Traditions are what I look forward to most during the holidays. Whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, our traditions are what make the holidays indelible and everlasting. Everything that was passed down from our grandparents that we now teach our children, is a part of us and our various cultural backgrounds.  I also adore that we have the good fortune to be able to share our traditions with one another. To discover something wonderful, new and intriguing that we can enfold and share with our own families.

I  adore all of the sounds, decorations and smells that are connected, in particular, to the memories that I have of  my family during the holiday season.  Although as you may have guessed I am especially fond of the food! I am a complete foodie and dream of menus everyday. I know…sad and weird isn’t it. Well, as I  sit here daydreaming about tomorrow nights dinner, I am curious as to what you maybe having? What are some of your traditional foods that you can not do without? What are some new ones that you have discovered from a friend? Have you found a great new recipe that you just can’t wait to try out?

Since I am tied up getting ready for tomorrow night, as are you,  I thought that maybe we could all do something easy and share our typical Christmas Eve menus’ with one another. A sort of Blog- Culture & Recipe Swap for the holidays.  You never know, you might find that new recipe you were looking for or discover one that has lasted the generations.

My family is Irish/ Italian and Catholic, so our Christmas Eve dinner has always consisted of pasta dishes (no meat) and seafood. When I was a child we traveled to Connecticut each Christmas. My grandmother always made stuffed shells or manicotti along with a sideboard full of sweets. We would always bring the flounder and shrimp since Dad didn’t care for smelt, that story still cracks me up. I make a similar dinner to my grandmothers for my family with a few little changes of my own and some much loved borrowed ones from close friends. Here is my typical holiday menu for when it is just the four of us…some traditional, some borrowed, a mix of Irish/Italian and Southern 🙂

Tickled Red’s Christmas Eve Dinner

Eggplant Rollatini

Pasta Fagioli

Fried Flounder

Sauteed Shrimp (in a white wine,butter, herb sauce)

Asparagus (with hollandaise)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes topped with Praline Crumble

Mashed Potatoes (with herb, garlic butter)

Irish Soda Bread

Rice Balls:  (this year with sun dried tomatoes & olives/pancetta and prosciutto)


Dessert: Always a new cake recipe 🙂 TICKLES the family. Orange Italian Cream Cake from Southern Living

Let me know if you see anything on my menu that you would like for me to post in depth sometime in the future. I might even try my hand at some that you share, if you like.

I do so look forward to seeing your favorite selections and hope that you have the chance to post them on here.

Tickled Red