Sunday, December 19, 2010


Its seems that it is always hard to find time to get everyone together but during December this is especially true. One of the best parts of the holidays is visiting with friends and family that we might not see often enough during the rest of the year. This year it seemed like we had even more than usual going on and so we decided to combine our usually holiday parties into one big dinner....for 12! Officially our biggest sit down dinner to date.

Last year, we held a Latkes/Christmas Cookie party - everyone really enjoyed dinner and loved decorating cookies so we knew that was definitely part of the evening. Since my Thanksgiving was a little short of leftovers,  I was really itching to cook a turkey so there was another huge part of my menu. With so many holidays to celebrate we certainly didn't have a shortage of traditional foods to choose from! Everything came out really well except for my stuffing... which needed a little more time in the oven to get nice and brown.

I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the sugar cookies and they came out wonderful! Just make sure you watch them because a sheet of mine (or maybe two) ended up in the trash when I got distracted. For the latkes, I used about 7.5 lbs of potato and 2 onions to make about 60 latkes. I didn't have any matzah meal on hand so I went with panko didn't seem to cause any issues.

Take a look at my final menu:
cheese & cracker
chips & salsa
veggies & dip

brisket w latkes - sour cream & apple sauce
turkey w brioche stuffing - gravy & cranberry sauce
mac & cheese
green bean casserole
maple glazed carrots
roasted baby squash

decorate-your-own Christmas cookie/ man
butter lane cupcakes

Green Bean Casserole
2 lbs green beans - washed and snapped then blanched
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 c light cream
2 shallots - diced
2 cloves garlic - diced
salt & pepper

Fried Onions

1)  In a medium pan, melt the butter and allow it to simmer till it stops bubbling.
2) Add the garlic and shallots
3) Add the flour and whisk it until smooth - allow it to brown over medium heat
4) In a separate pan or in the microwave heat the cream  
5) Slowly add the cream to the roux while whisking until it forms a thick uniform sauce.
6) Remove from the heat and season with salt &pepper
7) Mix sauce with the green beans and pour into a casserole dish
8) Top with fried onions and bake at 350 for 15-20 min or until bubbling