Saturday, December 18, 2010

Coming Together: Christmas Menu Plans

Oranges with Silver Bowl, by Faith Te
Christmas approaches!  Late Monday evening, my sister-in-law will be making the trip to Texas (as she usually does this time of year.)  We'll spend the week hitting the touristy highlights of San Antonio, then head to the early church service on Christmas Eve.  My extended family used to attend the late service, but falling asleep in church at 11:30 just isn't my idea of a spiritual experience.  I like to get in the spirit of the holiday by going to worship first, then eating with my family, then sleeping off my food coma until I'm awakened for present-opening on Christmas morning.  That happens later and later, as my kids grow up, but The Boy is usually too excited to sleep in very late.  He's still a little kid at heart, even if his body is propelling him all-too-quickly into adolescence.

I've spent the last couple of days thinking about the menu for this year's Orange Meal.  Right now, here's what I'm thinking:

Herb-crusted pork loin with an orange-pineapple glaze
Roasted sweet potatoes with garlic and thyme
Green beans almondine (just to add a contrast color to the table)
Green salad with mandarin oranges, pecans, goat cheese and a citrus vinaigrette  

For dessert, I haven't decided between an orange cake of some sort, Orange Charlotte, or an orange-based version of Baked Alaska.  If you'd like to weigh in on this decision, please feel free.

We always have a post-presents brunch on Christmas morning, something easy that people can serve themselves whenever they're ready.  That brunch always includes Monkey Bread--one of Mr. Picky's very favorite things--and a big bowl of mixed fruit, but this year it will also include a sausage and cheese casserole.  It's an easy thing to throw together after everything has been opened, bake while people are checking out their gifts more thoroughly, and eat when you realize life goes on after Christmas morning.  I like for the family to have something other than carbs to work with when that realization hits. 

I'll be posting recipes for some of these dishes as time allows this week, though with a visitor in the house, my blogging is likely to be spotty.  Perhaps I'll double up on the recipes and cut back on the patter.  If there are recipes you'd like to see, leave requests in the Comments!

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