It feels like just yesterday I was advocating that we take joy from the beautiful browns and earthy colours that November is dressed in and here we are already in December with six days of Advent already spent. I actually did not have to think deep and hard to come up with what to write about this month as what to my wondering (and imaginative) eyes should appear but a turkey dressed with mashed potatoes and all the delicious sides that we go to bed dreaming of on Christmas Eve.
This led me to wonder what a Yuletide feast would look like if the many contributors of Catholic Sistas were to put one together using their favorite recipes and tips. Well dear readers – sit back and
drool enjoy whilst I parade an incredible seven part meal before your very eyes.
Quick Take one – the appetizer:
We have, of course, the many and varied appetizers that every good feast should begin with. I am going to treat you to one I was introduced to last year that I absolutely adored. It would make a lovely addition to the standard cheese board and crackers that so many of us have for guests to snack on while we wait on the main entree to emerge from the oven. Now don’t judge until you have tried them. Here are three recipes for bacon wrapped figs. One is gluten free from Betty Crocker (Mind all 3 recipes are actually gluten free) the other is made with brie cheese and the recipe is from Aldis and the last is from Kraft. I will admit I was very
very,very leery about trying this appetizer but I was ready to consume the whole plate after my first taste.
Quick Take Two – the soup:
For some the sit down dinner with family and friends is not complete without a course that includes soup. I, for one, had NO idea there were so many kinds of soup until I started looking for a recipe for a bouillabaisse to add to this feast that we are sharing with you today. I have only had bouillabaisse once and as many of you probably know the main ingredient of this classy soup is seafood aka fish – shudder. Again – as with that bacon wrapped fig – I was in love at the first taste. So here is a treat for you to check out. But if this is not something you could possibly see on your table I have a more simple soup to add to the menu. This soup also lends itself to being served in mugs a great option if one is having a more casual dinner gathering.
Quick Take Three – the Salad and dressing choices:
Continuing with the casual dinner theme one can just opt for a lively plate of crunchy veggies sliced and paraded on a plate with various dips which guests can munch between sips from their mugs of soup. However – if you are going for that sit down theme we at Catholic Sistas would like to share this delicious salad dressing that can top any combination of lettuces you choose to serve up. Feel free to toss some finely chopped green onion to this recipe and serve over your favorite green salad. Tossing in some dried cherries or dried cranberries can add a festive stark to a simple green salad.
Quick Take four – the main entree or the center piece of the feast:
In my case this is typically turkey although a number of Catholic Sistas shared that their family does something different such as a ham or pernil – which is a roasted pork shoulder. One Sista also shared a tip regarding cooking your turkey. As she said “cook it fast and hot” for a juicier outcome. But even if you plan to cook it fast and hot what if when you open that fridge to pull out the table’s guest of honor – you discover it has been forgotten in the freezer.
Yes – I am speaking of experience and, before you snicker, I’m sure I am not alone! Thankfully a good friend rescued me that one and only holiday that I did this. (I’m not going to admit to doing this more than once – I assure you!) So should this ever happen to you – be sure to book mark this page as it will be your savior! (Trust me it REALLY works!)
Now – if you have not been tricked by the crazy frenzy so many of us succumb to the past 48 hours of Advent and remember to take out the bird in time to lovingly baste it all day… another Sista has shared this rub with us. (It reminds me of how my university Venezuelan friends made their delicious turkey dinners!)
Turkey breast rub
Blend in a small bowl and rub over the turkey the following spices:
- 4 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons each of: dried oregano, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper and dried sage,
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme,
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
This makes enough to cover at least 1 medium turkey and 1 turkey breast and can be stored in a tight container for up to 3 months.
Quick take Five the sides: cranberry sauces from scratch:
If by the time you have come to contemplate whether the cranberry sauce should be whole or jelly and you are feeling tempted to go the canned route and yet you just know that aunt so and so will be giving you the stink eye as she eyes the clearly canned version of cranberry sauce no matter how decorative the plate its on is… take a peek here and here for some ideas on how to dress up the canned cranberry jelly and hopefully fool that critical relative who never misses a trick!
Giving a nod to the website that had this lovely photo on their site here is their delicious cranberry sauce if you are trying to live the paleo lifestyle or have friends doing the same. You will also find six other paleo recipes fit for a Christmas feast on this site.
Quick Take Six: Stuffing:
There are so many different spins on stuffing whether you are buying boxed or making it from scratch. Stuffing can be as simple or as fancy as you want it to be. With our family having four members now needing to be gluten free for health reasons I have even added a gluten free recipe that we will be trying this year.
Quick Take Seven –
despite being absolutely stuffed at this point we must address the DESSERT!
Well dear readers – here we are stuffed beyond stuff and now we are facing the dessert table. What would our Ink Slingers proffer you with regards to sweets? I must admit in this area our slingers do not seem to have much of a sweet tooth though one is after my own heart and bakes lovely decorated cookies to share with friends and neighbors. I will tell you though that were you to grace my dessert table you would face an assortment of delectable sweets. They would range from orange cranberry loaf to chocolate cheesecake. There would be chocolate covered peanut balls, chocolate dipped pretzel sticks along with apple pies baked from scratch, cherry pies and lemon bread. Sometimes I think the dessert table in our household sags more heavily than does the entree table.
Hopefully you have enjoyed our holiday feast and have perhaps found a few recipes you will enjoy making part of your Christmas traditions. We at Catholic Sistas pray you have a blessed Advent Season and I look forward to seeing you in January in time to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Christi Gareis is a homeschooling mother of thirteen, with four children still at home. Her youngest child can boast that she was an aunt before she was born. Christi has been blogging since 2005 and has three blogs. In addition to blogging, Christi has been published on Catholicmom.com as well as in CCL’s magazine Family Foundations. She also wrote the section on How to ‘Prepare Your Child for First Reconciliation’ in the book ‘101 Stories of Reconciliation’ by Sister Patricia Proctor.