Tasty Tuesday–Holiday Feasts

Here’s a wrap-up of the special meals we’ve enjoyed this holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving, and going through the end of Christmas (Epiphany)!




The Christmas Tea (our one luncheon feast):


Christmas Eve (appetizers, dips, and desserts):


The English Christmas Feast:




New Year’s Day:


Epiphany (aka Ryan’s birthday)–a mini-Thanksgiving, with birthday cake for dessert:


The time of feasting is over, for a while at least. I am working on a plan for a Valentine’s Day tea, though!

The Ryan’s Birthday/Epiphany Feast

Also known as Thanksgiving-lite. Turkey and gravy, stuffing, green beans amandine, and cranberries, with birthday cake for dessert. No mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, or five pies, but still very similar to our Thanksgiving feast. It’s a nice way to bookend the holiday season!


A Feast to Celebrate the New Year

For some reason, our tradition is having a pork roast on New Year’s Day. I’m not sure how it started, but it stuck. This year, I made our favorite pork roast, along with roast carrots and potatoes. For dessert, we had an amazing Christmas trifle, which included layers of homemade white chocolate-peppermint mousse, extra-fudgy homemade brownies, and homemade chocolate pudding, all sprinkled with a little bit of crushed peppermint candies (whipped cream optional). It was a nice way to start off the New Year!


Another Christmas Dinner

On Christmas Eve, we had our traditional dinner of appetizers, dips, and desserts. Christmas Day ended being a little funky, meal-wise, so we ordered pizzas. Our big, fancy Christmas dinner was finally enjoyed today! I chose an English theme (since this has been a major “Rule Britannia” year for us), and the menu I settled up on included roast beef, brussels sprouts (a very important Christmas dinner staple in England), roast carrots and potatoes, cranberries, and, for dessert, a French cake popular in England, the Bûche de Noël or Yule Log Cake. We also enjoyed drinking wassail, which is another of our regular family Christmas traditions, but fit in nicely with the theme for the day!

Wassail, hot out of the pot:


Standing rib roast with a rosemary-garlic rub, served with a horseradish cream sauce:


A trio of roast vegetables–brussels sprouts, carrots, and potatoes:


Spiced cranberries:


The feast:


The table:



Christmas Crackers:


In addition to a paper hat, everyone’s Christmas Cracker came with a toy:


As well a joke:


The Bûche de Noël:


Happy Christmas!

Tasty Tuesday Part Two–The Thanksgiving Menu

For anyone who is interested, here’s what we’ll be having for dinner on Thanksgiving Day:

Yes, that’s a lot of desserts. But we have a tradition of having pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving, so I have to make sure there are plenty of leftovers!

The “Pick Out Dinner”

Having a smorgasbord of appetizers on Christmas Eve has become a family tradition, quite by accident. The one year I was thinking about not doing it, Turkey and Bunny protested (loudly!), and I realized that this is probably their favorite meal of the year. I always try to have a few things every person will enjoy, and the children all get to “pick out” what they want–no one is required to try anything they don’t want to, and if they don’t like something, they don’t have to finish it. Of course, I make enough food for a family twice our size, so we’ll be eating appetizers for quite a while, but it’s a special family tradition that I wouldn’t trade for anything!