Christmas Dinner 2020

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I really enjoy getting gifts for others, and I enjoy Christmas dinner. Ham is one of my favorite foods and so I always make a ham for Christmas and Easter. My Easter dinner also looks identical to my Christmas dinner. Since it’s been a weird year, I will be celebrating Christmas with my husband’s nuclear family, and won’t be able to make my standard dinner on Christmas afternoon. So, I decided to make my Christmas dinner last night!

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I always make the same things for holidays. For Christmas I always make a cooked ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, a canned veggie, crescent rolls, and the star of the meal is always deviled eggs. Many of these foods are standard. I enjoy my ham with a brown sugar glaze and some pineapple on top (even if it does nothing for the flavor). Mashed potatoes are standard, and my gravy I made from this year’s turkey stock, and just added 3 Tbsp corn starch to thicken. Sweet potato casserole is just opening a can and a bag of marshmallows at this point. And finally, the original part of the meal is deviled eggs. I find eggs to go so good with ham, and deviled eggs are a tasty treat anyway! Mayo, mustard, and egg make a tasty appetizer and side! To cook this dinner, it only took 1.5 hours. My ham was cooked, so I just had to reheat. I then peeled and diced the potatoes, and started them boiling 40 minutes before the ham was done. I heated the gravy on the stove and once thick, would pull it off the heat when it’d boil, and I also started boiling a can of sliced carrots about 20 minutes from serving. I placed my crescents on a baking sheet and started them 14 minutes from completion, and I baked the sweet potato casserole with 7 minutes left. With about 5 minutes left I strained the potatoes and finished them with just enough time for everything else to finish.

I hope this give you some ideas and instruction for your Christmas dinner! Merry Christmas!

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To see recipes for what I make, you can click a link below!

Click here to see my recipe for Cooked Ham!

Click here to see my recipe for Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!

Click here to see my recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole and Honey Roasted Beets!

Click here to see my recipe for Deviled Eggs!

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Thanksgiving 2020

For 2020, we’ll be trying to have as normal of a Thanksgiving as possible. This year will be my second year cooking dinner, and I have many new foods planned for this meal. Last year, was the standard three: turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, then we also had some crescents and 2 different veggies. This year, I am planning a sweet potato casserole, glazed and roasted beets, crescents again, and frozen green beans from this summer’s garden. This year I also made a pumpkin pie that we’ll be having with our dinner. Once the day is over, Friday, I’ll also be boiling the bones to make stock again this year. This year’s stock will be frozen like before, however this stock will likely be used almost strictly entirely for gravy.

To see recipes for what I’ll be making, you can click a link below!

Click here to see my recipe for Stuffing and Turkey!

Click here to see my recipe for Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!

Click here to see my recipe for Pumpkin Pie!

Click here to see my recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole and Honey Roasted Beets!

Click here to see my recipe for Turkey Stock!

Pork Dumplings

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These dumplings are far from beautiful. Like pies and my prior attempts at pierogies, I am still bad a sealing foods. Don’t let these dumpling’s appearance fool you though, because these dumplings were very tasty! This recipe takes a while to make, so give yourself an hour of just prep time if you plan on making your own wrappers. You could also just by store wrappers and that will help a ton. Learn from my mistakes by taking the advice next. First, make sure your dough isn’t too sticky for your wrappers. If the dough tries to stick to your hand, add more flour. Finally, these will stick to the pan once all the liquid is out, so use a stiff spatula and scrape the bottom of the pan to get that nice crisp bottom. You could also steam them, but I don’t have a decent steamer basket, so this faux steaming will work for me. These dumplings are savory and have so much flavor. The soy dipping also helps even out the flavor and is necessary for this recipe. This recipe makes 20 dumplings or 3 adult servings.

What You Will Need

Wrappers

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water
  • Rolling pin
  • Cling wrap

Filling

  • 1/2 lb Pork, ground
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Ginger paste
  • Sesame Oil
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Frying pan and Lid
  • Stiff Spatula
  • Soy sauce, for serving

Directions

Making Wrappers

1. Mix together in a bowl flour and water until the dough comes together. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough should not be sticky. Once dough is formed, wrap in cling wrap for 30 minutes to rest.

2. Once rested, turn out onto floured work surface. Divide into 20 balls and cover with cling wrap when not working with them. Roll out each ball into a 3 inch circle. Set aside on floured surface.

Making Pork Dumplings

  1. Mix together in a mixing bowl, pork, garlic, onion, ginger, and sesame oil.

2. In the center of your wrappers, add 1 Tbsp pork mixture. Fold in half and seal edges. Begin heating your frying pan over medium heat.

