holiday traditions recipe holiday card PragmaticMom

Our Holiday Tradition: Recipe Booklet Holiday Card

Our Holiday Gift Card is a Recipe Booklet

Our family tradition since 1997 has been to make a 12 page holiday recipe booklet as our Christmas & New Year’s card. I do this with my sister and her sister-in-law. There was one year when we opted for traditional cards; my sister had just had her first baby, and I had a toddler and infant. We received immediate feedback from our mailing list that this was not acceptable. Our friends wanted the recipe booklet. Over the years as each family has grown, we’ve opted for separate cover blurbs and photos specific to each family but the recipe portion is the same.

Each of us contributes three or so recipes of what we’ve enjoyed Cooking the past year. There are no rules about what type of recipe to provide and somehow my sister, who does the graphic design, manages to merge them into a cohesive theme.

Here is our cover letter for this year:

For 2011, we each picked our own theme song to describe our past year.

Tai. FCB Barcelona Futbol – Barça Club Song. Key line (translated): So much glory through the years … And it has been proven, it has been proven. That no one can break us. (We worshipped at the church of Camp Noa).
Mia. Chasing Pavements by Adele. Key line: Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements even if it leads no where? (ah, the trials and tribulations of trying to get paid to blog!)
Zoe. Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Ray. Key line: La, la, la. Whatever. La, la, la. It doesn’t matter.  La, la, la. Oh well. (Tweens!)
Ali.  Billionaire by Travie McCoy with Bruno Mars. Key line: I wanna be a billionaire so [effen] bad. (Our nickname for her: “Future Mogul”)
Tai. Gaming: A Song for Gamers.  Key line: I’m gaming all night and all day. You dig? … Play, play, play ’til my game starts breaking. (His thumbs are finely tuned instruments.)

Wally.  Our 1.5 year old Golden Retriever. The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars. Key line: Today I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything, I Just Want to Lie In My Bed. (He’s one lucky dog!)

May you keep a song in your heart and a spring in your step this holiday season and throughout the New Year!

Love and Holiday Cheer from Us to You!

We are a little behind this year — note that in some years, our holiday card is definitely more New Year’s than Christmas! — so the recipes have not been determined yet, but here are some favorites from past years.

Our Favorite Roast Beef
You need to marinate this one day in advance so the meat can marinade overnight.
1 5-pound boneless rib eye roast (larger if you have guests. It can have bones too but you’ll need a larger one)
1/2 cup coarsely cracked black pepper corns (Use a mortle and pestle). (No, a spice grinder is not the same). (Don’t even think about using pre-ground).
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon (secret ingredient!)
1 cup soy sauce (we use Kikkoman’s).
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
4 cloves garlic, minced.
1. Place roast in zip lock bag or pan. Combine pepper and cardamon. Pat firmly onto roast. Combine rest of ingredients and pour over roast. Marinate overnight in refrigerator, turning occassionally.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove roast from marinade. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until meat thermometer reaches 140 degrees F.

3. Let meat rest 15 minutes before carving.

Japanese Soba Noodle Salad
12 ounces dried soba noodles
4 ounces snow peas, thinly sliced
1  1/2 cups grated carrots
1/4 cup sliced green onions
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1. Cook noodles in large pot of boiling, salted water until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Add snow peas and cook 30 seconds. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Transfer to bowl. Stir in carrots and onions.

2. Whisk remaining ingredients in small bowl to blend. Pour over noodle mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to blend.

Hash Brown Quiche
1 – 24 ounce package Ore Ida frozen hash browns, thawed
2/3 cup melted butter (or margarine)- OPTIONAL
4 eggs
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded hot pepper cheese (or cheddar if you have kids that don’t like spicy)
2 cups swiss, gouda or jack cheese
2 cups diced cooked meat (I use spicy sausage)
1 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon salt
1. Grease 9 1/2 x 13 x 2 inch pan. Spread hashbrowns into pan to form crust. Brush with butter (or omit entirely). Bake at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes.
2. Top with layers of meat and cheese. Beat eggs, milk and salt. Pour over cheese and meat. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
3. Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Serve with fresh fruit, muffins and mimosas!

If you want to make your own holiday recipe book, here’s our tips:

  • Limit booklet to 3 copy paper size pages. This will keep your booklet weight including envelope to just one stamp.
  • Use a desktop publishing program to do the layout. We use PageMaker. Microsoft Publisher or Quark Xpress is great too.
  • The least expensive way to go is to print out yourself on a color printer. It’s a little tricky to print out double sided so do a test run before printing out a stack and stock up on tonor cartridges.
  • We fold each booklet in half using a pen or pencil to make a crisp crease.
  • We use a special extended stapler to bind it.
  • You can get booklet sized envelopes from Staples.
  • We keep our mailing list in a database so we can print out on labels.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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