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Christmas Dinner: Food and Guests Rule!

What’s your plan for Christmas Dinner? Menu planning can help you make a great Christmas Dinner for your guests and still have time to enjoy them!

What’s your plan for Christmas Dinner?  I wrote recently about You can also use it to make a great Christmas Dinner for your guests and still have time to enjoy them! The process is the same:

  1. Start with cleaning up your kitchen! 
  2. Consider your guests, traditions and logistics. For example, I need to make sure there are ample veggie options for the vegetarians coming to Christmas dinner, and with a Christmas Birthday in the family, we have birthday cake for dessert! Logistically, count guests and plan servings accordingly. Leftovers are better than not having enough.
  3. Make your menu. Determine what others are contributing to the meal and if the dishes need to come hot or cold to your home. 
  4. Check your recipes and cabinets and make your grocery list. Shop a few days ahead so you can start your prep, though you may have to run out for last-minute items. Our Christmas menu, my grocery items and notes in parentheses, are as follows:
    • Ham with glaze (MIL bringing ham, buy cranberry sauce and marmalade for the glaze, have the rest of ingredients)
    • Baked sweet potatoes (MIL will bring)
    • Baked or mashed potatoes (have)
    • Biscuits (have)
    • corn casserole (family favorite, Sour cream?, have the rest)
    • green bean amandine or Christmas (petite) peas with lemon zest (buy veggie, almonds or lemon)
    • A pretty and colorful pear, walnut and pomegranate spinach salad I am assembling from my favorite parts of 2 recipes (Kraft special spinach salad
    • Birthday Turtle brownies (buy cake mix and caramel, have condensed milk)
    • Cheese cake with raspberry sauce (have most ingredients, buy frozen raspberries
    • (and one from FamilyCircle.com)
  5. I love cooking big holiday meals for my family. But I do as much as possible the day before so I can still enjoy my guests. For example, I can:
    • Clean out fridge
    • Make glaze
    • Scrub potatoes
    • Shred cheese for biscuits
    • Sugar walnuts
    • Bake desserts, make raspberry sauce
    • Ice / chill wine and beer
    • Check table linens
  6. One of my favorite tips:
    • Locate and wash serving dishes the day ahead of time.
    • Write item name on a card (click here to see my cards), place on corresponding serving dishes;
    • Place serving dishes on buffet or table to make sure there is room for everything.
    • Helpful guests can check the cards and place items in the correct dishes!
  7. Check cook times on your items, then move back from your dinner time to determine when items go in the oven to have them all done at the same time. For example: 
    • (4 hours prior) Bake Ham
    • (90 minutes) Bake all potatoes
    • (75 minutes) Make corn casserole
    • (half hour, take out ham to make room) Bake biscuits, Steam and assemble vegetable, assemble salad, set table

Have a Merry Christmas and a lovely Christmas Dinner!

This is part of the Dec. 20 edition of Colleen CPO's Blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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