Saturday, December 17, 2011

Whatcha Cooking??

There's been so many blogs about the Christmas decor, I haven't really seen much about meal planning.  I have my menu's done for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  My grocery list is ready.  I have 4 more gifts to buy, which will be pretty easy because I know exactly what I'm buying.  I have a few gifts that arrived by mail this week that must be wrapped.  I'm tying up loose ends, as they would say.

I'm hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my house.  My sister in law and I swap Christmas Eve with my in laws every year.  We usually plan an afternoon of celebration with the in laws every Christmas Eve.

I try to come up with different things on the year I host Christmas Eve.  I remember one year having a brunch and I just about cooked every single brunch food imaginable.  This year I've decided to keep it simple.  Since everyone is coming over mid-afternoon, I thought that snacks would be appropriate.  I like to call it "grazing food".  There will be 19 of us gathered together.

Here's what I'll be serving.....

Pigs in the Blanket

Layered Mexican Dip & Chips  Recipe Here

Dessert-Sister in Law
Hummus & Crackers-Mom

Spinach and Artichoke Dip w/crackers

Kasari Cheese
French Bread Load
Pinwheels-Mom   Recipe Here
Olives and Cheddar Cheese (toothpicked)
Hot Apple Cider

Easy enough, right?!  I'm excited to try the crockpot Autumn cake.  A friend gave me the recipe and said that it was always a hit at their office.  If you can put crockpot and cake in the same sentence?! I'm going for it!!

Here's the recipe for the Autumn Cake.
Easy Autumn Cake

makes: 8 servings
prep time: 15 min.
cooking time: 3-5 hrs
ideal slow cooker size: 3 1/2 - 4 quart

2 16-oz. cans sliced apples, undrained (not pie filling)
18 1/4-oz. pkg. spice cake mix
1 stick butter melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1.  Spray interior of slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray
2.  Spoon apples and their juice into slow cooker, spreading evenly over the bottom.
3.  Sprinkle with dry spice cake mix.
4.  Pour melted butter over dry mix. Top with chopped pecans.
5.  Cook on low 3-5 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into topping comes out dry.
6.  Serve warm from cooker.

Mine cooked for 5 hours.  I also put a paper towel between the lid and cooker so the moisture would not fall into the cake.  I also think this recipe will serve more than 8.
Since I'm serving Christmas dinner at 4pm, I'll need to have some sort of breakfast here for all of us.  I found this crockpot breakfast casserole on line and I hope it doesn't fail me!!  It sounds really easy and delicious and to be able to mix this up the night before and let the crockpot take care of breakfast had me before I read the complete recipe.

Here's the recipe!
Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

The site is called Moms Who Think.  Exactly what I needed!!

Christmas Day dinner is served at 4pm this year.  I love this time.  It gives me all day to relax.   For years I would alternate a Standing Rib Roast with the next year being Cornish HensFor the last few years, the children have asked for the Cornish Hens.  They are so easy to prepare and can be done the night before!
 These little tasty birds never fail me.  This year I am changing up the recipe!  I hope no one minds.  It's time for a flavor change though.  Here's the link to the recipe - Apricot-Glazed Cornish Hens

Here's my Christmas Day Menu!  I'll be serving 10 with 2 grandchildren!!  I have a feeling Ryder is going to be happy with some frozen chicken nuggets and Sophia will gum down her bottle!!

Apricot Glazed Cornish Hens
Wild Rice
Bacon Wrapped Beans
Cranberry Pineapple Gelatin Salad

Red Velvet Cake

 I have to give you the link to Paula Deen's Cranberry Pineapple Gelatin Salad.  I promise you it is by far the best gelatin salad I have every put in my mouth!!  Cranberry Pineapple Salad

The bacon wrapped beans are a must have at Christmas.  You can't even imagine how festive they look on the plate.  Someone gave me this recipe years ago and it has always been a hit at meals here.  

Here's my recipe:

Fresh green beans
French Catalina Dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and cut the ends off the beans.  I usually take a good handful of beans and stack together and take one slice of bacon and wrapped around the beans and tie a pretty knot in the front.  Once you have all these bundles on your baking sheet, take the Catalina dressing and drizzle all over the beans.  The more the tastier!  You bake on 375 until the beans are not soft, but not hard.  You want your bacon to be done.  You can use 1/2 slice of bacon if you like, it would probably cook faster.  I always use a full piece because I like the big knot on the front of my bundle. just gotta know when to stop!!  

I hope you can take something from this post!  It's going to be a busy weekend this coming week!!  I always say...the kitchen seems to be the hub of our home and I like it that way.  I can't wait to have all of our family around the table Christmas Day!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, gosh! The food looks wonderful. I just finished breakfast and I'm ready to dive right in to those fabulous dishes.I make pigs in blankets sometimes and the adults eat more of them than the kids. :) I'm a new follower and I hope you have a great Sunday.