What are you cooking for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day?

For most of us, Christmas is the first or second biggest family event of the year, especially in the cooking and baking department.

Some people prefer turkey, some prefer ham, and others (like me) prefer beef.

Since I have a small group on Christmas Eve, I usually splurge and get a rib roast (with or without bones), and prepare a few side dishes to complement this yummy main course. There’s a special rich potato and Gruyère cheese casserole, usually a salad and a simple green vegetable, although I have added other things. One year I made a really good mushroom tart with puff pastry (should do that one again, now that the kids eat mushrooms). I make either a mixed berry trifle or a pumpkin steamed pudding with maple sauce for dessert.

On Christmas Day I don’t cook anything, other than breakfast. My daughter’s family goes to my son-in-law’s family for dinner. I’m invited too, but I usually stay at home and relax.

I know that some ethnic groups have special dishes and meals that are prepared for Christmas. For instance, Italians traditionally have a fish and seafood meal on Christmas Eve. Polish families often have dishes like fresh kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, and pierogi.

What do you (or your family) usually prepare for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day dinner?

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84 Responses to What are you cooking for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day?

  1. michellc says:

    Christmas eve we usually eat either take-out pizza or make a homemade pizza and it’s when I bake sugar cookies for Santa. That of course started when my kids were little and then even after they quit believing in Santa it was a tradition that continued and something still my daughter and I do together.
    Christmas it is ham, baked chicken, dressing, sweet potato casserole, potato salad, baked beans, veggies, fruit salad and coconut, chocolate and banana cream pie and my husband always has to have his apple pie.

    We are traditional and boring. lol

    Liked by 5 people

  2. facebkwallflower says:

    Christmas Eve – Steak, different roasted veggie dishes and some new holiday drinks (spirits) that I haven’t found yet. Any suggestions? Also, make some treats as a group.

    Christmas Day – Breakfast undecided but afternoon starts with lots of cheeses and cheese balls with crackers. A couple of “dry” specialty drinks (again no idea what yet) and Honey Baked Ham and Prime Rib for supper with who knows what – maybe cranberry cottage cheese muffins. Pies and Cheesecakes. Lots of pies and cheesecakes.

    Any drink ideas?????

    Liked by 4 people

    • stella says:

      We usually drink wine with dinner – sparkling rose and a pinot noir, maybe. The kids get sparkling cider.

      My big kids like beer and port (yuck from me on the port).

      I bought a bottle of Framboise (raspberry fortified wine) and I have Kahlua. Thought the two of them would combine to make some kind of special drink. I’ll have to check!

      Liked by 3 people

      • czarowniczy says:

        We make a sangria that works cold or hot as mulled wine. We used to have feuerzangenbowle or cafe brulot but I can’t take the sugar in the bowle and Czarina is caffeine sensitive so it’s a tasty compromise.
        As for those of you who already know what you’ll be eating on Christmas, my hat’s off to you. Generally I don’t know what I’m making for dinner on any given day until I’m pressed a few hours prior…or I shoot it in the back yard. The former is more the case than the latter.

        Liked by 2 people

        • ImpeachEmAll says:

          Don’t like the taste of foot; so,
          will not be doing the latter. 😉

          Am thinking of cooking some beef
          someone already killed in Australia. 😉

          Hope everyone has a tasty, fantastic
          meal or two or three. Plenty of time to
          shrink the waistline in prep for next year. 😉

          Liked by 2 people

    • Menagerie says:

      Last year I made wassail for the first time. It was a big hit with everyone and made the house smell wonderful. I did it in the crockpot. Lots of recipes out there, I chose two that sounded good and more or less combined them, dropping an ingredient or two.

      Liked by 3 people

      • stella says:

        Did you make it non-alcoholic, or alcoholic?

        Liked by 3 people

        • Menagerie says:

          Non alcoholic, but this year we will probably mix some individual drinks with added liquor. We are also thinking we might make grog.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Menagerie says:

          It went over so well that I had to make a secon pot of it. I was sure most of them wouldn’t like it, but everyone really loved it.

          Liked by 2 people

        • czarowniczy says:

          If you put the brandy in, when you boil the wassail mixture, much if not most of the alcohol (boils at 173F) will boil off. If you wait until the mixture has boiled and then mix the brandy in more of the alcohol will remain. You also have to factor in the brandy’s proof and the amount of it you are adding to how much mix…either way if you’re drinking it while eating I don’t see the alcohol doing much more than lifting one’s mood a bit…if at all.

