You may have noticed the barrage of holiday food items in supermarkets. The towers of garishly colored fruitcake, rows and rows of pale frozen shrimp rings, and battalions of eggnog cartons.
As most of these once-a-year items tend to be highly processed and contain unrecognizable ingredients, they never make it into my shopping cart. That is not to say I don’t enjoy eggnog, butter tarts or other Christmas-time specialties, I just try to make them myself, from scratch, when I can, because they taste that much better and I know what they contain.
Take fruitcake, for example. My mother’s recipe (which was also her wedding cake) contains ingredients like fresh lemon zest, dried figs, currants and apricots, apple cider and rum, and freshly ground spices. It’s a confection that makes you weak in the knees and momentarily lose your train of thought.
My mother’s Christmas fruit cake simply cannot be compared with a commercial product, which – in a perfect example of mystery ingredients – contains those candied ‘fruits’, fruits that are actually pieces of dyed rutabaga. Yep, turnip.
We know homemade is better, so why spend a penny of your Christmas budget on less than stellar products when, with a little planning, you can make many, if not all of your favorite holiday foods?
Today I’ve rounded up some recipes for traditional and popular holiday foods. As we all come from different backgrounds, cultures and family traditions, my favorites may vary from yours. Feel free to share your holiday eats, recipe notes, or personal must-haves in the comments!
- Classic Tourtière (Québec Pork Pie)
- Cheddar Cheese Fondue
- Bacon, Leek and Cheddar Mini Quiches :: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures | With do-ahead freezing instructions.
- Yorkshire Pudding
- Chicken Pot Pie :: Sugarcrafter
- Herbed Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce :: Spoon Fork Bacon
Photo by Katie
- Canadian-Style Mincemeat
- Gingerbread Cookies :: Food for My Family
- One Bowl Gingerbread Cake
- Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows :: A video demo from Denver Bargains
- Chocolate Bark
- Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels :: Good Life Eats
- Basic Vanilla Shortbread
- My Mother’s Butter Tarts :: Under the High Chair
- Brown Sugar Molded Cookies
- Traditional Fruitcake :: UTHC
- Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls :: Good Life Eats
- Panettone :: Under the High Chair
- Pumpkin Challah
- Christmas Stollen :: UTHC
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls :: Good Life Eats
- Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Rolls with Rosemary
- Christmas Morning Muffins with Cranberries :: UTHC
- Maple-Roasted Almonds :: Fresh Tart Steph
- Fruit & Nut Crisps
- Parmesan Pigs in a Blanket :: Babble Food
- Rosemary Maple-Glazed Nuts :: Food in Jars
- Wheat Thins :: Kitchen Simplicity
- Marinated Olives with Garlic, Thyme and Rosemary :: Good Life Eats
- Classic Eggnog
- Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider :: Good Life Eats
- Hot Cocoa Mix :: Food…Your Way
- Homemade Coffee Liqueur :: Food in Jars
- Hot Spiced Apple Cider
- Hot Mulled Cranberry Juice :: Kitchen Simplicity
- Pear Cranberry Compote
- Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish :: Good Life Eats
- Cranberry Ginger Jelly :: Kitchen Simplicity
Be sure to check out the other Eat Well, Spend Less participants for their holiday tips!
- Alyssa from Kingdom First Mom
- Carrie from Denver Bargains
- Jessica from LifeasMOM
- Katie from Kitchen Stewardship
- Mandi from Life Your Way
- Shaina from Food for My Family
- Tammy from Tammy’s Recipes
What is a dish you cook or bake from scratch over the holidays?