My 2012 Christmas Menu

Tofu Turkey with vegan stuffing & vegan mushroom stir fry sauce.
I'm almost too exhausted to report about our Christmas dinner. I really over did it this year. I had to give up on a couple of dishes just to pull this one through. I had the perfect Christmas theme cake ready to make as well but there was no way I could have done it. I'll have to save that one for next year. Besides two large pumpkin pies, a gazillion cookies and a gazillion chocolates were more than enough for dessert. And yes everything was made from scratch! My dad actually thought I bought the pie crust and I was a bit insulted. I pretty much do everything from scratch these days. I even baked fresh bread that day for our big Christmas meal. Why do I commit to doing so much again? Right, I've turned into one of those crazy Pinterest Moms!

Preparations for Christmas dinner started the day before. I baked all my cookies then. Yes, more cookies! I baked batches of cookies the previous week for gifts but I had to bake more for Christmas so they would be very fresh. I was also packaging them for gifts to my family as loot bags at the Christmas dinner. Thankfully the chocolates were all done and I just had to package them. Well, sort of. I did make a few white chocolates at the last minute just to add a bit more variety and to pretty things up :) I also prepared the dough for the bread, the two dough balls for the pie crusts, and I cooked the solution to brine the turkey in. I managed to do all this as well as take a break in the afternoon to hit the Vancouver Christmas Market with my husband and son. That night we watched the Polar Express together too. It was a very productive day :)

On the day of the dinner, I pretty much slaved in the kitchen since 10:30AM, after dropping off my son at daycare. My husband was working so I was able to do everything quietly alone. There was a queue for the oven starting at about 11:30AM. Lol.

My Christmas Menu 2012


Artisan bread w/ balsamic vinegar & olive oil dip
Olive/artichoke paté & Mini Toast
Various chips

Drinks: juice boxes, wine


12 lbs Turkey
Tofu Turkey (sort of adapted from

Cranberry relish

Smashed potatoes
Vegan stuffing
French Peasant Beets


Pumpkin pies
Cookies: Pecan candied fruit shortbread, lime meltaways, New York Times Chocolate Chip
Homemade Chocolates

I made everything myself, except for the olive and artichoke paté. My husband came home early from work and made that.

It was a lot of food. It was a challenge cooking all the food because our place is so small. You have to constantly wash dishes after cooking one thing so that you can free up space and utensils to make the next thing.  Our counter space for working is really only about the size of two loose leaf papers. I'm not kidding. I find myself trying to create more counter space by cutting vegetables in the air directly over the sink or laying a cutting board over the stove top and working. It's so awful really. I find myself cursing a lot about the lack of space every time we host big gatherings. I love the cooking but I really am limited by the small space. I want the biggest room in my dream house to be the kitchen and dining area!

This is all the counter space I have:(

We were about an hour late that day for Christmas dinner. Instead of starting dinner at 5:30PM as planned, we ate at 6:30PM. My mom and brother-in-law loved my bread. My dad complimented my husband on his olive and artichoke paté. The turkey, gravy, and stuffing were all usual stuff that I make every year, except that I used vegan butter and made the stuffing all vegan. My mom also liked the cranberry relish and the beets. She is actually quite easy to please :) The nice thing about the relish is that it is served cold and can be made hours in advance. My husband liked the tofu turkey. I simply thought it had potential:) My favorites were the smashed potatoes and beets. I used organic yellow flesh potatoes, which I steamed before smashing them for the oven. The pumpkin pies were good of course. I used the recipe from Tartine this time and it wasn't much different than any of the other recipes I have tried in the past. The pumpkin filling was a bit on the paler side though.

Photo in natural light.

I was quite tired at the end of it but I did get to sit quite a long time for dinner. I probably should have taken more pictures. I made so much food, I pretty much didn't have to cook at all this week. Today was actually the last day of leftovers! Omg. We ran out of the turkey early in the week so that was good. The rest was just tofu and vegetables really. Needless to say, we're pretty sick of our Christmas menu.


  1. amazing spread! how was the brined turkey? i'm a bit obsessed with turkey, still trying to find that go-to recipe. and i can never get crispy browned skin!

  2. Thanks for dropping by the Vancouver Christmas Market Susan. We hope you and your family had a wonderful time this year, and we hope to see you all again next year. Have a fantastic 2013, and happy culinary adventures!


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