  I found 3 matching Hallmark mugs NIB for $1 each!  I set them out on the kitchen table with all the fixin’s as a surprise for the kids to see first thing on Christmas morning.)IMG_3414
*Breakfast Burritos with:
scrambled eggs,
scrambled tofu:  one brick of extra firm tofu drained and mashed with a potato              masher, add 1 tsp tumeric and 1 tsp Lawry’s garlic salt with parsley, cook in a skillet on medium heat until warmed and dried up a bit.
country potatoes
Salsa (recipe below)
sour cream
grated sharp cheddar cheese

Christmas Lunch:  With all the cooking and cleaning and decorating no one wants to cook lunch so we make it super simple.
Frozen appetizers from Safeway:
*Amy’s Pesto Swirls
*Amy’s Mushroom and Cheese Swirls
Arancini (rice balls) — I think I’ll find a recipe and make these from scratch next year

Christmas Dinner:
*Vegetarian and Chicken Tamales from Trader Joe’s
*Beans (see my vegetarian refried bean recipe in a previous post)
*Rice:  saute one cup of rice in butter, add about 1/3 cup of Trader Joe’s salsa, cook until absorbed, add 2 cups of water, bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to low for 20 min.
*Salsa (recipe below)
*Guacamole: mash up ripe avocados with a fork and add a bit of the salsa!
Dessert = Christmas Cookies again!

I got the salsa recipe from a lady at church during one of the monthly vegan cooking classes.  It is so yummy!  She was amazing when she did the demo of how to make the salsa and was so excited about all the health benefits, you’d think this salsa was the cure for cancer!  I made a couple of tweaks to her recipe like adding more garlic and using the pre-minced kind you buy in a jar.

Barb’s (& Jen’s!) Favorite Salsa Recipe:
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1/3 of a bunch of cilantro, leaves only (about 3/4 c. – 1 c.)
Jalapeno, use as much as you like depending on your heat preference.  1/4 of a jalapeno with the seeds removed is quite mild (we use 1/2 of a jalapeno with the seeds removed).
1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic (we get the pre-minced garlic in water in a jar), use less garlic if you’re sensitive to garlic.  We love garlic so normal people might prefer less.
half of an onion (we use sweet onions)
2 tsp. salt
the juice of 1/2 of a lemon
Pulse all ingredients in a blender or food processor (we use our Ninja Blender)
Stir in 4 chopped green onions
Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours before serving with chips (we like the salt-free white corn tortilla chips from Trader Joe’s)



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