Wednesday, August 5, 2015

{Mastering Your Menus} Holiday Entertaining

Hello again!

It's time for another installment of Mastering Your Menus!  Today we're going to look forward to the holidays.  Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we know it!

When people think of the holidays one of the things that usually comes to mind is food. Food as gifts, food to eat, food to share. For today’s challenge let’s think through and write down three complete holiday menus - One for Easter, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. When I say complete, I mean complete. Appetizer, Drink , Meat or Main Dish, Side dishes, Vegetables, Salad and Dessert. Even if you don’t make it all, it will be all thought through for you. Perhaps you’ll decide to scale back, perhaps you’ll organize a family potluck, but the extra stress of having to come up with a menu will be behind you.

Here’s our family’s basic Holiday Menu…

A relish tray (on a cut glass plate… it has to be pretty!!) with carrots, celery, green pepper, mini tomatoes, midget pickles, cheese, sausage and crackers for the appetizer. For a drink, we enjoy a mixture of CranGrape and 7-up mixed about half and half. It’s been a tradition in my family since I was little and my sisters and I have all carried it forward. The meat varies by the holiday. Easter was always ham, Thanksgiving was Turkey and Christmas was a combination. My mom loves to put out a smorgasbord for us to choose from and she will often have sliced roast beef in juice or boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half. For my gluten free readers, remember to check your ham and turkey to be sure that they are GF, and watch for seasonings that may flare up your symptoms.

There are some favorite side dishes that seem to appear at all of our holiday meals. Gourmet potatoes (which use hashbrowns, sour cream, lots of butter, and some sharp cheddar cheese) are my husband’s absolute number one choice, although my son would prefer mashed potatoes, with or without gravy, and my daughter would like rice. 

Before we became a gluten free family one thing we could not live without was my mom’s rolls. They were on the table at lunch, but then they reappeared at supper time as the bread for the turkey sandwiches. What a treat!

Another of my family’s favorite side dishes is Snickers Salad. Apples, butterscotch pudding, cool whip, chopped up Snickers (LOTS of Snickers)…. What more could you want???

Our vegetables are easy. Broccoli, cauliflower & carrots with cheese, or green beans - perhaps with bacon and almonds. As we can’t have any creamed soups, our options are a little limited. No green bean casserole for this family! :-)

Let’s see, for dessert I usually end up with a pie for my husband, (unless his mom or mine make him one!) and ice cream desserts for the rest of the family. The GF dessert that we love looks like this…

Crushed (GF) Oreo Crust
Peppermint Ice Cream
Homemade Fudge Sauce
Cool Whip
More Oreos Crushed on the top
Crushed Peppermint

Mmmmmmmm….. Makes me smile just to think about it!!

All right! It’s your turn. And don’t forget to keep all these lists. Very soon this will all start to fall in place, I promise!



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