Casual Christmas Dinner Ideasby Candace Webb
By the time the Christmas gifts are purchased and wrapped, the tree is up and the house is decorated, there is very little energy left for making a Christmas dinner. Instead of pushing yourself even harder to turn out a many-course meal that will be over in 30 minutes, you can start a new tradition, the simple Christmas dinner. A simple Christmas dinner provides all of the good food memories that a complicated meal offers but allows you to relax and enjoy the day.
An unusual twist on Christmas dinner is to make a buffet of Christmas pizzas. Preparing or buying store-made crusts ahead of time sets the stage for this simple but fun holiday dinner. For one pizza, you can use traditional Christmas colors of green and red by piling sliced bell peppers and tomatoes over a garlic cheese sauce. Another pizza might incorporate several traditional Christmas foods such as ham and cheese. Making the pizzas a few days before Christmas and freezing them allows you to thaw them the night before and pop them in the oven to bake just before guests arrive.
A Christmas buffet is nice because guests can simply help themselves to the food. Preparing many of the side dishes a week ahead and freezing them will reduce your stress level the day before the holiday. Buying a precooked turkey or a ham that is sliced will also make it easier. On Christmas Day you can line a table with dishes of food and let everyone help themselves. A buffet evokes fun, casual conversations and relaxation.
Build Your Own
Taking the traditional route for Christmas dinner may not be your cup of tea. Instead, you can offer a build-your-own taco bar. Be sure to lay out as many ingredients as the table will hold so that guests can build a variety of tacos for their holiday feast. A side of Mexican rice and refried beans will round out the dish. Ground turkey, sliced steak and ground beef are all possibilities for the meats. Including many vegetables and sauces to top the tacos off will make this nontraditional Christmas dinner one to remember.
- christmas at home image by Robert Knight from Fotolia.com