Menus & Recipes




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Christmas is a time for wonderful foods and elegant menus that bring the cheer of the season to hungry bellies. On this page you will find some suggested menus as well as some favorite recipes for Christmas celebrations.


Christmas Eve Party

 Christmas Snack Mix

I always start with collecting the ingredients I need to make my Christmas Snack Mix, which I put into pretty tins and give to family and friends.

It is also great to have a few tins on hand, in case someone gives you an unexpected gift, so you have something handy to return the favor. Here are the ingredients I use for my famous mix!

Unsalted Peanuts
Unsalted Cashews
Shelled Pistachios
Chopped Dried Dates
Chopped Dried Apricots*
Golden Raisins
Christmas M&Ms
Cheddar or Parmesan Goldfish Crackers

*With the Apricots, you usually have to buy them whole and cut them into small pieces with a sharp knife. Then spread on a baking sheet and bake in a warm (not hot) oven to dry them out, otherwise their natural moisture will make the crackers go soft. Warm them in the oven until they appear to be fairly well dried out, but don't let them brown. Allow to cool thoroughly before adding to the mix!

I gather all my ingredients and dump them into a large garbage bag, then mix up with a wooden spoon, or my hands with plastic bags on them. Scoop into tins of various sizes, lined with either waxed paper or colored cellophane, and cover tightly. It will keep for a week or two in the tins.

Hot Mexican Dip

This hot dip is yummy and terrific with tortilla chips (the "scoop" kind works great too). Spread a package of cream cheese on the bottom of a baking dish (I use my Pyrex 8x8 baking dish). Spread a can of refried beans on top of the cream cheese. Then a layer of salsa (I use medium), and top with a layer of shredded Mexican cheese or Monterrey jack or any cheese you prefer. Bake at 350 for about 20 to 30 mins, until cheese on top is bubbly. Serve while hot, re-warm as needed.

Zesty Cheese Ball

This cheese ball will be a hit with anyone who loves garlic! It is very flavorful and delicious on some hearty crackers!


2 pkgs. shredded sharp cheese* (about 4 cups)
2 or 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh onion, minced
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Fresh Parsley for garnish

Place cheese, garlic and onion in large bowl. Begin adding mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons at a time, until mixture sticks together, but not so much that it is wet. Add red pepper flakes, if you want it hot! Shape into a ball on a plate and sprinkle with paprika. Garnish with fresh parsley. Cheese ball should sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours for flavors to meld before serving. It keeps well in a tightly covered plastic container for up to 10 days.

* I like some combination of sharp white cheddar, asiago and parmesan, but any sharp cheese will do.

Chocolate Fudge

This decadent treat will add a touch of sweetness to your Christmas Eve party. Keep refrigerated, and pass around on a pretty plate towards the end of the evening! 


3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 12 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate)

1/4 Cup butter (1/2 stick)

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cups chopped walnuts, if you like nuts

Place all ingredients, except the nuts, into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 3-4 minutes, stopping every minute to stir. When all ingredients are melted and blended, stir in the nuts, if you're using them. Use a rubber spatula to turn the fudge mixture into a buttered 8x8 baking dish and refrigerate until cooled completely. Cut into squares and keep in a tightly lidded plastic container, between layers of waxed paper to prevent sticking. 

Christmas Wassail

Christmas wassail is a traditional British hot punch, as sung about in the Christmas song "The Wassail Song". This song is about the tradition of caroling in the streets, from door to door, where the carolers would hope to be invited in for a cup of hot wassail! It is an alcoholic beverage, but is wonderful as an alcohol-free hot punch as well. It will go perfectly with your Christmas Eve party, just make sure no one has too much wassail to drive safely home!

There are many recipes for wassail out there, but I like a wassail that uses apple cider as a base. I dump a quart or two of apple cider into my crock pot and add a few cups of cranberry juice.  You can also choose to add orange or other juices. Be creative! To spice it up, I throw in some orange slices, studded with whole cloves, some lemon zest slices, some cinnamon sticks, and maybe even some sliced ginger root. Let that simmer on low in the crock pot for three or four hours, then add honey and/or sugar to taste.  Let simmer an hour longer after adding the sweetner. You can either choose to use brandy for the alcohol, which can be plain or fruit flavored brandy, or you can use a mixture of red or white wine and dark or white rum. Again, your creativity is an essential ingredient for creating the perfect wassail bowl! Stir your alcohol of choice in about an hour before serving, and don't forget to reserve out a pan full of the wassail without alcohol for children and those who prefer a non-alcoholic version. You can ladle your wassail straight out of the crock pot (the oranges, cinnamon sticks and ginger pieces are not meant to be added to your cup!)  or pour (carefully!) into a punch bowl with matching cups, if you want to get fancy!

Here is a recipe for wassail that uses ale! 

Wassail Recipe

Christmas Breakfast

Breakfast Quiche

A delicious quiche is elegant for a Christmas Day breakfast, but can be easy and quick to make. If you're a good pie crust maker, by all means, create your own pie crust for your quiche. I am not. 

Instead of using a bought, frozen pie crust, I use Pillsbury crescent rolls (the garlic butter type, if it will go with your ingredients). Unroll the dough from the package, and fit the triangles, one by one, on the edge of your 9" pie pan, pressing gently at the seams to join. Add triangles to center to fill in, and use finger tips to spread and press dough until it's fairly even around the pan. Don't roll the dough though, that will make it tough. 
For your filling, you can pick and choose from almost anything you can think of! My favorite combination is spinach (use frozen, allow to defrost, then put plastic baggies on your hands and squeeze the liquid out), ham, onion and cheese, but consider any of the following:

Cooked potato (small chunks or thin slices)
Linguica (Chorizo)
Any kind of cheese that you like, shredded, about one cup

Cut or chop your ingredients, and seed the tomato if you're using it, so its liquid won't make the quiche too watery. With your pie crust and chopped ingredients ready, you only need to whip together 3 or 4 eggs, depending on how big the eggs and your pie plate, and 2/3 cup of light cream until frothy. You may want to add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Depending on which ingredients you've chosen, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg or dry mustard can also add flair to your quiche. You can add fresh or dried chopped chives, parsley or celantro to your egg mixture.
Mix your 1 Cup of cheese with 1 Tablespoon of flour, and spread on bottom of pie crust. Place chopped ingredients on cheese (should be about 1 1/2 cups worth), and pour egg mixture over it.  

Bake 10 mins on 375° (pre-heated oven), then lower to 350° for 30 to 35 minutes, until firm but not browned. Let sit for 10 mins before slicing to serve.

You can serve quiche warm, or slice it cold. It is delicious either way! Cover tightly in refrigerator to keep.

Sweet Breads

Everyone has a  sweet bread recipe that they love. Sometimes called "quick breads", these are usually easy to make and the perfect addition to your Christmas breakfast. (You can also make extras in mini foil loaf tins to give away as gifts!) You may have a recipe that has been passed down in your family.... I have an aunt of Finnish heritage who makes a bread called Nissua, which is divine. Here are some sweet breads you may consider (click for recipe on, and one of my favorites to follow:

Date Nut Bread

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Orange Apricot Loaf

Zucchini Bread

Banana Nut (or not) Bread

This sweet, moist bread is lovely with a steaming cup of coffee on Christmas morning! You may use the nuts or not, as you like.


3 ripe bananas, well mashed

2 eggs, well beaten

1 tsp vanilla

2 Cups flour

3/4 Cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 Cup coarsely chopped Walnuts (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350f. Grease loaf pan. Mix the mashed bananas, vanilla, and the beaten egg in a large bowl. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and mix. Add in the walnuts and mix. Spread mixture evenly in loaf pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes  until lightly browned on top and springy to the touch. This is wonderful warm with butter, or cold with cream cheese!


Nothing like this easy, elegant drink to fancy up a Christmas breakfast or brunch! It can be made non-alcohol by substituting sparkling grape juice or non-alcohol white wine for the champagne!

Fluted champagne glasses are best for this, but any stemmed wine glass will do. Fill half with orange juice (fresh-squeezed is even better!) - some like a tablespoon of apricot nectar added - and then add champagne or sparkling white wine to near the rim of the glass. To be a true mimosa, you would add a dash of triple sec or grenadine 
(maraschino cherry juice for the non-alcohol version), which adds a pink flush to the bottom of the glass, but this is delicious just as it is.  Garnish with a sliced strawberry or orange slice on the edge of your glass and there you have it! 

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