          Mangi! Mangia! Bevande! Bevande!

          Liked by 3 people

      • joshua says:

        were there any wails after wassail? or was that whales…..I forget…

        Like

    • czarina33 says:

      Mix 1 cup unfiltered apple juice, 1/4 cup spiced rum & 2 tbs cinnamon schnapps. Warm or cold it’s good.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Menagerie says:

    I always cook a ham and a turkey, but this year we are eating at my son’s house, and I am just making a ham, and some vegetables. Another son is bringing braised beef and tortellini.

    I don’t know how I feel about such an un-Christmasy addition to the meal, but I’m sure it will be delicious.

    I have rigidity issues, and great difficulty with change. It seems long past time for me to get over that, especially since I’m kind of tired of so much holiday cooking.

    I say that every year, and every year I exhaust myself cooking.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. WeeWeed says:

    On Christmas Eve, we do Tex-Mex. That involves a pot of pinto beans, Spanish rice, red enchiladas and tamales. Both corn and flour tortillas, chips, salsa, blah, blah. OR on Christmas day, depending on when my child can come! When I was a kid my Momma would fix a baked chicken if my dad was TDY, a pork loin or prime rib when he was home (he DESPISED poultry of any sort) depending on the money available.
    We also have a standard “Christmas” salad that’s served with pumpkin pie, though it doesn’t go too well with Mexican food. Just a truckload of whipped cream, diced apples, chopped pecans, giant blackish-purple grapes halved and seeded, bananas halved, quartered and sliced. No citrus as it breaks down the whipped cream. 😀
    This year, since we have Christmas day to ourselves, prolly just leftovers….. or a steak and baked potato! I love beef, myself.

    Liked by 4 people

    • stella says:

      Sounds really good! My mother made a salad like the one you described. She called it Waldorf Salad. I don’t think it had bananas in it though.

      Liked by 2 people

    • czarowniczy says:

      All that matters is friends and family eating together.

      Liked by 4 people

    • czarowniczy says:

      We did the European Christmas Eve pig-out with Christmas day being either leftovers or some other light meal. Now we just put all of our over-consumption efforts into one huge Christmas gorgeathon. Age takes its toll.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ImpeachEmAll says:

      Mom always made a deep dish, chiffon
      pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust
      and covered in whipped cream. Yum. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • joshua says:

      I recommend a spray of airwick or fabrize to accompany your Eve sup…..we garnish our Tex Mex with a side plate of Rolaids and Tums for the weak of digestion. Love to recall that most range cooking, and Mexican recipes, were created to cover up the taste of spoiled meat and old grease, and to get hot enough to kill bacteria while having enough pepper in it so you don’t remember that actual taste very long.

      Sangria, and Dos XX were constructs of the gringo pallet trying to make peasant and cowpoke fare into some form of elitist citified Dallas or Houston restaurant food.

      Corn chips were destroyed in Mexico when the EPA forced the farmers to divert corn into fuel stock, making them rich, and the peasants have no grain food for tortillas….

      Like

  5. Menagerie says:

    I used to have a bos who was from Louisiana. He always cooked seafood for Christmas.

    Liked by 4 people

    • WeeWeed says:

      Lotta that down heah. 😀 Notsomuch Tex-Mex….

      Liked by 2 people

    • WeeWeed says:

      LOL – I was gonna add I don’t have to beat anyone to death over the last package of dry pinto beans or last package of tortillas. 😀

      Liked by 4 people

      • czarowniczy says:

        Wanna trade dinner guests?

        Liked by 2 people

        • joshua says:

          czar…..there are some many opportunities in the discussions posted below about various foods and their names and constitutional constructs that I have had to absolutely work very hard to just leave it alone, altho my mind is rolling in the mud over the possible verbal perversions…….maybe you should take over and I will stay off the ban list for a little longer hopefully….so tempting….

          Like

    • czarowniczy says:

      See…..

      Liked by 2 people

    • MTeresa says:

      For quite a while, it’s just been my DH and I every Christmas eve. We go to Mass and then do a seafood risotto and celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes. Since we moved, I’ve invited some neighbors (like us) who will also be without family Christmas eve. Truthfully, I’m tired of feelin’ sorry for myself and for some reason……. feel called to feed them 😉

      Christmas day, we will be able to be with family and most likely it’ll be ham and scalloped potatoes (like Mom always did). I get the rigidity thing. Old habits die hard.