3. Once hot, add enough dumplings to fit in pan without touching. Add 1/3 cup water, and cover for 5 minutes and cook undisturbed. Remove the lid and cook until all the water disappears and the bottom of the pan begins to turn a dark brown. Remove from heat. Using spatula, free your dumplings from the pan, plate and serve.

Shrimp and Broccoli Pizza

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This recipe makes enough dough for 2 pizzas, but the rest of the ingredients are for 1 pizza!

Pizza comes in all shapes and sizes, with different flavor profiles and toppings. When you make homemade pizza you can make your dough sweet or spicy, you can use a mild, strong, soft or hard cheese, toppings are limitless. Pizza is a blank canvas. For this recipe, I first though of shrimp pizza after I made shrimp lo mein with the other half of this bag of frozen shrimp. I wanted to make a pizza featuring shrimp, and I thought then that a cheese sauce would be a good pair, and then broccoli seemed to also be a natural pair. So this pizza was born. The cheese sauce for this pizza was made with just estimates. I make this exact cheese sauce for mac and cheese and so you just add milk until your desired looseness is met. If you make this recipe the way I did, you will have 1/2 the cheese sauce left, so boil 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, and you can have a side of mac and cheese with pizza (which is what I did). Each pizza makes 10 slices, giving about 5 adult servings per tray. As noted above, this recipe makes 2 crusts, but the rest of the ingredients are enough for 1 pizza, so alter the recipe if you want to make 2 shrimp pizzas.

What You Will Need

  • 3 1/2 tsp Active Dried Yeast
  • 2 Cups Warm Water
  • 6 Cups & 4 Tbsp Flour Separated
  • 3 Tbsp Oil
  • 2 Baking Sheets, 13 x 18in, 1/2 Baking Sheet
  • 1/2 Medium Diced Onion
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, 1/2 Stick
  • 1 Block White Sharp Cheese, 8 Oz
  • 1 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Bag Broccoli, 16 Oz Thawed and Dried
  • 12 Oz Frozen Cooked Shrimp, Thawed and Tail Removed
  • 1/2 bag Mozzarella, 16 Oz
  • Non-stick Spray
  • Large Frying Pan

Directions

  1. To Make Dough: In a bowl, mix together Yeast, Warm Water, Flour, and Oil. Mix until a smooth dough forms, then set aside and let rise til double in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn out onto a greased countertop and divide into 2 portions for 2 pizzas.

2. In a large frying pan, melt butter and saute onion. Once onion is sauteed, add flour and stir constantly until flour is cooked out. Add milk then stir til smooth, add more milk as necessary. Dice cheese into 1 inch cubes then add to flour mixture. Stir off the heat until all cheese is melted. Set aside.

3. Heat oven to 400 F. Spray both baking sheets with non-stick spray, add dough and spread evenly over the bottom to edges. If dough pulls back from the edges, let rest for 5 minutes before trying again. Once pulled to edges of pan, top with 1/2 cheese mixture and spread to 1 inch from edges of crust. Add broccoli on top. Bake for 15 minutes then remove.

4. Add shrimp and mozzarella to 1/2 baked pizza. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving to prevent cheese sauce from running out.

Summer Sausage Pasta

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One pan dinners are starting to grow in popularity in our house. Cook your ingredients, add some broth and pasta, let it cook down, and bam! You’ve got a one pan dinner. This was homemade summer sausage we received as a gift, but it was very similar to Hickory Farms summer sausage just with a bit more pepper. The only real advice for this recipe is to be careful of the yogurt you use. You can use milk instead, but you’ll have to add about 2 Tbsp of flour early on to get the thickening. If you use yogurt, it has to be completely unflavored. A good alternative is Greek yogurt if you like to sour cream like constancy.

What You Will Need
  • 10 Oz Summer Sausage Diced
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3 Beef Bouillon Cubes
  • 12 Oz Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 Small Tomato Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 cup Plain/Greek yogurt (Do not use flavored)
  • 4 Oz White Sharp Cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Dutch Oven and Lid
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven, add diced onion and 1 Tbsp oil. Cook until sweating. Add diced summer sausage. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups water and bouillon cubes. Stir and add Macaroni. Add diced tomato, and spices (garlic, paprika, curry powder, and chili powder). Stir and cover. Cook til minimum cook time for macaroni is reached according to package.
  3. Remove from heat. Add yogurt, the cheddar sliced, and butter. Stir until all the cheese is melted, you may return to heat if needed.
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes then serve.
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