Twas’ two weeks before Christmas … (2021)


Dear Friends,

As Sissy’s quote so delightfully points out … confidence and enjoyment often go hand in hand. It’s exciting for me to hear from so many of you who are enjoying gathering your family and friends. I promise the more you do it, the more confident you will become, and the more you will enjoy it all! What better time of year than the holidays to enjoy the ones we love!

Ed and I are thankful once again that our children will be with us. Being with them is our most treasured tradition. As I often do, I like to give you a glimpse of my plans. You will notice a few repeats from previous newsletters and last Christmas. While I always try to add a few new things, I often keep the tried and true that I could practically prepare blindfolded. Also, many of the things we enjoy are family traditions — just wouldn’t be Christmas without them!

Whether you are few or many, I hope you’ll be inspired and equipped so that the holidays are merry, bright … and let’s all say it together … effortless! 🙌🏻

We’ve linked each EE recipe to our website. Click the recipe and you’ll find a printer-friendly version. I’ve also given you the page number if you have the EE guide. (I hope you do!)


As my long-time followers know, I rarely do breakfast. I like to provide what people need and let them fend for themselves. My top go-to is the Egg and Sausage Casserole, page 260. Prep in advance, even cook in advance. It reheats well. You can also prepare in muffin tins for a real grab-and-go. Another quick tip is edthedad’s breakfast cup. Scramble two eggs in a cup. Mix into the eggs whatever you’d like … cooked crumbled bacon or sausage, cheese, pimento cheese (on the blog), salsa … the sky’s the limit. Cook in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir again. Cook an additional 30 — 45 seconds. Done! Just have the ingredients on hand, and everyone can fix their own. Make sure you have toast, avocado, fruit, and maybe Blueberry Muffins, page 269 or Poppyseed Bread, page 262. You’re all set for a DIY breakfast. You’ll notice on the Christmas Day menu, I am preparing the French Toast Casserole. My sister-in-law, Liz shared this recipe. It is divine and decadent!

Lunch …

Here again, everyone is pretty much on their own, but I make sure they have everything they need to make a yummy lunch. Reubens and any other sandwich grilled on a griddle and served with Chicken Chili, page 252, Brunswick Stew, page 244, or Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, on the blog. I already have these in my freezer and ready to go. For the Reubens: pastrami or turkey pastrami — YUM!, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing (make your own — it’s easy!), rye bread, or my favorite Dave’s Thin-Sliced Good Seed Bread. Butter the bread and grill on the stovetop or a griddle. Any variation of this will do … roast beef and provolone, ham and swiss, pastrami and swiss, or how about just pimento cheese (on the blog). Honestly, what’s not to love. You will be a hero! Whatever you do, don’t buy low-fat cheeses — they are terrible. And don’t forget the chips!

Cocktails, Dinner, and Desserts 

For cocktails, champagne on silver trays is one of my Christmas favorites. We also like to jazz it up a bit with a Kir Royale or French 75. ‘Tis the season for special things!

As for the eggnog, it has been so much fun the last few years to hear from those of you who also make yours from scratch. Our recipe comes from Ed’s mother, Jane and I can’t even describe the fun he and our children have making the nog. Just like when Ed and his brother, Chris made it with Jane, there is a lot of giggling as they add a little more “spirit!”


For dinner, I try to keep each night simple and include things I can prepare in advance. Most every night, dessert is DIY. I must confess, the eggnog is a family after-dinner favorite during Christmas. And … we do have it with breakfast on Christmas morning. It’s true!

The two desserts I will prepare this year are Amaretto Cheesecake for Christmas Eve and Bread Pudding for the first night we’re all together. Like the eggnog, the Amaretto Cheesecake is a family tradition. I promise, this recipe is super simple and you truly can’t mess it up. You will love it! I’m making Bread Pudding pretty much because Eddie has been asking me to make it!



I pray that the Spirit of this season is with you. Blessings to you and yours for a happy and holy Christmas,

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Christmas Week Game Plan


On Hand

Breakfasts – DIY

Lunches – DIY

  • Sandwiches (Turkey Breast, Turkey Pastrami, Reubens)
  • Quinoa Tabouli

Desserts – DIY


Tuesday, 12/21

Wednesday, 12/22

Annual Gingerbread Dinner

Thursday, 12/23

Friday, 12/24 – Christmas Eve

Saturday, 12/25 – Christmas Day!