Christmas Eve Tamale Dinner

In Texas, tamales are a Christmas tradition. Two years ago, Josh and I decided to give this tradition a try, in part, to stabilize and fortify our fairly new Texas roots. We had a blast at our first tamale dinner and decided to make it a family tradition. Even if we ever move away, we plan to continue the tradition as a tribute to our time in Texas. Currently, we’re in the midst of preparing for our 3rd annual Christmas Eve Tamale Dinner.

Because we aren’t hispanic, or even true Texans, I have no idea how to make real tamales. I’d love to learn one day, but, for now, we simply order the tamales. I make several sides to go with them, and anyone who attends is welcome to bring a side or dessert if they wish.

I’ve been swept up in the chaos of finals and whatnot, so I’m just getting around to menu planning for our big celebration. I figured I’d take a similar approach to my Christmas morning planning and collect interesting recipes here while I try to decide what I want to serve. The final decision will partly depend on what we get in our produce basket from our coop this week. I ordered extra Mexican veggies, but you can never be quite sure what you will get until you get it. We’ll definitely be serving lots of peppers, because I already have a fridge full of Anaheim chiles and will likely get more in the basket on Saturday.

So far, I don’t have many recipes I’m interested in. I need to get busy looking for more!

Watermelon Salsa

watermelon salsa

This is already a definite yes! It will be on my table on Christmas Eve. The colors are perfect; I can use an Anaheim Chile; I adore sweet & spicy salsas. I don’t think I could possibly find for a more perfect dish!

Mexican Rice Casserole 


This looks yummy and easy. Plus, it’s a PW recipe. I have never, ever gone wrong, been let down, or even remotely disappointed by the fabulous Ree Drummond. I have no fear of making her recipes for guests without trying them out first.

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers


Oh I think I’m going to make these right now! They look so yummy!

If I do get more peppers I think I’ll make something similar to this for the party. I don’t know that I want a rice stuffing, since I’m probably already going to be serving the rice casserole above. I’m thinking black beans, cream cheese, and….something else. Maybe shredded chicken? Maybe bacon? Or SHIRMP?? Oh the possibilities!

Baked Shrimp with Tomatillos


I’m not so sure about this, but I have a pound of tomatillos to use. It looks interesting enough that it might just be yummy. Or not. Either way, it’s going on the table with some fresh tortillas on the side. *Fingers crossed.*

Guacamole Salad


Yes, yes, yes! I was already planning to make some guacamole, but this will just have to be there too. It looks like a party in a bowl. And I can’t wait to taste the lime vinaigrette!


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