Our Family Food Traditions with Not Just a Mom

This month's Not Just a Mom group is discussing our Family's food traditions.  

I hope you'll head over and check out my co-hosts posts too and if you wrote up one of your own please link it up with us below. 


I was stumped with this one for a bit since I wasn't all that sure what food traditions we have; see while tradition usually implies eating the same special food for a specific occasion, I tend to get bored eating the same thing each year and often encourage my family to mix it up and try new recipes.  But we do celebrate most holidays big and small with special meals so for today's post that's what I decided to focus on. 

Here are a few I've come up with:

For birthdays in our house the birthday boy (or girl!) gets to pick the menu and dessert either for their actual birthday or their party or sometimes both.

Ian always picks something with PB, chocolate, and usually a bit of coffee flavor too



On New Year's Day, I usually cook up a big dinner something like a roast or a ham (depending on what we just had with Christmas) with all the side dishes and we enjoy a quiet day at home just the immediate family.

Valentine's day I usually cook up some sort of chocolate dessert and try to make it heart shaped when I can. 




We have corned beef (my recipe here), cabbage, potatoes, and carrots on St. Patrick's day and usually mix up some sort of green and minty dessert.


For Easter we typically have ham and mashed potatoes with some veggie sides. 

For Mother and Father's day my husband and I pick out our menus (or sometimes we leave it up to my mother in law if we have plans with her for Mother's day).  

My husband's family has a huge party the Saturday closest to the 4th of July at their cottage on the lake and we have always brought the same few things-- a fruit platter (or salad), a veggie platter (or salad), and a dessert or two to share.  Then we pack up a cooler full of drinks & sometimes I make up some flavored ice tea. Each family brings pretty much the same thing each year with a few new added variations thrown in.  

Alec took over the dessert making years and years ago and brings something new each year

He once made a key lime pie and got requests to bring it again for the next couple years! (he usually would comply too but just add in a second fun and new dessert)

For my mother in law's birthday in August she always requests burgers, tater tots, and salad and then Alec will bake up a yummy dessert for her that's usually coffee inspired... 

espresso cheesecake with chocolate ganache 

This easy tiramisu

Thanksgiving we always cook up a big turkey and mashed potatoes but the other sides are switched out each year-- I usually make sure to have a few types of vegetables and some sort of bread/ rolls.  Then we have pumpkin pie, apple pie, and usually chocolate chip pecan pie but sometime we'll swap out the pumpkin or pecan pie with a new and different dessert. 

Christmas eve we go to my mother's and started a new tradition years ago where we just order pizzas and have appetizers and desserts so it's a pretty quick and easy meal regardless of how many of us turn up. 

Then we take turns hosting a Christmas brunch (every other year) and while that menu changes up from year to year we usually have muffins, some sort of egg dish, a pastry that Alec will make, some fresh fruit, and bacon/ sausage.

This year Alec really outdid himself with this snowflake cinnamon roll.



I used to plan a big Christmas dinner too of pot roast, mashed or roasted potatoes, and veggies but a couple years ago we realized that no one is ever hungry enough after brunch to bother so we started having sandwiches or going to my mother in laws for dinner or dessert.  

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Comments

  1. I can see Alec leading the family food traditions in the future for sure- what would the get togethers be like without his desserts? He is so talented! Loved reading this :)

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    1. We'd miss them for sure! I hope he never stops making our desserts.

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  2. Not sure why I am coming up as anonymous but this is Holly :)

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  3. You guys really do a great job of trying new dishes - especially desserts. I love that. We let the birthday people pick their meal and dessert - it can be homecooked or from a restaurant. On our anniversary I usually ask Tom what he wants but most of the time he says I can pick. We have certain traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas foods but other than that, we mix it up.

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    1. Our birthday meals can be homemade or from a restaurant too.

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  4. I love all of the desserts that you make and your family food traditions all sound great!

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  5. All those deserts look so good!

