Saturday, December 18, 2010
Christmas Dinner Night at my House
Whenever I host gourmet dinner night at my house, I insist that it simply be called "dinner night." I can't guarantee "gourmet" but I can guarantee that there will be a dinner of some sort. This group has been getting together for at least 5 years and it is a blast (when it isn't your night to host.)
I had two objectives this year. 1. I wanted to serve a traditional Christmas dinner and 2. I wanted to avoid becoming Bobby. Enter a Costco ham. Delicious. The thing comes pre-sliced with a glaze. I used orange juice instead of water in mine and I think it turned out pretty good.
The table: I enjoy having a reason to buy tableware and it is fun for me to set the table. I borrowed my mom's Spode dishes and my grandmother's red glasses:
I splurged on these cute cloth napkins from Pier 1 and my friend Heidi loaned me these ornaments to use as napkin rings:
I used it as an excuse to finally get candy in my candy jars:
I served a yummy punch that I learned from my Thanksgiving Point cooking class. The punch looked festive with cranberries and cucumbers:
We started with a cheeseball and crackers (thanks Harmons!) then moved on to spinach salad, jello salad, cheesy potatoes, my sis-in-law's famous creamed corn, and rolls and honey butter from Texas Roadhouse. You've got to hide the evidence:
For dessert, we had an array of tarts and goodies from Kneaders. FYI--You can buy 20 desserts for 25 bucks (thanks for the tip Misa!) It was fun to cut these up and let everyone try everything. I didn't even try to pretend I made these:
The best part of the night was the gift exchange. All nine of us bring eight identical gifts (one for each of the other girls.) We had a really fun selection of jewelry, wrapping supplies, magnet boards, aprons, etc. It was fun to see what everyone picked out and we were all giddy opening all of our new stuff:
The favorite gift of the night were the aprons that Jaime made everyone. We are wearing them in the photo at the top of this post.
These little kitties were on my doorstep all day long. When everyone left at midnight, they were still out there. I'm not an animal lover but I'm not completely heartless. I couldn't let them freeze to death. So I got a box and a blanket and they cuddled in there for the night. PETA would be proud:
The next day, they were gone.
Holiday Beverage (Thanksgiving Point)
1 can limeade with three cans water
2 liter diet Sprite
Mix and serve
Christmas Spinach Salad (Thanksgiving Point)
candied pecans (made with 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup pecans and 2 Tbsp butter on the stove)
blue cheese, crumbled
orange pieces from little oranges (cuties)
pomegranate seeds (Costco sells the fresh seeds in their produce section)
2 T sesame seeds
1 T poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp minced onion
1/4 t paprika
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1/4 c cider vinegar
1/2 c oil
Mix in blender. Toss with salad ingredients just before serving.
Easiest Cheesy Potatoes
1 bag "simply shreds" frozen potatoes
1 1/2 cans Cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
any kind of cheese (I like chedder)
crushed corn flakes
Stir together cream of chicken soup and sour cream. I like to shake in some minced onion. Stir in the frozen potatoes. Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan. Grate chedder cheese on top. Crush up corn flakes and put over the top. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Annette's Ultimate Creamed Corn
2 lbs frozen whole kernal corn (I like Costco's)
12 ounces cream cheese cut into cubes (can use low fat)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine or butter
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Spread corn over bottom of crockpot. Top with cream cheese cubes. Stir together remaining ingredients in small bowl. Pour over corn and creamed cheese.
Cover and cook on high heat setting for 2-3 hours.
Stir well before serving. Corn will hold on low heat for up to 2 hours.
Layered jello salad
6 (3oz) pkgs jello--3 red and 3 green
Dissolve 1 pkg is 1 cup boiling water. Divide that in half. Set one bowl aside. In other bowl, add three tablespoons cold water or add two ice-cubes. Pour into 9x12 pyrex. Let sit 30 minutes (give or take until it isn't jiggly.) Add 1/3 cup plain yogurt to other bowl. Beat briefly until there are not any little white specs. Wait a second for foam to settle and then pour over first layer. Wait as long as you want to add the next layor. Repeat and repeat.
A special thanks to Costco for the ham, Texas Roadhouse for the rolls, Harmon's for the cheesball and Kneaders for the desserts. Why cook when you can buy?
For more recipes, you can visit our gourmet dinner group's blog Cookbook Junkies.