Christmas | Holiday | How To | Life | Recipes

Christmas Meal Planning

December 11, 2013

Last week, I mentioned that I like to plan all of my Christmas meals in advance, but I didn’t share with you what that looked like. Today, I thought it might be fun to share what I’m planning to prepare and take with me to all of our events, as well as some of the recipes. I’ve broken down what we’re taking where calendar style, so let’s dive right in.

December 20: Work Cookie Swap

I’ll make a plate of my favorite chocolate chip cookies to take and leave at the office. Rather than using a serving dish, I’ll use this simple — and disposable — idea I saw on Pinterest:


Christmas Eve

Noon luncheon at Travis’ grandparent’s house:

Whatever we bring to this get together will have to travel well as his grandparents live 45 minutes away. At the moment, I’m torn between bringing a simple potato dish (Meghan Potatoes, below) or Pioneer Woman’s Pretzel Turtles. Either way, I’ll have all the ingredients on hand to make both.

Meghan Potatoes

Ingredients: cream of potato soup, one can of water, a cup and 1/2 of sour cream, 2 cups of cheddar cheese (divided), garlic and pepper to taste, shoe string frozen french fries, crackers, 2 T melted butter

Directions: Combine soup, water, sour cream and cheese. Slowly add fries to sour cream mixture until all the potatoes are thoroughly covered. Place potatoes in a dish and sprinkle with additional cheese and crushed crackers, repeat layers. Drizzle melted butter on top. Bake at 375 until bubbly.


Afternoon gift exchange with Travis’ immediate family:

Hooray! This is a meal-free event. I’ll just bring whatever’s left from his grandparent’s house for snacking.

5 p.m. Dinner with my paternal grandmother:

This is one of three times my entire extended family gets together, so it’s always a lot of fun. I’m known for deserts, so this year I’ll be making a red velvet bunt cake! Rather than using the ganache the recipe calls for, I’ll use a simple cream cheese frosting instead. I’d hate to cover up all of that pretty, red cake!

This recipe is surprisingly easy and a real crowd pleaser. Plus, I can make it in advance!

9 p.m. Gift swap with my Dad, stepmother, and extended family

This is when we get together with my Dad and immediate family. We’re definitely too full to eat a meal, but since we socialize well into the wee morning hours, we end up snacking a lot. This year, I’m planning to make a Chicken Cheese Ball (it’s delicious!), plus I’ll bring whatever cake leftovers we have.

Chicken Cheese Ball

Ingredients: 1 large can of white chicken, 1 tsp. chicken granolas, 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 small chopped onion, slivered almonds or pecans, crackers for serving

Directions: Combine all ingredients and roll in nuts. Serve with crackers.

Christmas Day

Christmas day is a lot simpler for us. In face, we don’t have to even leave our house if we don’t want to!

10 a.m. Christmas breakfast with my Mother’s extended family, hosted by us

This is a potluck event, so I’m only responsible for providing the eggs and one dish. This year I’ve decided to make a sopapilla cheesecake, which sounds really fancy but is basically a cinnamon cheese danish. I’ll halve the recipe below.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Ingredients: 2 cans crescent rolls, 16 ounces cream cheese, 1 ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions: Lightly spray a 9×13 pan and roll one can of crescent rolls along the bottom. Mix cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Pour mixture on top of crescent rolls. Spread the second can of crescent rolls on top of cream cheese mixture. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the cinnamon together and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

5 p.m. Christmas dinner with my Mother, stepfather and grandmother, hosted by us

Happily, this is also a potluck affair, so I’m not responsible for the entire menu. This year I’ll be making:

  • Roast Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  •  Pineapple Casserole (see below)
  • Sweet Tea

Pineapple Casserole

Ingredients: crushed crackers, 7 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese, 6 T all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks in juice drained

Directions: Combine flour, sugar and cheese. Stir in pineapple until evenly coated. Place mixture evenly in dish and top with crackers. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees until golden and bubbly.

That’s it! While it seems like I’ll be spending a lot of time preparing dishes, it’s much less than what I’ve done in years past. What’s your favorite holiday dish?

All comments are encouraged and appreciated!