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Make Christmas Dinner Special

Today I want to share some Christmas dinner suggestions from the Just One Donna archives.  These are recipes that I have served for our family's Christmas celebration.  These menu ideas would also work for a special New Year's Eve dinner or any special dinner. Christmas or New Year's Dinner Recipes Beef tenderloin is a great place to start as your main entree.  It is surprisingly easy to prepare and can be served hot or at room rtemperature.  That makes it the perfect entree for dinners that may have an unpredictable timeline or buffets,  I love these two recipes for my beef tenderloin dinners and alternate between them.

Indulgent Twice Baked Potatoes

Christmas dinner is a big deal at my house.  We happily host dinner for our extended family each year and this year will be the same.  Our menu has evolved over the years but there are essential items that are not allowed to change due to their unwavering popularity.  One of those menu essentials is twice baked potatoes. Twice Baked Potatoes for a Crowd How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes for a Crowd The number of family members ebbs and flows from year to year, but we can expect between twenty and thirty for dinner.  That's a lot of dinner guests in my book.  The good news is these yummy twice-baked potatoes can be made in advance and that exactly what I do.  You can, too.

Hot Chocolate Indulgence

Have you heard that National Cocoa Day is December 13th?  That means it will be a good day to treat yourself to a decadent cup of hot cocoa with all the fixings.  The timing is perfect.  This is a busy holiday preparation week and you deserve to take a break, sit down, and wrap your hands around a steaming mug of chocolate. How to Make Indulgent Hot Chocolate at Home This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  When you shop using these links, I receive a small payment that helps support the costs to publish this blog. A Mug of Indulgent Hot Chocolate Making delicious hot chocolate at home surprisingly is easy and you probably have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen right now.  The basics requirements are cocoa powder, sugar, and milk.  You'll want a little flavoring, too.  Vanilla extract is perfect, but feel free to add some Kahlua or Bailey's Irish Cream (or both) if you want to adultify your hot chocolate.

Easy Chocolate Ganache for Cakes

Chocolate ganache is one of those things that sounds intimidating but will surprise you because it is so easy to make.  I especially love to use it as a cake topping when I am in a hurry.  It takes very little time and looks impressive. A chocolate cake topped with ganache is a delicious treat for the chocolate lovers in your life. Easy Chocolate Ganache for Cakes The chocolate ganache topping on this single-layer chocolate cake was so shiny it was like a mirror on top of the cake. Don't you love how the ganache drips down the side of the cake?  I added some chocolate sprinkles around the edge of the cake for a little texture, but icing this cake with ganache was as easy as one-two-three.

Practical Presents for Everyone

I tend to like practical gifts for birthdays and holidays.  I like to think that the gifts I give will get used regularly rather than sitting on a shelf somewhere.  Today I wanted to share the practical gifts that are part of my gift giving this year with hope that this list will give you inspiration for those hard to shop for friends and family on your list. This gift list was prepared with suggested products that I own,  have gifted, or I would appreciate receiving as gifts. It is my opinion that everyone would appreciate receiving any of the items on this list. I'm suggesting these gifts for holiday gift giving but these gifts will be appreciated any time of year.

Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake has become a favorite at my house.  Over the years I have worked on refining my favorite red velvet cake recipe to find just the right balance of moistness and crumb with the perfect marriage of cocoa and red food coloring.  I think this red velvet cake recipe does just that, and just in time for holiday baking. The Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you shop through one of these links I receive a small compensation that helps support publishing this blog. My Favorite Red Velvet Cake What could be better than a red cake?  Nothing at all.  The red cake makes it special with the taste of chocolate that is sure to please.  It is perfect for many holidays throughout the year.  Christmas, Valentine's Day and all the patriotic holidays are made more festive with a red velvet cake.

Southwest Vegetable Medley

When you want a quick and flavorful vegetable side dish this Southwest Vegetable Medley is the recipe for you.  I made this side dish recently to take to a casual dinner party to accompany pulled pork and grilled shrimp entrees.  This Southwest vegetable recipe works for a party or a weeknight dinner at home. A Versatile Southwest Vegetable Side Dish Colorful Southwest Vegetable Medley The recipe as I have written it makes a tasty side dish. Make this dish your own by adjusting the seasonings to your taste. If you are making this vegetable dish for kids you might want to swap out the Rotel with a can of diced tomatoes and go easy on the Southwest seasoning.