Tasty Tuesday–Holiday Baking 2019

We never did get around to making and decorating cut-out cookies this year (I think we’ll make that a Valentine’s Day activity!), but I thought it would be fun to take a look back at all of the holiday baking we did do, from Thanksgiving Eve through Epiphany.

16 Dozen Cookies (four different kinds):

11 Pies (a total of eight varieties):

Layer Cake:

Coffee Cake:

Bûche de Noël:

Apple-Cranberry Bread Pudding:

Gingerbread-Eggnog Trifle:

Lussekattes for Santa Lucia Day:

Crème Brûlée:

Epiphany Baklava:

Even without the cut-out cookies, this may have been the busiest year of baking yet…it was delicious fun!

Dinner for a Monumental Birthday

Today is Ryan’s 40th birthday (and Epiphany), so of course I had to make a special dinner!

He hadn’t yet decided what he wanted for his birthday dinner when I ran across whole beef tenderloins on the cheap at Aldi, so I made an executive (chef’s) decision, and bought one, telling him he could choose what I would turn it into.

He picked Beef Wellington, which I’ve only made once before. I think I did an excellent job this time, from the trimming to the preparation, and the sides of mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, asparagus, and sautéed mushrooms were the perfect accompaniment!

It really was a lovely dinner (if I do say so myself):

Ryan requested birthday pie for dessert, so I made the peanut butter pie that has been a new favorite this holiday season, and our family’s favorite s’mores pie. It’s hard to see, but the candles even “spell” out 40!

Thus endeth another season of festive meals. I’m both relieved and sad that I won’t have another fancy dinner to make for a while…as of now, the kitchen is closed!

A Markel Family Epiphany

Epiphany has always been a festive day in our house, because it’s Ryan’s birthday. But for the last few years, it’s been an extra big deal, because Epiphany is the biggest day of the year for the children’s choir. This year was a little different because the holiday fell on a Sunday, so instead of the usual evening Divine Service, Epiphany was observed as part of the regular Sunday morning Divine Service, and the adult choir sang with the children on Mendelssohn’s “There Shall a Star.” Ryan even got to be part of the trio in the first part!

There is always a reception after the Epiphany service, but it was different this year, because it was a brunch reception instead of an evening one. The ladies did a wonderful job of decorating the church basement and putting everything together! As for me, my annual contribution is baklava (my signature dish, apparently), and I added in a more brunch-appropriate coffee cake, as well.

We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon at home following the service. Ryan picked chili for his birthday dinner, and it made the house smell amazing for several hours!

He also picked a Guinness cake for dessert, which is definitely our family’s favorite!

So this Epiphany was a little different from normal, but all the basic elements were there…a church celebration and a birthday celebration. It’s a fun way to say goodbye to Christmas!

Tasty Tuesday–The Final Christmas Feast

We had Ryan’s birthday dinner a day early today, so we got to have one last 12 Days of Christmas feast! Homemade fish tacos with shredded cabbage and a delicious white sauce, with a chocolate cake for dessert:

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I’m always sad to see Christmas go, but at least we had one last chance to celebrate!

Tasty Tuesday–Holiday Feasts 2013

We had another fun season of special meals this year! Here’s a wrap-up of the feasts we enjoyed…

We started the holiday season with a typical Thanksgiving dinner, followed by an epic six pies for dessert:

On Christmas Eve we had our annual “pick out dinner.” Ryan chose Velveeta/Rotel dip, I picked my favorite jalapeno popper spread, Turkey asked for deviled eggs, Bunny wanted cream cheese stuffed peppers, Moose chose mozzarella sticks, Ladybug asked for cucumber sandwiches, and I picked red and green Goldfish crackers for Chickadee. Plus, we had the standard buffalo Chex mix, carrots, finger Jell-o in Christmas colors and shapes, and a cheese, cracker, and summer sausage plate. (We had Jesus’ birthday cake for dessert after church that night.)

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Our fancy Christmas dinner was held the day after Christmas, when Ryan’s parents could join us. The star of the meal was a pork crown roast. We also had stuffing, cranberries, and roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and brussels sprouts:

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The Christmas desserts were a rustic apple-pear pie with French vanilla ice cream and cream puffs:

On New Year’s Eve, I made French onion soup in my new soup crocks:

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We didn’t have a Christmas tea party this year, but we did have a New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar!

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I made our traditional New Year’s Day dinner of pork roast, along with a cherry-pineapple Jell-o salad, twice-baked potatoes, and roast carrots and brussels sprouts, with a chocolate peppermint trifle for dessert:

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The final feast of the holiday season is always Ryan’s birthday/Epiphany. This year, he chose fish tacos with a spicy cabbage slaw, and Guinness cake for dessert:

The time of feasting is over for now, but I’m sure we have plenty of special family meals in our future!

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)!

Thanksgiving:

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The Christmas Tea (our one luncheon feast):

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Christmas Eve (appetizers, dips, and desserts):

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The English Christmas Feast:

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New Year’s Day:

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

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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!

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