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When Gingerbread Men Go Bad

When Gingerbread Men Go Bad

December 19, 2007


Completely unrelated. I am soliciting advice over here on what I should make for dinner on Christmas. We are definitely having a spiral ham. Other than that I am open for your suggestions and recipes. Bonus points if I can make it in advance and they are easy. Also, is it possible to make mashed potatoes in advance and keep them warm in a crockpot until dinner is served? I have never tried it before, but think that it would work. Maybe.

Posted by Chris @ 9:19 pm  

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  1. Karalyn says:

    I always make my mashed potatoes ahead of time-I don’t even put them in a crockpot. I just put them in a big bowl and stick it in the microwave so I don’t have to look at them. They sit in there for hours until dinner is ready and then I just heat them up for a minute and they’re fine.

    Chris says: I don’t have a microwave. I know, I’m weird.

  2. A mom in MN says:

    Head on over to http://www.thepioneerwomancooks.com to find her Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes recipe. You can make them ahead of time and they are delicious. I made them for Thanksgiving and they were a hit.

  3. Heather says:

    I have the best recipe for make ahead mashed potatoes.

    3oz. cream cheese
    1/2 c. sour cream
    1/4 c. butter softened
    1 envelope Ranch salad dressing mix
    1 tsp. parsley flakes
    6 c. warm mashed potaoes (prepared without milk or butter)

    Combine cream cheese, sour cream, butter, ranch mix and parsley. Stir in potatoes. Transfer to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2-4 hrs.

    Can be made ahead. If refriderated it takes a full 4 hrs. to reheat.

    I usually make these potatoes the day before I need them. It saves lot of time.

    Happy cooking!!! Merry Christmas!

  4. Julie says:

    You can actually freeze mashed potatoes. Lady, you can make them tomorrow and be done. Freeze them in the right sized container and you can just dump them back into a crockpot and go.

  5. Heather's Garden says:

    We’ve made our mashed potatoes ahead of time and left them in a bowl on the plug-in hot plate, no difficulties at all. Make sure you put a watermark on that insanely funny photo or someone is going to steal it for their Christmas card — just wait a few minutes so I can steal it first!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Here’s a recipe for make ahead potatoes. I’ve done these up as early as two days before the event. Everyone raves about them whenever we have them and it makes days like Christmas so much easier! It’s my Mom’s recipe and we’ve used it for years!Hope it helps!

    Make Ahead Potatoes
    5 lb. potatoes
    2 tsp. salt
    2 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese
    4 Tbsp. butter
    1/2 tsp. garlic salt
    1/2 tsp. pepper
    2 c. condensed milk (not sweetened, but evaporated)
    2 Tbsp. butter

    Cook potatoes with 1 tsp. salt. Mash potatoes. Add cream cheese, 4 Tbsp. butter, garlic salt, pepper and other teaspoon salt. Mix until smooth. Add milk, stir together. Put potatoes in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Put remaining 2 Tbs. butter and paprika on top. You can then refridgerate overnight or even up to two nights. The day of the event, bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Turn up to 375 for another 30 minutes!

  7. jm says:

    I have no recipes because I don’t cook. I just had to comment on the photo. And how sad and weird it is because I think I went to high school with that gingerbread man. Wow.

  8. Sharon says:

    Yes, crock pot mashed potatoes are good! Since I’m all about do ahead entertaining, I do it a lot. Just spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray or butter to keep them from sticking.

  9. Lilly says:

    My mom and all the generations of moms before her lived without a microwave but I use ours quite a bit… Is there a reason you don’t use one?

  10. Karen says:

    You obviously have many boy kids ^^

    And don’t look at me for menu suggestions, I would be totally happy with take out pizza for dinner, if there would be any pizzerias open :D


  11. Carola says:

    You don’t use a microwave? WOW! that is simply something I cannot imagine living without. Good for you!! you never stop to impress me. Good luck with dinner…oh, and I don’t have suggestions because I don’t know how to cook, sorry.

    Chris says: I don’t even know what I would USE a microwave for. Popcorn?

  12. Tamatha says:

    Here’s a recipe for beef , and here’s the best part- 10 minutes of prep, and then you bake it/ leave it on the counter for 4 hours. Don’t know how many you’re serving, it can get a little pricey…when I made it last for the nine of us it was about $75 or $80. Also, I didn’t use horseradish, you can be creative I think with the crap that goes on it.



  13. Tamatha says:

    Oh, and if you make it, make sure your oven is really clean before you crank the heat up…


  14. Laurie B says:

    Pioneerwomancooks does have a great mashed receipe but so does “The Art of French Cooking”. The French cooking calls for a lot more garlic but it is tasty. In either case, I’ve made them ahead of time and put them in a cast iron or metal pot that can take the heat..( no plastic handles and I haven’t tried glass pans) but I reheat them on a gas grill , low heat, cover closed. So far, so good.

