- Megan Bingham
This year, the celebration and cheer begin with Southern Living's Christmas 2017 guide. With page after page of decorating ideas, 100 all-new, kitchen-tested recipes for family feasts and utilizing leftovers (or, "Bestovers," as they prefer to call them), Southern Living has made its mark once again within the holiday season.
Within their "Entertain" section, they have five special themes that celebrate the upcoming winter months. In "Christmas on the Farm," Southern Living focuses on autumn-meets-winter decorating, along with bold-face recipes that include Brined and Blasted Turkey and Deep-Dish Apple-Sweet Potato Pie with Maple Ice Cream—a perfect and stunning way to end a meal.
Inspired by woodsmoke and the surrounding blanket of the forest, "Christmas at the Lake" embraces the warm and relaxing feeling of a family weekend retreat. Enjoy a fireside feast, complete with Smoked Pork Tenderloins with a Sherry Mushroom Sauce and Salted Caramel Apple Bread Pudding with Irish Whiskey Whipped Cream.
Similar to the lake-inspired theme, "Christmas in the Mountains" embraces that hearty woodland feel, featuring rustic elements within festive and elaborate decorations. Appease the mountain-sized appetites of your friends and family with a rich and nutty Duck Gumbo and Herbed Yeast Spoon Rolls, and top it off with a Spice Gingerbread Latte.
Even during the winter months, the sea is always calling! "Christmas by the Sea" is dedicated to the festive nautical-style decorations and, of course, cooking. Start off with a Sparkling Berries and Cherries Punch, followed by Grilled Oysters with Smoky Sherry Butter, and really bring the holiday cheer with Key Lime Cheesecake and Pomegranate Syrup.
Last, but not least, "Christmas on the Block" celebrates neighbors and friends with comforting dishes via buffet-style. Your guests will be praising your Oven-Roasted Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Horseradish Sauce and Slow-Cooker Chile Verde Pulled Pork Tacos. Feed a crowd with a Turtle Sheet Cake—which will be rich with chocolate and compliments!
Are you planning on making some slow-cooker comfort food this holiday season? Look no further; Southern Living has plenty of delectable dishes, from Sage and Cream-Braised Pork Loin to a Hearty Beef Stew. To finish up your holiday feasts, flip to their section "Classic Desserts with a Twist!" From a creamy Merry Christmas Trifle to a Peppermint Swirl Cheesecake, put something extra special in the last meal of the night!
Don't forget to "Share and Care"! Make something from the heart that your loved ones will savor for days to come. Here is Southern Living's recipe for Spiced-and-Spiked-Chocolate Mousse, a classic favorite among your adult holiday guests and a perfect hostess gift!
Spiced-and-Spiked-Chocolate Mousse (makes 4 cups; hands-on time: 12 minutes)
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ tablespoons of amaretto (almond liqueur)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- Microwave chocolate chips in a microwave-safe glass bowl until melted and smooth. Stir in cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cool 10 minutes.
- Beat cream, amaretto, and vanilla until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
- Stir one-third of the whipped cream into chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold in remaining cream.
- Spoon mousse into jars, cover with lids, and chill 1 hour, or up to two days.