Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

What will you be enjoying?

Krista:  It's the traditional goose with potato dumplings at my house this year. Dessert will be a family favorite, my mother's yule log. I wish you all a delicious holiday filled with fun, family, and friends.

Daryl:  I'm doing Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I always do! Christmas Eve is the traditional Honeybaked ham and trimmings. I'm making a Blum's coffee cake for dessert. Plus I made traditional ginger snaps. For Christmas morning, a brunch after presents.  Eggs, homemade waffles, ham (reheated), fruit, juice. And for dinner.  My favorite. Roast beef, green beans drenched in butter, and Yorkshire pudding. I even have a gluten-free version for the pudding that is terrific. My son expects the yule log and I won't disappoint.  Now, remember, it's also the first night of Hanukkah, so to honor my husband, I've set out the menorah and I've made potato latkes already. They're in the freezer, ready to heat up and serve as appetizers! Yum! Let the festivities begin. Wishing you all a merry, merry holiday, whatever your faith, and may the new year bring you loads of love, laughter, and health! 

Linda:  We share the holiday cooking in my family.  Christmas Eve is held at my sister's; Christmas brunch at my niece's; and I host Christmas dinner. But even that is a shared event. I'm in charge of the turkey, stuffing and gravy. I love doing this because I inherit the leftovers! I also love the aroma of turkey cooking all afternoon, filling the house. My niece and her family are the bringers of the vegetables and dessert. The veggies are always a surprise and that makes it fun! But mashed potatoes are assured. The dessert will undoubtedly be a Yulelog. And my sister and brother-in-law fill in the gaps.There's always far too much to eat and we manage to do just that. But the best part is sharing the time with family members. It's also a time to remember those no longer with us and those who can't be with us. From our house to holiday wishes for a joyous family time!

LUCY: We have a funny year this time. We'll be spending Christmas Eve in Key West, including a lovely brunch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Louie's Backyard. And then the beautiful church service that was in DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, with the real live Officer Torrence in charge! Then we'll hurtle up to Connecticut to see our kids and our new granddaughter--hurray! We've been included in the in-laws celebration so I'm not in charge of anything on Christmas Day, which is kind of nice...

Peg:  Our holiday will start on December 23 because that is the day my younger daughter is coming home from Chicago with her boyfriend.  I will probably make meatloaf (everyone loves Mom's meatloaf and it's become a December tradition to have it at least once.)  And I'll make latkes to go with it.  Christmas Eve is usually a pasta dish and this year it will be Rigatoni al Forno (baked rigatoni) with Christmas cookies for dessert.  Christmas morning is a breakfast casserole that cooks while we open presents and a homemade coffee cake that is already done and in the freezer! Christmas dinner is beef tenderloin, scalloped potatoes and I'm undecided on the veggie-maybe broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce.  Desert is a chocolate mocha rolled cake with homemade mocha ice cream.  Can't wait!   Wishing you a delightful holiday!

Sheila: Our daughter will be flying in from Chicago for (count 'em) five days (think she'll be on the same flight as your daughter, Peg?). She leads a busy life! Of course we're always thrilled to see her, and to catch up on her ever-changing schedule--which these days includes writing short plays for production by a small theatre troupe (think she got my genes?). Otherwise we're still discombobulated by our recent trip to Ireland, where life seems so much calmer and simpler, even if you're running around like an idiot buying screws and lumber and furniture. The sunsets are worth it! I know back here we're having a small turkey for Christmas dinner, and I'm still debating about which stuffing recipe to use, and I'm trying to figure out a new and different way to make a steamed pudding, an old family favorite (I think it may involve two kinds of chocolate. Or maybe three.). Have a wonderful holiday surrounded by family and friends--and good food!

Leslie: We treat friends to a holiday brunch in mid December, serving pecan rolls, fruit salad, sauteed potatoes with my own version of herbes de Provence, and a frittata or omelet muffins---and lots of champagne! For Christmas itself, though, we're non-traditionalists. (Unlike Mr. Right's sweet sister, who tucks notes into her serving dishes on what goes where, and diagrams the buffet!) We're joining friends on Christmas Eve, and I'm taking a yummy salad of green beans, white beans, and cherry tomatoes tossed with pesto. I'm threatening to substitute Lucy's cherry and ginger scones for the usual pumpkin-cranberry muffins Christmas morning, but if I want something other than coal in my stocking, I'd best be careful! Christmas dinner is likely to be crab legs and a small filet---unless, of course, something else calls to us! No matter where your table falls on the traditional vs. adventure scale, we wish you the best of friends, flavors, and celebrations!

Victoria/Mary Jane: The holidays are extra busy this year because there will be a family wedding on the 30th.   We always have visitors who start arriving on Dec 23 and leave at some point.  We have a big family pot luck (with ham and turkey for about 35) on Christmas Eve, usually at MJ's daughter's (and Victoria's sister's place).  But a special part of Christmas Day is our slightly weird Italian tradition of ravioli in brodo (little meat ravioli in homemade stock with fresh ground Parmesan).  They used to be made by Victoria's grandmother and her great-aunt,  but now they are made by her friend, Luisa. Enough for the whole family. They are strangely addictive and our guests are hooked too.  Christmas Day is very relaxed and sometimes we just stay in pajamas. But as we have four dinner guests from Brazil this year, we promise to get dressed.  We'll have turkey (surely the easiest main dish to cook), MJ's mum's stuffing and gravy.  There will be sweet potato casserole, spinach souffle and potato casserole and sparkling wine.  We always make our chocolate ice cream dessert.  Bless you all: enjoy your Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate: Remember, we love all you readers. 

Click here for Cleo's Christmas
Pain Perdu Recipe 

Cleo Coyle:  We have Italian traditions, too, Mary Jane! Pain perdu on Christmas morning made from Italian panettone. And as a special treat...

We invite everyone to join us for the sights and sounds of New York's holiday season. We made a special VIDEO CHRISTMAS CARD for our friends, family, and readers and posted it to facebook. Below is a short teaser of the video in "gif" form. To see the full, two-minute version with sound, click here or on the gif below, and...

Click here to see our full two-minute
"Christmas in New York" video!

Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah


Happy Holidays!


  1. I love all the different holiday traditions and meals. Thanks for sharing...I am salivating just reading through them all! Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah to all!

  2. Delightful. Thank you all for sharing.
    In addition to turkey breast, beef tenderloin, and a bit of goose left from last weekend, melted potatoes, and assorted veggies, dessert is Lucy's Hot Fudge Pie!