3 Decadent Holiday Meals
Our plan for a decadent day
This special holiday menu helps ambitious cooks impress guests with a morning-to-evening string of delicious dining, including our Red Velvet Cheesecake.Red Velvet Cheesecake recipe
You'll definitely want to try this amazing breakfast: baked eggs and potatoes, breakfast meats and fruit crisp alongside gingerbread and chocolate (next slide). Our make-ahead instructions help you sleep in a bit. A snowy centerpiece of white-tipped trees on a white tablecloth provides a fun backdrop to our breakfast dishes.Herbed Egg-Potato Bake recipeSugared Bacon-Wrapped Smokies recipeCranberry-Apple Crisp recipeGingerbread Scones recipe
Chocolate-Pistachio Wreath Bread
We created this moist chocolate bread with a frosting that adds even more chocolate. You could serve it warm or cool.Chocolate-Pistachio Wreath Bread recipe
The holiday feast
We didn't hold back when creating this midday meal. Pesto smothers turkey with flavor, side dishes burst with freshness and spice, and desserts are rich. See the next slides for close-ups of our delicious dishes and links to recipes.
Turkey and sides to crave
Our main dish gets an extra sparkle of flavor from tomato pesto with herbs, salt and pepper slipped between the skin and meat of a turkey breast. The mashed potatoes mix yellow and sweet potatoes with a hearty combination of cream cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon and canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. The Brussels sprouts are skillet-roasted and tossed with seasoned mushrooms.Tomato Pesto Turkey recipeChipotle Smashed Potatoes recipeBrined Brussels Sprouts with Lemony Mushrooms recipe
A colorful burst of flavor
It takes time to peel and section or slice fruit for our holiday salad. But the result is a colorful burst of fresh flavor that's worth the effort. To save time, use 2-3 cups jarred, drained, sectioned citrus fruit in place of the 4 oranges. Cornmeal Dinner Rolls add a soft touch to the salad plate.Persimmon, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad recipeCornmeal Dinner Rolls recipe
Make-ahead Pumpkin Trifle (left) layers cranberries, cake and pumpkin. Packaged ingredients such as canned pumpkin, frozen pound cake, canned cranberry sauce, toffee candy bars and instant pudding mix help speed prep time. You can also offer your guests Red Velvet Cheesecake (pictured on first slide). Don't let the red color fool you; the flavor is all chocolate.Pumpkin Trifle recipeRed Velvet Cheesecake recipe
A special supper
Even after a big meal earlier in the day, families get hungry when the sun goes down. This supper satisfies with comforting Veggie-Cheese Chowder (left) or Smoky Chili, plus a light slaw salad that combines red cabbage, apples and red or green onions with a sweet-and-sour dressing. Just leave room for the final decadence -- chocolate pie (next slide).Veggie-Cheese Chowder recipeSmoky Chili recipeFestive Red Slaw recipeHoney-Wheat Pan Rolls recipe
Fantasy Chocolate Pie
Dream about all the ingredients you'd like to see in a dessert, and you'll see why we named this Fantasy Chocolate Pie. It's made with three kinds of chocolate pieces (milk chocolate, semisweet and semisweet-and-white-chocolate swirled)-plus coconut, pecans and almonds. For extra indulgence, top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.Fantasy Chocolate Pie recipe
Set the scene
Showcase your holiday meals with a pretty table setting. First, you can put red berries on wired stems to form a halo on purchased twig wreaths for chair backs. A yard of soft white fabric tied in a square knot dresses up each seat. Fat red ribbons with glued nametags hold wreaths in place.
A present at every place
Small gifts are a fun way to greet guests.
Spectacular, yet easy, our long-stemmed amaryllis centerpiece sparkles in its tall glass vase. A length of sheer ribbon holds the stems together.
Carnations peek from a rectangular glass vase covered with candy canes (attach candy canes to the vase with a glue gun; anchor flowers in floral foam). If you like, spray canes with coats of clear acrylic spray to avoid stickiness. Finish with ribbon and mint.
Gifts from the kitchen
Send your guests home with some gifts from the kitchen tucked in a festive box. Lemony Spritz Cookies, Chocolatey Shortbread Bites and Sugared Almonds will bring back fond memories of your perfectly decadent day.Originally published in Midwest Living® November/December 2008.Lemony Spritz Cookies recipeChocolatey Shortbread Bites recipeSugared Almonds recipe