A.H. asks from Madison Heights, MI on December 03, 2009
It's That Time Again: Planning for Christmas! :P
Okay, I realize it is still early in the month but I am the type that plans, plans and plans some more~ :P
In addition, I feel the better prepared I am of my menu for Christmas dinner, the better as my son and I are busy with day-to-day things and the holidays are of course, no exception.
(We indulge in the baking of cookies, and this year I plan to bake more varieties to pass around the neighborhood, hubby's work and family events. Also enjoy crafting, so that takes up some time as I can be found painting my little heart out! LOL!)
Last year, we hosted for the first time and it went off without any major incidents - the only complaint I would have, both hubby and I were in the kitchen while getting dinner prepared and going as all the dishes had to be timed 'just right'. Luckily, nothing was burned or had to be tossed (or no pizza had to be ordered!). We had a pork roast, a very yummy sweet potato souffle' (super packed with calories, to say the least!) and I made a unique veggie/fruit salad with home-made dressing.
We are thinking of having the pork roast again - but I want a different recipe. It's hard to find good, trusted recipes out there and my cook books lack for them. Also - I am seeking some tried & true side dishes that the most finicky five year old will eat, too.
I am still searching for that 'perfect' dessert to compliment it all...
Any idea's? I'd like to keep the menu simple, healthy (which is why I want to omit the sweet potato souffle' this year, it's almost better than pumpkin pie!), fun but festive for the season.
Thanks so much in advance!
ADDED: Definitely looking for recipe ideas! So far, I'm getting hungry from what I am seeing! I'm sure like some of you - I have a five yr old, that is a bit finicky about what he wants to eat. So if you have had luck with any dishes - I'm also open to those as well. I'm revamping my cook books! ;P
Thanks so much~
B.P. answers from Kalamazoo on December 04, 2009
I have a great recipe that we love for boneless pork loin in the crockpot. It's a teriyaki pork roast and you put apple juice, soy sauce and a few seasonings in the crock pot and let it cook. I don't usually make gravy, but the juices would be great for it if you are planning on making mashed potatoes. I don't have time to look up the recipe right now, but let me know if you are interested.
K.V. answers from Detroit on December 04, 2009
I am not exactly sure about what advice you wanted so I will jsut take a shot. I have hosted lots of parties/family events. There will always be a point when you are standing in the kitchen, however you can minimize this.
1) Plan a menu that can be made ahead and put in the oven on the day of the event like 24 hour omelet, creme brulette, scalloped potatoes(keep them covered in water in the fridge then assemble the next day and sit in oven),
2) Do as much prep as you possible can the day before, vegetable platters, cutting and chopping and peeling, etc
3) Divide the dishes up between you and your husband and you can take turns doing one dish at a time while the guest are there so that you can both mingle, jsut not together
V.H. answers from Detroit on December 04, 2009
Why not roast some root veggies along with the pork - potatoes and parsnips work really well and you can drizzle the parsnips with maple syrup for the last 10 mins to make them gooey and sweet crunchy too - my kids love roasters!!Check out a cooking site online for details.
For desert why not try something you can make ahead of time then you spend less time in the kitchen on the day itself...apple pie and fresh cream would go well with pork.
J.O. answers from Grand Rapids on December 05, 2009
If you have time to browse a website I would recommend allrecipes.com. I have had great luck with ideas for everything from basic everyday dinners to fancy feasts! The comments on the recipes are very helpful as are the ratings. This site has never failed me because I read the reviews and take the suggestions given. Good luck and have a wonderful holiday!
D.M. answers from Detroit on December 04, 2009
If you really want to use pork loin, I have a GREAT dry marinade reicpe. I just sprinkle it on and then bake the loin roast. This actually can be used for all pork cuts.
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp salt
2 Tbl special spice seasoning mix for pork (recipe follows)
2 Tbl grated lemon or orange rind
Crush garlic w/salt until mixture is like a puree and salt has absorbed garlic oil. Add the other ingredients and mash together. Pierce meat in several places w/fork or skewer and rub the marinade where the holes are. Rub remaining marinade over the surface of the meat. Place in covered dish in refrigerator and marinate about 6 hours. Prepare pork by any baking, broiling or frying method.
Special Spice Seasoning for Pork
2 Tablespoons EACH ground bay leaves, cloves, mace, nutmeg, paprika, and thyme
2 Tablespoons EACH ground basil, cinnamon, and savory or parsley
5 Tablespoons ground white pepper
For any spices not already ground or crushed, you can use a spice grinder or electric blender. Mix ingredients and store in an airtight jar on the spice shelf.
We ALWAYS have red cabbage cooked with apples and red wine vinegar with this pork roast. With mashed potatoes, it's a very traditional German dinner. You could also serve a really nice, festive holiday salad with leafy greens to compliment the cooked foods. For your picky eater, you could lightly steam some carrots and then finish them with a light brown sugar glaze.
I do love the roasted veggie idea as well. ALWAYS good and I've seen more people eat beets and brussel sprouts when roasted and they've always hated beets and brussel sprouts. Don't forget to roast some fennel bulb with those veggies as well. In fact, carrots, peppers and sweet potatoes are fabulous roasted also. I just toss in olive oil and seasoned salt. You can use the leftovers for a great roasted veggie salad the next day.
For dessert you can serve a blueberry and nectarine compote, which can be served by itself or over a small scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. The compote is topped with a bran flake cereal, slivered almond/honey 'crisp'. Contact me if you'd like the recipe for that. Feel free to call if you have any questions. I love collecting recipes and I'm happy to share.
Good luck, D. ###-###-####
M.V. answers from Detroit on December 04, 2009
If I can be of any help, the pork we like to do both at Thanksgiving and at Christmas is super simple, easy to make, and light. We travel a lot to Hawaii and really like their pulled pork. (No BBQ sauce. Just pork.) All you need to do is get a pork butt or shoulder, rinse it off, *lightly* coat in salt (sea salt or light salt mix will do), put it in a crock pot on low or slow, add 2 cups pineapple juice and cook for about 8 hours. When it's done, use serving forks to tear apart the meat into shreds and add a cap and a half of liquid smoke. Stir, let sit for a few, and serve. Simple and easy. The Hawaiians call it Kailua pork -- and it is served at their family gatherings, or us tourists now call a luau.