Christmas Brunch and Dinner recipes

Hi friends! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! 

Anyone else feeling like “Whoa, it’s Christmas this week” and frantically trying to get things done? It started to get ahead of me, and I took a second to slow the heck down. This season isn’t as much fun if you spend it stressed and overwhelmed, so our gifts may be delivered a little bit late this year. Also, thank goodness for Amazon Christmas and Prime shipping.

While we’re staying in San Diego for the holiday, it was a special treat to have a bit of family in town this weekend. My aunt, uncle and cousins were here, so we met up with them for an awesome meal at The Cottage, followed by seal-watching. 

Seal watching

I was so happy they got to meet and snuggle miss P, and Livi was so excited to hang to with family. The funny thing is that my Uncle Steve looks a LOT like my dad, and they make the same silly faces, so she kept saying, “You’re so funny, grandpa!” haha.

Livi and uncle steve

The rest of the weekend, we hung out around the house, got in a workout (I took half a BODYPUMP class and it nearly killed me), and also went on a small date. We were supposed to go to a friend’s holiday party, and originally planned to bring P with us on the earlier side, wear her in the wrap, and peace out when we needed to. P wasn’t having a good start to the night. When she was feeling much better, it was 2 hours after the party began, and Livi was having a blast making cupcakes with our babysitter, so we took sleeping P with us for a quick dinner at Indigo Grill.

Indigo grill2

Indigo grill

It was our first time dining there, and it was AMAZING— we’ll definitely be back! They have a predominantly Mexican menu with some unexpected Asian twists. We started with the lobster and fish ceviche and I ordered my first cocktail in almost a year: a ginger and chile margarita.


For my entree, I got a salad with sashimi, seaweed, pickled cucumbers, and a soy-ginger dressing.

Sashimi salad

Aaaaand since I’m now able to eat dairy/eggs/whatever again (long story; I’ll update the family page but in a nutshell, P is on an Rx formula now), we celebrated with my first REAL dessert in a very long time:

a pot of brownie with homemade peanut butter ice cream

Brownie of life

and this crazy chocolate design that was a bit top heavy. Don’t worry, we took care of it. 😉

Speaking of dessert, here are the adorable Elf cupcakes Liv made: 

Elf cupcakes 2

(my stepmom sent the supplies in an awesome care package)

She obviously gets her cupcake-eating philosophy from me.

Elf cupcakes

Frosting > cake.

Since we’re going to be here this week, I’m excited to make a Christmas meal in our own kitchen. (Though, I’ll never forget rolling out cinnamon roll dough in the base hotel last year!)

We’ll probably do a similar breakfast to our Thanksgiving feast (plus the traditional cinnamon rolls), and our cousins + some friends are coming over later in the day for hanging out, snacks, and lunch/dinner.

Here’s what I’m planning on making:

Herbed turkey in the slow cooker

Cranberry sauce

Artichoke dip and crackers

Mashed sweet potatoes

Autumn salad with apples, feta, spiced walnuts and balsamic dressing

Christmas cookies (Liv and I are going to have our baking pants on this week!)

Mulled wine (THE BEST)

and the Pilot’s famous egg nog.

I’m going to make most of the meal in advance, let the slow cooker work its magic on the turkey, and just enjoy snacking and spending time with our friends throughout the day.

Here are some more ideas if you’re figuring out your holiday menu:

Holiday recipe ideas


Nana’s famous egg dish

Nana’s creme brûlée French toast

The best fruit salad

Sweet potato hash

Holiday spice protein pancakes

Skinny eggnog French toast


Mexican style! We always have enchiladas, rice and beans at my dad’s house

Butternut squash and goat cheese lasagna with salad

Rosemary salmon with cranberry sauce (perfect to switch it up from turkey!)

My favorite stuffing


Raw chocolate tart

Coconut oil peppermint bark 

Nutella cookies

Pumpkin pie brownies (omg I need to make these again)

Chocolate peppermint bark cookies

Gingerbread pecan butter

Double chocolate Paleo gooey cake

Are you cooking this week? What’s on the menu? What’s your all-time favorite holiday dessert?

My nana makes a bomb chocolate pie, and I also love these magic cookie bars madre makes called Grammies. I always say I’m going to just have one or two each day and then I have 18239.

