Second Christmas

Was your Christmas not what you expected?  Need another try? Or perhaps do you love Christmas so much that you wish you could celebrate it more than once?  Well, luckily, you can.  This, friends, is the phenomenon of Second Christmas.  It may not be in the church calendar, but I am sure Jesus doesn’t mind having a second birthday party.  Who would?

It’s quite simple really.  It’s Christmas.  Just all over again.  We had a tree, lit and ornamented.  We had excellent company, to be sure.  And food.  So much food.  An excellent meal.

This past Saturday my friends and I celebrated the second annual Second Christmas.  It all began last year when one friend approached another friend and said, “My Christmas was sucky.  Can we have a do over?”  Since the other friend is more than keen on Christmas, rather like obsessed (though lovably so), he obliged with gusto.  They developed an elaborate menu, an assembly of guests, some Christmas decorations, and set Nat King Cole going on Pandora.  Thus was the birth of Second Christmas.  Apparently, it was such a success, that my friends made it an annual event.

This year, given my strange Israeli Christmas experience, it seemed like a great idea to have another go at the holiday.  I soon realized that Second Christmas is a great excuse to pull out all the stops on the menu, sparing no expense nor substituting anything from any recipe.  Here was our fare with links to the recipes:

Second Christmas Menu

To Begin

Apple Chestnut Soup

Greens and Apple Salad with Dried Cherries and Walnuts

Stuffed Mushrooms*


Roast Chicken with Double Cranberry and Thyme Sauce


Scalloped Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin with Fresh Herbs

New England Sausage, Apple and Dried Cranberry Stuffing

Pan Browned Brussel Sprouts in Garlic Butter


Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread

Lavender Chocolate Bars

Apple Pie with Brandy-Soaked Cranberries and Currants

I starred* the recipe for stuffed mushrooms because, I am pleased to say, they were my invention.  I based them on the stuffed mushrooms they serve at Maggiano’s, or at least as best I could from memory of how they tasted.  Here is what I did:

Emily’s Stuffed Mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.

Wash mushrooms and hollow them out, reserving and dicing the stems.  Arrange mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with foil.

Dice 1 medium shallot

Wash 1 bag baby spinach

Mince 2 cloves Garlic

Mince 3 strips of bacon.

Heat a skillet on medium and sauté bacon bits until crispy.  Add shallot and garlic and sauté until translucent.

Add Spinach and cover until spinach is wilted.

Wisk one egg.  Add cottage cheese (enough for however many mushrooms you have). Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings and stir until well mixed.

Once vegetables are done, add them to the egg and cheese mixture and stir.  Spoon mixture into mushrooms and form a nice heap.

Mix together bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Sprinkle this mixture on top of the mushrooms.

Bake until cheese starts to brown, about 20-30 min.


Alas, I have no pictures of these because they were gone faster than I could remember I ought to have photographed them. 🙂


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