Celebrate simply from your kitchen

gingerbread men
Photo by Endless Beauty

T’is the season to spend most of your time in the kitchen, right?  Perhaps if you’re hosting a grand holiday fête, or maybe you have three times as many house guests as family members.  But more than likely, no one is truly expecting you to pull off a magazine cover-worthy spread on the table.  Your family just wants to be with you.

To me, that’s what holiday cooking should be about.  Cooking and baking together, enjoying our little creations to celebrate the season.  My daughter loves to cook, and I bet some of you have kids who enjoy being your kitchen helpers as well.

If you’ve gotta cook for the holidays, I encourage you to make it easy on your family.  I’m sticking with some of these simple recipes from around the blogosphere to celebrate the Christmas season…

Photo from Smitten Kitchen

Simple Dinners

Photo from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Festive, Easy Desserts

Photo from David Lebovitz

Kid-Friendly Creations

cranberry coffee cake
Photo from Joy the Baker

Christmas Day Deliciousness

Now it’s your turn – what recipes in the blogosphere are making your mouth water?  What’s on your menu for the holidays?

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. We’re making/have made candy cane cookies, monster cookies, party mix, gingerbread men, pretzel turtles, fudge, and date pudding. I love this time of year. And yeah, my little kitchen helpers are in the kitchen right with me, too! 🙂

  2. I have baked with some friends over the past couple of weeks ginger bread cookies, coconut cookies, double batches of sugar cookies, triple batches of thumbprint cookies, chocolate shortbread sandwich cookies, raspberry filled cookie hearts with white chocolate, and plan on making the xmas packages which are our gifts this year this weekend and rushing delivery next week on monday (biscottis, candy canes, cocoa mixes, marshmellows, brownies and cookies).

    Alva´s last blog post…Fifteen Minute Friday

  3. We’ve carried on DH’s childhood tradition of a big Christmas morning brunch with all the fixins. Cinnamon rolls (from a can!) are essential. LOL

    Each summer we love eating at this small, local seafood restaurant. They make the best clam chowder. So when they close for the season in September we get a few quarts of the yummy soup to freeze. That will be our dinner for Christmas along with some fresh biscuits. mmmm So I guess we keep it pretty simple!

    Mama K´s last blog post…We’re going to have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f-ing Kaye!

  4. I’m making honey mustard glazed salmon, rosemary roasted potatoes and pumpkin, a green salad, and bread. We’re pescatarians, so no stress for us on the bird front. We’re having just a few guests; they’re bringing dessert. Easy. Comfortable. And it should be a lot of fun.

    Kim´s last blog post…8. What to say about 8?

  5. I start early with my baking and put them in the freezer. We make chocolate butter brickle bars, magic bars, mexican wedding cakes, fudge, and sugar cookies. My little ones usually help, but they have been sick this year. For breakfast we have homemade cinnamon rolls (these are waiting in the freezer) and turnovers. For dinner we have apricot mustard glazed ham, twice baked potatoes, horseradish carrots, heavenly salad, cranberries, and irish cream chocolate cheesecake. Almost everything can be made a day or two before for dinner and family brings some of the items above too. Okay I’m hungry thinking about it.

  6. I am about to go on a baking spree and give tins of cookies for Christmas gifts this year. Nothing fancy, just my make-your-granny-jealous-chocolate-chip-cookies and a slightly more festive pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. Not fancy, but always a hit.

    Lucie @ Unconventional Origins´s last blog post…Guest Post at Almost Frugal

  7. We’re going simple, too. We have two meals planned:
    grilled tritip, salad, and cheesy potatoes
    ham, scalloped potatoes and steamed veggies

    I’m hoping to bake cookies with the kids just ’cause they like it and then we’re going to have this: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/12/gramma-ruthies-gingerbread-with-cream.html and this http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/07/fishfave-pretzel-berry-dessert.html

    FishMama´s last blog post…Gramma Ruthie’s Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Topping and Rich Lemon Sauce

  8. We’re keeping it easy. I’m with you, it’s about being together instead of stressing out in the kitchen. We’re having spaghetti and meatballs because I’m never quite sure who’s going to make it and it’s always easy to just throw in another box of pasta! I’ll make some garlic bread on the side and ask for someone to bring dessert. That way, no stress, no extended time in the kitchen, and everybody (including the kids) are happy to eat!