    I once had to cook an entire T’giving meal without an oven..a de-boned turkey squished down into a toaster oven and some mashed taters on the grill and everything else on a stove top. You can do this! The mashed are the least of the problems.

    It wil al be fine, really.

  15. Cheryl says:

    I have a microwave and ONLY use it for popcorn, sometimes. I still like using a pot on the stove - best popcorn ever!

    Anyhoo - potatoes in the crockpot - YES, YES, YES. My kids (22 and 24) think that is the only way to cook potatoes. Make them early and put them in the crockpot to stay warm. Definitely spray the crockpot first because the kids hate to scrub anything that sticks. Doing this ahead of time really frees you up for everything else that must be done.

    Another secret - a glass of chilled white wine while putting the meal together, along with daughter and future daughter-in-law helping with the meal - good times, good times!!

  16. Mishel says:

    I made mashed potatoes, home-made b/c I’ve gotten used to doing them that way although I do love me some box kind:), the night before Thanksgiving and then just reheated them in the microwave the next day. AND they tasted just as good!! It took a while in the microwave b/c I had a really big bowl in it BUT it works. That’s all I got for ya! Oh, and we have ham AND a fried turkey. Like Tony the Tiger says: they’re grrreat! Happy Holidays to all y’all and yours from TN:)~

  17. Another Heather says:

    We’ve had scalloped pineapple with ham many many many Easters. It’s YUMMY (the minister in our midst always made it, so you KNOW it was made at least one day ahead! LOL) and it’s great warm or cold. Here’s one recipe, from http://www.recipezaar.com/198762 though I’m sure there are others.

    1 cup margarine or butter, melted
    2 cups sugar
    4 eggs
    1/2 cup milk
    2 cups white bread, cubed
    1 (16 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
    1 (16 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, undrained

    1. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together.
    2. Next add the milk and pineapple.
    3. Put into 9×13″ pan and slowly add bread cubes - more or less can be added based on the consistency you want the dish (the pineapple has a lot of juice).
    4. Bake in a 9×13” pan or corning ware skillet at 350 for ½ hour covered and ½ hour uncovered. One suggestion is to put foil underneath the rack as the dish will most likely bubble over a little while cooking.

  18. Steph says:

    Do like my family.. order chinese! They are always opened, they deliver, and no one is stuck in the kitchen. Plus the best part… no pots and pans to clean!

  19. Anat says:

    You would use the microwave for reheating the mashed potatoes you would make today, of course. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that).
    And if you want to make fat-free popcorn, just put some popping corn in a brown paper lunch bag, seal the top with scotch tape, put in the microwave for about 4 minutes or until the popping stops.
    Merry Christmas!

  20. Brigitte says:

    Our microwave is mostly used to heat leftovers, and I would guess leftovers are a very rare occurrence at your house!

    But with no microwave to quick-cook peas or what-not, I really hope you’re doing some major lobbying for a new, normal or large-sized oven!

  21. Henri says:

    No recipe, but just a thought - do you have a warming drawer on your stove? I periodically make them and then put them in my warming drawer with foil and they stay warm and yet don’t dry out.

    I don’t think you are weird by not having a microwave, I have one and its officially for popcorn and hot tea since I am too impatient to heat my water on the stove, other then that it just sits there all lonely, as I never cook with it.

    My kids think your picture is “awesomely cool” and want to now make gingerbread men although they want me to make gingerbread knives to attached onto their hands………..

  22. Salsaqueen says:

    Here’s a recipe that has nothing to do with potatoes!

    Corn Pudding

    1 can creamed corn

  23. Kathy from NJ says:

    Mashed Potatoes = Hungry Jack in my house.

    I had never used instant mashed potatoes because I thought they tasted fake. One Thanksgiving maybe 20+ years ago my husband suggested we use Hungry Jack (no other brand) - I turned up my nose, he suggested we try them before Thanksgiving. I have not peeled a potato since. I often add onion flakes or garlic. Sometimes cheese. I also make them with way less liquid when I’m planning on making potato cakes (with the leftover ham).

    Christmas salad can be made the day before, it’s really better the next day anyway.

  24. Salsaqueen says:

    Lets try that again!

    Here’s a recipe that has nothing to do with potatoes!

    Corn Pudding

    1 can creamed corn
    1 Tablespoon a/p flour
    2 eggs
    1 cup milk
    2 Tablespoons sugar
    2 Tablespoons melted butter
    salt & pepper to taste

    Mix all ingredients, pour into a buttered 9×13 casserole and bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

    I always double this. It’s always the first thing to go.

