[In The Kitchen] My 2013 Christmas Menu

Source: StockImages

Source: StockImages

For the past two weeks, I’ve been on a vegetarian diet. My only goal was to see if I could do it and to expand my collection of go-to recipes. I’d say I’ve only been somewhat successful because I underestimated how much meat I truly eat. I’ve been craving a Five Guys burger like nobody’s business.

But now that Christmas is almost here, I’ve got an excuse to get in the kitchen and cook really delicious food. I’m repurposing last year’s menu because it was a hit – so why mess with a good thing?

Holiday Ham

I love, love, love ham from the Honeybaked Ham store but have never actually bought one myself because damn, they have lost their minds charging folks $45 and up for a HAM. Granted, it is the most delicious ham I’ve ever tasted, but it’s HAM. From a PIG. It is not that serious.

So instead, I found this copycat Honeybaked Ham recipe from Cheerios & Lattes and gave it a try for Thanksgiving. I made some variations on it (recipe below) and it was a HUGE hit. My dad (who is the pickiest eater known to man) actually asked me to make it again for Christmas. I’d say it’s a winner. I would have made it the way the recipe was posted, but I didn’t have a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar so I improvised to bump up the sweetness.

Potato Gratin

I’m tired of macaroni and cheese and since my daughter has begun showing signs of a wheat allergy (more on that later), I figure a potato gratin (basically just cheese and potatoes) is the next best thing. I’m trying this Smitten Kitchen potato gratin recipe (only 4 ingredients, y’all!).

Corn & Green Bean Saute

My brother-in-law made this for my father-in-law’s 60th birthday party and I swear my eyes rolled back when I tried some. I’m going to beg him for the recipe, but from what I remember, it’s just corn, green beans, onions and bacon. Wonderful, salty bacon.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I’ve been going overboard with sweet potatoes these days. I’ve eaten one every day for the past two weeks as a dessert. Prick one with a fork or a knife, put it in the microwave for 8 minutes, add some brown sugar and cinnamon and bam! It’s like a pie without the calories.

Holiday ham recipe (Adapted from Cheerios & Lattes’ Honeybaked Ham recipe)


1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 can pineapple chunks, plus juice

1 bone-in spiral sliced pre-cooked ham (about 8 pounds)

Slow cooker


Mix everything but the ham and pineapple in a small bowl. Separate the pineapple from the juice and set it aside.

Open up the ham and cut the slices off the bone. Layer about 6 or 7 pieces in the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle with the seasoning, and scatter pineapple on top. Repeat for about 4 or 5 layers or until you run out of either a) room in the crockpot or b) ham. Pour the pineapple juice over the top of everything and put the lid on. Cook for about 4 hours on high.



  1. A little bacon makes even the simplest foods taste better.