The big day is almost here! (still totally behind with the shopping; annual cards haven’t gone out…) but don’t panic – the menu is done!
I have the best memories of my mother’s Christmas dinner. She was a goose lady, and it was delicious, gamey and not tough. She also went whole Anglo and made English Plum Puddings with hard sauce of butter/sugar/brandy…just what a kid needs.
I am doing none of the above. Some things are meant to be memories. This year we are keeping things relatively simple but you know, awesome. We will be enjoying champagne kept cold with frozen cranberry skewers. There will be salmon dip on rye. On Christmas Eve we will prep a pork shoulder with porchetta flavors and roast it Christmas morning (everyone deserves pork fat cracklings on Christmas). The pork requires fennel fronds, so let’s use the rest of the fennel in our potato gratin and bask in potato cream and gruyere glory. Because I live in Brooklyn and fall victim to stereotypes, we are serving a kale salad with crisp lemon dressing – there’s a twist – it has brussel sprout leaves too! And last but not least, chocolate mousse. I’ve recommended this mousse before and just love it. It’s not too heavy but it’s so decadent. And it’s made in advance so there’s no whipping drama.
Merry Christmas to all!
Tips and Notes
Please click SaveGourmet Christmas 2015 Game Plan for my plan – shopping list, recommended timeline, recipes. I also included Chicken Liver Mousse (two mousse Christmas!) because I love it and might be motivated enough to make another app. Any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
I know. There are so many parties. Does it even make sense for you to throw your own? OF COURSE IT DOES! Do it. You know you want to. Especially when I say that you can still be in bed by 10PM watching Netflix! (This assumes you’re like me and want people out of your house by 9. Cool if you’re more of a partier than I am.)
Have an open house and call it NoggFest! People love this kind of thing. Friends can stop by this Saturday or Sunday afternoon, grab a snack and a cup of NOG and wish you the merry merry, happy happies that are so this season.
It’s all make ahead and easy. Make your own eggnog but stock up on extra boxed (we run out every time). Doctor the boxed with nutmeg and booze. Everybody loves Chex mix. Make a lot. Sausage stuffed mushrooms? Oh yeah. Lobster Chowder…I know it’s spendy but it’s the holidays and it’s a real treat. And it’s delicious (thank you Ina). The puff pastry can be assembled early and left in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. Everything looks awesome in puff pastry (look at the pic). Kale salad. Well. Don’t you need something green other than your tree? And these cookies – they are the best ever. They smell like Christmas. Add a little ground clove and they are even better (yes, better than Martha’s original version). Throw it all on a table, mix up the nogg, throw open your doors and it’s HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Tips and Notes
(P.S. this is also a great menu for 12/26, Boxing Day or maybe a New Year’s Day open house…)
You will not regret making your own eggnog…
Even better snack mix
Happiest mushrooms ever
Once again, Ina Garten kills it: Lobster Corn Chowder
This looks SO good: Puff Pastry Salami and Cheese
Come on, you know you feel like you need to make a salad
Add a half a teaspoon of ground clove to these and you will be so happy: Molasses Cookies
Getting holiday cards is great. Preparing holiday cards is dreadful. All of the signing and stuffing and addressing. It’s self-inflicted pain – we could outsource most of that to a nifty service but my husband (god bless him) likes to add a personal note to the cards. Fine. Since it’s a pain, let’s try to make a night of it. Enlist the kids. Invite another family over with their dreaded box of cards and have a festive meal. Reward yourself with treats. Everybody wins.
Start with Negronis and an Italian meat board. Everyone likes to pick at things like this. Then serve Chick Pea – Pasta Soup which, because you’re a great planner, you made ahead of time. Last, enjoy the biscotti you also made the day before.
I know what you’re thinking…you’re thinking this is a bad idea…eat soup while I stuff cards? Sounds dumb. Absolutely NOT dumb – just break up the timing – stuff cards/drinks and apps/address cards/enjoy the soup/lick cards/have dessert! See? It works. And it’s far better than licking 200 envelopes by yourself while listening to the news and eating Pad Thai out of a box. Trust me.
Tips and Notes
I want to be able to smell THIS SOUP.
Never made biscotti? Not hard. Very rewarding. Try these.