The Food I Made For The Holidays

We ate very well this Christmas. Although meal planning with two toddlers and a newborn wasn’t easy (hellooo sleep deprivation), it paid off in spades because my cooking was on point all. week. long. 

We celebrated with my immediate family with a delicious brunch at my brother and sister in law’s house on Christmas Eve. Josh made prime rib which everyone said was delicious, my mom made a wonderful quiche, Rhiannon served some of the best roasted vegetables I’ve ever had, and I made a salad and baked french toast. IMG_8744

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This Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette was wonderfully delicious and unique. I loved the roasted apples, and eating figs on a salad was just plain fun! (Salad nerd over here.) I do wish the “spicy” part of the dressing would have had a bit more zip, but that’s something that could be easily modified in the future. If I eat one more salad with goat cheese and cranberries with a basalmic vinaigrette, I’m going to start a petition or something. I’ll go straight to the White House on this one, just try and stop me… 

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Let me tell you, finding a baked french toast recipe that wasn’t loaded with a million pounds of butter and corn syrup was like, nearly impossible. But after much perseverance and late night cookbook reading, I was victorious when I stumbled upon a recipe for Baked Apple French Toast from my Vegetarian Classics cookbook by Jeanne Lemlin.

I was unable to find this recipe online to provide a link for you, but I did find a similar one from Allrecipes. The major difference between the two recipes, however, is my recipe called for sautéing the apples in butter for the bottom layer and -oh baby- what a difference that makes! (Side note, my new favorite scent is “apples sautéed in butter.” I’ll be wearing it all winter. You’re welcome.) I also used real eggs and cream because I liked the people I was serving this dish to, and the holidays are not the time to show restraint in a baked french toast recipe. 

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I set our Christmas dinner table on Christmas Eve, which not only helped me feel more prepared, but it was such a pretty sight to see when we woke up the next morning!

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As I mentioned yesterday, we spent our Christmas day at home. I made Pumpkin Sticky Buns with a Caramel Pecan Sauce for our Christmas breakfast, while Mike whipped up his famous omelettes (with feta and green onions, a surprisingly delicious combination). Again, this is a Taste of Home recipe which I found in one of my annual Taste of Home Christmas cookbooks that my grandmother gave me. I love how the internet brings a world of recipes to my fingertips, but I love searching through a physical cookbook, more. (I have a lot of cookbooks. And books. We can not add one more child to this house and maintain my growing book collection. hastag, decisions, decisions.)

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I didn’t make lunch for Christmas day because we were too busy lounging and I didn’t want to miss out on the fun. So it was chicken nuggets for the boys and I had a slice of our Christmas Eve pizza (dear cold pizza, I love you so much). 

For our dinner, though, I made a combination of old favorites that I knew we all loved: brussel sprouts in mustard sauce, Sole Florentine, Wild Rice Salad with Apples and Walnuts (this recipe is similar, not the exact one I used. It doesn’t call for apples which are an absolute must!), and Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots

I didn’t make any dessert because I couldn’t in good conscience put one more stick of butter into my family’s bodies that day. So we just ate up all the previously made goodies like Christmas cut outs and the rest of the stick bun (still hate that name). 

It was a delicious, wonderful day!

Here is my recipe for Sole Florentine. I’ve made it a million times and it never fails to please!

2 10 oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 1/2 C sour cream

2 TB flour

1/4 C chopped green onions, including tender green tops

juice of one lemon

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 pounds sole fillets

paprika for sprinkling

1/4 C almond slivers

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix the sour cream, flour, onions, lemon juice, and seasonings.Combine half of this mixture with the spinach. Spread spinach mixture evenly on the bottom of a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray.

Arrange sole on top of spinach. Spread remaining sour cream mixture on top; sprinkle with paprika and almonds. Bake, uncovered, until fish flake, about 24 minutes.

This serves about 4-6 (or Two adults and two fish eating toddlers ;-).)IMG_8903

I made what will now be known as “the world’s most delicious quiche” for my mom’s side of the family get together. Do yourself a favor and make this Caramelized Shallot and Gruyère Quiche with Rosemary Crust and follow the recipe precisely. You will thank me! It’s wonderful!

I hope you try out and enjoy some of these recipes! If you do, be sure to leave me a comment or take a pic of your dish and tag me on Instagram at HisGirlFriday14.

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