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Christmas can be tricky. We love hosting friends who have moved away and being the place where family and friends can gather during the holidays.
But it’s a break for us, too, so we don’t always want to spend a lot of time decorating, preparing a big fancy meal and cleaning up after big cooking projects. We want it to be special but we don’t want to spend the whole holiday cooking.
I’m guessing we’re not the only ones who have this feeling at this time of year. People put so much pressure on everything being perfect, but couldn’t something relaxed and low-key be perfect, too?
Christmas Recipes and Crafts for the Perfect Homemade Christmas from Parragon Books offers a great variety of main dishes, sides, soups, breakfast items, drinks, treats, food gifts and crafts to try out for your table.
The book is clearly British, with recipes like potatoes cooked in goose fat, chestnut soup and beef Wellington. But there’s plenty here everyone will love, too, like orange crepes, spiced pumpkin soup, macaroni and cheese with turkey stirred in, baked oregano lobster (!!), glazed ham, poached salmon, cranberry sauce, chocolate mousse, yule logs, eggnog, turkey soup made with leftovers, whiskey fudge and much more.
There are lots of great ideas here whether you want a holiday filled with snacks, appetizers, sweets and drinks or a full-on formal meal with courses.
There’s also a section for giftable food items (the fudge was one of those) including hot chocolate and brownie mixes, ginger thins, peppermint bark and corn relish.
Holiday decor ideas include a handmade fabric stocking, decorative jars, snowflake cards, a Christmas wreath made by tying lengths of ribbon and burlap to a form, and a cute advent calendar made with socks that would be great to make for next year.
This book has a lot of great food and decor ideas for your holiday season. It’s a pretty book, too, though the pictures of some of the recipes could be a bit larger (it’s still great that there’s a picture of every recipe).
And if I had been able to find paper doilies at Target this morning I would totally be stealing the book’s idea for gift tags. They’re so cute!
Do you have a go-to recipe that you always serve around the holidays? I’d love to hear about it (especially if it’s easy).