Christmas is a milestone that marks the end of what we’ve been through and the beginning of what’s awaiting us.

Christmas is a point in time and space where our past meets our future. And while our memories are hanging out with our anticipations, we can peacefully enjoy the moment together with our dearest and nearest.

This feeling of joy that we are sharing with the people we love makes Christmas time magic and warm, despite the winter weather. Rain and snow forecasts are powerless to stop the holiday hustle and bustle, sounding with Dean Martin’s and Frank Sinatra’s songs, smelling with pine and citrus.

So are the gloomy weather forecasts powerless to prevent us from shopping in search of beautiful gifts and delicious foods.

It is always a pleasure to watch our dearest unwrapping presents they wanted so much for so long. And then, we all sit at the table to enjoy the tastes, aromas, and atmosphere that only Christmas dinners have.

A Christmas dinner can be an interesting combination of family traditions and gastronomical novelties. The dishes whose recipes are passed down for generations perfectly pair with delicacies you’re trying for the very first time.

So, let’s combine the flavors you know and like with the flavors that are new to your taste buds. Your family dinner or friend party on Christmas Eve is the best chance to experiment.

Check these three ideas of making the culinary tradition and novelty meet. So you and your dearest will enjoy the flavorful moment (and all the dishes at the table).  

Idea #1: Bleu Noël

If you like to keep abreast of the latest tendencies and experiments in home design and décor, you may try adding more blue color to your Christmas celebration in 2019. Designers and decorators claim that you can opt for any hue – from deep indigo to sky azure. Gold and white color will be the best festive matches for your choice.

Blue is a cold color. So it will definitely help you set a festive winter atmosphere. White plates will look perfect on a blue tablecloth. Gilded tableware and gold rimmed glasses will successfully supplement the holiday still life.

Put blue, white, and golden candles on the table. Decorate it with baubles or paper snowflakes with your guests’ names, so everybody will know where they can sit.

Or if you associate blue color with sea and summer sky, go for a marine theme. Instead of baubles and snowflakes, use white shells and golden starfish to decorate the table. It’s your Christmas, so why not?

Now we should muse over the dishes that will also fit in the main color palette. Let’s check French cuisine. It must help.

Grilled pork tenderloin with golden beet and blue cheese puree

It must be right what we need as the main course of the beautiful Noël dinner.

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This is an adapted recipe from Michael Symon. Here’s the list of ingredients:

  • 1 (up to 3) lb. pork tenderloin
  • 2 large golden beets
  • 4 oz. Maytag blue cheese
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz. olive oil
  • 4 oz. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. rosemary, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • arugula, cleaned and de-stemmed, for garnish.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Whisk together the shallots, garlic, oil, vinegar, and rosemary. Put the meat into a container and pour the marinade over it. Keep in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Peel and chop the beets. Simmer them with the chicken stock, bay leaves, and salt until the beets get tender. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Add the crumbled blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Grill the marinated tenderloin until medium rare about 20 min. Turn the meat occasionally so it cooks evenly. Let the meat rest for 10 min. Slice it into 4-ounce pieces and garnish with the beet and cheese puree and with the arugula.

To add more flavors to the main dish, serve it with warmed spiced green olives, as Anna Stockwell recommends. Just warn unpitted olives in a large skillet over medium heat together with fennel seeds, lemon zest, bay leaves, and pepper. In 2-3 min. the warm hors d'oeuvre will be ready.

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And surely, the Noël menu cannot go without these traditional French delicacies:

  • duck foie gras with baguette, hard cheese like Mimolette, and cornichons
  • truffle mousse with crackers, Comte cheese, and nuts
  • escargots with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.

Each of these delicacies will play a sumptuous starter to welcome your guests on Christmas Eve.

Bon appétit & joyeux Noël!

Idea #2: Vintage Christmas

It’s the right time to take a deep breath and open the door of the larder or climb up to the attic room where you keep the stuff you need but can’t get rid of. You are going to clean up your house before Christmas anyway. So first, take care of all those big dusted boxes and bags full of things that “you may need later.” Among such things you will certainly find wonderful decorations for your Christmas party.

Look carefully. There may be your granny’s Christmas tree ornaments and holiday postcards, your old toys, vintage tableware and candleholders in great condition, and even hand knitted sweaters with reindeer or socks with Santa Claus. Their time to shine is coming. Just clean, and wipe, and wash them well.

All these little unnecessary things will stand you in good stead for decorating walls, making table settings, or even for preparing costumes. What’s more, they will bring about that special holiday coziness and beauty to your vintage Christmas party.

And now let’s check the recipes that will make your vintage party flavorful and mouthwatering.

