I am not sure how it started, but every Christmas Eve we have Italian food. I have sometimes carried over the tradition to Christmas Day dinner, but usually it is always just Christmas Eve. My mom always said she was sick of "holiday" type food by the time that Christmas Eve rolled around, so she started serving lasagna for that night's meal. Also, December 24th was my dad's birthday, and he loved Italian food. Maybe that was his birthday dinner request???...I am not sure. Anyway, I grew up associating Italian food with Christmas Eve. Since I am a sucker for tradition, I have carried out that notion with my own family. Since it is still a huge holiday meal, I have dubbed it Jen's Christmas Eve Italian Foodfest.
Tonight, we are having my husband's side of the family over for dinner. Since my husband's family comes from good Mid-Western stock, I am not going to try anything outrageous on them. Their tastes are pretty straight-forward, and they don't really appreciate 'exotic cuisine' very much. (So, just to be clear...Mediterranean Squid Salad will not be featured on tonight's menu.) I am going to stick to tried-and-true recipes that I know will work. Also, I have a couple things that need to be in the oven at the same time, so I selected recipes with the same oven temps. I try to make it as easy as possible on myself.
Without further ado, here is my menu plan. I will post each recipe separately. The only "new" dish I am trying out is the dessert. I will let you know how my dinner goes tomorrow (I will probably comment on the results by editing this post, with the attached pics).
Jen's Christmas Eve Italian Foodfest
Parmesan Potato Pancake
Fresh Green Beans with Bacon and Roasted Red Peppers
Garlic and Tomato Rubbed Grilled Bread
Panettone Bread Pudding
Wish me luck!!!!
This meal was a lot of work...but totally worth it! Oh man, it was fan-freakin'-tastic!!! Everything turned out perfect, so I am a happy girl.