Friday, December 18, 2015

What's for Christmas dinner?

Less than a week until Christmas!  For my kiddos, the big day can't come soon enough, they haven't figured it out yet that (for me, anyway) the time leading up to the big day is almost more fun than the day itself - all the trimming, wrapping, planning and cooking.

All my trimming and wrapping are done and I just finished the last of the planning - what to serve for Christmas-eve dinner.  Our house is the hub of all "Night before Christmas" activity with relatives traveling to spend the evening together.  This night isn't about material gifts, but about being together as a family and the giving and receiving of the meal.

Yep, that's really my lemon tree!
Dinner is the big part of the evening so I've been tinkering with different ideas...  We're not turkey people when it comes to Christmas, after all, it's only been four weeks since the big turkey feast of 2015 and I'm not sure anyone is in the mood for that - so should we do a ham, crown roast, prime rib?... there are so many choices.  Dessert... that was super easy - I looked out in my backyard the other day and realized my Meyer lemon tree was about to burst and desperately needed harvesting; so needless to say, lemon meringue pie for dessert..... and decorations... and gifts... and who knows what else!

After about a week of kicking ideas around in my head, here's what I've come up with....

Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail (Photo: Bulleit Bourbon)
Bourbon Lemonade Cocktails

I wanted to serve something lemon-y to begin the evening (and to use up some of those lemons!).  One of my favorite liquors - bourbon, mixed with yummy lemonade - which, of course, will be homemade - I'm going to use honey instead of sugar to make the lemonade to give if some richness and a little extra flavor.

Alton Brown's Prime Rib (photo: Food Network)
Prime Rib

If you're going to invest in a hunk of meat that is this beautiful, you've got to do it right.  Who to turn to for something this important?  Alton Brown, of course!  Yep, there's about three days of prep and a few "unconventional" pieces of equipment needed, but they're inexpensive and, believe me, it will be worth it.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes (Photo: Pioneer Woman)
Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Turning to the Pioneer Woman here for this one - these potatoes are rich and creamy with plenty of butter and a secret ingredient.  Everyone will love them - you won't have any leftovers here.

Bacon-topped Green Bean Casserole (Photo: BH&G)
Green Bean Casserole

It's a classic - but not the gloppy, grey-ish one you get from the back of a can - this one is fresh and only has real ingredients.  It's topped with bacon - just in case you needed to be convinced.

Delicious Dinner Rolls (Photo: HowDoesShe)
Delicious Dinner Rolls

Super easy and fairly quick (my daughter regularly makes them all by herself).  Perfect for sopping up all that a-juis from the roast and there will be plenty left over for mini sandwiches the next day or two.

Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie (Photo: Pinklemonade)
Lemon Meringue Pie

This recipe is my Grandma's classic - rich and creamy with plenty of sweet/pucker-y lemon flavor, topped with a light, fluffy meringue that is ever so light and crispy on the outermost layer.

There you have it... our Christmas-eve dinner.  What are you making for your big holiday feast??

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