Life on Regal-Hill: Dec. 23, 2009

Well, it’s time to begin planning your Christmas dinner unless you have been invited to someone else’s home. Here at Regal-Hill we will either be here or across the road. If it is icy we will be here since I don’t go outside when it’s slippery. Either way we all share the work of preparing Christmas dinner. This makes it much easier for all the cooks who include Allegra, her mother and myself.
We usually have pie for dessert at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Since we didn’t have mince pie at Thanksgiving we will plan to have it for Christmas. We will also have pumpkin pie again, since we all like it so much and we rarely have it, except at holiday time.
We will also bake an apple pie. Since Allegra is so fond of apple pie, maybe she will help make it. She does make pie, usually apple, since that is her favorite. One time when she made an apple pie she got grandpa to fix the apples and then she did the rest. It was great! She has made a number of pies since then. As we all know, preparing the apples is what takes the time and energy.
It is always a good idea to plan ahead and prepare all the foods you can beforehand so that it doesn’t become overwhelming and tire you out. You then have time to enjoy the day and be with your family. Make every effort to enjoy the day and your family and friends even if the dinner isn’t coming out as you had hoped. Being with family and friends is much more important than serving a fancy meal.
Merry Christmas to one and all!

Christmas Menu
Now it is time to begin thinking about your Christmas menu. It can be as traditional or different as you wish to make it. For most of us there are usually some traditional foods, and perhaps one or two new or different dishes on our Christmas dinner menu. Perhaps your menu will include recipes like these.

Honey-Mustard Pork Roast
3/4 cup ginger ale
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 boneless pork loin roast (2 to 2-1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
In a bowl, combine the ginger ale, mustard, honey, oil, garlic and rosemary. Save about 2 cups of marinate for sauce and refrigerate. Place roast in a large resealable plastic bag; add marinade. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
Strain reserved marinade into a saucepan. Add cream and pan drippings if desired. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until reduced to about 1-1/2 cups. Serve with sliced pork.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2003

Broccoli Potato Supreme
3 cups hot mashed potatoes
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (2.8 ounces) French-fried onions, divided
4-1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
In a large mixing bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; beat until smooth. Fold in half of the onions. Spread onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish, forming a shell. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Cook broccoli in a small amount of water until crisp-tender; drain. Place in the potato shell. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining onions. Bake 10 minutes longer.
Yield: 8 servings
Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2004