Kale Salad, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Roast Beef, and Potatoes… Oh My

The cooking didn’t end with my Mom’s Birthday.  Oh no, my friends.  I just kept on going.  A few years ago, when I was working at Victoria’s Secret, we would get paid time and a half to work on Christmas Eve.  Because that holiday is a little more low key at my parents’ house, I always volunteered to work and let those with little kiddies stay home.  One year my parents called me and asked me to pick up food they ordered from Olive Garden for Christmas Eve.  Excuse me?  Olive Garden on Christmas Eve?  Not in my world.  My world requires holidays to involve homemade meals.  Blood, sweat, and tears my friends.  Because my Aunt cooked Thanksgiving dinner and my parents host Christmas dinner where around fifty people come each year, neither one of them wanted to cook Christmas Eve dinner as well.  Thus I began cooking Christmas Eve dinner and I haven’t stopped since.

Normally my Christmas Eve dinners involve my homemade crab cakes.  This year I didn’t want to do that for a few reasons: they are labor intensive (although you can prepare them the night before and just cook the day of which is actually recommended as it gives the cakes time to set) and I really don’t like crab cakes. I’m not a huge seafood person and I just made them for everyone else.  This year I was craving roast beef.  Something a bit more traditional.  I had been wanting to make Emily’s Cranberry Orange Brussels Sprouts  with Walnuts ever since she posted the recipe and so I based my entire Christmas Eve dinner around this side dish.  And I am so glad I did.  So yummy and so easy.  I love brussels sprouts and so I had no doubt in my mind that I would love these.  My Aunt and my Uncle, on the other hand, are not fans of the sprouts so I wanted to make sure to include another vegetable for them.  Here is my menu:

Emily’s Cranberry Orange Brussels Sprouts  with Walnuts083

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(look at how amazing they look before cooking!  amazing color!)

Carrots Agrodulce082

Roast Beef (I used this post on how to pick out, prepare, and cook roast beef because I had never done it before.  So glad I found it because she thoroughly explains how to do everything!)081

Roasted Red and Sweet Potatoes (just cut them up, added them to a bowl with EVOO, and sprinkled with various spices that I can’t remember, then popped them in the oven with the Brussels Sprouts)

Massaged Kale, roasted beets, pears, and goat cheese salad (a favorite with my Mom and me… I think everyone else just tolerates it)071

I think the dinner was a success!

What does your family do on Christmas Eve?  

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