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  6. We do the same thing for birthdays - the birthday child gets to pick the dinner and their type of cake, but I always (almost) get the make the cake myself for them. I've done that since my oldest was one. It is really special for me. I also love the snowflake cinnamon roll and am totally stealing that idea for this Christmas!

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    1. I kind of hated having to let Alec take over the baking duties as I do miss making them myself but it meant so much to him!

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  7. Even if the food is not the same, the tradition of having the birthday person pick out their favourite things is still tradition.

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  8. I’m hungry after seeing all the desserts. Yum. Regine
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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    1. Food posts do have that effect, don't they?

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  9. Oh my gosh, how thankful I am that I can't gain weight reading about your food. You guys eat better than anyone I know. This was a great round up of all of your foodie traditions. What a fun post. That snowflake cinnamon roll is divine. We always let the birthday girl/guy pick his meal, too. But many times it was also picking a restaurant. Neither of my girls liked cake too much as children so we often had big cookies for their birthdays. Our restaurant of choice was a mom and pop Mexican or Olive Garden for most occasions. PC's family always loved Red Lobster so now we go there more.

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    1. LOL! I never liked cake at all as a child so I often had apple pie, cheesecake, or even brownies for my birthday.

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  10. This one would be hard for me too. We do make my grandmas Twister cookies each Christmas season.

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    1. I didn't even think of making Christmas cookies each winter!

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  11. This year for my hubby's birthday, I'm having a chef come to the house and cook some small plates for something different.
    I love that you make heart shaped for V-Day.
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  12. That snowflake cinnamon roll looks incredible! We like to mix up the menu sometimes too, it keeps it interesting!

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  13. We only have traditions for the big holidays...Thanksgiving and Christmas...and those are evolving as we grow smaller in number and larger in size (the grands, I mean)!

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    1. I originally only thought of the big holidays but as I started writing I realized there were all these other "small" occasions we celebrated as well.

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  14. Oh you are spoiled with a son that makes deserts like that!

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  15. That espresso cheesecake looks yummy!

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  16. You have so many awesome food traditions. When I was a kid, my mom always let us choose what we wanted her to cook for our birthday dinner...and I always chose mac and cheese. The snowflake cinnamon roll is so cool!

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    1. My boys have NEVER picked mac and cheese; which would be so easy since they prefer the boxed stuff to anything I make from scratch. LOL

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  17. Your mother-in-law's birthday menu sounds extremely similar to mine. Thanks for the tiramisu recipe. The foods look delicious and the desserts made my Alec are absolutely amazing! The snowflake cinnamon roll is gorgeous. I hope he never stops making them.

    -Soma

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    1. You're welcome! We struggled to find the ladyfingers in the store at first but found it pretty easy to make the rest of dessert from scratch. I hope he never stops baking either but did tell him he's under no obligation to enter the field if he wants to pursue something else for college and just keep dabbling with culinary arts at home and for the family.

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    2. I struggled with finding lady fingers too, and finally found a local store that carries them. Now I can make tiramisu. That is such a wonderfully encouraging advice you gave Alec, Joanne. Love it!
      (BTW, I obviously meant to write "by Alec", auto-correct got the better of me :) )

      -Soma

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  18. All of those desserts look amazing! I love the 4th of July cake!

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    1. He had so much fun with that one and trying to make the fireworks out of melted chocolate.

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  19. love seeing your family's food traditions - I am going to try the cinnamon roll snowflake this year for Christmas!

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  20. Your family makes some awesome desserts. I'm not really a dessert person, so I usually buy something at the bakery.

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    1. I don't enjoy baking nearly as much as I enjoy cooking, though Alec's enthusiasm has worn off on me a bit and I don't mind it nearly as much as I used to.

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  21. Those desserts look SO good! I'm all about the PB and chocolate desserts myself. I'm also realizing how much I don't like "traditional" holiday food (like ham)--and yet have no objection to all the desserts, apparently! haha

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    1. I love that Ian always requests PB and chocolate since that is one of my favorite combinations!

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