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What's On Your Christmas Menu?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by vintageloves, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. vintageloves
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    by vintageloves » Dec 14, 2018
    Here's what I'm serving for Christmas this year. Although I'm not happy with it and am still tinkering with it. Not that my husband minds all the test dishes I make throughout the month.

    Shrimp Scampi
    Bison Lasagne with Bechamel Sauce
    Baked Chicken Piccata
    Sweet Corn Risotto
    Herbed Dutch Baby Potatoes
    Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms
    Green Beans
    Tri-Color Tomato Salad
    Garlic Bread

    Now I'm going to bitch a bit. Fair warning.

    One the reasons I can't settle on a menu is that I feel like I can't ever have food I want, because my in-laws are so freaking picky about anything ethnic or "spicy." I can't serve Mexican or Indian or Chinese or most seafoods or healthy foods because they will act incredibly insulted that I even dared put it on the table, never mind the dozen or so other people coming who would love to eat it. (However, they have no problem serving me ham even though I don't eat pork and it takes every bit of energy I have not to be THAT person who serves them enchiladas verdes with a side of paneer masala). It doesn't help that I hate the type of PA Dutch food they love. Every time they come over I wind up cooking food I don't even like.

    So I'm making Italian, which is our one compromise meal, but I'm still grumbly about it because I hate pasta. The lasagne was originally a flounder Florentine, but I started worrying my in laws woudn't even come without a they-serve-it-at-olive-garden option. For the record, I do like them and want them to come, and even this menu is pushing it with them. I also really want to add chicken tamales to the menu but I don't think they fit in.

    So share your menu! I might steal some ideas. :D
     
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  2. soxfan
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    by soxfan » Dec 14, 2018
    Prime rib, mashed potatoes, asparagus and rolls.
     
  3. MissyBeaucoup
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    by MissyBeaucoup » Dec 14, 2018
    When my dad was alive we always had the same menu, which included several traditional casseroles. We had tweaked a few recipes to make them healthier. We always had a big ham that smelled up the whole house, and then we endured my vegan brother’s comments. I don’t eat ham either but I think older people have a right to keep the traditions. I miss the old folks.

    I know my New Years dinner will have all the lucky items like black eyed peas and cornbread and greens (no hog jowl though), but I’m not really sure about Christmas. I do look forward to baking some of our traditional family cookies.

    Your dinner sounds really yummy. You may be braver about new foods than they are, but I hope they appreciate your thoughtfulness and talents. They are lucky to have such a kind daughter-in-law. Merry Christmas!
     
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  4. monarch64
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    by monarch64 » Dec 14, 2018
    Is there not an option to turn your Christmas feast into a pot-luck? What about catering or ordering OG for pickup or delivery?

    In my experience, those whose palates tend towards bland, un-spicy cuisine 1. have never been exposed to good ethnic foods, and 2. like many other things are afraid of the unfamiliar. One way to get closer to a resolution on this is maybe to invite a couple of your more adventurous in-laws over for an evening of cooking one of your favorite "exotic" dishes together. And (regardless of interest level--feign it if you have to) ask them if they'll teach you how to make one of their favorite PA Dutch dishes sometime. We learn tolerance and acceptance by working together on things and getting involved in each other's customs. You each may walk away not liking the other's preferred meals any better, but you'll have gained understanding and appreciation and built a more solid relationship in the process.
     
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  5. smitcompton
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    by smitcompton » Dec 14, 2018
    Hi,

    I just love that you do this for your in-laws even if you grouse about it. I really would make some of those dishes you like for Christmas Eve. Italians in my neck of the woods would have a fish dish Christmas Eve and Meat dish Christmas Day, along with the usual side-dishes. Make the stuff you like for a different day. I think you are really nice. Caring for your guests is what entertaining is about.
    Occasionally throw in one dish you like.

    Merry Christmas
    Annette
     
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  6. Elizabeth35
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    by Elizabeth35 » Dec 14, 2018
    I think you have a lot of choices on your menu! I always make a healthy, green salad with vinaigrette so that I have something that I like. Also helps with any vegetarians.

    I looked up PA Dutch cuisine--yikes.
    That would be a struggle for me because I prefer healthy chicken and fish, salads, veggies and avoid carbs and cholesterol/fat.
    Sometimes, especially at holidays, you just have to make what you know your guests like. When I have to do this---I send ALL the leftovers home with them if it's unhealthy things I don't eat, or things I don't like.
    We have to do Xmas Eve at DH's sisters house---lasagna with beef (which I pick out) and garlic bread followed by cookies. I pick at the lasagna and make DH finish it-lol. Skip the bread and cookies. There are no green items served---just carbs and fat.
    The next night I treat DH and myself to something we like. Salmon and quinoa or homemade poke and sashimi.
    Plan a treat dinner for yourself for the following night!
     
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  7. Elizabeth35
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    by Elizabeth35 » Dec 14, 2018
    Here's what we make (and it's because it's what everyone ELSE likes):
    Beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce
    Mashed potatoes
    Spinach Gratin
    Asparagus
    Green salad (for me!)
    rolls

    Homemade ice cream.
     
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  8. kipari
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    by kipari » Dec 14, 2018
    I'm a traditionalist, so no meat on christmas eve. We usually serve shrimps, because everyone including the kids like those. I marinate them in different seasonings (curry powdee, coriander and chili, garlic...) so there's something for everyone.
    On Christmas day I roast a goose. We're usually around 20, of which 4 are vegetarian but so we make sure that we have sides that add up to a festive meal for them as well. Scalloped potatoes au naturel and blue cheese +walnut scalloped potatoes, Brussels sprouts (we love them in a creamy sauce), rutabaga and mash, and spicy kale, butternut sqash gratin with chili and cashews. White cabbage, spicy red cabbage.

    It has never been an issue that some dishes are not for everyone, since there's a lot of choice. In order to keep stress at bay, I precook and freeze the dishes that taste better warmed up (all sorts of cabbage/sprouts etc). I can't stand the taste of reheated potatoes, so I make those fresh...
    I personally could do without the meat as well, but I that's mainly for the parent generation...
     
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  9. vintageloves
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    by vintageloves » Dec 14, 2018
    Beef tenderloin is a good idea, but I'm not the best at cooking beef. I was thinking of trying to make those Italian beef pinwheels although those seemed a bit complicated. I'm running out of oven space, too. Nearly everything I'm making is make ahead because otherwise I'll miss the festivities. I make great use of casserole dishes and crockpots.

    SIL's birthday is a couple days before Christmas and we're going to one of those all you can eat PA Dutch places, as we did for BIL's birthday a couple of months ago. So I definitely try to compromise, because that will be a dinner where I'll be eating close to nothing. It kind of feels like a one-way compromise, but what can you do?
     
  10. Elizabeth35
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    by Elizabeth35 » Dec 14, 2018
    Yeah--it is frustrating when you are the one doing all the compromising. I just view it as something I do for family at the holidays. I guess I am old school regarding respecting DH's family and making sure I have foods they like when I entertain. Probably how I was raised regarding guests. I can eat how I like most of the year so it's not a big deal to make my guests happy with the food.
    I am just thankful that we gather and have a good time---the food is secondary in the big picture.
     
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  11. luv2sparkle
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    by luv2sparkle » Dec 14, 2018
    For Christmas eve we are making what we call Hinoki wings-after the neighbors who gave us the recipe 30 years ago. They brought them over after we had our number #3 son. They are a fried chicken wing dipped in a delicious sauce and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. They are an all day project because the kids want us to make so many. I only make them a couple times a year

    For christmas: Prime rib
    Alaskan king crab legs
    Mashed potatoes and gravy
    homemade rolls
    salad
    pretzel jello salad-my kids request
    another veggies-havent decided yet
    pie and a few sugar free desserts hubby and I can eat
     
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  12. Queenie60
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    by Queenie60 » Dec 15, 2018
    I'm not hosting Christmas this year - for Christmas we have crab louis and some type of Mexican dish, whatever I feel like making.
     
  13. Austina
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    by Austina » Dec 15, 2018
    Christmas Day

    Roast turkey
    Roast potatoes
    Honey roast parsnips
    Pigs in blankets
    Cauliflower au gratin
    Carrots
    Brussel sprouts sautéed with garlic, bacon & onions
    Stuffing
    Yorkshire pudding
    Gravy
    followed by Christmas pudding and cream with a vanilla liqueur

    :lickout:
     
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  14. bludiva
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    by bludiva » Dec 15, 2018
    @vintageloves I hear you in having to suffer through bland food to keep the family peace. Pretty sure my folks have never had a spicy meal in their lives and my father in law loves kid food (chicken tenders etc). Fortunately or unfortunately, we're far away from our families and on ouroown forfthe holiday. We're doing a pretty simple and traditional meal with roast turkey breast, potatoes Anna, salad, and haven't figured out the dessert yet. The one time I hosted my family for Thanksgiving, they were pleasantly surprised at the "weird" food I made so maybe sneak a couple of dishes you're excited about in there :twisted2::lol:
     
  15. Matata
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    by Matata » Dec 15, 2018
    Pork loin roast with some kind of savory/sweet sauce
    Smashed potatoes with herbs, gruyere & romano cheeses
    some kinda veggie, haven't decided
    dessert: haven't decided
     
    


    


  16. marymm
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    by marymm » Dec 15, 2018
    Canadian Meat Pie
    Potatoes Au Gratin
    Cranberry
    Green Salad
    Pineapple Upside Down Cake

    Our Christmas meal is traditional/fixed but we mix it up with the dessert, each year doing something different. Christmas Eve varies from year to year, ranging from homemade Veggie Lasagna to Panda Express take-out to Stouffer's Mac & Cheese to homemade Tortilla Corn Chowder, even Rack of Lamb every so often ...
     