Jane Davis on Taste of Home recommends this potluck sausage casserole.

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  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 package penne or farfalle pasta
  • 2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 c. fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped finely
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced
  • 1 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package. Transfer the cooked pasta to a baking dish.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until the meat changes its color (6-8 min.), breaking the meat into crumbles. Drain and remove from the skillet.
  3. In the same skillet, melt the butter and add oil. Add the chopped onion, carrot, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 min., stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic. Cook for 6-8 min. longer, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce and sausage. Pour the pasta over. Sprinkle with the cheese. Cover the casserole with foil, coated with cooking spray. Bake covered for 10 min. Uncover and bake for 15-20 min. more, until the cheese melts.
  5. Let cool for 7-10 min. before serving.

And what about a dessert? Sweet reminiscing of our student years, family get-togethers, or work successes is one of must-have Christmas party activities. Your little and adult guests will enjoy it even more if they perform it with something sweet in the hands and on their tongues.

This colorful layered festive jelly from Diane Schefelker at Taste of Home will be a delicious option.

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Let’s make out the list of products.

  • For the jelly base:
            ◦ 1 c. boiling water
            ◦ 1 package lime gelatin
            ◦ 1-2 c. pineapple puree.
  • For the cream cheese layer:
            ◦ 1 package cream cheese
            ◦ 2 tbsp. cold water
            ◦ 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
            ◦ 1/3 c. whole milk.
  • For the berry layer:
            ◦ 1-2 c. strawberry puree
            ◦ 2 c. boiling water
            ◦ 2 packages strawberry gelatin.

And here’s the list of recipe instructions:

  1. Dissolve the lime gelatin in water. Stir in the pineapple puree. Pour into a large dish and refrigerate until set.
  2. In a saucepan, sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the water. Let stand for 1 min. Then heat over low heat and stir occasionally, until the gelatin is dissolved completely. Transfer to a bowl. Beat in the cream cheese and milk until smooth. Spread over the lime and pineapple layer. Refrigerate until set.
  3. Dissolve the strawberry gelatin in water. Stir in the strawberry puree. Cool for 10 min. Spoon over the cream cheese layer carefully. Refrigerate until set.
  4. Cut into squares. To taste, serve with fresh lime wedges, strawberries, or with whipped topping.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time!

Idea #3: Christmas in the North Pole

How does the residence of Santa Claus in Lapland look like? Where does he keep his reindeer and elves? What does he eat except for the milk and cookies that kids leave for him on the table beside the Christmas tree?

You might have asked these questions before you found out the whole truth about Santa Claus. And now your children or grandchildren may have the very same questions. Can you answer them? Or you’d better show.

Christmas movies, travel shows, and your own fantasy will help you turn your home into a welcoming, cozy place where Santa would love to stay and live. Choose things that look and feel natural: wooden ornaments, decorative stones, pine garlands and pinecones, bouquets of flowers, greenery and winter berries.

Combine natural decorations with pewter and gunmetal hardware. Oh, and don’t forget to prepare a few woolen tartan blankets. They will add more comfort to the celebration.

And what about Santa’s holiday menu? He wouldn’t mind these spiced meatballs with duchess potato.

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For the meatballs, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • spices to taste (pink pepper, rosemary, juniper, cinnamon, bay leaves, sea salt)
  • salt to taste.

Follow these directions:

  1. Mix the pork and beef. Add the breadcrumbs, onion, heavy cream, and egg. Mix well. Add the soy sauce, spices, and salt. Mix well.
  2. Roll the meatballs, each about 1 inch in diameter. Fry the balls with butter on a frying pan until they get brown on the outside.
  3. Serve with your favorite sauce: cream and truffles, artichokes and truffles, or mild red pepper sauce.

To prepare duchess potato, follow the same recipe as for mashed potato. When your mashed potato is ready, use a pastry bag to pipe the potato into shapes of roses or baskets. Then brown the potato in the oven for a few minutes and serve with the meatballs.

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To add more piquancy to the North Pole Christmas dinner, opt for smoked salmon varieties:

  • Serve gravlax with crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, and crunchy breads
  • Accompany this appetizer with salmon mouse and fresh cucumbers
  • Add caviar to taste.

For the dessert, prepare mulled wine (go for an alcohol-free version for kids) and serve it with deli chocolate.

Hyvää ruokahalua & hyvää Joulua!

Christmas is a milestone that we reach every year to start another journey taking 365 days. The magic of this holiday does not stop time. But it reminds us how it feels to enjoy what and who we have right here beside us, right now.

Marky’s wishes you and your family a very merry Christmas! May your celebration be peaceful, warm, and delicious!