4 days and counting. Fa la la la la la la la....

With just a few days to go, we still have not decided our Christmas menu. Mr. L is firmly in charge of the meat but I do the sides, apps and desserts.

check out more of this amazing xmas styled scene at sitting in a tree

Anyone have any impressive looking + amazing tasting yet easy for a cooking disabled person like me to master? (Particularily struggling with desserts.) I need suggestions.


  1. Well if we were closer, I'd deliver a Buche de Noel to you. But, we're not. How about a Pecan, maple bourbon tart? Pretty easy, I can send you the recipe. Red Velvet whoopie pies are fun and festive and pretty easy as well. I posted a recipe on my blog last week.
    People seem to really love them, I've got a bunch of orders for Christmas Eve.

  2. I saw this dessert on barefoot contessa the other day and it looked SO good. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/red-berry-trifle-recipe/index.html

  3. adozeneggs: Ive never tasted a Buche de Noel but thanks for thinking of me. I don't eat nuts so that makes ita bit more challenging. Yes, I am difficult :)

  4. Orange Brownies, they are sooo good and so easy. I know it sounds wierd, but I promise they are great and SUPER easy! I blogged about the recipe below.


  5. Anonymous9:40 AM

    Merry Christmas! Sorry, no clues on desserts for you.....that's what bakeries are for (for me at least) :)

    I am making bacon wrapped chestnuts and doing a cheese spread and cracker platter this year. Can you say easy peasy? I can!!

  6. I can't stop starring at that picture!

  7. One dessert my family likes is small scoops of three kinds of sorbet (like raspberry, chocolate and coconut or mango) with fresh raspberries. It's very nice after a big meal.

    I liked making the Raspberry Mirror Cake from the Commissary Cookbook but other ideas for something easy to make would be a chocolate flourless cake or a cheesecake.

    There are some good recipes on PBS's Everyday Food website:
    http://www.pbs.org/everydayfood/recipes/flourless_chocolate_cake.htm or the strawberry tart with different berries if you can't find strawberries. http://www.pbs.org/everydayfood/recipes/Strawberry_Tart.htmll

  8. Mrs. L,

    I have been up to my eyeballs in Eggnog Pound Cakes the last few days. Each cake gets different reviews dependent upon who tastes them. The Rum Raisin one was described as “Phanta-magic-orgasmatical” by my neighbors.


    And there's even a cheater recipe (that starts with box cake mix) which was the Mr's fave ~ serve with cream + fresh raspberries=done!


  9. Trifle! It's super-easy (mostly assembly, as opposed to baking), and it makes a gorgeous presentation. The right dish is a must; Crate & Barrel makes a lovely version that's also super-affordable.


    I made this whiskey trifle (with Bourbon instead of Scotch) last year, and it was a big hit.


    Good luck!

  10. My husband makes a cheesecake every year for Christmas. I don't usually like cheesecake but this one is fabulous!


  11. Creme Brulee all the way!

  12. Anonymous10:08 AM

    After the turkey, it's gotta be blueberry pie. Nothing else will do.

  13. I've made chocolate molten lava cakes before. Much easier than I ever thought. If you're interested let me know and I'll email you the recipe!

    One go-to appetizer I love is brie with figs and walnuts. Super easy too.

  14. This Nutella cheesecake was a HIT when I cooked it for a dinner party. The hardest part is cooking it in the water bath, but other than that it's pretty easy. http://www.bigcitylittlekitchen.com/2008/01/29/nutella-swirl-cheesecake/

    And a great app is Brie wrapped in puff pastry. Looks great, tastes great and SUPER easy. http://www.puffpastry.com/recipedetail.aspx?recipeID=60320&rc=-1

    Merry Christmas!

  15. really simple and sooo pretty
    peeled and sliced oranges
    arrange on individual dessert plates
    sprinkle cinnamon on top
    garnish with berries and mint leaf
    serve with store bought biscotti or Cmas baked goods
    honestly...friends went wild over flavour and simplicity

  16. Here are some of my favorites that are easy and yummy!

    Appetizer- Roasted Tomatoes & Mozzarella

    Mini Pecan Pies

    Cream Cheese Peppermint Candies

    Hot Apple Pie Dip

    Easy Cookies

    Hope these help! Merry Christmas!

  17. What about an assortment of Christmas cookies with a great ice cream? They can be arranged and ready to go before anyone even arrives and everyone can choose their favorites.

