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Holy smokes – I cannot believe we are actually here already. I am getting my shopping list ready for Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas morning brunch, and Christmas dinner! I am a gal all about tradition and doing… the same things over and over. I mean, my family literally had to stay locked in a room together and wait for mom and dad to yell that we could come out on Christmas morning until we were literally all in college… So, as you can imagine, my Christmas meals are the same every year with a few additions and swaps here and there.
We grew up getting dressed up and going to the candle light service at church followed by a special lasagna dinner on a table set with my mom’s China and red or green table cloth. We would have salad and buttered French garlic bread.
- Italian sausage links (Hot) **this is the best part
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 5 cans tomato sauce
- Homemade Sauce
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Lasagna noodles
**We buy gluten free noodles for us + Daiya brand cheeses for Paul’s since he can’t do dairy! I have done both uncooked and cooked versions of noodles for assembling- both work just fine IMO.Just be sure you purchase noodles that are made to assemble uncooked!
Combine the cheese, eggs, and seasonings. Pour 1.5 cups of meat sauce over bottom of a 13×9 inch dish. Prepare 2 layers in the following order: 4 noodle stripes, 1.5 cups sauce, and 1/2 the cheese mixture. To[ with remaining layer of noodles and sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes. Let stand before serving to thicken.
Baked French Toast:
You will need a 9 x 13 pan. (You can get mine shown above, here.) Set the oven for 350 degrees.
- 12 slices of bread (we use GF Udi’s!)
- 2 cups milk (or 1 cups milk and 1 cup half and half)
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
Spray or butter the bottom of your pan. Lay first layer of sliced bread (6 slices). Mix together milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Pour half the mixture over the top of first layer. Repeat with second layer of bread. Place dollops of butter on top of each slice if you’d like, and cover. Put in the fridge and let sit for 8-10 hours. (Not necessary, you can bake it right away, but it makes it fluffier!) Add the topping before sticking in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees (give or take- watch for it to brown on top and all egg mixture is no longer liquid).
Take out and let cool off, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with fresh fruit, pecans, syrup, and whipped cream!
- 1 pint strawberries cleaned and quartered
- 1 cup blueberries washed
- 2 tablespoons sugar could also use honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, etc
- zest of 1/2 of a medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon juice from the lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp maple syrup
Boil all the ingredients together for 5 minutes, then simmer for 8-10 or until thickened *but not completely broken down*
Our very first Christmas married was… sorta a nightmare. Christmas Eve, we fought, missed our own church’s church services and had to go to a random church, and Paul slept on the couch… Oh my gosh, I am thankful that stage of our life is over ha. But Christmas dinner I made the next day was freaking awesome and I always think about making it again. Every year, I do a different main dish but it’s usually either ham, turkey, roasted chicken, or lamb. I am going for the lamb again this year and redeem our first Christmas. 😉
Braised Lamb Shank: I will be trying this recipe!
White Wine Risotto: This recipe is a lot like what I remember making our first Christmas. But, we will get dairy free parm this time for Paul! (we didn’t know about his allergy 7 years ago!)
In addition: Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Green beans (& a ham for those who don’t do lamb)