The holidays are more pretty much my favorite time of the year. Between the decor, the holiday spirit, and of course, the gifts — it’s pretty much the happiest time of the year. Well, for me that is. My family has always thrown huge holiday parties where we are cooking from the night before and dancing the night away well into the next morning. Over the years, these parties have gotten smaller and now it’s pretty much just my immediate family. It’s no surprise that I have to cook way less to avoid wasting food. But, that’s not to say I can’t still cook a flavorful dinner that we can eat for days to come. Get the details on my easy go-to holiday dinner for four that your family will be signing up for seconds.
Easy Holiday Dinner For Four With Enough For Leftovers
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These recipes are just for the bulk of the meal. You can feel free to add a dessert or an appetizer and cocktails.May I recommend my Rose’ holiday cocktail from last week which I’m still gushing over? It’s definitely a festive holiday cocktail.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to break out your favorite indulgences. I personally am addicted to my baked mac and cheese. But, my hips seem to disagree so I only really cook it during the holiday season. Whichever sides and desserts you choose, there should be no issue with it pairing with this easy holiday dinner for four.
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Baked Macaroni and Cheese
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2 Packs of Kraft Four Cheeses Macaroni Noddles
2 Packs of Sharp Cheddar Block Cheese
1/2 Cup of Whole Milk
Estimate Time: 1 Hour
- Boil the macaroni noodles in a large pot .
- Add a dash of salt and a little olive oil to ensure the noodles don’t stick.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Use a cheese grater to shred 2 packs of sharp cheddar cheese onto a plate. I use the second to largest grate size which a little larger than the size you will find in the store. Set aside the plate until your noodles are boiled.
- Once cooked, use a strainer to drain the water from the noodles.
- Coat the bottom of the aluminum pan or ceramic casserole pan of your choice with a little olive oil ( to avoid sticking) and add the drained noodles.
- Add the pack of cheddar cheese that came with the noodles.
- Crack four eggs over the noodles.
- Pour a little bit of whole milk ( no more than half a cup) over the noodles.
- Take a handful of the shredded cheddar cheese and add it to the top.
- Season with black pepper and a little bit of salt.
- Mix all of your ingredients into the mac and cheese noodles.
- Use the remaining shredded cheese and evenly cover the noodles.
- Cover the mac and cheese and place it in the oven. If using an aluminum pan, use aluminum foil to cover the food. Use the casserole lid if using a ceramic casserole pan.
- In 20 minutes, uncover the food so the mac and cheese can begin to brown.
- Take it out after an additional 20-30 minutes depending on the desired brownness.It shouldn’t take any longer than 30 minutes for it to brown
- Once the cheese if fully melted and browned, you can take it out of the oven. Since I was using a different pan, my mac and cheese edges browned way faster than I was prepared for. The way the mac and cheese looks in the middle is how you should want yours to appear.
Holiday Glazed Ham
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You can cook the ham simultaneously as the mac and cheese. This time, I cooked the mac and cheese first. When I cook my holiday dinner this year, I’m going to cook the ham first.
Most hams these days come precooked. You’re more warming it up to brown the ham and let the flavor seep in. Even so, prepare for it to be in the oven for a few hours. Usually, I purchase large hams and it takes about 4 hours. As this meal was for the blog, I only bought a small ham.It took a little under 2 hours to fully cook and brown. Can you believe it only cost me $13? Ahhhmazing! Once again, my favorite store, Target, came through for me. Your ham should come with directions to let you know the timing to put it in the oven depending on the exact weight of it. Here’s the method that personally used.
A Disposable Aluminum Pan
1 Precooked Ham
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Can of Sliced Pineapples
( 2 cans if cooking a large ham)
A Bottle of Cloves
( you won’t use all! )
Few Squirts of Honey
Estimated Time: At Least 2 Hours
- Unwrap the packaged ham into an aluminum pan. Make sure it’s laying on the flat side.
- Preheat the oven. I raised it to 390 but feel free to go by what the ham directions state.
- While the oven is preheating, you can begin to glaze the ham.
- Apply the glaze that came with the ham.
- Partially open the can of pineapples.
- Pour the pineapple juice over the ham.
- Rub the brown sugar on the ham. Make sure to fully rub it in.
- The last step is to pin the pineapples onto ham. You’ll do it similar to pin the tail on the donkey. I use a few cloves for each pineapple. Try to space it out enough to cover the ham without the pineapples touching each other directly.
- Cover the ham with aluminum foil and place in the oven.
- Remove the aluminum foil after about 40 mins to an hour. Depending on your total cooking time suggested for your ham size. Since my ham was in for two hours total, I let it cook covered for 45 minutes. Use this as a guide to determine your own covered time.
- Remove the ham once it has browned, the glaze has thickened, and the pineapples have browned. I personally like my ham really brown and crispy on the outside and soft with glaze flavor on the inside.
Feel free to remove the ham from the aluminum pan onto a serving dish.
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Black Pepper Green Beans
1 Can of Pre cut Green Beans
Few Dashes of Black Pepper
A small slice of butter
This part is the easiest. Usually, I create greens from scratch starting the night before with my husband. As this is supposed to be a small holiday dinner for four, I just took some canned beans and added a bit of flavor.
Estimated Time: 10 minutes
- Empty the green beans ( and the juice it comes with!) into a small pot.
- Add black pepper.
- Throw in a bit of butter.
- Allow the green beans to boil and you’re done!
When you’re all done, add the beans to a serving dish.
Now that you’re all done, make sure you let all the dishes cool a bit before placing them on the table!
” Easy Holiday Dinner For Four ” Comment & Engage
This is easily my go-to holiday dinner. Usually, it’s paired with rice and peas, oxtail, collard greens, and fried chicken. Since this is for a much smaller group, I thought this is the perfect base for any meal. Incorporate an appetizer and dessert to finish off your meal.
What are your holiday dinner musts? Anything you look forward to the most during the holiday time?
Until next time…..