Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Recap & Two No-Sugar Recipes

It already seems like months ago--I can't believe Christmas was only last week. To say I'm exhausted from all the holiday revelry would be an understatement. My house is still a hideous mess.

To recap the holiday's events, our family party was Christmas Eve, starting at 6:30pm. There was ham, potato salad, ambrosia (also known as 5-cup) salad--two kinds: regular and sugar-free. My Christmas wouldn't be the same without that particular confection, and I was glad to come up with a sugar-free option (well, as sugar free as it can be while containing fruit). There were baked beans and rolls and a cheese-lettuce-tomato platter for those who wanted to make a sandwich. I served shrimp & cocktail sauce as well as a scrumptious chevre spread with fresh blackberries and crackers. My mother brought pies and cakes for dessert, and I made a no-sugar-added banana pudding to rival my husband's sugar-FULL banana pudding.

The recipes for the sugar-free ambrosia salad and banana pudding are below.

Christmas Day brings my brother & sister-in-law's annual brunch, which was delicious and a fun opportunity to spend time with my brother's jolly in-laws.

Mr.W and I had planned to go to the movies, too, but we were too exhausted. We took long afternoon naps, instead, and managed to watch a couple of videos.

On Friday we took a drive into Syracuse for some post-holiday shopping deals, which were a-plenty! I was able to replenish my ribbon stash and get next year's holiday cards.

Saturday Mr.W and I finally made it to the movies to see Yes Man, which was exactly the mindless funny-biz that I wanted it to be. I really enjoyed it--and that's quite a compliment, because I generally don't care for Jim Carrey flicks. After that, we went out for a well-earned supper at a restaurant. Can I just say that I'm hammed out? The rest is going in the freezer!

Sunday... Church, Sunday School... more napping, and the Atlanta Falcons won again!

Finally we're back to normal. Mr.W is at work. I've done some grocery shopping. All is as it should be once again.

Sugar Free Ambrosia Salad
This is a variation of the famous 5-Cup salad that is oh, so delicious. The fruit obviously has natural sugars, so this should still be eaten in moderation--but it was a very good low-sugar option for the diabetics.

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained well
1 can (about 11 ounces) mandarin oranges in sugar-free syrup, drained

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

16 ounces low-fat sour cream
1 cup sugar-free coconut-flavor cookies, crushed (optional)

sugar-free instant vanilla pudding (you'll use only about 1-2 teaspoons of the powder... read on)

In a large bowl, combine pineapple, mandarin orange segments, coconut, sour cream and crushed cookies. Carefully sprinkle in some pudding powder, stir and taste. This is what will add the final sweetness that is missing by not using marshmallows--keep sprinkling, stirring and tasting until the desired level of sweetness is reached. I used about 2 teaspoons of the powder.

No Sugar Added Banana Pudding

This, too, should be eaten in moderation, since it does contain bananas. Adjust the fat content by the kind of milk you use for the pudding.

1 package (about 8 ounces) sugar-free almond (or desired flavor) cookies (I used Joseph's)
2 bananas, peeled and sliced

1 4-serving size box sugar-free instant banana pudding mix plus milk, prepared according to directions FOR PIE

On the bottom of a serving dish (or even a wine glass for individual servings), cover the bottom with cookies, then top with banana slices. Gently dollop prepared sugar-free pudding on top. Repeat layers, ending with pudding. Garnish with a few more cookies on top, if desired. Chill several hours or overnight before serving, to allow cookies to soften.


Sam said...

I know it's late but Happy Christmas! Looks like a fantastic menu you put together!

Amanda said...

Happy Holidays to you, too, Sam.

I really enjoyed doing Christmas this year for my family; the simple menu allowed me to do most of the prep in advance, so when the fam arrived I was pretty relaxed.

Fortunately my hosting duties are met--at least until Easter!

Mary said...

It sounds like you had a really great Christmas! I'm with you on being hammed out too!

Kim said...

Thanks for stopping by Omnivores Delight Amanda. I'm not sure if we'll make the tea ceremony a Christmas tradition or not, but it sure will be a fun twist on tea parties. These recipes sound great by the way.

Lulu said...

Yes...can you believe the Atlanta Falcons won?? My husband is elated. I, on the other hand, do not understand what all the hoop-la is about. I am by no means a football fan.

Your Christmas sounded just lovely, and I would have loved to have gone to the movies, but it just wasn't in the cards.

Amanda said...

Mary--then we're both drowning in a sea of ham? Ugh. Loved your post on your fun gifts, by the way--now I want a super peel!

Kim--my pleasure! The headline caught my eye. I attended a couple of tea ceremonies in Korea, and several Ethiopian coffee ceremonies; these things hold a general interest for me.

Lulu--I CAN'T believe it! They do tend to be up & down. I'm not really much of a football fan, myself, but Mr.W is, and I absorb some of it from him. And for his sake (and other Falcons fans) I'm glad they're in the playoffs.

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