  25. Rayne says:

    I always make my potatos early in the day and leave them in the crock pot on low with some butter on the top.

    I also make butternut squash w/ red onion.
    Peel and chop squash into 2 inch pieces. Then chop 2 red onions into 1 inch pieces. Put it n a 9×13 pan and drizzle w/ a couple T olive oil. Sprinkle on lemon pepper and a little salt. Stir it around to make sure everything got a little oil and spice. Bake for 35 minutes at 450 until the onions are carmelized and the squash is tender. I usually prep the veggies a day in advance. This dish is also good cold the next day.

  26. heather says:

    I tried the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes from pioneerwomancooks for Thanksgiving and they were a big hit with my family. I made both the day before and reheated in the oven.

  27. Fairly Odd Mother says:

    I know you have a bunch of food issues (allergies?), so does it have to be something you can eat? I make a spinach dish that you can freeze before baking—it is like an easy version of a spinach pie and it is delicious—but it does have feta cheese and phyllo dough and egg, so not sure if this is ok for you. Email me if you’d like the recipe and I’d be happy to pass it on! My picky brother in law actually asked me to make this for Christmas dinner and it’d probably taste great with ham.

  28. kippi says:

    which spiral ham is gluten free?

    Chris says: No idea. I hadn’t even considered that yet. I don’t even like ham. I just make it because the family wants ham on Christmas.

  29. Sarah says:

    we always put mashed potatoes in a crock pot at thanksgiving…works great

  30. Amanda says:

    Here is our favorite holiday recipe. It’s more dessert like than anything but we eat it with dinner. It’s absolutely heavenly, even the kids love it.

    1 butternut squash
    1 cup white sugar
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 pinch salt
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3 eggs
    1/4 cup margarine, melted
    1/2 (16 ounce) package vanilla wafers, crushed
    1/2 cup margarine, melted
    1 cup brown sugar

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    Put butternut squash in the microwave and cook on high, until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Cut in half, scoop out seeds and cube. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add squash and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash.
    In a 9×13 inch casserole dish combine 3 cups mashed butternut squash, white sugar, milk, vanilla extract, salt, flour, eggs and 1/4 cup melted margarine.
    Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until set.
    In a medium bowl combine crushed vanilla wafers, 1/2 cup melted margarine and brown sugar. Crumble over top of cooked casserole and return to oven to brown.

  31. Kate says:

    I have made mashed potatoes in the morning on the stove, then put them in the crockpot on low to keep them heated until dinner. Although, “dinner” in the south means around 2:00 in the afternoon on a holiday (and is definitely different than “supper”), so you may not want to leave them in the crockpot all day. And, you may want to add a little extra milk and/or butter as you get closer to the meal to make sure they’re not dried out.

  32. Melissa says:

    Love the picture- cracked me up !! And, in terms of Christmas food to go with ham? My entire family loves corn pudding as well (I saw someone posted the ingredients/recipe above). It is the biggest hit- not overly ‘fat free’, but it’s Christmas :)

  33. jody says:

    No recipe advice, but those ginger bread men are way too cute. Even the evil one. Love the little gumdrops.

  34. Becky says:

    As a college student whose dorm’s only device for cooking is a microwave, I cannot imagine living without one. How else would I do something as simple as boiling water for hot chocolate? ..except, wish that there was a stove…

    Oh gingerbread men! You make playing with food logical and expected as well as wonderful fun. I can understand why the grumpy gingerbread slayed the others. It’s clearly because he has less decorations. Three lousy green buttons? The others must die so he can steal their colorful attire.

  35. Heather says:

    That cookie is scary! I left my suggestion on the other website.

  36. Suzanne says:

    Chris - I’m with you on the microwave thing…Mine never gets used, rarely for popcorn or heating up leftovers (but I prefer to do that on the stove or in the oven) and that is it…my friends think I’m weird also;-)

  37. Jenn says:

    Make ahead mashed potatoes at Pioneer Woman Cooks! I made them for Thanksgiving (ahead) and they were awesome!

  38. Meritt says:

    I was going to tell you yes - you can make “make ahead mashed potatoes” but it looks like others have that covered.

    The secret is just to make them ahead of time using NO milk. The milk is what crystallizes in the refrigerator or freezer and then turns them watery and a strange texture when reheated.

  39. hw says:

    Here’s a recipe from real simple - even with the crock pot instructions!

  40. Penny says:

    Boxed au gratin potatoes from the original cooking goddess, Betty Crocker that can be cooked on the stove. Or frozen twiced baked potatoes from Costco. Leave the oven for everything else!

