Friday, November 4, 2011


Next up on my planning is Christmas dinner - it has it all but for me anyway, it still has a lower price tag. Granted I get the two main entrees for free which is not the case for everyone, but with good planning and couponing this can still be a manageable but great celebration dinner! Here is what I am making and why I think I am saving money!

Christmas Dinner 2011 menu and recipes

Stuffed Celery - appetizer
(We always seem to have celery in the fridge, it is a cheap veggie and goes with a lot of recipes! This spiced up cream cheese filling reminds me of something Grandma would make and this is both lowcarb and cheap - the perfect appetizer!)

Bacon Wrapped Waterchestnuts - appetizer
(This just needs a can or two of whole waterchestnuts (in the chinese food section and not really too pricey). (Other than that it just takes some bacon which you probably keep on hand and some general condiments that are usually in the fridge)

Spiced Roast Turkey - main dish
(I can't imagine a holiday without the smell of turkey roasting in the oven and this year I saved enough grocery points to get one for free!)

Baked Glazed Ham - main dish
(Yes you really don't need both but I get a ham every year for free from my company, so free works for me! This is a basic glaze that is tried and true by a true fashionista, so awesome, retro and goooood!)

Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes - side dish
(Okay you probably already keep potatoes in the house, you got the bacon there from the appetizer anyway, now thrown in some grated cheese and sour cream and voila a glitzy holiday side dish that is not too expensive!)

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows - side dish
(this is optional for most but for my honey - he can't live without it!) (I am going cheap and easy by buying the Aldi's frozen sweet potato casserole and throwing some marshmallows on top!)

Soul Food Restaurant Green Beans - side dish
(this is simple ingrediants, easy to do, cheap to make and awesome to taste!) (This can be made with fresh, frozen or canned green beans whatever you have on hand!) (And yes it makes those savory green beans you get at a soul food restaurant!)

Crescent Rolls - bread
(yes using coupons and getting Pillsbury - they are everyone's must have holiday item!)

Beverages are a cheap but good bottle of wine and soft drinks with a scoop of green sherbert for the kids -easy and not expensive

Extreme Chocolate Layer Cake
(it's cheap and classic and unbelievably good, everyone likes it and do you really need one million desserts or just one really good one?) ( I plan to decorate this with pretty scrolled frosting and crush up some leftover candycanes - voila Christmas dinner finale!)

Here are the recipes:

•1 bunch celery - large stalks washed, trimmed, and cut into 3 sections
•2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
•3/4 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
•2 cloves garlic, finely minced
•1 pinch salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Thoroughly dry each piece of celery with paper towels. Mix the cream cheese, olives, garlic, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Using a knife, spread a generous amount of cream cheese filling down the center indentation of each celery piece. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


•2 (8 ounce) cans whole water chestnuts, drained
1 pound sliced bacon
•1/2 cup packed brown sugar
•1/2 cup mayonnaise
•1/4 cup chili sauce
Cut bacon strips in half. In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp; drain. Wrap each bacon piece around a water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Place in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Combine the brown sugar, mayonnaise and chili sauce; pour over water chestnuts. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

•2 Tb. Sylvia’s brand Secret Seasoning (or other “multi-spice” seasoning)
•2 Tb. Old Bay Seasoning
•1/2 tsp Pepper
•1/2 tspGarlic Powder
•1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
•1/2 tsp Thyme
•1/4 cup butter
•1 can turkey broth
Blend all spices and rub into turkey – you may need to double this formulation depending on the size of your turkey. Place butter into turkey roasting pan and place turkey upside smashing it into the butter. Bake at 350 in this position uncovered for one hour. After one hour turn over turkey add a sprinkling of more spices to the top of the turkey. Add a can of turkey broth and continue to baste while cooking


•For the Ham:
•1 15 pound smoked ham, on the bone
•For the Glaze:
•1 1/2 cups orange marmalade
•1 cup dijon mustard
•1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
•1 rounded tablespoon whole cloves
DIRECTIONS FOR THE HAM: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Trim tough outer skin and excess fat from ham. Put ham in a large roasting pan and score, making crosshatch incisions all over it with a sharp knife. Roast for 2 hours. Remove ham from oven and increase heat to 350 degrees. FOR THE GLAZE: Combine orange marmalade, mustard, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stud ham with cloves, inserting one at the intersection of each crosshatch, then brush entire surface of ham generously with glaze and return to oven.

•4 large baking potatoes
•8 slices bacon
•1 cup sour cream
•1/2 cup milk
•4 tablespoons butter
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon pepper
•1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
•8 green onions, sliced, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
1.Bake for another 15 minutes.


•1/2 bacon strip, cut up
•1 slice onion, chopped
•Small clove of garlic
•2 cans (1 lb. each) cut green beans
•pinch sugar
•1/4 tsp. salt
•1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1.Place bacon, onion and garlic in pot. Cook until tender.Add beans, sugar, salt and pepper; stir to mix. Cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes

•2 cups white sugar
•1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
•3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon salt
•2 eggs
•1 cup milk
•1/2 cup vegetable oil
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1 cup boiling water
•3/4 cup butter
•1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
•5 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
•2/3 cup milk
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Use the first set of ingredients to make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 3 minutes with an electric mixer. Stir in the boiling water by hand. Pour evenly into the two prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely.
2.To make the frosting, use the second set of ingredients. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa and confectioners' sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla. Beat to a spreading consistency. Split the layers of cooled cake horizontally, cover the top of each layer with frosting, then stack them onto a serving plate. Frost the outside of the cake.

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