Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Christmas Menu

Christmas is here and I can't wait to celebrate with my family!! This time of the year can be filled with Holiday traditions and many are surrounded by food!! This year my Grandma wanted ham and who am I to deny a 87 year old women what she wants! So we will have ham but I will clean up the traditional sides that go with as my way of keeping everyone healthy in secret for the Holiday!! I am cooking today and I love to cook I have everything cut up and ready to go in the oven, the tree lights are on and the candles are lite. No off to make my very first holiday feast....

Here's what we are having!!

Merry Christmas!!  


Glazed Baked Ham

Most baked ham recipes call for heating the ham to an internal temp of 140°F. But you can heat it to a lower temp, you just want it to be warm enough to eat. The higher the internal temp, the more risk there is of drying out the ham. So the guideline here is 110°F to 120°F, but heat it to a higher temp if you want. Remember, the ham is already cooked, so you're not cooking it here, you're just heating it. If you are working with a partially cooked ham, and not a ready-to-eat ham, follow the cooking directions on the package, most suggest cooking a partially cooked ham to 150°F
Strawberry Salad
Strawberry Spinach Salad
This salad is festive with it's red and green color and very tasty!! It is on of my family favorites!!
I am making this for Christmas day at my house

Strawberry Spinach salad Ingredients:
1/2 cup all natural poppy seed dressing 
2 tbs. toasted almonds
2 tbs. of minced onion
2 bunches of spinach, washed, dried, and torn in pieced
2-3 cups of strawberries, sliced with stems removed
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, crunchy chow mien noodles, or feta.

Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients (12-18 servings)
  • 5 split chicken breasts (bone in and skin on) or a whole chicken
  • 1 bunch of celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Organic Chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • Mini meatballs
  • 4 boxes chopped spinach, frozen
  • ½ box Acini Di Pepe, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground pepper, to taste
For the Meatballs
  • 2 lbs. 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, handful
  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • Bread crumbs
In a large Stock pot (12 qt. or larger) bring chicken, celery, and bouillon to a boil then simmer until chicken is cooked.
Remove chicken and add spinach, mini meatballs, and acini di pepe until cooked.
Cut up chicken, removing skin and bones and add to the soup.
Add salt, pepper and Romano cheese to broth. The Romano cheese blends into the broth. Stir as you pour so it does not melt together. It is optional but gives the broth a better flavor.
Serve hot or freeze.
For the Meatballs
Mix all ingredients. Add breadcrumbs until mixture is no longer sticky and form into bite size balls.


Garlicky Green Beans
Garlicky Green Beans


  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove.
  2. Add half the green beans to the boiling water and cook until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the beans with a slotted spoon to the ice water to cool. Repeat with the remaining beans. Place a kitchen towel on a baking sheet and use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans from the ice water; blot dry with another towel.
  3. Just before serving, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the green beans and stir. Add parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day


Healthy Carrot Soufflé
Healthy Carrot Soufflé


2 1/2 pounds of peeled, cut carrots
1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs and 1 egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 tablespoons wheat flour
    (3 tablespoons white flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Steam carrots until tender, about 20 - 25 minutes.
  3. Place carrots in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
  4. Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract into the carrots.
  5. Pulse in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt to the mixture.
  6. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray or butter.
  7. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until set and firm.

  8. Makes 8 to 10 servings

    Goat Cheese With Pistachios and Cranberries
    • 2 tablespoons roasted pistachios, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
    • 1 8- to 10-ounce log fresh goat cheese
    • crackers or bread, for serving


    On a large plate, combine the pistachios and cranberries. Roll the goat cheese in the fruit-and-nut mixture to coat. Serve with the crackers or bread. Super Easy!!

    Dried Cherries, Pecans & Rosemary Brie en Croute
    It's easy to impress your guests with this elegant appetizer that features creamy Brie cheese topped with an unexpected combination of sweet and savory ingredients, all wrapped up in flaky puff pastry.
    Brie Baked

    Thaw: 40 minutes
    Prep: 15 minutes
    Bake: 25 minutes
    Stand: 45 minutes
    Serves: 14

    ingredients 1egg                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
    1 tbsp. water
    1/3 cup dried cherries, softened
    1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
    1/4 cup honey
    1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
    1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
    1 (15-ounce) Président® Brie cheese round
    1 pkg. (13 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Cracker Favorites


    Heat the oven to 400°F.  Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk.  Stir the cherries, pecans, honey and rosemary in a small bowl.

    Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square.  Cut off the corners to make a circle.  Spoon the cherry mixture in the center of the circle.  Top with the cheese.  Brush the edge of the circle with the egg mixture.  Fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover.  Trim the excess pastry and press to seal.  Brush the seam with the egg mixture.  Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet.  Decorate the top with the pastry scraps and additional rosemary, if desired.  Brush with the egg mixture.

    Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes.  Serve with the crackers.

    Ingredient Note: To soften the cherries, stir the cherries and 1/2 cup hot water in a small bowl.  Let stand for 1 minute. Drain the cherries and pat dry.

    Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds
    Makes 24



    24 large moist dates, such as medjool
    12 not-too-thick slices of bacon
    2 oz. softened goat cheese
    24 whole toasted unsalted almonds



    1. Move oven rack to upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°. Pit dates, tearing them open as little as possible. Set dates aside. Halve the 12 slices of bacon crosswise. Put the goat cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a round, plain ¼" tip.

    2. Stuff cavity of each date with 1 almond. Pipe goat cheese into the opening of each stuffed date. Wrap 1 half-piece of bacon around width of each date and put dates, seam side down, on a baking sheet, at least ½" apart. Bake until bacon is golden and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly before serving.

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