Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Blog Has Been Commandeered By a Special Guest!

Jamie Sward, an expert with Cookware.Com has written a really great article on non-traditional Christmas dinner ideas, and asked if I could post it to my blog. The article is fabulous and funny, and I hope you all enjoy it! Make sure to check out the links to their fabulous site!

Non-Traditional Christmas Dinner Ideas:

Alright, now I know that Thanksgiving is just days away but I've already started thinking about Christmas dinner. Sue me! This time of year is just so exciting, I can't help it! When it comes to planning an entire dinner menu, it pays to be prepared - right? So I've started early. My Christmas dinnerware is unpacked, silverware polished, napkins and table cloths are pressed - but what are we going to eat? Today, everybody is either a vegetarian, part-time vegetarian, sometimes vegan or has one of 5,000 different food allergies! Good grief! Now I'm not being critical, I'm just saying that all of these dietary restrictions make planning the perfect holiday meal quite difficult. Instead of driving yourself insane - planning individual menus for everyone - why not do it buffet-style and make a little something for everyone? Here are some non-traditional crowd-pleasers sure to be a hit at your Christmas dinner.

  • Non-Traditional Appetizers:

    When it comes to holiday appetizers - simple and light is better. A nice shrimp cocktail for instance is a perfect idea AND it will satisfy meat eaters and part-time vegetarians (i.e. - "flexitarians") who make an exception for seafood! Serve it up in a Christmas bowl or garnish with some cranberries and you have a festive twist on a classic appetizer! Why not serve up some holiday chips and salsa this year? Sure chips and salsa is a year round standard but change it up by getting some Garden of Eatin' Red Corn Tortilla chips and green salsa Verde? Or alternatively - dip those red chips into some cool green guacamole. Look at that - red and green! Ho, ho, ho!

  • Non-Traditional Main Courses:

    When you think of a traditional Christmas dinner main course, what comes to mind? Turkey dinner? (Too soon after Thanksgiving, if you ask me!) Ham? (Save that for Easter!) This year, why not get creative?

    While a Tofurky might work for some of those picky eaters in your family - I'd rather not compromise when it comes to flavor. WholeFoodsMarket.com has a lot of healthy Christmas dinner alternatives worth checking out. My favorite of the bunch has to be the Thyme-Scented Rib Roast! You got your protein, your fragrant, green Christmassy herb (Thyme) - what more could you need? If you have a good mix of vegetarians and carnivores expected, try some stuffed Cornish Game Hens! These guys are small and compact so you can make a few for the meat-eaters in your family, and still have room at your table for a couple of vegetarian dishes.

    For the vegetarians on your list, you need something that's both satisfying and filling. WholeFoodsMarket.com recommends a vegetable-infused Shepherd's pie with a crust made from mashed yams! A baked eggplant also makes for a satisfying vegetarian meal, and of course there's always some kind of tofu.

  • Non-Traditional Desserts:

    Mmmmm...desert is a necessary part of every holiday meal! Ice cream isn't just good in the summer, you know! Edy's and other ice cream brands have a bunch of seasonal flavors out right now that are very good to the taste buds. Apple pie, peppermint stick and even egg nog-flavored ice cream! Yum, yum! Serve it a la mode with some pumpkin pie and you've got yourself a desert! Drop a scoop into a mug of nice hot chocolate and make a Christmas float.

    Vegetarians and vegans, rejoice! Make a non-dairy pumpkin pie that tastes just as good as the real thing! For the vegans in your life, try a vegan-friendly pumpkin and pecan pie! Flourless cakes, cookies and brownies are also a great healthy option for those pickier eaters. Fresh fruit is also a great idea - now's the time to indulge in some fresh pomegranates and citrus. Not only are these tasty treats healthy, but they also add a splash of color to your dining room table!

