'Tis the season for sharing mouthwatering Christmas recipes on Facebook and Pinterest. But when it comes to actually trying out these recipes that look so great in the pictures, it is often disappointing. Either they don't look or taste right, they're expensive to make, or they taste so good you end up eating the whole plate.
Worse yet is when you make a Christmas recipe that you're really excited about, only to bring it to your in-laws and they don't like it, or someone else has brought the same thing.
Here are a few suggestions on making Christmas recipes even your pickiest in-laws will like, even if you're trying to stay healthy or work within a budget.
Healthy Christmas Recipes
Depending on who you're spending Christmas with, it may be in your best interest to keep your recipes within the gluten-free or even vegan-friendly category. According to NPR, nearly one third of Americans claim to be gluten free. And an increasingly large percentage of those who aren't, follow some other type of fad diet plan. The moral of the story here is to know your audience before you purchase ingredients. Here are a few suggestions.
- Coconut Flour, Paleo-Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookies – Chocolate chip cookies might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Christmas cookies, but there's a reason so many people love them. Better yet, there's options for people who are gluten free or Paleo and they still taste really good. Detoxinista has a really good coconut flour chocolate chip cookie
- Mashed Cauliflower – If you're the potato-loving type but you want to stay healthy during the holidays, mashed cauliflower is a good alternative. It's easy to make and it's something you can share as a side dish to a traditional Christmas dinner. The Mock Garlic Mashed Potato Recipe from Food Network is worth trying.
- Coconut Oil Chocolate Bark – Chocolate, coconut, and vegan friendly ingredients is what makes this recipe from Oh She Glows so awesome.
If you're more concerned with funding Secret Santa than you are with showing off the fanciest recipe, you might want to stick with affordable Christmas recipes. Affordable doesn't always have to mean boring. Stick with these classics and you'll be on your way to a crowd-pleasing dish.
- Classic Deviled Eggs – No explanation here. Deviled eggs are super cheap and easy to make, and people love them. If you've never made them before, try the Betty Crocker classic deviled eggs recipe.
- Sausage Rolls – Pastry puffs and sausage are the two key ingredients here, which make them easy and affordable as a Christmas appetizer. My Recipes has the exact recipe if you want to give it a whirl.
- Chocolate Cupcakes – To many, anything with chocolate is a perfectly acceptable Christmas dessert. These chocolate cupcakes from Food.com won't break the bank, but they will impress everyone at dinner.
If your family isn't the type that does the typical Christmas ham and turkey, with a side of cutout cookies for dessert, take a gander at these alternative, unique Christmas recipes from around the world. No one said Christmas dinner has to be boring.
- Polish Christmas cookies - Cookies are a big hit for Christmas parties around the world. These Polish cookies are also known as Kiefles and they're sure to impress even the most discerning guests.
- Italian Fish – Not everyone wants turkey for Christmas. Try an Italian-style main dish, such as cod or oysters if you're going for a dinner that's truly unique.
- Peruvian Turkey – Christmas dinner in Peru also consists of turkey, but with a twist. In Peru, it's common for the Christmas turkey to be stuffed with ground beef and topped with pineapple and cherries. It's a dish you know everyone will like, and it will still be more unique than the boring turkey the neighbors are serving.
[Photo credit: Getty Images]