Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Christmas Feast

OK folks, get ready, this is going to be a LONG post. I'm covering two days worth of cooking in this one post because I've been too swamped to get around to posting.

So, as you saw, we got the cookies for Santa made and we had one more batch left to make on Christmas Eve. That was these babies, Chocolate Mint Melties, from Eat Drink and Be Vegan. They are sooo good, although, not as minty as I had hoped they would be. I will definitely be making them again, only next time I will add more chopped chocolate bar to the batter.

While the cookies were baking I started up the Traditional Cranberry Sauce, also from ED&BV. I wanted to make this the day before so it would have time to chill because I wanted to serve it cold. I don't usually like cranberry sauce, this recipe however has changed my mind. It is super easy to make and incredibly delicious. I'll never buy or serve prepared cranberry sauce again. Unfortunately, when the time came to set up the buffet on Christmas evening, I forgot to get the sauce out of the, guess who's been eating cranberry sauce like it's going out of style the last 2 days!!

Also on Christmas Eve I prepared the gravy, as the recipe said it was better left to set over night and gently reheated. I used the vegan gravy recipe from vegweb. I thought the gravy was delicious. My family of meat eaters weren't too impressed. Actually, no one said they didn't like it, but the fact that no one said they did says it all. Needless to say, I've got loads of gravy sitting in the refrigerator as well.....too bad gravy doesn't go so well over cranberry sauce!!

Anyway, after I got the gravy cooking I went ahead and chopped up all of the veggies I would need for various things the following day, just to save myself some time in the kitchen. I also made homemade pumpkin ice cream for a pumpkin ice cream pie that I made (no picture, sorry). I just poured the soft, freshly churned ice cream into a pre made graham cracker crust and froze it.

The final thing that I prepared on Christmas Eve was the cinnamon rolls that were for breakfast on Christmas Day. I used this Orange Cranberry recipe that I saw on tv while Rob and I were laying in bed relaxing on our recent trip to Chicago. These are the rolls before they've been baked and iced. In all of the excitement of present opening on Christmas morning, I forgot to take a picture of the cinnamon rolls. By the time I remembered over half of them had been devoured and the icing was hard, cracked, and disgusting looking. Sorry, I'll snap a picture next time I make them. By the way, the cranberry's are a wonderful addition to the cinnamon rolls.

Whew!! I was exhausted Christmas Eve night (I'm getting tired again just typing about all I did!). So tired, and hoping to get in bed early, but guess what........the teeter todder that the girls got "from Santa" took almost 2 hours to put together, and Mairin's stable nearly an hour.......Santa didn't get to bed until after 11pm.

So, on to the big day.....I'll spare all of the details of present opening, etc. and just get right to the food, since that's what this blog's all about anyway. Well, obviously, breakfast was cinnamon rolls and coffee. The cinnamon rolls required 40 minutes in the oven, so we snacked on a loaf of Panera's Holiday bread while we were waiting.

Rob's family wasn't able to stay for dinner, so we made lunch for them. Our lunch was the "No Chicken" Noodle soup that I blogged about last week. We also had some shrimp cocktail for snacking, as well as some cheddar cranberry cheese and crackers.

Then came the big meal. We had 16 people for dinner, both friends and family. I was the only vegetarian. Turkey and ham were provided by my mother and my grandfather for the meat eaters. I supplied pretty much everything else. We went with a traditional Thanksgiving type meal since we missed Thanksgiving as a family this year. Again, in all of the excitement, I forgot to photograph our feast, so the following picture is a shot of my plate of left-overs that I ate for dinner last night.

The menu consisted of: Mashed Yukon Golds with Vegan Gravy, Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts from Super Natural Cooking, Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon, Vegetarian Stuffing (which by the way, my mom swore couldn't be make without chicken was, I made it with my home made veggie stock, and it was enjoyed by all), and a broccoli casserole supplied by my good friend Steph (thanks for the vegetarian dish Steph!!).
We had such a wonderful Christmas. We are truly blessed to have such great friends and family. This was our first year having Christmas at our house, and even though it was a lot of hard work, I hope it isn't our last.

There probably won't be too much new to blog about over the next few days, we're kind of busy until the New Year, but there will be plenty to blog about in 2008!!

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