Lifestyle

Last Minute Holiday Dinner Guide

Having a holiday turkey or ham is a given, but preparing dishes to go with it requires some preparing and can be stressful! Every year my family makes the same dinner for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this year I was in charge in the kitchen and decided to throw in some twists to our traditional dishes. Here is a last minute holiday dinner guide for all of you holiday dinner preppers out there!

Appetizers:

Start with an appetizer or two! You will spend hours in the kitchen preparing dinner, but you and your guests are bound to get hungry hours before it is time to eat.

Sweet potato bites:

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Marshmallows
  • Pecans

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and then slice your sweet potatoes. The number of potatoes you use are completely up to you and the number of guests you have. After slicing, lay the pieces out on a large baking sweet and sprinkle melted butter over the slices.

Bake until tender. You will want to take your baking sheet out and switch to boil. I made mine at the same time as I was baking other dishes. I recommend making this appetizer first. Place a regular size marshmallow or a few small marshmallows on top of each slice. Place back into oven until marshmallows become puffy and golden.

Remove baking sheet and place pecans on top of marshmallows. I decided to use a can of roasted pecans instead of pecan halves because it was cheaper and I didn’t want to pay for a large bag of pecan halves. Then serve and enjoy!

Side dishes:

Deviled eggs with bacon:

Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • Hellman’s Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Bacon
  • Chives

Instructions:

  • Boil your eggs. You will want to have a big enough pan for your eggs and also to have enough room for water to cover eggs. My family uses a large pasta pan.
  • While the eggs are boiling, you will want to cook your bacon. How much bacon is up to you, but I used 1 pack of bacon for 18 eggs.
  • Once eggs are boiled you will want to switch eggs to cold water to make it easier to peel. After you peel your eggs, cut them in half long ways. Place the yolk into a large bowl and the halves into a dish of your choice.
  • Now this is where it gets tricky. I grew up watching my mom and sisters make deviled eggs without a recipe. Next you will want to mix the mayonnaise with the egg yolk, enough to make it creamy, but not runny. Next add mustard for flavor. How much is up to you. I’m not a big mustard fan so I didn’t add much. Mix it all together.
  • This is where I switched up my family’s traditional deviled egg. Crumble up your bacon into the mix after it cools. Mix it all together.
  • Add the ingredients to the egg halves. I found it easiest to use a spoon and pick up each half and smooth the mixture into the eggs, but you can also use a deviled egg piping bag.
  • I made another change to my family’s deviled egg recipe my sprinkling chives over the eggs instead of paprika, but it is completely up to you. Refrigerate until ready to serve at dinner and enjoy!

This was by far my favorite deviled egg recipe and it was a huge hit with my family this year!

Green bean casserole:

Ingredients:

  • Green beans
  • Cream of mushroom
  • French fried onions

Green bean casserole is my favorite holiday dinner dish! Honestly I don’t know why I never make it just as a side dish for dinner throughout the year.

Instructions:

  • You will want to heat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix your green beans and cream of mushroom soup into a casserole dish. It’s about 1 can of cream of mushroom soup for every 2-3 cans of green beans. I drain the juice out of 1 of the 2 cans of green beans, otherwise the dish is extremely watery. The campbells recipe also calls for milk but I never add milk because again, it makes the dish very watery. I bought 2 disposable tin casserole dishes and added 2 large cans of green beans (or 4 small cans) and 2 cans of cream of mushroom into each casserole dishes. (We typically eat 2-3 casserole dishes. Green bean casserole is a family favorite!) You can also add black pepper if you want, but my family is not a pepper fan.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until mixture is bubbling.
  • This next part is a personal preference. Once casserole is removed, I added 1 bag of French fried onions to cover the entire dish. However, I do not put back into the oven. Lastly, serve and devour!

Candied yams:

Ingredients:

  • Bruce’s Yams (or generic)
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Mini marshmallows

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350. This is another dish where I bought a disposable tin casserole dish (really makes clean up so much easier!).
  • For my family, it is easier if I buy the large 40 ounce cans (this is another family favorite and we can’t get enough of it!). I used 2 cans for one casserole dish. I then poured the syrup out of one the cans because it gets so watery. I don’t bother to cut up any of the pieces because once it cooks, the potatoes fall apart and practically melt in your mouth anyways.
  • This is another dish where my family has never followed an exact recipe. Next you will want to add butter (approximately 3-5 tbsp), sprinkle brown sugar (4-5 tbsp), and sprinkle cinnamon over the entire dish. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • This next part is another personal preference. Once hot all the the way through and the potatoes are practically melting in your mouth, I spring a whole bag of mini marshmallows over the top of the dish. I don’t put back into the oven, but you can turn your oven to boil and put dish back into oven for a few minutes until marshmallows are roasted. Once finished, serve with dinner and enjoy!

Dessert:

Pumpkin cheesecake:

Ingredients:

  • Philadelphia cheesecake filling
  • Pumpkin mix
  • Cream cheese
  • Graham cracker pie crust
  • Whip cream

I also buy pre-made pumpkin pies and bake in the oven, but pumpkin cheesecakes have become a must have at every holiday dinner the last few years.

Instructions:

  • Spoon cheesecake filling into a large bowl. Add pumpkin and mix. I made 2 pumpkin cheesecakes for Thanksgiving and used half a can of pumpkin mix for each cheesecake.
  • Next add ½ pack of cream cheese and mix. If you mix by hand, be prepared to have clumps of cream cheese leftover. It’s nearly impossible to get those lumps out without a mixer. Add second half of cream cheese and mix.
  • Spoon cheesecake into graham cracker crust and smooth out. You can add whip cream before refrigerating, but I wait until serving.
  • Once dinner is over, pull out this delicious pumpkin cheesecake, add whip cream, and serve!

Happy Holidays!

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