What I made for Christmas Eve Dinner

I had a huge dinner at my house on Christmas Eve. These are the dishes I made:

My Christmas tree

Clementine Cosmos from 5-Ingredient Fix. The clementine simple syrup was delish and was a beautiful orange color. We used organic cranberry juice and bottled lime juice. They were a hit with the ladies but the guys didn’t want anything to do with a pink colored cocktail.

Trader Joe’s Pear Cinnamon Cider. I went shopping on Christmas Eve-Eve at the very busy Trader Joe’s in Short Pump and they had this cider served warm as a sample in the back of the store. I served it warmed in a crock pot over low heat. Very good!

Good Eats Roast Turkey. I got wrapped up in conversation with my sister Zandria and my friend Lois and forgot all about brining the turkey the night before! How could I! I ended up only getting to brine it for 2-3 hours the next morning. I took a huge risk and didn’t rinse the brine off but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. It was tender and delicious… I will make this again.

My kitty under the tree

I made a variation of Roasted Beet Salad, except that I used clementines instead of navel oranges and goat cheese instead of pecorino romano. I also served it over a bed of arugula.

Mascarpone Chive Mashed Potatoes. Very creamy and a slightly different flavor from the normal mashed potatoes.

My mom brought several different desserts including a fruit cake and chocolate pie, collard greens, venison bbq and a crab dip. My sister Angela brought a 5 cheese mac-n-cheese and some oreo cookie balls and rolo cookies. My dad brought some marinated carrots that I have to get the recipe for! I have been snacking on the leftovers for 2 days now.

Below are my Dad, 7 week old nephew and my brother:

My dad, my nephew and brother

This is my sister Angela’s husband and their son, Ryder:

Troy and Ryder

Me getting ready to chop hazelnuts for the salad:

Elissa cooking

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Honeyed Ricotta Mousse with Drunken Strawberries

My beautiful, gorgeous sister Zandria is visiting for the weekend with her boyfriend Paul!! I’m SO, SO excited. Roommates for the weekend! Our pool opens! Good food! Good wine! We are all off on Monday! It doesn’t get any better right??!

I’m not making dinner tonight (we’ll probably go out for Thai food) but I’m making dessert! I found Ask Chef Dennis‘ blog when he did a guest post for A Little Bit of Everything. The only change I made is to double the recipe. I can’t wait to share it with my company. I think it’s going to be cool, refreshing, light and delicious! I will update the bottom of this post with pictures later on. Right now the mousse is chillin’ in the fridge!

Honeyed Ricotta Mousse with Drunken Strawberries

From Ask Chef Dennis


  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups slices strawberries
  • 1/3 cup wine (I used dry Reisling)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons artisanal raw honey


  • In large bowl mix together the ricotta, mascarpone and confectioners sugar.
  • In a separate medium sized bowl, pour in the heavy cream and vanilla. Start whipping it slowly using an electric mixer and then bring the speed up to med-high. Whip until it’s the consistency of whipped cream (be careful not to over whip).
  • Gently fold whipped cream into ricotta mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Slice strawberries and mix with sugar and wine and allow to marinate for at least an hour.
  • To serve, place a scoop of ricotta in a cup, top with marinated strawberries and drizzle with honey on top. Serve immediately.

UPDATE (4 hours later):

We got back from eating out around 9:30 tonight. The thai place we ate dinner at tempted us with their homemade ice cream offerings but I reminded everyone that we had ricotta mousse waiting for us at home. When we got home, I sat out the dessert glasses…

And put it all together…

I was even happy to realize that it looks very, very close to the picture from the blog where I got the recipe! I must have done something right!

The dessert is creamy but also has a nice bite to it due to the texture of the ricotta cheese. The strawberries were perfect and the honey topped it all off. At first I thought the honey wouldn’t be needed but it adds a wonderful bite of sweetness. Easy to make, fun to eat. My description is not doing this dessert justice I’m sure! Everyone loved it and commented on how they can’t wait to have more!