Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Dinners

I don't know about you, but holiday dinners always kind of pose a problem with me: how much do you eat, how about carb heavy meals, what do you do if there is nothing appropriate to eat? I have these issues every year. I try to eat what I can, and just take small amounts of the carb-y food. As much as I love it, I do have to limit my intake. I still haven't figured out what to do if there is nothing appropriate to eat, I usually just have bites of a few things, and then wait until later to eat like a normal PWD. Check with your doctor, and try to let the people who are cooking of any dietary restrictions. I had to do this recently, and everyone was really understanding.

This year, I decided to experiment a little on my own and make my own Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I had to work on Thanksgiving, so we just put a ham in the crockpot and cooked it that way. Just plain, wrapped in foil and about a cup or two of water. Once we got home, we put it in the over for about 20 minutes to get the outside crispy. It didn't lose any of the flavor, and it wasn't overdone at all. And of course, the leftovers were great for sandwiches and split pea soup (my mom's recipe).

I had Christmas off this year, so I spent two days cooking for my husband who had to work. I also received a brand new camera for my birthday a week before, so now I have awesome pictures to post on here.

Here is the menu that I had for Christmas day:
eggs with cheese, green onions and pepper
maple bacon
Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar triangle (homemade, not bought at the 'Bucks.)

Yes, breakfast was much of a cheat. The cranberry bar, probably had WAY too much sugar and the rest of the meal had salt and cholesterol. But for something that I never make or eat, it was tasty. And well worth it.

Now, for dinner:
Turkey - in brine
Mom's stuffing
mashed potatoes and mashed cauliflower
steamed broccoli with cheddar and bacon
cranberry chutney

Low carb Pumpkin cheesecake

The turkey. I've only made two turkeys in my life. One, I barely remember, and one was a few years ago and I had lots of help. This year, I was doing something totally different, even for me. I was determined to brine this turkey. Problem is? I have No clue how to begin. I knew there was salt and water involved. So, I jumped on facebook while doing a google search and asked for advice. The recipe that I liked and that came the most recommended was Alton Brown's from Good Eats. It was a little more complicated, but it sounded tasty and interesting. The only thing I would have done differently, was bought a bigger turkey. It was fabulous, but a tiny bit dry.

The stuffing is my favorite holiday food. Not because it's carb heavy, but because it tastes fantastic. I hated it when I was a kid, but now, it's not a holiday without it. It's my mom's recipe and I always forget to ask for it. This year, I remembered, and it was just as fantastic as I remember and I am going to pass it on to you. It's simple, yet delicious.

Mashed potatoes and mashed cauliflower, no holiday is complete without mashed potatoes, don't you agree? Well, I can't have very much of them. So... for my low carb replacement - I make Mashed Cauliflower. I love it. But then, I love love love cauliflower.

I just wanted a fairly plain veggie for dinner, but we had some leftover bacon and cheese from breakfast. I don't like to waste anything, especially food, so I just threw the leftovers in there with it.

Cranberry Chutney. I've been looking for a really good recipe for this for years. Always cranberry sauce I can find, but I can do that on my own. This last year, I found a fabulous recipe. I had planned on making a Turkey around May, (which never happened) and so I made this stuff, and I made it Diabetic friendly. It was wonderful. I froze it and just defrosted it a couple weeks ago and it's STILL awesome.

Obviously, If I was going to make a dessert, it was going to have to be a diabetic/low carb recipe. I got this pumpkin cheesecake recipe from a Low-Carb cookbook that I have had for a couple of years.

So for the next couple of days, I'm going to post the recipes to this holiday dinner, and then I will post recipes for the dinners that I am making with the turkey leftovers. As well as my traditional New Years dinner. Complete with awesome pictures because me husband is the very best.

One footnote about gravy: My husband and I do not really care for gravy, so none was made. For me, there is really nothing good for me in traditional gravy, so there was no loss there.

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