  18. There are no nuts in a Buche de Noel!! And if you need decorated cookies, let me know. I just might have a few left over!! (no Santas tho, just trees, polar bears and deer)

  19. Try this potato recipe, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/herbed-new-potatoes-recipe/index.html

    Easiest thing ever and delicious.

    For dessert, there is an amazing chocolate cake recipe at the end of the book A Homemade Life. It's the most delicious thing ever. I'm at work but I will email it to you when I get home.

  20. I just read the easiest recipe... buy an oreo pie crust and plop in peppermint ice cream and top with whip cream. done and done.

  21. I just saw a Christmas Giada episode and this menu made my mouth water. Seems like you can make a lot of it ahead of time. Might do it for New Years Eve.


    Dessert? Not my strong point. I usually pick-up pies at my local bakery or assign it to one of my handy friends.

  22. Anonymous10:51 AM

    I see several trifle suggestions have been made. I totally agree on simplicity and looks.

    Rather than be constrained by a recipe you can really mix one up from what you like.

    A simple custard, chocolate mousse or even pudding from a box for your filling.
    Ladyfingers, poundcake or angel food/sponge cake for layering
    Berries of your choice, though sliced strawberries are the prettiest.
    Fresh whipped cream
    Liquor of your choice to sprinkle (or soak the cake layers in - if you like it boozy).

    My favorite combo is
    -vanilla custard (A simple one: http://tinyurl.com/2btwb5d)
    -Pound cake or lady fingers sprinkled with amaretto
    -strawberries - some macerated and some sliced to show around the bowl
    -fresh whipped cream and blanched almonds for the top


  23. Oreo balls are a magical and easy dessert.

    Here's all you do:
    1. one pack of oreos- dump into blender/food processor and blend until fine
    2. one pack of cream cheese, softened- mix into oreo "powder"
    3. take mixture, which will be dough-like, and roll into quarter-sized balls. place in freezer for an hour.
    4. double-boil to melt chocolate of your choice (OR they have great new microwaveable cups of chocolate that make dipping easy).
    5. remove oreo balls from freezer (freezing them helps them stay together and stay on your toothpick while dipping them). spear them with a toothpick, dip them in the chocolate and set them on wax paper to dry.
    6. for a holiday spin, you can create 3 different sized balls, use white chocolate, and stack them (once dried)on toothpicks to make snowmen! or you can use milk or dark chocolate, put red-hots on top with broken pretzels for antlers and ta-da! rudolphs!

  24. I made this for a work get together and everyone loved it, they are still till talking about it. It really was easy to make.

  25. Chocolate marshmellow brownies are super easy. Just make a batch of brownies, cover the top with marshmellows, and warm them in the oven until they melt. Once the marshmellows have cooler, cover the top with chocolate frosting. Alternatively, you could also just sprinkle colored sugar on top of the marshmellows while their still hot. It's a super easy dessert that's always a hit!

    For something a little more glamorous, I've made this black bottom peanut butter mousse pie from epicurious many times, and it's absolutely delicious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Black-Bottom-Peanut-Butter-Mousse-Pie-235617

  26. Melissa11:31 AM

    I just made this flourless chocolate cake, and it was so delicious and easy, and seems super impressive.

    This is the recipe for the cake: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Orange-Flourless-Chocolate-Cake-for-the-Reagan-Family-237710

    It's really bumpy and ugly on top, so I made this ganache, smoothed it over the top, and put fresh raspberries around the edge. Looked and tasted like a million bucks. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/raspberry-ganache-fudge-cake-recipe/index.html

    Love your blog!

  27. I can't help TOO much, as my honey does 95% of the cooking, but we had fabulous easy apps at our party Friday - a club cracker with a slice of blue cheese, drizzled in honey (Ryan infused the honey with rosemary by heating it on the stove) and topped with a few slivers of green onion. A HUGE hit. Dessert wise, I always love creme brulee, but it can be tough to pull off for a large nubmer of people...

  28. I didn't know people actually ate dessert for Christmas. We've always just had tons and tons of different Christmas cookies.

  29. I have to go along with Dana and the oreo balls...made them for tree trimming party and everyone loved them. You can make them more elegant by decorating them w/ fancy sugars.

    Also I love doing chocolate dipped strawberries and then drizzling red/green/white chocolate over them for the holiday theme.

    Back up plan....some fabulous sugar cookies!

    I hope you plan on taking lots of photos and posting for all of us blog stalkers (okay maybe thats just me.

