Monday, December 10, 2012

Brighten the Season with 4 Christmas Dinner Ideas

Putting a Christmas dinner on the table isn't just about the food, but also about spending time with
the people you love. Meals shared with family and friends are some of the most memorable times of
the year as you share meaningful conversation as you relax and enjoy delicious foods. Even if you don't
consider yourself to be much of a cook, these Christmas dinner ideas will help you put a wonderful meal
on the table.

Christmas is unique because unlike Thanksgiving, there aren't specific menu items that the majority
of people prepare. You have the freedom to choose Christmas recipes that you will enjoy, and to
experiment with the rich flavors of the season. These four simple recipes come together for a cohesive
meal that you can serve during the holiday season.

Fruity Cream Cheese Spread

Start your meal off with this rich and flavorful spread that's perfect on crackers, slices of bread, or chips.
You and your guests will love the combination of rich cheese, bright apricots, and crunchy almonds, all
in a warm and delicious spread. Serving an appetizer also buys you some time to finish the rest of your
dinner preparations if needed.

What You Need
• 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
• 1/3 cup sliced almonds
Make It
• HEAT oven to 350ºF.
• MIX cream cheese and Cheddar in medium bowl until blended. Add sour cream and apricots;
mix well.
• SPREAD into 9-inch pie plate; sprinkle with nuts.
• BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until nuts are lightly toasted and spread is heated through. Serve with

Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables brings out their sweetness, all while requiring very little effort on your part. This
combination of vegetables eliminates the need for other Christmas side dishes because it brings in
several flavors and textures. You can also add potatoes to this dish to make it more hearty and filling.

What You Need
• 1/2 lb. whole button or crimini mushrooms
• 1/2 lb. baby carrots
• 1 onion, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
• 1 large yellow, green or red pepper, cut into 8 strips
• 1/3 cup zesty Italian dressing
•1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Make It

HEAT oven to 450°F.
LINE 15x10x1-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
TOSS vegetables with dressing and 1/4 cup cheese; spread into prepared pan.
BAKE 28 to 30 min. or until vegetables are tender, stirring after 15 min. Top with remaining

Juicy Roast Beef

Juicy beef and a creamy sauce are the perfect combination for the star of your Christmas dinner menu.
You'll love this recipe because it's so easy to make and, unlike larger bone-in meats, will cook in about
an hour. The meat will be juicier and more flavorful if you let it rest for about 10 minutes between
pulling it out of the oven and slicing it.

What You Need
• 1/2 cup whipping cream
• 1/3 cup steak sauce
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 3 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
• 1 beef eye round roast (2 lb.)
Make It
• HEAT oven to 325°F.
• BEAT whipping cream with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Mix steak sauce, onions
and horseradish in medium bowl. Add whipped cream; stir gently until well blended. Cover.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
• PLACE meat in roasting pan.
• BAKE 45 min. to 1 hour 15 min. or until done (160°F). Cut meat into thin slices. Serve with
horseradish sauce.

Festive Fruit Trifle

Christmas dinner ideas for desserts abound, and this one has the advantage of being simple and festive.
When you pull this dessert out, everyone will love seeing the bright colors of the season. If you're feeling
extra fancy, you can even make individual trifles in footed desert bowls.

What You Need
• 2 cups boiling water
• 1 pkg. (0.6 oz.) cranberry flavor gelatin
• 1 cup cold water
• 2 pkg. (1 oz. each) vanilla flavor instant pudding
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 2 cups cold milk
• 1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
•1 pkg. (13.6 oz.) prepared fat-free pound cake, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained

Make It

ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in
cold water. Pour into 13x9-inch pan. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
BEAT pudding mixes, cinnamon and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Let stand 5 min. or until
thickened. Stir in whipped topping.
REMOVE 1 cup gelatin cubes; set aside. Layer half each of the remaining gelatin cubes, cake
cubes, oranges and pudding in 3-qt. serving bowl. Repeat layers; top with reserved gelatin
cubes. Refrigerate 1 hour.