5 Days of Christmas Guests + Menus – Gluten Free Recipes

This is the second Christmas in a row where I had a house full of people for several days.  I absolutely love it! Christmas is my favorite holiday. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I love to give and serve, especially when serving gluten-free recipes!


Thursday evening my first 3 family members arrived.  They offered to pick up pizza, but I insisted on having a simple dinner at home.  No time on day one to whip up any of my gluten-free recipes. I resorted to a sample package I had been sent, which was quite good, and enjoyed by all. The gluten-free menu was as follows:

  • Mixes from the Heartland’s Southwest Chicken Stew
  • Green salad

Mixes from the heartland has a dry mix which includes the rice and seasonings.  You just add 1 cup of canned tomatoes and cooked chicken.  I used grilled chicken breasts.  Since I am allergic to tomatoes, I added about 2 oz. of diced green chiles instead of tomatoes though the mix has a tiny bit of tomatoes in the seasoning.

Everyone loved it, even one guest who is not big on spicy food.


I had lots of pre-made goodies, including gluten-free chocolate. One guest brought a bunch of goodies, as well.



Friday morning was easy.  Two of the guests do not eat breakfast.  Of course, I served my 96 year old father, his favorite cereal and his favorite fruit, fresh pairs.


Lunch was a cinch.

  • gluten-free and gluten cold cuts; something for everyone: ham, roast beef, salami, turkey, cheddar cheese and lace swiss; gluten bread; Udi’s gluten-free bread; and sandwich fixings
  • barbecue potato chips and plain (See Fritolay’s U.S. gluten-free chip list.)

Two other guests arrived, one of which was not family, who we met for the first time.


One of my family’s favorites:

  • Pork Roast made in a crock pot: 4 lb. browned pork roast, 1 cup low-sodium organic chicken broth, fresh ground pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme; cooked on high for about 3 hours and then on low for about 1 hour; gravy brought to a boil and thickened with gluten-free all purpose flour blend mixed with cold water.
  • Candied Walnut Cranberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (my family’s fave!)
  • Mashed Potatoes: 5 lbs. peeled, cubed, boiled; 1 cube unsalted butter; white ground pepper and sea salt beaten until no lumps remained.


Again, we all ate various goodies we had on hand: chocolate, pistachio nuts, etc. which was out all day, every day.

Christmas Day


The table was set for Christmas: Christmas table place mats, fine china, gold flatware, but no table cloth.

  • gluten-free bacon (I cooked 2 packages, half package for the green beans for dinner and the 1 1/2 for breakfast.  We had more than enough!
  • scrambled eggs
  • hash browns (You can either use gluten-free frozen ones or shred your own potatoes.)
  • orange juice and my new frothy mimosa recipe
  • coffee


  • gluten-free and gluten cold cuts; something for everyone: ham, roast beef, salami, turkey, cheddar cheese and lace swiss; gluten bread; Udi’s gluten-free bread; and sandwich fixings
  • potato chips
  • gluten-free tortilla chips
  • mild spicy avocado dip with a little added Greek yogurt, vinegar, gluten-free chipotle sauce recipe, garlic powder and sea salt
  • raw baby carrots


  • Candied Walnut Cranberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Ham (gluten-free) basted with 4 heaping Tablespoons apricot preserves, 2 heaping Tablespoons Gray Poupon dijon mustard and 2 heaping Tablespoons dark brown sugar.  Usually you cook ham to 140 F, but I like it a little drier.  Unfortunately, I forgot about it and cooked it until it reached 175F.  Thank goodness it was not dry!  Standard cooking time is 15-20 minutes per pound.  My 11 lb. ham took 3 hours and 15 minutes, which is about 17.75 minutes per pound.
  • Penne Rigatte pasta mixed with Italian spaghetti sauce and topped with shredded mozarella cheese; baked until cheese melts.  This is another family favorite.  I could have made gluten-free pasta for me, but I cannot eat the spaghetti sauce due to tomato allergies. So, I opted for left over mashed potatoes. If you are looking for a good gluten-free pasta, try Tinkyada and Jovial; both excellent brands, but Jovial’s my fave!
  • French cut green beans with caramelized onion and cooked bacon.


Gluten-free Mint Chocolate Layered Cheesecake which was a huge hit!



Two of our guests were leaving early.  They took cold cut sandwiches and cheesecake to go.

Other guests made their own breakfast.  Again, I served my father.  I usually have a protein shake for breakfast.


Again, we all had cold cuts and various snacks.


Left overs.  I placed all of the left overs out and everyone made their own plate.  Most people took a little bit of everything.  I did not place any of the spicy rice out, as it really did not go with the rest of the meal.  I had a request for more of my balsamic dressing salad which was easy to make, as I had a lot of candied walnuts and dressing made ahead of time.  I actually made them the weekend prior when we went to another family event.


Homemade rich chocolate ice cream and homemade banana ice cream.  The chocolate ice cream is always requested by most of my family, but I created a new banana ice cream recipe that was also a huge hit, even for one of my sisters who refuses to eat bananas anymore! One person had cookies with their ice cream.


BREAKFAST: self-serve.

LUNCH: more cold cuts; self-serve.

DINNER: Our guests took us out to our local casino for dinner. I had beef fajitas without the tortilla and substituted the spanish rice (tomatoes) for gluten free rice pilaf, and skipped the guacamole.


Dad of course, ate his normal high fiber breakfast, but our other 2 guests do not usually eat breakfast. They all left at 10am.

All is quiet now, and I rest…but I’ll be back in the kitchen whipping up new gluten-free recipes in no time!

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