Holidays 2017: The Food
Holiday meals are just as important to me as the decor, the gifts and the cheer. In fact I’m not sure there would be any cheer for me without excellent food! My mother traditionally hosts Christmas Eve dinner and I host Christmas day. If I haven’t mentioned it before, my mother and I live only one short mile apart, which makes celebrating the holidays as a family much easier, among other things. Sharing the heavy lifting of preparing, serving and cleaning up major holiday meals where our whole family is in attendance is a pretty significant blessing. My mother worked extra hard this year to provide us with a beautiful Christmas Eve meal and is still worn out almost a month later from all the work. I think she may have gone a bit overboard, but hey, I’m not complaining. The food was to die for!
Mom's Christmas Eve Menu
My mother served a divine roast tenderloin with horseradish cream, steamed crab legs with melted butter and cocktail sauce, vichyssoise, brown butter Brussels sprouts with a puréed cauliflower cream, potatoes au gratin, and grand mariner glazed baby carrots. For dessert she served an array of Christmas cookies. Suffice it to say, we had to roll ourselves out of there.
Sadly I didn’t get any photos of the food, but I had plenty of us all goofing around at my mother’s!
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After dinner at my mother’s Josh and I headed back to our place to play Santa for the next three hours. I have done this every year and every year I overdo it, buy too much, spoil my children rotten, give Santa all the credit and spend Christmas day in a haze of exhaustion and over stimulation. That’s a post for another day however, but it will be a post so keep your eyes open for it. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this particular Christmas pitfall! Anyway, back to the food. Since I know the night before will be a long one I always try to pick a Christmas morning brunch menu that can mostly be done ahead of time. Since I was a kid we’ve always had some sort of baked egg dish, a festive homemade bread, fruit and Bloody Mary’s. The Heigl women have always felt that a well made Bloody is part of a nutritious brunch. This year I forgot to pickup the mix so Josh Houdinied a couple of rounds for us. Good thing too, my mother would have boycotted Christmas without them!
Christmas Morning Brunch Menu
Like I mentioned, since I was a kid Christmas morning included a delicious baked egg dish like this one. This year I decided to try this slightly different version that included whole grain mustard, tarragon and thinly sliced ham. It did not disappoint!
Josh, our resident baker, made a beautiful and delicious Christmas Stolen. A traditional German bread with candied fruit and nuts in it. This is another Heigl family tradition and his version made me want to make out with him for hours it was so good! He used a recipe from our Big Book Of Baking, but here’s a great one if you don’t happen to have that cook book.
The Bloody Mary’s were another “Josh Kelley saves the day” moment (it’s kind of his thing). In lieu of mix he used a can of crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tobacco, horseradish, freshly ground pepper, lemon juice, olive juice and celery salt. They were pretty badass and really hit the spot! Here’s a similar recipe in case you’re ever in a bind and need to make your own mix.
Again, not a lot of food pics but some pretty ridiculous Christmas Day ones to enjoy.
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I’ll leave you all with one of our more absurd family traditions that we indulged in after Christmas Eve dinner. The sassy walk. If we do a couple of rounds it helps us feel like we’re working off the heavy meal we just consumed! Hey, maybe you guys want to share your sassy walk videos with me?! I’d love to know we’re not the only crazy ones doing this!