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  17. vintageloves
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    by vintageloves » Dec 15, 2018
    We had my parents over for a taste test (I learned the picatta cooks way faster than I thought) and all went well, but for 4 people we devoured all the picatta, half of the lasagna, all of the mushrooms, and 1/2 of the risotto. So I need more food for the 13 adults I'm expecting and no more oven space.

    Does anyone have one of those instant pots? Are they easy to learn how to use?
     
  18. rainydaze
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    by rainydaze » Dec 15, 2018
    Yes, and yes! I love mine. I was intimidated when I first opened it, but it was easy to figure out, catch on, and adapt.
     
  19. bludiva
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    by bludiva » Dec 15, 2018
    i have an instapot... the best use we've found out for it is cooking chicken or turkey, just press one button and it comes out super tender. very easy but i can't say for more complex recipes...
     
  20. rainydaze
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    by rainydaze » Dec 16, 2018
    bludiva, which button do you use for this? I have a way of cooking chicken breast in it that I thought was great, but the last couple of batches were a hair on the dry side.
     
  21. marcy
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    by marcy » Dec 16, 2018
    Everything sounds great:

    We are hosting the family dinner and short 7 people this year - only 11 are showing up for dinner

    Menu:
    Lasagna
    Chicken Marsala
    Spicy Italian Sausage in Marina
    Raw veggies
    Garlic bread
    Green bean casserole
    Assorted Christmas cookies and mini cheesecakes
     
  22. bludiva
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    by bludiva » Dec 16, 2018
    Poultry button for the default amount of time (can't remember but I think it's 25 min)...we usually marinate it first but I've put chicken in straight from the package too and still came out juicy. Valve has to be in "sealing" position.
     
  23. stracci2000
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    by stracci2000 » Dec 16, 2018
    Home made raviolis. Both kinds, meat filling and cheese filling.
    Cheesecake for dessert. That springform pan gets used once a year!
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
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  24. StephanieLynn
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    by StephanieLynn » Dec 16, 2018
    We are going to DH's cousin's house, they are moving so this will be the last Christmas in the old house for them. They are Italian so typically:

    Italian wedding soup
    Salad
    Bread
    Fresh made stuffed shells and sauce
    Breaded chicken cutlet
    Prime Rib
    Artichokes-they had to teach me how to eat them years ago
    Sautéed mushrooms
    Fennel
    A Venetian Table

    Even with all that I'm sure I forgot something.
     
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  25. rainydaze
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    by rainydaze » Dec 17, 2018
    @bludiva, Awesome, thank you! I have been afraid to try the preset buttons, any time I google instant pot recipes they use the manual setting.
     
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  26. pinkjewel
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    by pinkjewel » Dec 17, 2018
    Beef Tenderloin (which I always have the butcher center cut, trim and truss)
    roasted new potatoes
    sauteed porcini mushrooms
    haricot verts almondine
    dinner rolls
    and still debating on dessert, but leaning towards English Trifle
     
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  27. dk168
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    by dk168 » Dec 18, 2018
    Don't know yet, as I shall not spend Christmas Day on my own this year, the first since I lost my late partner back in 2008. :))

    My new gentleman friend is a keen and a very good cook, and I managed to persuade him to let me bring a dessert, which will be a Tiramisu, while he will be making/cooking the rest of the meal.

    Can't wait!

    DK :))
     
  28. vintageloves
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    by vintageloves » Dec 18, 2018
    You lucky girl, having a man cook for you! Sounds like you're in for a wonderful Christmas. :D
     
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  29. lambskin
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    by lambskin » Dec 18, 2018
    I always host Christmas dinner. I used to do the turkey with all homemade sides. I spent the entire time in kitchen and missed the young ones' fun while stuck in kitchen getting the dinner ready. So for the last 6 years I make a lasagna with fresh garlic bread, a salad and a green veggie. I make a great first course (this year will be homemade split pea soup) and bake a couple of pies (always one cherry for dd) and cookies. But for Christmas Eve we have a "These are a few of my favorite things" themed dinner where everyone gets their choice-take out chinese and pizza, tacos, thai, etc. No mess and no prep and everyone is happy and no mess.
     
  30. GliderPoss
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    by GliderPoss » Dec 18, 2018
    Awesome to read what others have for dinner - so much variety! :clap:

    My family have English/Scottish heritage (not entirely usually for Aussies... LOL) so we do a fairly traditional dinner on Christmas Eve (also to avoid the heat) then a more Aussie seafood meal on Christmas Day itself.

    Christmas Eve we usually have:
    • Gibblet soup as entree
    • Roast turkey
    • Cold smoked ham
    • Roast veggies (potato, pumpkin etc)
    • Steamed greens
    • Gravy on everything!
    • Steamed fruit-cake pudding with brandy custard & brandy butter
    Christmas Day we usually have lighter fare:
    • Fresh prawns
    • Fresh oysters
    • Smoked salmon
    • Pate & cheeses
    • Variety of green salads
    • Fresh bread rolls
    • Champagne!
    • Trifle or pavlova for dessert.
    This year my older sister is hosting they they will be doing it with a more European theme - roast duck! I can't wait to try it. :lickout:
     

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