Sunday 22 December 2013

Christmas Wrap up!

Ideas for your Christmas!

 Raspberry Braid is so easy and very fast! You will get a group "Ahhhhhhh" when you pull this out of the oven for Christmas breakfast! about making these Pumpkin pancakes with cranberry syrup!

My family loves Caprese salad, so when I made these little Caprese Boats they were thrilled. A light figure friendly appetizer, these will be a big hit at any Christmas dinner and the colors are perfect!!

Tinks Stuffed Mushrooms! These little gems were created by "Tink". They are easy to prep and taste so good straight out of the oven! We ask her to make these often for family gatherings and they disappear in a matter of minutes! She changes the ingredients often, however, they always have sausage and some cayenne for pep!

 Sausage Stuffing Bites are delightful! This little appetizer combines all those flavors we love, has that little crispy top and it's all in one little bite! YUM!! This is a great appetizer for Winter parties and for a starter for Christmas dinner..... here's why? It has savory bread to soak up any spirits we may drink during the day and it has a delightful crispy little top. Quick and delicious, your friends and relatives will ask you to bring this time after time!

Pear Salad is another family favorite, it has gorgeous color, looks beautiful and tastes heavenly! 

Elegant Prime Rib
Family tradition in our family is a standing rib roast, otherwise known as Prime Rib. This amazing cut of meat is sure to dazzle your family and friends on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. Not only is the flavor amazing, but the presentation is quite impressive...mmmmm I serve with delicious Horseradish Sauce, au jus and.......

Yorkshire Pudding  A yummy and traditional addition to the holiday feast. Make sure to make plenty of au jus, they are delicious soaked up with the beef juices! Your Prime rib dinner will be extra special when paired with this classic English "pudding". 

 Cornish Game Hens with Quinoa stuffing  It is a great alternative to a heavy beef dinner, one in which you will surely impress your dinner guests. The quinoa stuffing is healthy, yummy and  a great switch up from the usual stuffing.

 I was recently reminded of this delicious Chicken Wellington by a friend who enjoyed it at a baby shower, over two years ago! She wanted to make this impressive main course for her family. Easy to make for Christmas dinner!

 You can't go wrong with these scrumptious Horseradish Mashed potatoes! A perfect side with  Slow Roasted Prime Rib. The horseradish gives this mashed potato recipe a wonderfully spicy kick. Yummmmmmmy! 

Brie filled Brioche is such a rich dough to begin with, the idea of inserting a buttery brie just seemed a little over the top. Sometimes though over the top can be very good and this looked to me like it might just be one of those times!  Yum!! These are so delicious. And were a hit at a party I gave recently. 

 Dessert favorite!

Traditionally on our Christmas menu White Chocolate Coeur le Creme with raspberry sauce is always a family favorite. This can be made two days ahead!

 Chocolate Caramel Tart with Sea salt  How can you possibly go wrong with this? There is a deep divide between those who favor sweet and those who favor salt. This is fact! However, this dessert combines both sweet and salty!! For a Christmas presentation, add a couple raspberries on the side for color with the fresh mint! Elegant and scrum-di-la-di-yum delicious! 

 Healthy Molten Chocolate cake  Delicious and healthy from Chef Michael Stebner of True Food Kitchen.

Inside out German Chocolate Cake This dish takes more time, but, it is delicious, worth it and can be made a day or two ahead! 

White Chocolate Mousse with pomegranite sauce   just reads, "Merry Christmas"! Delicious and light for those who prefer, "just a bite" of sweet at the end of their Christmas dinner!

Easy and delicious, this is a sure winner for your guests to take for the trip home, or a nice gift for a neighbor or friend! Bittersweet Chocolate Bark

Make your own poppers! Go to Popper! Fun project for the kids!
There are plenty of ideas for table settings, food, drink and decorations on the Master Recipe list. Don't forget the "Poppers"! You can make your own with those wrapping paper tubes or paper towel rolls and save a LOT of $$$! How to make Popper's on the blog!!


This is second Christmas at "Sew Whats Cooking With Joan" and it has been, by far, the most joyful one. Not only for the blog, but, for me personally, with the addition of 3 more grandchildren this year and our "Sweet One" due any minute! Wee Bear and I now how 6 grandchildren with 1 on his way!

