Holidays for me are about creating an experience where my family can look back on and just simply smile. Like any other busy household, work, schedules and instant gratification can make living intentionally easily overlooked. So when I have the time to create something special I find myself over compensating for the time I am away or distracted from my family. This year in 2015 I created a strategic plan where I could be mentally and physically prepared to take on a non traditional menu. I love trying new recipes, the majority of the items I have never cooked before. It was fun trying the new dishes, but I have to admit I was quite exhausted afterwords. I have much respect for all of the chefs out there.
After the cookies were set out and our lovely guest left for the evening. I proceeded to make the dough for the pretzel rolls, and made the red velvet cake. By this hour I was extremely tired so my husband had to keep waking me up to check on the cake. (Side Note: Once the cake is out of the oven, place on a cake plate and cover to keep the moisture.) I knew better than to leave the cake uncovered…however when you are tired your tired.
The next morning (6am) I started working on the second phase of the pretzel roll dough, and proceeded to embark on my ambitious menu…my patient and lovely mother was my assistant for the day (Bless her for helping me cut all those onions for the french onion soup). You will definitely need help if you choose to cook items that take a few hours each to make. My family would have not eaten until 10pm if my mom and hubby did not chip in throughout the whole process. A few pictures of the meal and the full menu is below…(I did not know I was going to start a blog, otherwise I would have taken more pictures.)
Christmas Dinner 2015
French Onion Soup (Cooking Light December 2015)
To top off the day…my mother also enhanced my dinner table by finishing what I started. My mom has an amazing gift of creating a masterpiece out of nothing..she took the seasonal flowers ($3.99) I purchased from Trader Joe’s and placed christmas tree bulbs in the bottom of the vase and wrapped ribbon around it. Less than 10 minutes we had a simple beautiful centerpiece. Our table was not over the top, it was fit for all of the ages sitting at the table.
I also want to give kudos to my hubby for cleaning the kitchen afterwards…
A few lessons from the day:
- Prepare ahead of time and make sure you have all of the ingredients for the dishes (I forgot the potatoes and had to find a store open on christmas day)
- Don’t be afraid to experiment and fail…its fun and you learn what not to do the next time.
- Make time to create something special for your family beyond material things.
- Be grateful…our daily gifts is someone else biggest dreams.
What were some fun memories and recipes you tried this holiday season?