Isn't the point of Christmas to spend time with close family and friends? Who cares what you're eating as long as you're all together, right? Whether your guests are picky eaters or not, change up your menu this season with some of these non-traditional Christmas dinner alternatives. Serve it up on your finest Christmas dinnerware and you've got yourself a brand new holiday tradition!

23 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • squawmama

    Hello Tiney... What a fun article that was... My family would freak out if we didn't stick with tradition but since I now go to Denise's house (MINE!) she fixes the same meal as I did... maybe with a few twist... AHHHHH tradition where would we be without it... Love Ya... Have a good one sweetie...


  • Mama

    Sounds like a great idea to me and Jamie's lot have some yummy ideas, glad you agreed to post this for Jamie, Christmas is my favourite time of year too, Kathy

  • Tootsie

    this is really neat...and very true about all the different needs and wants...lol
    thanks for sharing!~

  • Alex

    hmm...I'd like to try some of that peppermind stick ice cream!! Someone introduced me to candy cane tea last year and I SO love it! :)

    Hope you're having a good week.


  • Stephanie

    I'm considering serving macaroni and cheese, fish sticks, and hot dogs.

  • Nancy Jane

    Too busy this year...Are pizza places open on the 25th or do I have to get frozen???

  • onlymehere

    We're having Stromboli.

  • Shelia

    Evening, Justiney!! This was so nice of you to post this article for us to read! I guess I'm glad my Christmas crowd is rather small - I know what they all like!
    Oh, thanks for popping in to see my tablescape. Well, the table's all different now. I just play all I can!!
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving, sweet friend and be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  • Anonymous

    I have to disagree with one of your last comments.
    In our house (or MIL's seeing as that's where dinner is eaten)the whole point is exactly that - eating!
    If we stop eating for too long, someone starts an argument and falls out with someone who then has to take sides and then MIL/FIL get stroppy and then everyone goes home!
    Being with Family is the last any of us want to do !

    Nice idea though!

  • Buffie

    LOL Stephanie!!

    I think I'm going to do an Italian Christmas dinner this year, so I'll be emailing you for recipes!!!

    Buffie :)

  • Rhea

    Nice article. Funny too. I just kick all vegans and vegetarians out the door. hehe

    Just kidding.

  • Happy To Be

    Justine...have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving dear friend...hugs and smiles Gloria

  • Happy To Be

    Justine...have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving dear friend...hugs and smiles Gloria

  • Sue

    Justine I am so sore and tired today but I just had to come here and explain, the muskrat skins were on stretchers, they were drying, and it wasn't like a real basement, just a dirt crawlspace under a rental house we lived in. You crack me up!!!LOLOL!! Oh yeah, and we had one in the toilet too and Butch put the lid down and looked for something to kill it with and finally came up with a can of fire extinguisher spray foam stuff, it killed it!! little fucker!!! LOL!! YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK!!!!!!! I'm terrified, my legs turn to jelly just thinking about it!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Ma'dame French

    Ahh yes let's not forget what the holiday season is SUPPOSE to be about not food, but the coming together of family and friends;) French

  • mrsben

    Justine, great article!!! Funny though how one must/should cater to whims 'n fancies these days. I feel Lisa has the right idea. Growing up in a large family.....we damn well ate what was put on our plates! (Grin)


  • ~♥~ Monica S

    Oh.. cool!
    (talking to myself there for a minute! )
    I " went to Canada" today, and only then figured out that you are Jills sister!!??! :-) I never knew... I am going to link you! Hope you don't mind.. I have been here before, and like your blog and all the eye-candy in here!!


  • Alex

    Hi Justine. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your weekend! *hugs* :)

  • onlymehere

    Is there a place on the blog to do that with emails?

  • "Blossom"

    How cute. You are it! Come on over and pick up your tag.
    thank you,

  • Alex

    GOod morning, Justine! :) Hope you have a GREAT Saturday! *hugs*

  • Bridget

    You home? You awake yet? lol

  • Jill

    Okay it's time to put up a new post...