Sunday, December 21, 2014

Meal Planning: December 21-27

It's the week of Christmas!  Unbelievable.  It feels like we were just putting out the Halloween decorations and the leaves were turning.  Now the tree is up and all the radio stations and stores are playing holiday music.

We won't be cooking anything extravagant for the holidays this year, but I do like to think about previous years where we gathered with family, either at our home or theirs.  In past years we've spent Christmas in the Bay Area (Oakland hills), Chapel Hill (North Carolina), and my favorite, Charleston (South Carolina).

The last time we had a newborn in the house, it was 2011 and we actually hosted Christmas dinner at our house, when we lived in California:

We also hosted a holiday party with new friends we'd made through having a baby.  We invited them and their babies over to our house for some light snacks.  So this week's meal plan is comprised of some of the recipes we made that year (at either the holiday party or the Christmas dinner) along with new finds that I might make this coming week...

Flashback to 2011: Holiday Party & Christmas Dinner

Recipes for Christmas Week

If you're new to my meal planning, here's what I do: I find a few recipes for each category (in this week's case, appetizers, sides, main dishes, and desserts) and list them all.  During the course of the week, I pick and choose through the recipes and feature them the next week as winners or losers, depending on how the recipe turned out...


Cauliflower with Brown Butter, Pears, Sausage and Sage - we made this for our Christmas dinner and it was a nice take on cauliflower
Broccoli with Spicy Gremolata
Green Beans with Crispy Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Shallots - this was another winner at our Christmas diner

Main Dishes
Bourbon Orange Glazed Ham - this was an easy alternative to other centerpiece proteins for Christmas dinner
Herb Roasted Lamb Shanks with Harissa Wine Sauce

Pear Ginger Cake with Whipped Cream and Rum-Caramel Glaze - I can't believe I made this cake for our holiday party!  I was big into baking cakes a few years ago...
Caramel Cream Cake - I've never made this but it looks scrumptious
Gingerbread Pear Cobbler

If you want more meal planning ideas and/or recipes, go check out the meal planning hostesses, Laura from Mommy Run Fast and Jill from Fitness, Health, and Happiness.

Have you ever hosted a holiday party or Christmas dinner at your home?  Do you have a go-to recipe for the holidays?


  1. Everything looks great! I love this time of year, so great to get together with family and friends. That cake looks so delicious!

    1. Thanks Janelle, I was pretty proud of that cake. Now that I live at 5,280 feet (mile high) cakes are harder to make...

  2. I love that table runner! It will be such a special Christmas with the new baby in the house... have a wonderful week!

    1. Thanks Laura, we love the table runner, too! We are enjoying our Christmas with the new baby very much!

  3. I love the family time the most! Happy holidays Marie.

    Great recipe ideas.

  4. This is a fun idea! I can't wait to see which are winners and losers. :)

    1. :-) I won't be cooking ALL the recipes, but the few I do will be posted.

  5. Oh my word, that pear ginger cake sounds amazing!!


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