I was able to finish up a new Christmas quilt with weeks to spare before Christmas. It's a real Christmas miracle! This quilt pattern is by Coach House Designs and is called Christmas in the Country.
The nicest thing about this Christmas tradition is the smell. I love the smell of gingerbread that permeates through the house. I had fun with the kids and grandkids when we made these gingerbread houses last week.
Here are a couple of excellent recipes to make on Christmas Eve to make that family dinner together extra special and the nice part is they're easy!
Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
6 potatoes, sliced or cubed 3 T. flour
1 onion, chopped 1 tsp. salt
salt and pepper to taste 2 cups milk
3 T. butter 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400°. Butter a casserole dish. Layer the potatoes and onions and salt and pepper in the casserole dish. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in the milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in the cheese and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese mixture over the potatoes. Mix together and cover dish with foil. Bake 1 ½ hours. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
Breaded Pork Chops
6-9 boneless pork chops
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In flat dish mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and parsley.
Heat oil in large frying pan. Salt and pepper each pork chop. Sprinkle each pork chop with garlic powder. Dip each pork chop in bread crumb mixture, pressing bread crumbs to coat chops liberally. Brown pork chops about 5 minutes on each side in frying pan. Place pork chops in a large baking dish and bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees..
3 ½ cups flour 1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder 1 egg
1 ½ cups butter 1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond extract
Stir together flour and baking powder. Beat butter for 30 seconds; add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract. Beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, beating until well-combined. Divide dough in half and mix in red food coloring in one half and green food coloring in the other half. Add enough food coloring to get the desired color. Push dough through a cookie press onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. If desired sprinkle with colored sugar or small sprinkles. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.