Oh, Christmas. It’s such a sweet season, and to know this season is over does make me a little sad. I love to soak up every minute I can with my family. One way I get in a little extra time with them is to have a Christmas Eve Eve dinner at our home. This is perfect because it lets us have more time together, and helps our family to keep the tradition of having a party on Christams Eve Eve.
We’ve been hosting our Christmas Eve Eve party for the last four years, and it gets better each year! This year was truly special. We served Bacon Swiss dip, beef tenderloin with horseradish dijon sauce, Julia Child’s stuffed mushrooms, Cheddar Garlic Stuffed Potatoes, green bean bundles, and dinner rolls covered in garlic and rosemary.
Each year I try something new. For the past few years, I’ve been on the search for a good horseradish sauce. I’ve tried lots, and this year’s horseradish Dijon sauce was by far my favorite! It has the right amount of horseradish (okay, I may have added an extra tablespoon), and I loved adding chopped green onions. While I love trying new things, I’m just not ready to change some parts of our dinner- beef tenderloin, cheddar garlic stuffed potatoes, and the Bacon Swiss Dip just haven’t been changed in the last four years.
This Bacon Swiss dip is so good- warm and bubbly and filled with bacon and cheese. What could be better? My cousin introduced us to this dip at our several years ago at Thanksgiving, and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s such a crowd pleaser that I always double the recipe. I’ll also admit that I add a lot more bacon. No judgment, right?
Here’s how I make it (This recipe is already doubled the original recipe):
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 c. mayonnaise
2 c. grated Swiss cheese
6 T. chopped green onions
1 package bacon, cooked and crumbled (Reserve 6 slices of bacon for topping)
1 c. crushed Ritz crackers
Beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl to soften. Add mayonnaise, Swiss cheese and green onions; mix well. Stir in bacon, reserving approximately 6 slices for the topping. Transfer cheese and bacon mixture to a baking dish. 8 x dish works best. Crumble remaining bacon and top the dip with bacon and Ritz crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Cover with foil, if needed while baking. Serves 10.
While I love a good, special dinner like Christmas Eve Eve, every now and then you need something familiar. Something warm and comforting. Today is one of those days. The leftovers from Christmas Eve Eve are gone, it’s cold and rainy, and we’re glued to the t.v. watching football.
I also needed to cook something that reminded me of home. Earlier today, my cousin sent me a picture of these camellias from my parents’ garden. It was a bitter sweet moment- being so excited that our family is home and enjoying their time in Dayton, but a little sad knowing that I won’t see them today.
All of these things pointed to this- we NEEDED comfort food!
In honor of the New Year, I made collard greens. I don’t really think collard greens will bring us any financial fortune next year, but I do love thinking about Mim and my family when I make them. This year, I used Paula Deen’s recipe. It’s definitely one of my favorites because it’s a little spicy and the collards don’t get cooked to death. If you don’t like spicy foods, you could easily cut down the amount of Tabasco sauce or leave it out all together. You get lots of flavor from the ham hock, seasoned salt, and house seasoning so you won’t miss the Tabasco sauce.
Earlier today, my husband opened the fridge and asked why we had a ham hock. Bless his heart, he just doesn’t understand. Since that moment, I’ve resolved to make more soul food this year. Of course, I’ve got the usual resolutions too, but to know that my own husband didn’t have any idea what to do with a ham hock just won’t do.
I also made a giant pot of The Pioneer Woman’s Sunday Night Stew. I know, I know, it’s not Sunday night, but it kinda feels like it so surely that counts.
It is meaty and rich, and best when served over smashed potatoes!
We have loved being home tonight, and it was even better with this comfort food. 2015 is off to a great start, and I’m excited to see what this year has in store!
I hope your New Year is off to a wonderful start! What are some comfort foods your family will be making this year?