  41. Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck says:

    I have a recipe for smashed cauliflower I got from a friend who is a chef that is to DIE FOR. And my husband and kids love it, but wouldn’t even consider willingly ingesting caulifower any other way. Plus its SUPER easy and can be done in advance. If you do make it in advance though, I would freeze it and then thaw it the morning of and reheat in the oven. (Cauliflower has a strong smell that gets stronger over time if its not frozen.) Here is the recipe:

    1 can chicken broth
    1 bag fozen cauliflower
    1/2 to 1 small block of boursin cheese (I use garlic and herb or shallot and chive flavor)
    Salt or Pepper to taste

    [You can of course double, triple, quadruple etc this ratio to make more. We are a family of 4 and this is enough for us.]

    You just boil the cauliflower in the chicken broth until the cauliflower has completely broken up and the broth is almost evaporated. I use a potato masher to make sure it all gets smashed up well. Add the cheese and stir it in so it melts. That’s it. It’s heavenly, my kids inhale it, and they eat a veggie they normally would refuse. Although it is covered in cheese, so I guess its technically not healthy.

  42. Suzie says:

    a side dish to add would be scalloped potatoes..see Julia Child “The Way to Cook”

    also you might want to have a standing rib roast..pricey but hey it’s Christmas….

    I have a great recipe for a Cranberry tarte…I’ll bring it if you want.

  43. angie says:

    No recipe here, but your gingerbread man reminded me of Precarious Tomato’s craftiness:


  44. Tricia says:

    Totally have done the mashed potatoes in the crock pot with butter and cheddar cheese on the top. They sat on warm for many hours and then I turned them up to high for the last hour or so- I don’t know why. I missed the crunchiness of reheating them in a regular oven, though. They get so greasy and crunchy around the edges from the oven. Yum.

  45. tori says:

    crockpot for the potatoes =a HUGE NO!!!! They get all watery and gross looking. At least mine did, although I see someone said it is ok. I’m confused about that now but not enough to try that disaster again. I bet you could reheat in the oven, but not for too long or else they also get watery in there.

    Corn casserole is one of our favorites that you can make ahead and just reheat in the oven, although I think you are allergic to corn (and everything else too, right?) so I won’t leave the recipe unless you ask me for it.

  46. steph says:

    how do you heat up cold coffee? I think I walk around with the same cup all day and nuke it 743 times.

  47. elizabeth says:

    I really could not make mashed potatoes with anything other than a bit of cream and real butter - I have made a few hours ahead before, and just left them warming in my smaller counter top oven (which we got while my husband spent 6 months deciding what replacement oven to buy when the bog one died…) I think this Christmas we’ll be having potatoes lyonnaise, broccoli salad, and pork cutlets (as my hub loves them) - and we’re not big fans of turkey or ham. I wish I could make a really good beef roast.

  48. Earl says:

    Someone else mentioned her but didn’t provide a link, this lady does some seriously fattening mashed potatoes and she does them up ahead. Not sure how they would work with your allergies but check them out. http://thepioneerwomancooks.com/2007/11/delicious_creamy_mashed_potatoes.html

  49. Jamie says:

    I make potatoes similar to Heather’s- they are soooo yummy! I haven’t had Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes, but I’ve tried other stuff she makes and I’d wager they’re just as good.

  50. debbie says:

    very easy to-die-for beef roast

    1 pkg. brown gravy mix
    1 pkg. italian dressing mix
    1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
    medium-sized beef roast (rump, chuck, etc)

    Combine 3 packages and mix well.
    Cut off all visible fat from beef.
    Coat roast with powder mixture. Use all of it, pouring any extra on top of the meat. Place meat in oven safe baking dish.

    Add about 1/4 cup water to dish, not directly on the meat.

    Cover tightly with foil, or use a lid. Bake at about 225-275 degrees for many hours, usually about 8. You can do this in a crockpot also. Enjoy!

  51. Charlotte says:

    A non-potato dish, but ridiculously simple nonetheless:

    Wash and trim brussel sprouts
    Place in ziploc bag
    Pour in olive oil
    Salt and pepper heavily
    Close bag and shake violently
    Dump on cookiesheet and place in preheated 400 degree oven for twenty minutes

    The time is the same no matter how many pounds you use, just make sure they’re in a single layer.

    They kind of taste like potato chips, perhaps it’s because of the salt.

  52. Genevieve says:

    Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!!!
    I love to see we have the same sick sense of humor. :) (or at least your sons & I do)

  53. Genevieve says:

    And my husband says he was thinking of doing the same thing with our gingerbread men.