Fun and Easy Christmas Dinner

Fun and Easy Christmas Dinner
Fun and Easy Christmas Dinner. Linda Larsen

It's always fun to experiment in the kitchen. Now, I don't usually do that for holiday meals, but for this menu I made an exception. The two main dish dish recipes for Walloped Potatoes and Baked Pineapple were experiments and came about kind of by accident.

I always try to use what I have on hand, since going to the grocery store is difficult during the holiday season. For the potatoes, I wanted to use frozen hash brown potatoes, but I didn't have any.

I did, however, have waffle fries. Would they work as scalloped potatoes? Yes! And for the Baked Pineapple, I saw several similar recipes in some vintage church cookbooks. With my own topping and some twists, another side dish recipe was born. 

Ham, of course, is the classic main dish for Christmas dinner at my house, and I wouldn't dream of having this celebration without it. I did decide to cook it in the slow cooker this time, with a glaze of apple cider, brown sugar, and mustard. It's wonderful.

For the rest of the meal, some simple green beans were the perfect side dish. We needed something cool and creamy, so my tried-and-true recipe for Creamy Cranberry Salad was a great choice. My grandmother's Parker House Rolls rounded out the meal.

The salad and rolls were made ahead of time, and everything didn't take much work to get into the oven. This was an easy meal, but the flavors made it sublime.


Fun and Easy Christmas Dinner

  • Crockpot Honey Mustard Ham
    This fabulous recipe turns ham into a feast. I love the combination of honey and mustard, and with some apple juice and brown sugar, this glaze becomes crackling and golden brown. It's luscious and so simple.
  • Baked Pineapple
    I am addicted to old church cookbooks, especially those from the 1950s and 1960s. It seems to me that those cooks were really the best. The recipes are old-fashioned and sometimes hard to decipher, but they work. Baked pineapple kept appearing over and over. It sounded intriguing, but I didn't like the toppings; they were crushed potato chips or crushed cheese crackers. Then I thought - streusel! One made with cheese and pecans, two ingredients that blend well with sweet and tart pineapple. It's fabulous.
  • Walloped Potatoes
    And this recipe was born out of a freezer that wasn't as well-stocked as usual. I wanted to make a creamy potato side dish, but only had waffle fries. Well, why not? This is another experiment that is going to go on my holiday dinner rotation. It's that good.
  • Creamy Molded Cranberry Salad
    This old family recipe is a must every holiday season. It's cool, creamy, tart, and crunchy, with cranberries, celery, and a smooth dressing.
  • My Grandmother's Parker House Rolls
    Well, of course.
  • Special Green Beans
    Every holiday dinner needs something simple and green. These beans fit the bill and they are very easy to make.
  • Christmas Cookies
    The perfect Christmas dessert. Every year.