This year, Daniel and I will be spending the holiday in Portland, just the two of us (three if you count our cat, which we do!). We were fortunate enough to spend Thanksgiving with Daniel’s family and Christmas last year with mine. While we will both miss our families this holiday, we are also both looking forward to having a quiet Christmas to ourselves sans traveling! As our relationship has progressed, we have been having fun sharing our families’ traditions and coming up with new traditions of our own. That’s actually one of the fun things about getting older, I think, is starting to create your own traditions like your parents did when they were your age! Since we’re on our own this year, it’s the perfect opportunity to try some new ones out (and see if they’re awesome enough to make a tradition)!
A couple of years ago we started making ourselves fancy dinners on Easter, and we decided to do the same on Christmas Eve this year. I haven’t tried these recipes out yet, and I will definitely blog about my results after, but I wanted to share them now anyway in case any of you are looking for ideas. We toyed with a few different options, you can see my massive amount of pinning on my Christmas recipes board, but we narrowed it down to either making lasagna/stuffed shells or a pot roast with a couple of elaborate side dishes.
We chose to make a spinach and proscuitto lasagna, and pair it with a simple salad and garlic bread. As much as I really wanted to go all out with our dinner, we’ve both been pretty stressed out trying to get everything done for the holiday, social commitments, and work. So we decided to take it easy on ourselves and do something a little easy.
Based on some of the reviews, I plan to cut out the salt because a lot of people complained the lasagna was too salty. Proscuitto alone should provide enough flavor. I also plan to use full fat mozzarella and ricotta cheese, mainly because I’ve used reduced fat in lasagna before and it didn’t turn out well. I will also be adding more spices, herbs, and garlic and I’m going to double the recipe as well. We like lots of leftovers in this household!
Also, because I’m a little cheesy, I’m totally going to make a Christmas tree out of bell peppers to top our lasagna with! Oh, the things you find on Pinterest!
Some of you may remember that Daniel and I went wine tasting in Forest Grove, OR, and purchased a bottle of “Holiday Magic Wine” (gluhwein) from Shafer Vineyard Cellars. We decided to save it for Christmas Eve, so we will be having that with our dinner!
We will most likely be purchasing a dessert to cutback on stress, but I’m still toying with the idea of making this peppermint bark cheesecake. It just looks so amazing! I may have to keep the ingredients on hand in case I get a second wind after our holiday party is over!
Even if we don’t bake a dessert from scratch, we will definitely be making homemade hot chocolate to sip on while unwrapping gifts and watching Christmas movies! This is a great basic recipe – we will either add bourbon like the recipe suggests, or we may add tequila and cayenne pepper to make it Mexican hot chocolate!
Well, that takes care of Christmas Eve, now on to Christmas Day! Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to have a lazy Christmas day, but never had one… it’s always involved traveling in some way. I’m pretty excited to stay in pajamas most of the day and watch Christmas movies with Daniel, we may even go see a matinee that opens on Christmas day (which Daniel’s never done before)!
I wanted to have a fancy breakfast this year too, but didn’t want anything too crazy so we could sleep in and have a super relaxing day. I grew up eating french toast far more than pancakes, and yet in my adult life I never seem to eat them anymore! The up side of that is… it makes the dish a bit more special, therefore making it a great option for Christmas morning! I’ve never tried this method of baking it in the oven, but I decided I’m going to try it, since it would be quick and everything would be done at the same time. I’m also going to bake bacon in the oven for the first time, which apparently will produce perfectly crispy, no-mess bacon! We shall see!
To top it all off, we will be enjoying cranberry mimosas! It’s simply 1/2 cranberry juice and 1/2 orange juice. I love how festive it looks!
Well, these were just a few of the recipes I found, be sure to check out my board for more ideas for your dinner and breakfast Christmas recipes!