      Liked by 3 people

      • stella says:

        I love scalloped potatoes, and they are great for a crowd. The version I make for Christmas Eve is really dressed up, made with Gruyere cheese and full-fat cream. The dish is first rubbed with garlic, then butter. The very thin potatoes are first soaked a while in water, then dried, and layered carefully, but only three layers, and each is followed by salt, pepper, and grated cheese. Cream is poured over it all, and it is baked until browned and bubbly.

        Liked by 3 people

    • joshua says:

      lips that touch crawdads will never touch mine…….

      Like

  6. czarowniczy says:

    Ya know, the people next door are sooooo serious, they don’t know what a good time they’re missing over here.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. nyetneetot says:

    I have no idea. Mrs. Nyet usually invents dinners from scratch I never thought possible in a microwave while traveling.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lburg says:

    Was at the local barber shop discussing sausage the other day and the guy who was getting his hair cut mentioned something about a rack of lamb someone had requested. Turns out he owns the local sheep farm I’ve been meaning to call….

    So I will get to watch the sheep shearing process on Dec. 15, bring home a fleece for spinning, AND have ordered a leg of lamb for Christmas day. Christmas Eve is generally lasagne, salad, bread and cookies for dessert – all things that people can grab as they come through the door.

    Liked by 2 people

    • stella says:

      This is a recipe I got from a caterer friend. I only made it once, and it is for a boned leg of lamb, but it was really delicious:

      Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

      Use whole New Zealand boned leg of lamb (Costco). Remove wrapping except for small ‘girdle’ around the center to hold it together.

      Make slits in meat. Insert 1/2 cloves of garlic and fresh rosemary. Rub with olive oil, salt with kosher salt and heavily pepper with fresh cracked pepper. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the leg. (The idea is to create a heavy crust on the roast) Place on rack over roasting pan.

      Roast at 425 degrees for the first 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Baste every 30 minute with more fresh lemon juice (squeeze over). Cook to internal temperature of 140 degrees; roast will increase temp to 145 degrees while resting. Remove roast on rack to a platter (cover with foil).

      Remove fat from roasting pan. Deglaze pan with white wine, then put drippings into a sauce pan. Make gravy, adding chicken stock and more lemon juice to taste; thicken with slurry of cornstarch and water or stock.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

        That is EXACTLY how I was taught in England by my DH’s family to cook roast lamb! The only difference was we used a rolled boneless shoulder joint, and it was Scottish lamb. It is fantastic! With mint sauce, mashed potatoes, Brussell Sprouts, and Yorkshire Puddings! Always a Christmas Pudding for dessert, yuck.
        I make little mince pies for him at Christmas just for his memories. I had never eaten lamb once in my entire life when we met, it’s one of my favs. He also gets an Indian curry out of the leftovers.
        I love all of the crazy British customs at Christmas. They do some pretty funny stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        • stella says:

          Think I might make herbed Yorkshire puddings for Christmas Eve. I haven’t done that in a long time.

          When I was a child, we would go to Canada at some point during the Holidays. My grandmother always made a steamed carrot pudding with a custard sauce, and it was delish. I have a recipe I make for pumpkin steamed pudding with walnuts and maple custard sauce. Not all steamed puddings are yucky. Have you ever had spotted dick? It looks okay (on tv). Grandma also made a variety of yummy tarts – raisin, raspberry etc. She also had biscuits and bran muffins on the table at every meal.

          I was watching the series Victorian Farm on YouTube, and they made what we would call head cheese for Christmas, but they called it something else – brawn, I think. That is something that my father liked. His grandfather and uncle were sausage makers, so I guess it figures.

          Like

        • stella says:

          I worked with a guy from England until I retired a couple of years ago. His wife would send us a plate of little mince tarts every year at Christmas time. Mince was my mother’s favorite. Can’t say that it’s mine, but I like a small tart now and then.

          Like

          • Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

            The little pies are pretty good. Spotted Dick is good with lashings of custard poured over. My fav is Sticky Toffee Pudding. Very good!. What sort of herbs do you put in your Yorkies? My DH always makes them and they are delicious, but maybe I can talk him into a little embellishment!
            I always tease him and call them “Yorkshire Terrorists”! His are actually delicious, and we’ve always fought over them. Mmmmmm…can’t wait.

            Head cheese, um, no ty. My step dad tried to feed a piece to our cat when we were young. Cat did his best to cover it up! I didn’t blame him at all.

            Liked by 1 person

          • joshua says:

            I think that is what the congressmen and hollywood types like too…occassional small tarts.

