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Getting Ready For Christmas Dinner

Hi! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family by sharing dear moments together! A week after being stuffed with potatoes and gravy you find yourself reading recipes for the Christmas dinner. How ironic. People all over the world like to invite family over for Christmas, every minute passes, the holiday is closer and the excitement is off the charts.

Last year on Christmas, I had numerous family members over, one of which, my nephew. He’s your typical 7 year old, doesn’t listen to his parents most of the time, stubborn, hates homework and lives his life in front of the phone, playing games. Curiosity got the better of me and when he wasn’t looking I snatched his tablet away, interested to see what he was doing. I found games like Candy Crush and FIFA there and it got me thinking, what’s so interesting about these? If that wasn’t enough, I checked his browsing history, the little fella was looking for things like how to win at fifa and fifa 18 hack which I find odd. I think he was stuck at a level or something? Maybe we should include him more in the baking activities, maybe he’ll learn to like it.

The Christmas dinner needs to be perfect, no cutting corners, I will supply you with the best dishes worth having on your table on the big day. You, your sister and grandma will have a lot of work to do so let’s get reading, cooking and eating!

You may have some traditional dishes sitting around in a recipe book, or maybe your mom taught you how to cook them, I suggest you include at least two of those in your menu for Christmas, it’s important to keep traditions alive!

When it comes to baking, cookies are the main go to option for me, but there’s plenty more to choose from. Muffins, Ginger Bread People, Stollen or you could go full holidays and build a huge Ginger Bread House! You can find those anywhere, buy a pack, open it and let your kids make a mess of a house while you do hard core cooking.

Raisin Stollen

cooking raisin stollen

It doesn’t take a master to cook stollen, it’s just bread after all right? Wrong. It’s a master piece, and you have to treat it like one if you do choose to bake it.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz of Raisins (~150 g)
  • 100 ml fruit juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried yeast
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 20 ml rum (Optional)

Stir the yeast and the flour in a bowl, along with the fruit juice, lemon juice, salt and rum. Leave the resulted dough rest in a warm place until it doubles in size, after this we’re ready too add fruits. Add raisins and lemon to the dough, mix it all together. Bake the stollen for 20 minutes at 170C then lower the oven to 140C and make for an additional 25/35 minutes.

Salmon Croûte

salmon croute for christmas

This one doesn’t really fit in the Christmas dinner category, but it’s the only time of the year I get to cook it so I’ll include it anyway.

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz of raw skinned salmon (~600 g)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 butter bar
  • 1/2 lemon
  • mashed nuts (Optional)

It all goes fairly easy, add butter and lemon to your salmon. You can also add mashed nuts to it but this step can be done after cooking the salmon, place the salmon in the oven and add just a touch of olive oil over the meat.

Ginger Bread People

Don’t be afraid to add more flour, it’ll only make your Ginger Bread People look fluffier! No Christmas without ginger bread am I right? I love sitting by the fire and nibbling on a ginger bread man, while snow slowly creeps its way on roofs 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 oz of butter (~100 g)
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • syrup
  • 2 eggs

Preheat your oven at 170C, get 2 baking sheets with baking paper ready, you will need those for the ginger bread. Grab a bowl and mix the bicarbonate, the flour,butter, sugar, salt and eggs. This will be the base of your ginger bread people, beat that dough real good and leave it be for about 30 minutes. In the meantime I suggest you get your ginger bread shapes ready, or you can do this manually using a knife or other kitchen utensil.Add ground ginger and cinnamon to the dough and start rolling it into into 1/2 inch thick sheets.

Start cutting the shapes of the ginger people, you can now add a little syrup to the ginger people, spread it using a spoon or your fingers. Bake the ginger bread people for 6 to 10 minutes, the edges should ever so slightly turn brown once they are done. You can now start decorating your ginger people, good job! I plan on posting more recipes on Tumblr if you are interested!

Theodore Benfield

I am Theodore, I run the Church Street Tavern, a dream I had since my 20's that became a reality once I moved to New York. Come by the tavern when you have time!

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