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Christmas Dinner and Dessert: A Comfort Menu for the Holidays

Published by Katheryn Beets

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Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be complicated and stressful. With a little time to get organized, your holiday dinner will be stress free and enjoyed by everyone including you!

Traditional Christmas Dinner Main Course

Though roasted turkey may have been your main dish for Thanksgiving, it is still the easiest and most satisfying item to serve for a larger crowd. Change it up by serving a different selection of side dishes and desserts.

 

  • Roasted Turkey
  • Sour Dough Bread Stuffing; Easiest method is to prepare 2 pkg. of Pepperidge Farm’s cubed and seasoned sour dough bread using cooking directions on package.
  • Gravey: Quick and tasty method: Pour 1 quart of chicken broth into large saucepan, add 1 cup turkey drippings. Heat just until liquid comes to a boil. Mix thoroughly 2 tablespoons of corn starch with very cold water. Immediately pour cornstarch mixture into very hot broth, stirring constantly while pouring. Broth will begin to thicken. Turn off heat. Gravey will thicken as it cools.

Simple Christmas Dinner Side Dishes: Parsley Potatoes, Red Cabbage and Apples, Steamed Green Beans, and Gingery Orange Cranberry Sauce

These side dishes go well together. They are easy to make. The red cabbage with apples dish will need more time for preparation.

  • Parsley Potatoes: Peel and quarter 6-8 potatoes; place in large saucepan and cover with water; cook until you can mash with fork; use 4 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of milk; 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley. Mix well until creamy or mash with fork for texture. Sprinkle a tablespoon of chopped parsley for garnish.
  • Red Cabbage with Apples: Prep and cook time is 2 hours. 1 large head of red cabbage; remove outer leaves of cabbage, rinse and cut into quarters. Cut out core an slice crosswise into very fine small strips. Drop cabbage into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt; toss to coat cabbage evenly. In a heavy casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, add 2 cups of peeled chopped apples and 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion; cook until lightly browned. Add the cabbage, 1 small whole onion pierced with 2 cloves and 1 bay leaf. Stir together and add enough water to cover cabbage. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to low; cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Make sure cabbage stays moist while simmering. When cabbage is tender, there should be only a little liquid left tn the bottom of the casserole. Add 3 tablespoons of dry red wine and simmer 5 minutes. Remove onion with cloves and bay leaf.
  • Steamed fresh green beans: Rinse and place in large pan with just enough water to barely cover beans. Cook at medium heat for about 20 minutes. Beans should be a bright green and tender with a slight crisp bite.
  • Gingery-Orange Cranberry Sauce — A Signature Christmas Dish

Christmas Desserts: German Chocolate Pecan Pie and New England Christmas Pound Cake

 

 

These desserts can be made a day or two before. They are better served when at room temperature

  • German Chocolate Pecan Pie: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium pan, melt 4 oz. bar of German chocolate and 1 stick of butter over medium heat. Add 2 cups of sugar, then 1 large can of evaporated milk. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add 3 beaten eggs, 1 cup chopped pecans, and1/3 cup shredded coconut. Mix well then pour into 9 inch unbaked deep-dish pie shell. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour until filling rises and cracks around edge. Best when completely cooled.
  • New England Christmas Pound Cake: a buttery pound cake made with pure whipping cream and served with a warm cranberry compote.

Customize this Christmas dinner menu by substituting another green vegetable or add steamed carrots. While guests are mingling, offer a cheese and cracker plate with red grapes to keep their appetites settled but not satisfied. Finally, as everyone arrives, you may want to offer a cup of gluhwein, a traditional German drink made of mulled red wine served warm.

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