    Whatever you decide Im sure it'll be fabulous.

  30. Wow looked up those Christmas photos - amazing. Pie is usually easy as you can buy the ready made crust if you want and even buy pie filling?

    Also an easy cookie is two ritz crackers with peanut butter in the middle and then dip in chocolate bark (melted). Yum.

  31. All I can say is....PAULA DEAN.

    I'm not a big fan of hers, but her recipes are great for the holidays. I've tried several of her recipes ( I especially love her green bean casserole, and its super easy!) And they never fail...which is awesome when I'm trying a new recipe when all of my in laws are coming over! Yikes!

    Her banana pudding is to die for. I'm going to try her egg nog recipe this Christmas.

    But I've never made something of hers that hasn't turned out great!

  32. I am a fellow disabled cook, so while I wish I could suggest something, I'm afraid that I can not. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  33. Gingersnap cheesecake (from Real Simple)

    I made this for Thanksgiving (left off the cherries) and it was SO GOOD.

    3 cups ground gingersnap cookies (I whirled in the food Processor)
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    3 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 cups sour cream
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup cherry preserves (I left off)

    Heat oven to 350° F. Combine the ground gingersnaps and butter. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
    Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla (I just put it ALL in the bowl and blended!)
    Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 1 hour (middle will be a bit jiggly).
    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
    Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.

  34. I'm in charge of Christmas dinner this year as well, but my suggestions are more Australian centric since that's where I live. My all-time favourite side is potato salad, but my recipe is pretty much boiled potatos, boiled eggs cut up into eighths, caramelised diced onions, shallots and lots of Tomy mayo - but any egg mayonaise is fine.
    Dessert is always pavlova - a meringue base, topped with whipped thickened cream and fresh fruit. It's super easy, especially if you can get pavlova cases from the supermarket, but if you make it yourself, you can always customise the meringue to whatever flavour you want. Another easy dessert is affogato - pretty much all it is is icecream, a shot of liquer (whichever you prefer, I usually go with either Tia Maria or Kahlua) and a shot of espresso.
    Apple pie is simple - if you can get shortcrust pastry ready made, blind bake that in a pie dish (or if you are like me and are super lazy to get out the pie dish, a springform cake tin which makes the pie deeper) and put cut up apples in boiling water with brown sugar, cinnamon and golden or maple syrup and cook that until the apples look translucent and are soft. Put the apples into the shortcrust pastry base, cover with another sheet of shortcrust pastry, pierce the top with a knife (if you have a pie funnel, you can use it, otherwise it still works out without it - I don't have one.) and then chuck it back into the oven until the top is golden brown and you're done!

  35. We're cooking up a ham over here, with mashed, some veggies, and Christmas cookies for dessert. Pretty boring right? But sometimes holidays (especially when there'll only be two of you!) just beg for a traditional meal.

    But. I have made this Mexican Chocolate Cake from Sunset three times since Thanksgiving (all for parties) and it has been a huge, huge hit. Really easy to make, absurdly tasty. Definitely serve with ice cream or some fresh whipped cream. http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=50400000107271

  36. I have zero suggestions, but I just want to comment that the photo in this post is gorgeous!

  37. I definitely recommend the trifle route...looks beautiful, easy to assemble and easy to serve. If you use store or bakery bought pound cake, layered with fruit and a whipped filling, you'll look like star. Check out this recipe from Martha...http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/cranberry-trifle

  38. hmm ... have you thought of doing au gratin potatoes with some truffle oil or maybe an artichoke and potato au gratin.

    For dessert what about a cheesecake?!
    http://bit.ly/h0JzyB {red velvet}
    http://bit.ly/g2afxz {white chocolate candy cane}

  39. Try the Best Damn Lemon Ice Box Pie on Earth. Yeah, that's the name of the recipe and it's really true to its' name.


  40. Ok, for starters - I am in love with that Christmas decor at the link you sent me - so fun!

    Second, try this for a dessert recipe:

    It's ridiculously easy, takes a very small amount of time, the ingredients you can find at any grocery store and everyone loves it - cheesecake, chocolate and fruit - you can't go wrong! The only change I make is I use graham cracker crust instead of chocolate crust.

  41. I'm in the same boat regarding our menu, but desserts I'm good with. People really seem to like my chocolate covered toffee and it's easy to make- a one pot meal and only a few ingredients. In fact, I just made more tonight!



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