When I first started "Sew whats cooking with Joan" I read somewhere that it takes at least three years for a blog to become successful.  Little did I know that after 1 year and 10 months and over 280 recipes, I would still be here and that the time spent sharing all these dishes and anecdotes with my friends and virtual friends would be one of the most rewarding in my life.  The last time I felt such accomplishment was when I finished stitching the last needlepoint Christmas stocking for my four children, myself and my husband! So much pride and a feeling of extreme accomplishment. I will be giving the statistics of the blog after the New Year, suffice to say, it amazes me!

 It is interesting to me that whenever I tell a friend or a stranger that I have a blog, I get this huge smile that in my mind translates to "Really"!! What comes out of their mouths next is something like, WOW! Almost always, it gets us special attention of some kind. Whether it be a tour of a restaurant kitchen, a gift, a more in depth conversation of a technique or recipe or someone who says "please give me your blog address". I swear, this is what keeps me in the blog business. "You the people" as my brother in law would say, at every end of the year company party(hahaha)! Really, it's true, you are keeping me writing with all your e-mails, comments, tweets, pins and virtual hugs. In spite of this, "quirkiness" in myself,  I am still amazed that I have had the perseverance to continue on this path whose only reward is the number of people who subscribe to your blog via Goggle, Twitter, Facebook, Craftsy, email, Pinterest, etc. Thank you for your support!

Have a Merry Christmas, don't sweat the small stuff, and give the little ones two extra hugs!


  1. Joan:
    Happy Holidays!!
    I just read your latest blog and was truly intrigued by the roast prime recipe. Charlotte and I planned to “experiment” this Christmas and do our traditional roast prime in the smoker. It would seem to me that your recipe would be just about perfect. We’d normally figure on a 225 degree smoker… call for 200. I’d probably do a four rib roast (We want leftovers ) so it would seem to me the time would just about equal out. What do you think? via E-mail- Bob

    1. Hi Bob!

      Sounds yummy! My daughter is doing 4 ribs as well, using their barbeque as their second oven. Here is an idea on how I would do your Rib roast in a Smoker.

      Smoke it at about 225-250 degrees. The size doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how long it takes to smoke, just keep your eye on the meat temp.
      Light smoke and use a fruit wood (Apple or Cherry or maybe Oak) for a mild smoke flavor.
      Average Smoking Times
      Smoke at 225-250.
      Average cooking times per lb.
      20 min. per lb. for Rare.
      25 min. per Lb. for Medium
      30 min. per lb. for Well

      These are an average! So, figure these times when you start and if you are running a little behind, turn the heat to 300F.
      Put the thermometer in the middle of the meat (away from a bone)
      and take it off at
      125 for rare,
      135 for medium
      145 for well.
      Cover it with foil and let it rest 1/2 hour.
      It will go up another 5 degrees as it rests.

      Cheers! JJ

  2. Have a favorite potato au gratin recipe? Bob


    1. Hi Bob!
      I guess I don't have a Au gratin recipe. I like the Rosemary Gorgonzola potatoes and they would be yummy with the prime rib. However, if you do not like Gorgonzola, I would just substitute a cheese of your liking...whaaa la Augratin!

  3. The Prime rib is in the oven, and the house smells wonderful. I made the horse radish potatoes this morning and will microwave to warm them up after candlelight service. My brother made the vegetable timbales and my sister made the Hungarian nut strudel. Our entire menu tonight is off your blog! Thank you! Have a Merry Christmas! Cinthia, Josh and Kayle- Houston

    1. Hi Cinthia, Josh and Kayle! I'm hoping everything turned out as planned and honored I could be a part of your families Christmas! Your brother taking on the veggie timbales is impressive!! Thank you for commenting! Happy New Year! JJ

  4. Thank you for continuing! Merry Christmas! Lin

    1. Thank you Lin for continuing to read "Sew whats cooking with Joan"! Happy New Year! Cheers! JJ

  5. Merry Christmas JJ! Thanks for making our Christmas and most other special dinners ..special! Tally

    1. Hi Tally! I am pleased to be a part of so many special dinners! I am thrilled you commented! Thank you for your continued support! Happy 2014! Cheers! JJ

  6. Merry Christmas! Enjoy! Eva

    1. thank you for commenting Eva! Happy New Year! Cheers! JJ

  7. Our Christmas day dinner was a total success thanks to you!! I was nervous about serving dinner for 12, but, with the help of a glass of wine and you, everything turned out perfect!! Thank you! Your grandchildren are beautiful! Thank you a thousand times. Carrie Issaquah

    1. Yippie!! Your success is due to you!! You planned and executed!! Of course a little wine is always a cooks friend!! Happy New Year! Cheers! JJ


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