Have a great morning and I’ll see ya later today!


HOLIDAY WORKOUT QUICKIE: Holiday barre blast! A leg shaker with cardio blasts.

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  1. I’ve been thinking a lot of P and you guys hoping things were getting better. Can’t wait to hear everything that is going on. Sorry to hear you are staying in San Diego instead of going back to Tucson. I’m sure it will still be an awesome holiday!

  2. I hope P is feeling better soon! She must not be feeling great if you’re not heading to Tucson this week. Hopefully, it will turn around soon. I’m so not ready for the holidays. I don’t have any of my groceries and my Dad gets here tomorrow.

    • Fitnessista says:

      yeah, last week was especially rough. it has to turn around at some point!
      hope you’re having a great holiday season <3

  3. What a fun date night! Can’t wait to hear an update on baby! Hopefully she’s doing better!

  4. I am happily not cooking this Christmas. I’m letting my mom take care of everything while I introduce the little to her first Christmas. I hope P starts feeling better soon now that she’s on a new formula. I know that mine started improving within 4 or 5 days of the hypoallergenic and was almost a different kid by week 2 1/2 on it. It’s such a joy when they are feeling good!

  5. That margarita looks AMAZING. Ginger & chile–what a perfect combination!

  6. One of the possible desserts on my menu this week is that dump cake. I’ve always wanted to try it and finally picked up the 3 ingredients. Pretty casual for a holiday but after either prime rib (xmas eve) or lasagna (xmas), no one’s picky.

  7. Want it alllll!

    We had our annual “non-Christmas Christmas” (loooong story :)) event last night, so we’re getting a full turkey dinner twice this week. I’m excited 😀

    We did a ton of cooking on Saturday when we hosted our holiday cocktail party (bacon water chestnuts & stuffed mushrooms were my favorites), but yesterday and Christmas day are hosted by other family members so we’re off the hook for the rest of the holiday cooking!

  8. I just got my holiday meals (yes, I’m doing 2! Just shoot me now…) finalized so I can share them. 🙂
    Xmas eve lunch for our immediate family: ham, skin on mashed potatoes, green beans w/ bacon & onions, candied carrots, & cheesy corn macaroni casserole. Apps: little smokies, pepper jelly dip, We also hosted a Xmas party for friends this wknd & I made 3 different desserts (Swedish almond bars, brown sugar toffee cheesecake bars, chunky pecan pie bars), plenty of which were left over (there was so much food!) so I’ll serve those again on Thurs.
    Xmas lunch for my extended fam: We do soups so everyone will bring one. I’m making chicken noodle & my husband will make chili. I’ll also make corn bread & (These are such a hit!) In addition to any apps I have leftover from Thurs., I’ll serve a jalepeno popper dip & crescent wrapped lil smokies. Depending on the leftover dessert situation I may make something new. (I’m all about the desserts so this is probably likely.) 😉 Hope you guys have a wonderful holiday! I’ll be recuperating Sat. & Sun.! 😛

  9. Hope P feels better and that the formula helps her out. I went to Indigo Grill a few years ago on a business trip and it was AMAZING. Highly recommend trying the cedar plank salmon! So jealous of all the fun restaurants in the San Diego area.

  10. Those cupcakes are adorable! And I’m totally on the same page of the frosting being better than the cake! I have no idea what I’m making for brunch. I want to keep it super simple but not sure how I’m going to swing it!

  11. Hey Gina – just wanted to let you know that your smile is looking lovely these days! It’s noticeable, but not in a “they looked terrible before” way – I just think I’ve been paying closer attention because I’ve done Invisalign myself, and wanted to let you know how nice it’s looking!

  12. I’ve been so busy wrapped up in finals that I have not even had time to process the fact that Christmas is only 4 days away! What?! I’m like you- frantically trying to get everything done.

    That pot of brownie/peanut butter ice cream combo looks amazinggggg! I am going to convince my friends to head over there to try it when I am back in town.

  13. Holiday Barre Blast done! I only survived one round. That was some serious quaking. Thanks Gina!
    All the best to you and your little crew this holiday!

  14. Have you ever shared the Pilot’s famous egg nog recipe??? I’ve been looking for a good one! And, glad to hear baby girl is doing better! Sounds like you are working out all the kinks 😉 Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

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