    Robin´s last blog post…The Quickest, Easiest Pumpkin Muffins Ever

  9. Oh! I have grown up eating Dutch Babies. That will certainly be on our families breakfast menu! We go to my inlaws for the day after opening gifts and they insist upon providing everything so I get to simply come help. I love it because all the while I am learning my MILs recipes without all of the cost 🙂 Tis the season!

    Angie´s last blog post…The cute factor…

  10. Since we aren’t traveling to family this year, it’s been easy to keep it simple! We haven’t nailed down our menu yet, but most definitely it’s my homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, (which I am doing the heavy lifting for that this weekend then let thaw/rise overnight) and the traditional Chex Mix throughout the day!

    Rita´s last blog post…Fun Reindeer Project

  11. So many yummy things here I can’t wait to try them out.

    I’ve just begun illustrating simple recipes for my daughter, so that she can be in the kitchen with a little more independence. You can even download my my first recipe card.

    I’ve also been making a daily batch of our family favorite crispy, buttery, crunchy sugar cookie

    molly @mommycoddle´s last blog post…Baking with Kids, (and the answer to a question many have asked)

  12. What a fun idea! We are having french toast made with cinnamon bread for breakfast and homemade orange julius’. I’m not normally a breakfast maker (I so do not function in the mornings . . .) so my family is excited about this festive oddity!

    http://www.theoriginalscrapbox.blogspot.com/´s last blog post…

  13. We often eat Raspberry Glazed Cornish Hen. I got the recipe years ago from Gourmet and we never get tired of it. Split you hens in half, wash pat dry, S&P. Reduce 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar and 1/2 cup Raspberry jam to syrup. Lightly cook slices of Bacon (at least 2 for each hen) Wrap hens in bacon, baste with raspberry syrup. Cook for approx 30min at 325 basting every 10 min (Since bird sizes vary, you might want to check them with a thremometer.) Sure to impress and impossible to goof.

    jenny´s last blog post…Freud the Duck- a finger puppet crocheted from cotton yarn

  14. there are so many good ones out there…we’re hoping to make toffee popcorn this afternoon to further get into the Christmas mood! Thanks for sharing all the links! 🙂

    jodi´s last blog post…A different kind of giveaway

  15. All those recipes look so good. I’m going to make the carbonara tonight. Yum!

    For Xmas Eve dinner I like to do surf & turf – salmon and flank steak, maybe potatoes or risotto and a veggie. For Xmas Day – ham for sure and Rachael Ray’s Italian Shrimp with grape tomatoes and parsley (looks very Christmasy).

    Jen@OurDailyBigTop´s last blog post…Elfis has nothing on me

  16. We are having our traditional Christmas Day Lasagna. Hubby is Pennsylvania Dutch and he married an Irish girl…and we have Lasagna?

    We both work retail and Lasagna was an easy make ahead meal for us when it was only the two of us-years ago. Somethings never change-we now have kids 17 and 18 and we still have our Lasagna.


    Hubby and I are still in retail! No time…

    mamajuliana´s last blog post…Tale of Two Mail Order Companies and SuperMom

  17. I was so excited to make sugar cookies this year–all cut out and everything. Our Christmas was so messed up last year I did hardly anything Chrismassy. Anyway, I’ve made way too many but I’m addicted to them so that’s fine with me. :>) I’m also making a special fruitcake recipe from my mom that’s fantastic and on Christmas Day we’re having stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, a vegetable and pumpkin pie and a salad. On Christmas Eve we’re eating pizza bread and watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I love the holidays!

  18. This sounds wonderful!

  19. Christmas is here and so is the excuse to eat all that delicious, calorie-packed food!

    Taylor´s last blog post…Happy Holiday’s!

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