Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Christmas Day menu varies from year to year. The past two years it has been Tyler's Crown Roast of Pork with an Apple Sage Stuffing with many side dishes. A couple of years ago, I had been encouraged to do all my cooking ahead of time to allow plenty of game time on Christmas day. We are very much a game family and there are usually several new games as part of our gift exchange. I was encouraged to do the same thing this year with pre-made lasagne and decided to go with it.
I did all my shopping Friday morning and spent the rest of the day prepping food with Gerry's help. I started with my dough for Overnight Cinnamon Rolls which was made and took several hours to rise. After several hours of rising, the dough was punched down, rolled out, brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and salt before being rolled up. The log was sliced into 12 equal pieces and put in a buttered casserole dish, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
We also prepared two breakfast casseroles with bread cubes, cheddar cheese, butter, eggs, milk, sliced mushrooms in both and added diced ham in one.
We moved on to two different lasagnes: our traditional meat lasagne and a butternut squash lasagne.
When we got up Christmas day, we simply had to bake the Cinnamon Rolls, pop the breakfast casseroles in the oven and cut up some fruit. We had fresh cantaloupe, pineapple and strawberries to accompany breakfast.
We had linner around 2:30 and started with a freshly baked Italian bread (Pillsbury) with bowls of a local olive oil with seasonings for dipping. We then moved on to my Antipasto Salad with the Best Salad Dressing in the World and some sliced Italian bread. The entree was a choice of Meat Lasagne (the usual suspect) or Butternut Squash Lasagne - layers of lasagne noodles, pureed butternut squash, a basil cream sauce, shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Both were delicious.
Dessert was Italian Cream Cake which is three layers of a dense white cake, with a filling of a cream cheese frosting with shredded coconut and completely frosted with the same cream cheese frosting.
One of my Christmas gifts this year was a photography kit for my food shots. We set it up and tried it out with the cake for dessert. I can't wait to play with this new toy.
The day was fun and we did play games; however it seems very unnatural to spend very little time in the kitchen on the best of all holidays! We'll see what happens next year.