Onward: That Christmas Dinner…Recipes and Beer and Wine Recommendations

AUTHOR: | POSTED: December 18, 2012 | COMMENTS: 1 Comment

Carolyn Savage

I admit I’ve had a terrible time focusing since Friday, but I am forcing myself to restore my productivity so my family doesn’t  wake up to half wrapped presents and half baked meals on Christmas morning. 

For the past few years, I’ve kind of perfected a Christmas dinner that is both easy and fancy.  (By easy I mean not too many ingredients and minimal prep time.  My definition of fancy is debatable.  Let’s just go with the idea that what I serve for Christmas dinner is not our normal everyday fare.)

So, tomorrow on 101.5 The River, I am sharing my recipes and tricks to make Christmas dinner a little bit easier with Rick and Mary Beth and their listening audience.  I hope you enjoy them!


Christmas Dinner Menu

Surf and Turf (Beef Tenderloin and Cajun Shrimp)

Wild Rice Pilaf

Green Bean Bundles (wrapped in bacon)

Spinach Salad

French Bread

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce


Beef Tenderloin  (It doesn’t get any easier than this recipe)



beef tenderloin (any size)

approximately 1 1/2 cups of mayonaisse

lemon pepper (amounts will vary based on size of tenderloin but I usually end up using around a half a bottle)


1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.  Line the tray of a broiling rack with aluminum foil for easy clean up.

3.  Place tenderloin on food safe cutting board.

4.  Using your hands, generously rub the mayonaisse all over the tenderloin.  (Coat the entire tenderloin generously.)

5.  Generously sprinkle the lemon pepper over the mayonnaise.  Use your hands to mix the mayo and lemon pepper on the tenderloin.

6.  Place tenderloin in preheated oven for twenty minutes. 

7.  After twenty minutes, turn the oven off.  DO NOT OPEN OVEN!  Leave tenderloin in oven for additional 60 minutes.

8.  At the end of the 60 minutes, remove tenderloin and allow meat to rest for 20 minutes. 

9.  Carve in thick, steak like servings.


Cajun Shrimp


1 lb shrimp, deveined, shells and tails removed (you can buy it this way at Sams or Costco)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 TBS cajun or creole seasoning

2 TBS lemon juice

2 TBS chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1 TBS honey

1 TBS soy sauce

pinch of cayenne pepper


Night before…

1.  Mix marinade ingredients .  Add shrimp to marinade and place in fridge.

Day of…

3.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

4.  Place shrimp and marinade into lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish. 

5.  Bake until shrimp is cooked through…about 10-15 minutes.


Green Bean Bundles

 1 lb fresh green beans, stemmed (you can buy the already stemmed if you prefer)

1/2  lb bacon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 tsp. garlic salt


The day before…

1.  Blanche the stemmed green beans in boiling water for four minutes.

2.  Remove from water and bundle seven green beans buy wrapping them in bacon and securing with a toothpick.  (I used about 1/2 slice of bacon per bundle.)

3. Place in lightly buttered 9×13 baking dish.  (I make two bundles per person.)  Cover and place in refridgerator.

The day of…

4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5.  Combine melted butter with brown sugar and pour over green beans.  Sprinkle with garlic salt.

6.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.


Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes


1 cup  unsalted butter or unsalted margarine

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or bars, cut into bite-size chunks

5 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar


Pinch of salt

4 teaspoons flour (or matzo meal, ground in a blender to a fine powder)

8 greased ramekins (I use the 4 oz size ramekins)

Day before… (Or two days before!)

 1.  Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in flour until just combined. (Batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.)

Day of…

2.  Before serving dinner, adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray eight ramekins with cooking spray.  Place them on cookie tray.  Divide batter among ramekins.

3.  Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift cakes from ramekins and set on serving plates.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

4.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to each serving plate and drizzle with hot fudge.  Serve immediately.


Appearing with me on Wednesday on The River is Ken Evans of The Andersons General Store.  His wine and beer picks for great gift giving and awesome consumption are below:

 Thirsty Dog: 12 Dogs of Christmas ($10.99)
Troegs: Mad Elf ($15.99)
The Bruery: 5 Golden Rings ($10.99)
Pillitteri: “Exclamation” Cabernet Franc ($44.99)
Fleurie: Crue Bourgeois ($24.99)
Trimbach Gewurztraminer ($23.99)
Roederer Estate Brut ($24.99)
L.Mawby Consort ($21.99)
B. Nektar Vanilla Cinnamon Mead and Wildflower Mead ($17.99)
Cool Gift Ideas
Sosabe Tabanka Red ($11.99)
Eden Ice Cider ($24.99)
B. Nektar Zombie Killer ($8.99)
Christmas Breakfast –  French Toast
Rum Chata ($19.99)
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup RumChata
8 slices white or french bread
1 tbs butter

Leave bread slices out in a paper bag overnight to dry out. With a fork, beat together eggs, milk, and RumChata. Heat butter in griddle over medium heat until melted. Dip bread slices into egg mixture and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

 Of course, as always, let me know if you have any questions about these recipes or products! 
Bon Appetit! 





One Comment on “ Onward: That Christmas Dinner…Recipes and Beer and Wine Recommendations ”

  • lynda crossman | December 19th, 2012 9:40 am

    good post carolyn… ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!! Your meal looks great!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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