Merry Christmas 2021 my friends! I just want to share the dishes from our table this year. I hope you will enjoy and find the following ideas and recipes useful.
Some of you have asked me if I get any help cooking and how long it takes me to cook for the holidays.
Yes, I cook everything myself, with some help from Costco (buying our favorite items that you need to reheat or bake).
On occasion, mother-in-law will make Salad Olivier and Chicken Liver Pate, which we love!
The whole process takes me about 3 to 4 days:
A day planning, a day decorating and two whole days cooking.
Two refrigerators (one from previous owners in the garage) and a double oven make it all possible. Not sure if I were able to accomplish it in a small apartment with a small fridge.
It took me 3 days to create this table.
My Father-in-law made a joke many years ago: “I will rest in the coffin!”. It stuck with me.
While I have the energy, I like being productive and bringing joy to the people that I love!
Watch the video below. Click on the small square in the right corner to see it in full size on your phone!
Christmas Menu 2021
The Star of the show – Shrimp Christmas Tree
Every time, I try to create something different. My Hubby said it would look beautiful with lights, but since I didn’t want unsanitary lights touching the food I found these super cute Cocktail Picks with gold pearl ends that kind of look like lights! Clever, right!
And they are the perfect size for this Christmas Tree project. Long enough to reach the cucumber!
You can buy them here:
This is a super simple recipe but very tasty and takes 15 minutes to prepare.
I have cooked the eggs in the Instant Pot this way it takes almost no time to peel and they come out perfect. You can cook them a day or two in advance and have them in the fridge ready to go when you need to serve.
Slice eggs in half, scoop out egg yolks. Mix the egg yolks with mayo, mustard, paprika, dill weed, salt/pepper to taste.
Top with smoked salmon and inside add Black Lumpfish caviar that you can find at most supermarkets. It’s inexpensive, but saltier than the regular one.
We have tried Smoked Salmon by many brands and our favorite is the Kirkland brand from Costco. It’s not salty with lots of flavor and very easy to work with if you need to create decorations.
I like to have some greenery and a natural-looking setting for the eggs. You can use any greenery, I had parsley on hand.
I have made similar Puff Pastry Ricotta/Pesto/Tomato Galette as for the Thanskgiving but added sliced mushrooms and eggplant this time.
Since I had two sheets on Puff pastry on hand, I’ve decided to make one into galette and the other one create these delicious Spanakopita appetizers.
Inside: spinach, eggs, feta cheese, green onion, dill and topped with Mozzarella cheese. Bake until golden brown.
Again, the idea just came to me since I had all of the ingredients on hand just in time!
This is a super easy and delicious appetizer for Christmas or New Years!
Just one IMPORTANT NOTE: make it same day as serving, an hour or so in advance since the tortillas will get soggy and absorb the moisture from the filling inside.
Combine: cooked eggs, cream cheese with chives and onion, green onion, smoked salmon. Adjust to taste and amount depends on how many you will be serving.
Spread the mixture onto a spinach tortilla and top with another one. Insert the pretzel stick between the layers.
I’ve made just two tortillas and cut them into 8 equal parts.
I have made this salad before, but decided to add colorful carrots this time.
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN ASPARAGUS SALAD
Add olive oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add and cook garlic for a minute, but do not brown. Add asparagus and carrots and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, turning to ensure even cooking. Remove to a plate.
Pan-fry sliced mushrooms, colorful bell peppers, and sliced tomatoes.
To serve this dish lay cooked asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle Sumac and Za’atar. Add olives, feta cheese, and toasted pine nuts.
The Duck Story!
We actually had a FREE DUCK this year!
We found this Huge Duck on Sale at Publix, but at the register they rang the original price. The manager was called in to correct the problem and since the duck had to be reweighted and a sale price sticker attached, I guess too much trouble end… end of the day… long story short, HUGE $27.50 DUCK – FREE!
Publix policy – if they make a mistake, you get it for Free!
I did get several items in the past this way, lol
I’ve used Bibigo Organic Potstickers, Chicken, and Vegetable from Costco and added caramelized onions, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes. Sprinkle with dill weed and add your favorite herbs.
These potstickers are super tasty and great to have in your freezer for when you have company over and need a quick meal.
This Almond Flour Chocolate Cake is fudgy, crumbly with an extra-indulgent chocolate experience! A rich and savory chocolate masterpiece that tastes even better the next day (if it makes it to the second day). Easy to make and simply delicious Gluten-Free cake.
My son ate each bite with his eyes closed, so funny! He loved this cake especially, it’s Chocolate Heaven!
This Fruit Coffee Cake is always a big hit in my family! I have baked it for friends and family as well! Everyone loves the light, the airy and crumbly feel of this cake. You can practically eat the whole thing!
I’ve decided to add thinly sliced apples and strawberries on top. Sprinkled with pecans. After baking added sugared cranberries (recipe below) and powdered sugar.
These sugared cranberries are so festive and pretty, they’ll dress up any holiday buffet or dinner table.
HOW TO MAKE SUGARED CRANBERRIES
- 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries, washed
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup water
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Stir in your cranberries, making sure they’re all coated with the syrup.
Remove cranberries with a slotted spoon and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet to dry for an hour or so.
Roll cranberries in the remaining sugar to coat.
My style is very simple
- the little themed decor will instantly add more life to your presentations!
- add anything: green (onions, herbs, broccoli..), red (tomatoes, bell peppers..) and yellow/orange (corn, carrots, bell peppers…) to each platter
- plain colored tablecloth or table runner, no busy patterned tablecloth that make your heard spin.
- Food is the Hero on your table!
You can find many napkin fold videos on YouTube. This is the bow time method.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
I found the perfect red dress for the occasion. It was not easy dressing up after being a Cinderella for a few days, but I managed! Good Attitude is a Must in life!