A Special Christmas Eve Dinner (& a late-night walk)

After returning from the 4:00 Christmas Eve church service (singing Silent Night as the lights dim will forever be one of my most special holiday memories), my mom got right to work preparing our Christmas Eve dinner feast. While our grill had some problems gettin’ going, it was actually quite nice that it happened (well, I think my dad – the grill man – might have another opinion) because Layne was able to join us after playing her flute at the 6:30 service. Nobody died from eating a late dinner, did they? (Meant to be rhetorical because, well…)

This was my mom‘s chance to shine: she designed (and executed flawlessly, may I add) a decadent menu of:

Chili-rubbed pork loin with cumin & fresh thyme…

A creamy, cheesy, healthy vegetable medley with french fried onions to garnish…

hey, they're still vegetables though, right?

Oven-baked Au Gratin potatoes with a crusty breadcrumb & cheese topping sprinkled with paprika…


potatoes in their best form 🙂

Delicious wedges of asiago cheese foccacia bread & fresh, fluffy rolls…


The bread bowl is so underrated.

& we can’t forget the strawberry jello placed into parfait glasses…

And then garnished with Reddi Wip (hey, we couldn’t make everything from scratch) and exactly 4 blackberries (hehe)…

There's always room for jello!

Truly the crème de la crème of all Christmas Eve dinners. I think I was so wrapped up in eating that I forgot to photograph the desserts: a sinfully delicious mocha torte (think brownies, whipped cream, heath bits for garnish) & a simp but classic funfetti cake with green frosting (did I ever tell you this is the way to my heart?). What made the dinner even more special was the company: my mom, dad, Layne, Andrew, my aunt Marcia, and my aunt Marlene. A very special dinner with some very special people.

And afterwards…a walk!

All bundled up & ready to go! (LHS hat in tow)

On a whim, my family decided to take a late-night walk (think 9:30 folks, 9:30!!). It was dark outside, but have no fear: my dad took hold of the flashlight like a Boy Scout on his first overnight camping adventure. He proudly flashed that beam with gusto every time a car came by…he said he was “saving lives.” 🙂

We finished off the night by watching old family videos (I screamed way too much as a young child) and cracking up ’til our stomachs hurt. And before we went to bed, the kids left out a little treat for Santa…because of course you’re never too old for that kind of stuff! (And we wanted to make one last effort to get on the nice list.)

We chose the ugliest cookie (sorry Santa).


About ciaotochow

ciao to chow: initially created as a little spot on the web devoted to the "chow" I find while studying abroad in Rome. But really, ciao to chow is about my life: the day-to-day experiences, funny stories, moments of laughter, and the food...that continue to inspire me and make me grateful for each new day.
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One Response to A Special Christmas Eve Dinner (& a late-night walk)

  1. MareMare says:

    A delightful Christmas Eve indeed!!

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