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!

Celebrating the New Year

Even though I’m not a huge New Year’s person, I do like to make the two days of the holiday special, starting with our annual hot chocolate bar on New Year’s Eve:

This year, in addition to several varieties of hot chocolate, we had four kinds of marshmallows, crushed peppermint and candy canes, chocolate covered pretzels and Pirouettes, two kinds of whipped cream, and chocolate-peppermint cookies that I baked just for the holiday:

I love seeing how different everyone’s cup looks when they’re done assembling it:

Today we had our fancy New Year’s dinner:

The star of the meal was rack of lamb, which was a first for me (I’ve only made leg of lamb in the past). We also had rosemary potatoes, roasted carrots and parsnips, asparagus, fennel gratin, spiced apple rings, and rolls:

It was a very nice dinner, and not quite as much work as our big Christmas dinner was:

And, I made creme brûlée for dessert, which is a real treat!

I have one big dinner left to make, and then that’s it for holiday meals for this season. I know Easter is lurking around the corner, though, so it won’t be too long until I’m back at it!

A Markel Family New Year

New Year’s is not one of our family’s favorite holidays. Even so, I try to make it special, since it is the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. This year was especially nice because we got to start New Year’s Eve morning at church (and got to see the Advent wreath all lit up one more time!):

We always enjoy our New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar. This year we had five flavors of hot chocolate to choose from: dark and milk chocolate, French vanilla, salted caramel, and mint. We also had three kinds of mini marshmallows…regular, mint, and vanilla snowmen. Unfortunately this year, I could not find chocolate whipped cream, so we only had regular to go with our other toppings and add-ons:

Ryan and I enjoyed a toast to the new year, but we didn’t wait until midnight. While we were awake to ring in the new year, I wasn’t sure I would make it, so we had our toast a few hours early, while we watched our traditional New Year’s Eve movie…Apollo 13.

We didn’t have any big plans for today. Originally, we were going to have a nice stay at home day, followed by our first family feast of the new year, but we ended up driving into West County to do a little shopping…I find it very hard to do nothing all day! When we got home, I started on our dinner…Cornish hens roasted with lemon, garlic, and rosemary in a white wine sauce, mashed potatoes (with homemade gravy!), roasted red potatoes, carrots and Brussel sprouts, cherry Jell-O, and dinner rolls. It was a little different from our standard New Year’s Day dinner (although, I used to make Cornish hens for New Year’s when Ryan and I were first married), and very delicious!

For dessert we had a tuxedo cake, which I thought was just the right amount of formal for this holiday!

So, while we’re not big New Year’s people, I hope I still made it a special two days, as we said goodbye to 2017, and welcomed 2018 with open arms!

The First Family Feast of 2017

I’m not going to lie…New Year’s Day (or Eve, for that matter), isn’t really my thing. After the excitement of Christmas, it just seems blah to me. This year, I wasn’t even going to do a big dinner. We were going to have pot roast, because chuck roasts were on sale last week, and carrots, and that’s it. But I must have felt guilty or something, because I decided we should have mashed potatoes, too. And I figured I should add the children’s favorite vegetable (brussels sprouts), while I was at it. Then I decided to make our favorite Jell-O, too. And then I got really crazy, and resolved (see what I did there?) to make both Parker House rolls and gravy from scratch. So much for ignoring New Year’s Day, I guess!

I’m so not into this holiday, I wasn’t even going to make a dessert. Until I ran across a recipe for mint hot chocolate bread pudding. Fine. I made dessert, too.

I didn’t get out the fancy china this time…because I’m still not into today. But, we had a nice family feast, and I guess it was a pretty good way to start a new year!

The First Feast of 2016

Only one day into the new year, and we’ve already gotten out the china and had a family feast!

The menu included pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, cherry Jell-O salad, carrots, brussels sprouts, crescent rolls, and the bubbly and sparkling grape juice we never got around to last night, plus tiramisu for dessert:

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What a delicious way to start a new year!

The First Feast of 2015

Yesterday marked our first feast of the New Year…pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, roast carrots, cherry Jell-O, and crescent rolls, with a champagne cake for dessert:

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I’m already looking forward to all of the other special celebrations we’ll be having this year!

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!