Last Minute Gift Ideas and ‘The’ Best Christmas Dinner

So the clock is ticking, tick tock, tick tock, and Christmas is fast approaching and you have no one crossed off your list yet as far as gift procurements are concerned. What to do? Mangia.TV has approved reliable, tested, proven, ideas to avoid total embarrassment.

  1. Chocolate: Lindt Chocolate… Do I need to explain…
  2. Ace is the place: Let me run down what last minute is in my book. With a 6:00 o’clock deadline for Christmas Eve celebrations I have found myself at Ace at 4-4:30 and covered everybody on my list. Housewares, garden center, sporting goods, tools, all in a store you won’t get leg cramps walking around in. Knock off your list in half an hour and that leaves plenty of time for a few cocktails at your local gin joint before heading home with 15 minutes to spare (for wrapping).
  3. Time: I know it sounds cliché but giving your time to someone is really a precious gift. Time, as far as I’m concerned, is our most valuable commodity and it’s weird that they call leisure time ‘free’. This is a gift that takes some thought and it is better if you take the time to buy a calendar and put the information in it. Maybe it’s making dinner for someone once a week, or once a month for the New Year. It could be giving an adrenalin junkie an epic experience monthly (that you join in on of course). It could be hiking a different state trail once a month with that special someone. Make it a contract by putting it in a calendar and wrap it up. In the end I think time spent with your close friends and family is more memorable than any gift. I’ll wager you can’t remember one gift you received three years ago, but if you had a great day with someone back then, you remember that for life.

Now let us ask, “What is the best Christmas dinner? And why is it ham”.
We have been over this before, but let’s go over it again. Ham is the best Holliday dinner choice because it is so good and its left-over skills are unmatched. We like to pair ham with scalloped potatoes, and at least three vegetables. Finish it with harvest apple pie and some hot toddies and tuck me in. Santa could crash land on the roof and I wouldn’t stir.

  • The Ham: Get a big one. The relatives won’t be leaving for a while and you’ll need to be able to hack at it for several meals.
    Glaze: Mix 1 bag Mangia Sweet Cajun Dry Rub + 1 cup orange juice
    Drizzle/rub entire ham with glaze, foil cover and bake low and slow. 200ish for 3-4 hrs. uncover, kick up the heat, and continue to paint rub on till ham is glazed to
  • The Taters: Use a mandolin or with the precision of a surgeon slice a bunch of potatoes and a couple yellow onions super thin. Butter the bottom of a baking dish and then deal out potatoes slices like you’re dealing at the world series of poker till bottom is covered. Deal out some of the onion and then flick softened butter all over. Sprinkle with a little bit of flour and make it rain with some salt and pepper. Repeat this process til you have dish layered to the top. Add organic whole milk till ½-3/4 of dish is filled. Bake foil covered at 400 for an hour. Remove foil and let brown.
  • Greens: sauté greens in olive oil and bacon fat
  • Baby bok choi: Steam in double boiler ten minutes. Then slice in half, toss with olive oil salt and pepper, and grill
  • Brussels sprouts: Steam in double boiler for ten minutes. Then slice in half, toss with olive oil and some Mangia Cajun Dry and bake at 400 for 15 minutes
  • The Harvest Apple pie recipe is secret. You have to order rub to get it.
  • Hot Toddy: Heat a can of Beef Consommé as directed to near boil. Mix I part Rye with two parts Consommé Sweet Dreams.

You can find all these tips in our Cooking Vamp #9 episode, too.
What are some of your Christmas traditions and your favorite Christmas meal? Leave us a comment, it makes our day!
Merry Christmas everyone!