Christmas is my favorite holiday to host.  I think it’s due to my love of Christmas lights and decorations, so our house is always over the top!  Plus, there are so many festive serveware options available that you can change up your table display as often as you like.  (New Christmas plates…hint hint, Andrew 😊)

Sometimes I like to go all out with appetizers and the main course but there isn’t anything wrong with keeping it simple if you prefer.  I truly enjoy cooking for others and putting on a big spread but also want to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.  So, I decided to keep my menu simple this year.  I’ll be serving a few appetizers with some of the drinks from my Christmas Cocktails blog post.

The first appetizer I’m going to make is Ricotta and Prosciutto Crackers.  This is a light appetizer because it’s not too filling but has great flavor.  Here’s how you make it:

Ricotta and Prosciutto Crackers

  • 7 oz. Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ Tsp Olive Oil
  • 3 oz. Prosciutto
  • 1 Box Crackers, any variety
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Honey, for drizzling

 

  1. Mix together ricotta, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cut the prosciutto into strips.
  3. Spread the ricotta mixture onto the crackers in a thin layer.
  4. Fold the prosciutto and place on top of each cracker.
  5. Drizzle honey over the crackers and serve.

 

The second appetizer I’m going to make is a Cheese, Grape, and Olive Wreath.  It can’t get any simpler than this!  It’s basically cubed cheese with some grapes and olives shaped into a ring.  This is one of those appetizers everyone will like because honestly, who doesn’t like cheese?  But it caters to a variety of taste buds because you can have as many or few cheese options as you like.  I like to pair this with crackers or baguette, but you can serve it as is or add whatever you like.  Here’s how you make it:

Cheese and Grape Wreath

  •  Block of Cheddar Cheese, cubed
  • Block of Swiss Cheese, cubed
  • Block of Pepperjack Cheese, cubed
  • Block of Colby Jack Cheese, cubed
  • Red or Green Grapes
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Rosemary Springs, for garnish

 

  1. Arrange the cheese in a circle on a platter, leaving the center open.
  2. Arrange the rosemary springs around the outside.
  3. Add grapes and olives randomly throughout the “wreath”.
  4. Serve with crackers or baguette on the side.

 

Now for the main course!  After my guests have had the change to snack, drink, and socialize a bit, dinner is served.  I traditionally serve ham for Christmas because it’s fun to pair with different side dishes and I love having leftovers to make an Egg Bake with Christmas morning 😊

This year my menu will include Apple Cider Glazed Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, and dinner rolls.

The Apple Cider Glazed Ham is DELICIOUS!  Seriously, you’ll want to try this recipe.  The ham is moist and caramelized with a great cider flavor.  I like to use a bone-in spiral ham because the glaze drips into every nook and cranny, and all you are really doing is reheating the meat, so it doesn’t take as long to bake.

Someone once told me to let your ham sit on the counter for about 2 hours prior to baking to allow the ham to come to room temperature.  I didn’t believe them at first, but it helps the ham cook evenly because it is the same temperature throughout.  I would highly recommend trying this yourself.

Here is a recipe to the Apple Cider Glazed Ham.

One of my two side will be Cheesy Potatoes with Corn Flake Crust.  I’m sure everyone has enjoyed cheesy potatoes at some point because they are a necessity of life.  Most people probably already have a recipe they swear by but if you don’t have a recipe, this is how I make mine:

Cheesy Potatoes with Corn Flake Crust

  • 2 lb. Bag Frozen Hashbrowns, thawed
  • ½ Cup Butter, melted, plus ¼ Cup Butter, melted
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 10 oz. Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 12 oz. Sour Cream
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Cup Corn Flakes
  • Paprika

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. Mix the thawed potatoes, ½ cup butter, salt, pepper, soup, sour cream, and cheese in a bowl.
  3. Pour into the pan and spread to the sides.
  4. Top with corn flakes.
  5. Drizzle the other ¼ cup melted butter on top and sprinkle with paprika.
  6. Bake for 1 hour.

 

A whole pan of ooey gooey cheesy goodness 😊

The other side dish I’m going to serve is Parmesan Roasted Asparagus with Garlic.  This is a great recipe for a group because you get a lot of asparagus for not a lot of money and after you add the Parmesan and garlic you don’t feel like you are eating vegetables (so even the kids will enjoy it).  Here is how you make it:

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

  • ½ lb. Fresh Asparagus
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and trim the end of the asparagus.
  3. Place all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to mix.
  4. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.

 

Last but not least, and part of the meal I can never forget, dinner rolls.  I can’t host a holiday dinner without some type of bread option.  Trust me, one year I forgot, and I still hear about it 😊

If you aren’t interested in cooking your own meal or want some of the prep work done for you, Festival Foods offers many options to make your holiday get-togethers easy.  They have ham, ribs, turkey, and more for the main course, plenty of side options available, rolls, pastries, etc.  It really is a one stop shop for your holiday dinner needs.  I like that you can customize your meal by selecting your own sides or buy a pre-determined meal that feeds 6-8 people.

Here is a link to Holiday Dinner options.

Here is a link to Side Dish options.

Here is a link to Holiday Bread, Cookies, Candy, and More options.

If you are looking for some homemade dessert options, please check out my blog post Decadent Holiday Treats.

Happy Holidays!

 

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