Christmas Recipes Made EASY!

These recipes are illustrated to make them easy to follow.  Just follow along and your friends and family will think you are a gourmet cook! The history of many Christmas recipes and food traditions is also provided for your dinner conversation!  I'm still adding recipes (you'll notice not all have links yet), so if you have a good recipe, send it in and I'll try it and add it!

Cakes, pies and cookies

Main Courses!

  • Roast Turkey - Make a tasty, juicy turkey with these EASY, illustrated instructions! And easy clean up, too!
  • Smoked turkey (How to smoke a turkey in your back yard smoker or grill)

Side dishes

Sauces and soups

Teas and drinks

Cobblers and crisps

Coffee cakes, Muffins and breads

Canning Directions - Easy and Illustrated!


The History of Christmas Recipes

For centuries, the celebration of the Christmas holiday has brought people together. Families throughout the world prepare special holiday foods together.  And when people gather to celebrate this holiday, there is a wide assortment of food. The English traditionally serve goose, the Germans suckling pigs, and in America the holiday dinner usually centers around a turkey.

See below for links to recipes and then more history of the Christmas recipes around the world!

Holiday Main Courses

Many foods have special meaning at Christmas. Mince meat pies have long been a traditional Christmas food. Many years ago they were made with a mixture of beef, chicken and spices that was meant to symbolize the gifts the Wise Men brought to the manger. The pies were shaped like a manger with an image of the baby Jesus on top. This custom was declared sacrilegious by the Puritans in England, but Puritan settlers in New England refused to give up the pie and began to shape it in the traditional pie shape. Today mincemeat is made of raisins and other dried fruit and is a dessert rather than a main course.

Cakes, Pies, Puddings and Breads

Christmas breads and cakes can be found in most countries that celebrate the holiday. The Danish have Danish Kringle which is an advent bread shaped like a pretzel. English Christmas puddings are actually like American fruitcakes, just more moist and with brandy in them.  No less tasteless, unfortunately. The "figgy pudding" that we sing about is also a rich, dark fruit cake. Chocolate Yule Log cakes, like a moist chocolate cake rolled and shaped like a log, are also very popular in Great Britain. Panettone is an Italian Christmas bread with raisins and a lemon flavor. The Swedes prepare a braided bread called St. Lucia's crown that is served at dawn on December 13 to signal the beginning of the holiday season. The most spectacular of these cakes is the French Buche de Noel, or Christmas log. This cake resembles the traditional Yule log.

Gingerbread

Gingerbread has been baked in Europe for centuries. During the 19th century it was romanticized when the Grimm brothers wrote Hansel and Gretel. At Christmas time gingerbread makes its most impressive appearance. The baking of lebkuchen (a gingerbread cookie) and elaborate gingerbread houses is a custom that originated in Germany and quickly caught on in North America. If you watch the food network, you may have seen the national championships for holiday food art; there are some amazing edible constructions!  And it is easy to make your own gingerbread house - click here for a page of easy, illustrated instructions .

Cookies

Lebkuchen cookies (usually, with star anise in them - a licorice flavor - are also sold at Christmas time (definitely an acquired taste). Baking sugar cookies shaped like holiday symbols and decorated by the family with frosting, sprinkles or candy pieces is a popular tradition in the United States.


Cranberry Tea

A visitor writes on October 20, 2012: "My family loves this recipe around the holidays, beginning with the Autumn season. I thought I would share this recipe, which has been passed down in my family for generations, with you and others. The smell and taste of cranberries is an often overlooked delight during this season...from candles to our special tea, our holidays wouldn't be complete without it. :)

  • 3 quarts water
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • 2 cups sugar (or equivalend agave, honey, stevia, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven (or on stove), combine the water, cranberries and cinnamon. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until berries pop, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from the heat.
  4. Discard cinnamon.
  5. Strain cranberry mixture through a cheesecloth-lined colander.
  6. Return to Dutch oven.
  7. Stir in the sugar, orange juice and lemon juice; heat through.

Serve warm. Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts). Enjoy! "

 

Wild Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sifted flour - all-purpose, white or wheat, just not self-rising!
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (wild, tame or domesticated!)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten (or egg substitute)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup melted vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar or Splenda
  • 1 cup milk (fat-free, low fat or regular)

Directions:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together.
  2. Stir in blueberries;
  3. mix egg, shortening and milk together thoroughly.
  4. Combine mixtures, stirring just enough to dampen flour.
  5. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full.
  6. Bake in moderately hot oven, 400 degrees F, for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Makes about 18 muffins.

 


  • Blueberry Sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
    • 1/4 cup each - orange juice and water
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp cornstarch (called "corn flour" in Great Britain)
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • Dash salt

    Directions:

    1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan.
    2. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 - 6 minutes or until thickened. 

    Makes 2 cups

     


  • Blueberry Cheesecake

    Ingredients:

    For the cake:

    For the Blueberry topping

    Directions:

    Cheesecake:

    1. Pie crust - click here for the graham cracker pie crust recipe and directions!
    2. Beat cream cheese, sugar eggs, vanilla and lemon peel with electric mixer until smooth.
    3. Spoon into cookie crust.
    4. Bake at 375F. 15 minutes or until firm.
    5. Cool.
    6. Spread Blueberry Topping over cheese cake.
    7. Refrigerate several hours.

    Topping:

    See blueberry sauce recipe above, or for a simpler topping:

    1. Combine blueberries, sugar, water, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.
    2. Cook and stir about 4 minutes or until thickened.
    3. Stir in lemon juice.
    4. Cool to lukewarm temperature.


    Spicy Pumpkin Soup

    If this one is too spicy for your tastes and you want a more Autumn/winter Halloween type soup - try this recipe instead !

    Ingredients:

    Directions:

    1. Heat the oil in a large pot then add the onion and garlicup and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft, about five minutes.

    2. Add the mustard, turmeric, ginger, cumin, cinnaMonday, cayenne, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

    3. Whisk in the water or broth, pumpkin, sugar, and lemon juice. Simmer 15 minutes.

    4. Stir in the milk, then puree the soup in a blender in two or three batches until very smooth. Return it to the pan and heat over a medium flame until hot and steamy (do not let it boil), about 10 minutes.
    5. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro if desired


    Peachberry Crisp

    Ingredients:

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350. 
    2. Lube up (i.e., lightly grease with butter or coconut oil) a  3 quart baking pan.
    3. Prepare the topping (See below) and set aside.
    4. Peel the peaches. (note - an easy way to remove skins from most fruit and vegetables - peaches, tomatoes, nectarines, etc.) is to put them in a pan of boiling water for 20-30 seconds, then quickly into a bowl of cold water.  Their skins should slide off easily.
    5.  Sliced the peeled peaches into wedges no more than 1/2" thick and set aside.
    6. Add the berries, sugar and flour and toss gently.
    7. Transfer the fruit  to the baking dish and cover with the topping.
    8. Place baking dish on a baking sheet in oven (to catch overflow) and
    9. bake until the top is golden-brown and the peaches are tender when jabbed with a knife (should take about  45 minutes).
    Topping (for Peachberry Crisp)

    Directions:

    1. Using your fingers mix the butter with the rest of the ingredients until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture.