Christmas Table: Best Recipes, Decorations and Tricks

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Christmas-table avaChristmas is a favorite holiday of people all around the world. It is celebrated in Europe (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy etc.), Asia (India, Philippines, Lebanon), America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil etc.) and Oceania (Australia, New Zeland). But for United States Christmas has a special and very important meaning. People meat with their family and relatives, spend time together, and exchange wishes and gifts. Some of us see our loved ones only on the Christmas Eve. That's why the festive table on this day has to be perfect. We are ready to give you some interesting recipes of the most delicious Christmas dishes.

Everyone knows that roasted turkey is a must-have for a Christmas meal. But what else dishes are cooked on this day? The most common meat dishes are: roasted turkey, beef, ham, or pork; garnishes: roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash; desserts: Christmas pudding, pumpkin pie, plum pudding, pecan pie, mince pie, coconut cake, or sweet potato pie.

Every country has its own traditions of celebrating this holiday and its own specific food. America is not an exception. Even different regions of US have their favorite dishes for the Christmas Eve. For example, in Virginia people cook and eat ham pie, oysters, and fluffy biscuits. In Upper Midwest Americans cook lutefisk, mashed rutabaga, or turnip.

How to decorate your Christmas table

The first thing in preparations for the Christmas party is to decorate a house and a dinner table. There are a lot of different Christmas decorations which you can buy in stores, at markets and so on. You can also make them at home or ask your children to do it. Every Christmas should be bright, colorful and marry. That's why we need all those garlands, figurines, toys and wreathes. We offer you several great ideas how to decorate your Christmas table for the party. Pick one or several ideas that suit you.

  • Use small figurines of Christmas trees or even branches of real conifer to make your house smell Christmas.
  • Decorate your table and the whole house with Christmas tree decorations (various baubles, stars, lights etc).
  • Get a lot of beautiful Christmas candles. You can even turn off the light and use only candles to make a romantic atmosphere. If you're afraid to burn your house down, use lanterns. They're safer and very beautiful.
  • Find special Christmas napkins with featuring Santa, snowflakes, Christmas trees, elves, dears etc.
  • Put candies, fruit and other goodies on the table. Kids will love it.
  • Make your Christmas as natural as you can. Decorate everything with alive branches of Christmas tree, use natural table cloth, decorate your table with handmade toys and knick-knackery (wooden, made of cloth, pine cones etc.). You can totally refuse to use plastic decorations.
  • If you have Christmas dinnerware (with Christmas pictures and patterns on dishes) and want to use it, go for it!
  • The main Christmas colors are white, red and green. Use them in your decoration. But try to make your Christmas dinner table and the whole house bright, not boring. So use other colors as well, if you need it.

Best recipes for Christmas table

Meat

Spit-roast Turkey with Spiced Apple

* 1 x 4.5 kg (9 lb) turkey, fresh or frozen
* 2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
* 150 ml (1/4 pint) apple juice
* 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice


Crab-stuffed Turkey Breasts

* 6 boneless, skinless turkey breast fillets
* 250 g (8 oz) crab sticks, chopped
* 75 g (3 oz) butter, softened
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* salt and pepper
Coating:
* 25 g (1 oz) plain flour
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 25 g (1 oz) butter, melted


Turkey in Cider and Mushroom Sauce

* 5lb (2.25kg) whole turkey
* 1/2 pint (300ml) cider
* 1 large onion, chopped
* freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
* 1 pint (600ml) milk
* 6 oz (175g) beurre manie
* 12oz (350g) button mushrooms, sliced
* salt
* chopped parsley fresh, to serve


Spit-roasted Goose

* 1 x 4.5 kg (9 lb) oven-ready goose
* 150 g (5 oz) button mushrooms, finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 15 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
* 250 g (8 oz) butter, softened
* 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
* 1 goose liver, finely chopped
* salt and pepper


Rich Pork Pate

* 500 g (1 lb) pig's liver
* 50 g (2 oz) butter
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, crushed
* 500 g (1 lb) minced pork
* 1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 6 tablespoons brandy
* salt and pepper
To garnish:
* 2 bay leaves
* whole juniper berries


Barbecued Pork Fillet

* 625 g (1 1/4 lb) pork tenderloin fillet, cubed
* 1 green pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into squares
* 200 g (7 oz) canned pineapple chunks, drained
* 4 tomatoes
Oriental marinade:
* 4 tablespoons soy sauce
* 4 tablespoons sherry
* 2 tablespoons clear honey
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 4 tablespoons cold tea
* 1 garlic clove, crushed


Lamb Chops with Green Peppercorn Glaze

* 4 lean lamb chops
* 4 teaspoons dried green peppercorns, crushed
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon oil
* 4 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
* watercress sprigs, to garnish


Lamb Steaks with Fruit Side Dish

* 4 boneless lamb steaks
* 425 g (14 oz) can kiwi fruit slices
* 2 teaspoons curry powder
* 2 tablespoons vinegar
* 1 tablespoon oil
* pinch of ground cinnamon
* 1 orange
* 1 red-skinned dessert apple
* 250 g (8 oz) white cabbage, shredded
* 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted
* 1 tablespoon French dressing


Spit-roasted Beef

* 1.5-2 kg (3-4 lb) sirloin of beef, rolled and tied
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 3 large onions, sliced
* melted butter, for basting
* 1 tablespoon plain flour
* salt and pepper


Garnishes

Roasted garlic with mushroom sauce

* 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
* Fry Light, for spraying
* 227 g/8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
* 283 g/10 oz very low fat natural fromage frais
* squeeze of lemon juice
* salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespons chopped parsley


Cajun grilled vegetables

* 1 small aubergine, sliced
* 1/2 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
* 1/2 red onion, cut into wedges
* 1 tomato, halved
* Fry Light, for spraying
* 1/2 tablespoon ground Cajun spices
* sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the creole salsa dip:
* 1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped
* 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
* squeeze of lime or lemon juice
* salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 red chilli, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons very low fat natural fromage frais
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander


Baked sweet potato

* 1x170g/6 oz sweet potato (6 Sins on Original)
* 1 level tablespoon very low fat natural yogurt
* juice of 1/2 lemon
* 1 garlic clove, crushed
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* good pinch of chilli powder
* pinch of turmeric
* Fry Light, for spraying
* coarsely ground sea salt
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander


Spinach and garlic dip with roasted vegetables

* 1 aubergine, cut lengthways into 8 wedges
* 2 courgettes, each cut lengthways into 4 wedges
* 2 large leeks, halved lengthways and then each cut crossways into wedges
* salt and ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
* Fry light, for spraying
For the spinach and garlic dip:
* 227 g/8 oz fresh spinach leaves
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 3 spring onions, chopped
* 113 g/4oz very low fat natural fromage frais
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* salt and freshly ground black pepper


Vegetable Kebabs

* 250 g (8 oz) aubergine, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes
* 250 g (8 oz) courgettes, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes
* 125 g (4 oz) button mushrooms
* 1 small green pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) squares
* 1 small red pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) squares
* 2 small tomatoes, halved
* 1 quantity Barbecue Sauce
* salt


Grilled Courgettes with Herbs

* 500 g (1 lb) courgettes, trimmed
* 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
* 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
* 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
* 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 4 large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
* 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
* 150 ml (1/4 pint) olive oil


Sauces

Tomato and basil sauce

* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 284 ml / 1/2 pint chicken stock made with Bovril
* 454 g/1 lb ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
* salt and freshly ground black pepper
* few fresh basil leaves, chopped
* 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)


Barbecue Sauce

* 50 g (2 oz) butter
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 tablespoons tomato puree
* 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
* 2 teaspoons English mustard
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1 teaspoon clear honey
* pinch of mixed dried herbs
* 1 teaspoon chilli seasoning
* 150 ml (1/4 pint) water
* salt and pepper


Appetizers

Mushroom & nut loaf

* 2 tablespoons corn oil
* 250 g (8 oz) onions, chopped
* 250 g (8 oz) open cup or large open mushrooms, chopped
* 250 g (8 oz) shelled Brazil nuts, coarsely ground
* 125 g (4 oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
* 1 egg
* 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
* salt and freshly ground black pepper


Mushroom kebabs

* 36 closed cup mushrooms
* 1 red or green sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 2.5 x 1 cm (1 x 1/2 inch) pieces
* 24 baby pickling onions
* 12 baby courgettes, about 375 g (12 oz) cut into 1.5 cm (3/4 inch) thick slices
Marinade:
* 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 3 garlic cloves, crushed
* 3 tablespoons Barbados sugar
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* freshly ground black pepper


Spinach pasta roll

* 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 500g (1 lb) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
* 125g (4oz / 2/3 cup) cottage cheese
* 125 g (4 oz/1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 egg yolk
* salt and pepper
* 1 quantity Pasta Dough
* 60g (2oz / 1/4 cup) butter
* sprigs of watercress, to garnish


Salads

Florida turkey salad

* 454 g/1 lb cooked turkey breast, boned and skinned (36 Sins on Green)
* 2 large oranges
* 1 bunch watercress, washed and trimmed
* 4 spring onions, chopped
* 4 tablespoons fat free vinaigrette dressing
* juice of 1/2 orange (1/2 Sin)
* salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
* 2 grilled rashers lean back bacon, crumbled (4 Sins on Green)


Desserts

Plum Pudding with Brandy Sauce

* 250g mixed dried fruit
* 125g pitted prunes
* 1/4 cup cold tea
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon mixed spice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 cup brandy
* 1 cup plain flour
* 1/3 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (preferably made from 1-2 day old bread)
* 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 2 teaspoons canola (or vegetable) oil
Brandy Sauce:
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 teaspoons plain flour
* 1 cup hot low-fat milk
* 2 tablespoons brandy


Pumpkin pie

For the pastry:
* sweet short crust pastry case (or a packet of ready made sweet short crust pastry with 40g / 1 1/2 oz crushed pecans mixed in)
For the filling:
* 450 g/1lb prepared weight pumpkin flesh, cut into 1 in / 2.5 cm chunks
* 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk (use the white for another dish)
* 3 oz/75g soft dark brown sugar
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1/2 level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/2 tsp ground allspice
* 1/2 tsp ground cloves
* 1/2 tsp ground ginger
* 10 fl oz/275 ml double cream


Steamed plum pudding

* 1500 ml strong tea brewed with lemon and a bayleaf
* 2 kg mixed fruit including prunes and dates
* 500 grams unsalted butter
* 200 grams black or dark brown sugar
* 55 grams ground cinnamon
* 55 grams ground mixed spice or allspice (ground pimento)
* 25 grams ground cardamon pods
* 700 grams SR flour
* 700 grams plain flour
* 6-8 eggs
* vanilla essence
* 250 ml strong flavoured sweet sherry, muscat or a mixture of rum and bourbon


Plum pudding

* 12 plums, pitted and halved
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons tapioca
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose baking mix
* 3 tablespoons white sugar
* 2/3 cup milk
* 3 tablespoons margarine, melted


Apricot and nut-stuffed Fruit Bread

* 250 g (8 oz) dried apricots
* 200 g (7 oz) stem ginger, chopped
* 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
* 25 g (1 oz) flaked almonds
* 2 fruit loaves


Dark and white chocolate refrigerator cake

* 200 g (7 oz) plain chocolate, broken into chunks
* 100 g (4oz) butter, roughly cut into pieces
* 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
* 150 g (5 oz) digestive (oatmeal) biscuits
* 50 g (2 oz) raisins
* 75 g (3 oz) semi-dried apricots, chopped
* 60 g (2 1/2 oz) white chocolate, roughly chopped


Gingerbread

* 125g (4 oz) Stork margarine
* 125g (4 oz) soft brown sugar
* 200g (7 oz) golden syrup
* 150ml (1/4 pint) milk
* 1 egg, size 3, beaten
* 275g (10 oz) plain flour, sieved with
* 2-3 x 5ml spoons (2-3 teaspoons) ground ginger
* 1 x 5ml spoon (1 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda


Christmas pudding

* 200g (7 oz) Stork margarine
* 350g (12 oz) currants
* 225g (8 oz) raisins
* 225g (8 oz) sultanas
* 50g (2 oz) mixed cut peel
* 25g (1 oz) blanched almonds, chopped
* 175g (6 oz) plain flour
* 3 x 5ml spoons (3 teaspoons) mixed spice
* 2 x 5ml spoons (2 teaspoons) nutmeg
* 175g (6 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
* 200g (7 oz) soft brown sugar
* Rind and juice of 1 lemon
* 2 eggs, size 3, beaten
* 1 x 15ml spoon (1 tablespoon) black treacle
* 4 x 15ml spoons (4 tablespoons) beer or milk
* 2 x 15ml spoons (2 tablespoons) brandy, optional


Heavenly old-fashioned chocolate pudding

* 75 g (3 oz) self-raising flour
* 25 g (1 oz) cocoa powder
* pinch of salt
* 100 g (4 oz) light muscovado (light brown) sugar
* 100 g (4 oz) butter
* 1 tsp vanilla essence
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* juice of 1 orange
* finely grated zest of 1 orange
Sauce:
* 75 g (3 oz) light muscovado (light brown) sugar
* 25 g (1 oz) cocoa powder
* 300 ml (10 fl oz) full-fat milk


Sticky Gingerbread

* 4oz (100g) hard margarine
* 4oz (100g) dark muscovado sugar
* 4oz (100g) black treacle
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 6oz (175g) plain flour
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 pint (150ml) milk


Apple and almond pudding

* 2 Granny Smith apples
* 1 tsp lemon juice
* 175 g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
* 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
* 175 g (6 oz) butter
* 3 medium eggs, separated
* 175 g (6 oz) ground almonds
* a few drops almond essence
* 1 tsp baking powder
* icing sugar for dusting


Mincemeat

* 125g (4 oz) Stork margarine
* 225g (8 oz) currants
* 125g (4 oz) raisins
* 125g (4 oz) sultanas
* 225g (8 oz) cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped finely
* 125g (4 oz) chopped mixed peel
* 50g (2 oz) blanched almonds, chopped
* Juice and rind of 1 lemon
* 125g (4 oz) soft brown sugar
* 1 x 5ml spoon (1 teaspoon) mixed spice
* 1 x 2.5ml spoon (1/2 teaspoon) ground ginger
* 1/2 x 2.5ml spoon (1/4 teaspoon) nutmeg
* 4 x 15ml spoons (4 tablespoons) brandy (optional)

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