Have you completed your menu for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day? I’m trying to finish mine today and hopefully my final trip to the grocery store.
Are you a creature of habit and make the same things on special occasions as a tradition? Since it is usually just the three of us, in the past few years when we are home, I try to keep it pretty simple so I don’t spend all my time in the kitchen.
With Christmas in the middle of the week, it almost doesn’t seem like there’s as much time off as usual. The guys both have to work all day on Christmas Eve, like a normal work day, but at least I’m home for those last minute things and getting ready for the big day.
I’m going to do more finger (party type) foods on Christmas Eve so we can basically snack whenever someone gets hungry, plus there are always leftovers for midnight snacks when we get home from church.
So here’s my menu, so far
Crab Cakes – Paula Deen recipe
Shore is Good Seafood Dip – another Paula Deen class recipe
Lil Smokies in BBQ sauce – always a requirement
Sausage Balls – what can Christmas be without these?
Baked Brie with pecan and brown sugar topping
Assorted meats & cheeses – for the sandwich lovers in my house
to be determined but probably will involve one of the below recipes
Assorted fruits with fruit dip
Prime Rib with garlic, Rosemary, and salt rub
Fried Mashed Potato Balls
Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
I haven’t taken a vote yet for Christmas Breakfast – but it will probably be one of these two recipes – Waffles or French Toast Casserole, which I first made this last year for a bridal breakfast.
As I was going through my recipe stash, I thought I would share a few with you (sorry no pictures). The waffle recipe I got off the Martha Stewart show several years back when I first got my Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker. One of the best investments I ever made – I love it!!
One of the favorite items will be the crab cakes, but I will make them into balls, as you would do a sausage ball. I took a class from Paula Deen back in 2004 when she was first starting out and classes were held in the basement of Lady & Sons in Savannah. It was a very casual atmosphere. Lots of her family members would attend, including Michael (they had just been married), Jamie, and Aunt Peggy.
SAVANNAH CRAB CAKES
- 3 T butter
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- ½ C finely chopped bell pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 ½ t heavy cream
- ¼ C mayonnaise
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- ½ C saltine cracker crumbs (14 crackers)
- 1 egg
- 2 T fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 lb fresh crabmeat (if any juice – drain)
- juice of ½ lemon
- Approximately ½ cup each
- Parmesan cheese
- cracker crumbs
- 3 T butter
- 3 T olive oil
Melt butter in skillet – saute’ onion, garlic and green pepper until peppers are limp. Do not brown. Place in mixing bowl and cool. Add cream and mustard and mix well. Add cracker crumbs, egg, parsley, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Mix well. Gently fold in crab meat, being careful to not crush it. Form into patties.
Mix together Parmesan cheese and cracker crumbs. Gently coat each patty in this mixture. Refrigerate about 2 hours to firm up or until you are ready to use.
Fry on medium heat in the butter and olive oil about 3 minutes per side.
I have used Panko bread crumbs in place of cracker crumbs
If the mixture is a bit too thin to form patties, add a few more crumbs but be careful to not add too many since you want the taste of crab and not crackers.
Using a mixture of butter and olive oil gives you a bit more flavor plus the olive oil helps prevent the butter from browning and burning too much.
These can also be made into small balls to use as appetizers.
I did leave the dry mustard out once and I don’t think it affected the flavor any.
Depending on the wetness of your patty, you may need a bit more cheese and cracker crumbs for coating. You don’t really want the coating too heavy.
(I think this is very appropriate since my husband is Don)
1 ½ C whole milk
2 T white vinegar
2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large egg whites
1 C all-purpose flour
¾ C sour cream
2 T coarse cornmeal
1 t baking soda
5 T salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Stir together milk and vinegar; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir. Mix together yolks, flour, sour cream, cornmeal, and baking soda. Stir in milk-vinegar mixture. Stir butter into batter, but being careful not to over mix.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold with rubber spatula half of these into batter, then add remaining half.
Preheat waffle iron on the highest setting. Coat waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour 1 C batter into waffle iron. Close lid and cook approximately 6 minutes or until timer goes off. You may need to adjust the amount of batter or your settings depending on your waffle maker.
After removing the waffle, toss between your hands to remove the steam and help keep them crispy.
Wonderful on a cold and rainy morning – well rainy here, but in the lower 70’s.
When I first read cornmeal on the ingredient list, I thought it sounded a bit strange, but honestly, I’m not sure anyone would know it was in it if you didn’t look at the recipe. These waffles are so light and fluffy, I love eating them with butter only. Also, if there are any left, let them cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Let them thaw on the counter for about 15 minutes then pop them back into the waffle maker to crisp them up.
FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
1 loaf of Challah or other firm white bread
1/3 C pecans or walnuts, chopped
½ C brown sugar
1 t cinnamon (or to taste)
8 large eggs
1 ¾ C milk (or combination of milk, half and half, or heavy cream for extra richness)
2 t vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut bread into 1” cubes. Arrange half of these in a 9” x 13” baking dish which has been sprayed with cooking spray or coated with butter.
In a small bowl, combine the nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the bread. Layer the remaining bread then remaining nut mixture.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until light and foamy. Add the milk and vanilla, whisking until well blended.
Pour this mixture over your bread layers. Dot with 3 T butter, 3 T sugar and 2 t cinnamon.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole turns a light golden brown and looks slightly puffy, about 30 minutes more.
Serve the casserole warm with your favorite syrups. Confectioners sugar is also great to sprinkle on this.
I also saw this exact recipe on another site but they had added ½ C orange marmalade into the egg mixture. I think I will try this next time.
You can make this the day before and refrigerate until you are ready to bake.
So is your menu done? Baking done? Shopping done? If you answered yes to all of these, you are ahead of the game.
If you have any questions about any of the recipes here, or other items, please let me know. As I have been cooking so long, several of my standards I don’t have a written recipe for, but will try to get it together for you.
Merry Christmas from Not Just Paper and Paint