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5 secrets to a stress-free Christmas dinner

By Carolyn Malcoun, December 7, 2010 - 11:33am

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Carolyn asks: What’s your key to planning a stress-free Christmas dinner?


I always print out and save my menu with the source of the recipe and page number. If something does not go over well for any reason I make a note of it on the menu. The next time I am preparing a special dinner I don't have to go looking through my cookbooks for the recipes. I also make as much as possible ahead of time and prepare a time schedule for cooking.


12/07/2010 - 9:36pm

Roast beef, just put it in the pan, pour a packet of lipton onion soup mix and a can of cream of mushroom soup over the top, you can use a cooking bag or poke a few holes in foil with a fork and put it over the top and tightly seal it around the edges of the pan and let it bake for 3 or 4 hours, cook up some instant mashed potatoes, to make the gravy just take your roast out of the pan and pour the broth from the roast into a pot or you can strain the broth using a strainer or colendar to get the mushrooms out or if you want to keep the mushrooms don't strain it, mix a couple tablespoons of flour or a brown gravy packet in a cup of cold water and put it in the pot, cook til thickened, then for a side use a can of corn or beans and I also have cottage cheese but if you want to make it fancy take a can of any kind of fruit and spoon it over the top and if you want to make it even fancier put a piece of lettuce on the plate first then scoop on the cottage cheese and fruit, have soda eggnog, coffee on hand, for desert, you just need graham cracker crust with slices of bannanas on the bottom if you want covered with chocolate pudding and then a scoop of whip cream or you can have cheese cake, before dinner you can have some muffins for breakfast or cinnomon rolls with juice, then for snacks before dinner make a delicious bread dip by scooping out the insides of a round bread and cutting it up for dipping, pour some dip in the bread, store bought or I like to make my own spinach dip with sour cream, spinach and vedgetable soup mix, put out cheese, crackers, pepperoni, if you like shrimp you can put out that, christmas cookies, vedgies and ranch dressing, things like that and something really good that everyone loves is spread cream cheese on a plate, pour salsa over that, then sprinkle with shredded cheese, top it with sliced black olives and a few jalapenos put out some nacho chips or scoops for them to dip with Mmmm


12/08/2010 - 6:06pm

Any ideas for people that are avoiding Gluten, Diary, low sugar = me the cook; and 2 of group do not eat beef lamb or pork And I am sick of chicken, one will not shrimp Help ! Thanks


12/08/2010 - 6:10pm

Having a potluck with culinarily like-minded friends!


12/20/2012 - 1:35pm

My oldest son suggested giving a list of sides we would like for the meal and asking various guests to bring one each! Sounds like a doable plan for next year!!


12/26/2012 - 5:48am

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