            Like

        • joshua says:

          yeppers….all that blood pudding and mash and stuff soaked in cream….right up there with a really good haggis….

          Like

      • Lburg says:

        Boooy that sound GOOD! Thanks, Stella!

        Liked by 1 person

      • John Denney says:

        I’ve deboned a lamb leg myself, then made a few lengthwise slashes from the inside to make it lay flat with the inside facing up. Season that side with garlic, rosemary and thyme, and salt, then roll it up and tie it so it’s the same thickness all over, as best you can, then season the outside with olive oil, black pepper, a hint of mace, mustard powder, ginger powder, and ground dried ripe home grown serrano chiles, and a few drops each of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
        Roast as you described, but without basting.

        Like

        • joshua says:

          you people wouldn’t actually kill and eat me on Christmas would you….my ancestors were all in the manger when the Messiah was born…and they didn’t cook me for his birthday.
          oh…..the Silence of the Lambs….

          Like

          • Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

            I could never eat lamb in the spring when they were so young and cute, leaping around in our back yard(farm). However, by September, they looked just like their moms, so eat away!
            They have to grow up to be big enough to eat, lol!

            Like

  9. Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

    A Christmas Cracker! You and someone who sits at the dinner table next to you pull opposite ends. It explodes with a crack! Inside there is a toy (Cracker Jack type of wee doodad), a paper crown that you have to wear for dinner, and a joke written on a paper that you have to tell at the table. It’s and old tradition, but seemed weird to me when I spent my first Christmas there in 1988.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. stella says:

    Just found this recipe for Herb & Apple Bread Pudding. Sounds intriguing, and it’s by Ina Garten. Her recipes always turn out good.

    https://www.eater.com/2016/11/5/13393492/ina-garten-herb-apple-stuffing-recipe

    Like

  11. ImpeachEmAll says:

    Whatever food you
    might have to eat;
    don’t forget to… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • joshua says:

      great thought, good looking pies….really dirty rolling pin…..

      …joke on me…as a young man trying to help my grandmother, I washed her rolling pin in the sink…….I think she might have beat me with a spatula or a big wooden spoon over it….I guess that was when I learned NEVER EVER wash a wooden rolling pin…

      Like

  12. John Denney says:

    Oh, that beef picture looks so good!

    We’re not traditionalists, cooking whatever strikes our fancy and is available at Christmas. Last year it looked pretty much like Stella’s picture; the previous year was turkey, I think.

    Son wants to have a dinner at our house for his college friends this coming week-end. Dinner for 12, I think it will be. I suggested perhaps I might make spare ribs for the event, and the look on his face and the soft moan of ecstasy that escaped his lips told me he thinks it’s the most awesomest idea ever. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. czarina33 says:

    Mama moved the big dinner to Christmas Eve when my sister got married so she & her husband didn’t have to eat two big meals in one day. Big dinner always included turkey, giblet gravy, herb stuffing, whipped potatoes, canned petit point peas & carrots (replace by frozen when they invented that, then peas with tiny pearl onions when they arrived in the freezer case), Waldorf salad (I posted it in the Thanksgiving food thread), pumpkin & mince pies and egg nog with rum. Kids got a little rum when they reached 15 years old. One year Daddy was out of rum (horrors!) and put vodka in the egg nog, and everyone got too tipsy!!! Ate off Mama’s good dishes (Rosenthal Victoria – the ivory plate with roses & gold on the edge). Christmas Day was eating leftovers &a reading.

    Liked by 2 people

    • John Denney says:

      Somehow, your past makes me better understand the value of traditions, that they are a warm, welcoming home when one is wearied with adventure.

      Liked by 1 person

      • czarina33 says:

        And why we so grieve when our parents/grandparents die. As the daughter of friends who died recently said, “I haven’t just lost my mom & dad, I have lost my home in New Orleans.”

        Like

      • czarina33 says:

        GGS has totally embraced the traditions. Czar said he craves the stability & escape. First thing he asks is when we will open the dining room table to put in the leaves, then he chooses the tablecloth. He has learned the rules about carrying Mama’s dishes carefully. And, amazingly, the kid who balks at tasting a new food eats everything when at the holiday table!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. aggie.coutinho says:

    Please have a look at my recent blog post about Christmas tradition in Poland, Brazil and England if you have a moment https://mindset4progress.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/christmas-in-europe-and-at-the-end-of-the-world/
    Merry Christmas 🙂
    Aggie

    Liked by 1 person

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