HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

What dessert to bring to in-laws for X-mas eve?

Hi Everyone,

I am looking for the right dessert to bring to my in-laws for Christmas Eve. Every year I make a delicious, beautiful dessert and they look at it like it is poison. Past projects include coconut cream pie, apple pie, carrot cake, pistachio - cranberry biscotti, sweet potato pie, yule log, (chocolate genoise with fluffy mousse inside and ganache outside) and last year pecan pie "bites" in phyllo shells.

I have no idea what to make this year, but I cannot show up empty-handed. At this point I am thinking a box of chocolates... They don't drink wine.

They are italian (from the old neighborhood, not the old country), are very bakery oriented, and only cook at home from a mix. The only thing I don't bake well are cookies because my oven is vintage and half size so I avoid cookies.

Any suggestions are welcome.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Why not go to an Italian bakery and get cannoli?

    1. What have you seen them eat in other circumstances?

      Since you've tried so many things, you may just resign yourself to never pleasing them, so make something you like.

      But if you want one more try... How about a Cannoli Cake?

      1. I'm making Tiramisu for one of my desserts, it's easy and it's always a big hit.

        I also like that I can make it the night before. And you just can't mess it up. I buy the hard lady fingers too, they hold up better.

        www.saffron215.@blogspot.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: mcel215

          I concur on the Tiramisu and the hard lady fingers. That's the best and yes....it is an easy recipe.

          1. re: mcel215

            mcel, if i click on the link right here in your post (and not your profile) i get the photo i am attaching. if i bypass that, then i get a gmail/blog sign in page (or the like).

            in short, i think you meant to put your link to your blog, and that needs this address (as on your profile): http://saffron215.blogspot.com/

            ps, i wanted to find your recipe for tiramisu! ;-). can you link it please?
            pps, i'm enjoying your blog very much!

             
          2. I made this for my Mom for Mother’s Day; it went over very well with no leftovers at all. Just a few notes to add to the basic recipe:

            You can buy the frozen puff pastry at any grocery – I use the Pepperidge Farm brand. Just follow the thaw directions on the package.

            I use a 13x9 baking stone made by the Pampered Chef…you can most certainly use another medium if you wish. I just consistently get great results from that product.

            We had premium vanilla ice cream for the topper…yummers…
            Easy Apple Strudel
            6 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
            1/4 cup raisins
            2 tablespoons sugar in the raw
            1 T maple syrup
            1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
            1/8 teaspoons ground nutmeg
            1 T minute tapioca
            2 puff pastry sheets
            tablespoon melted butter & 1 T sugar in the raw
            Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

            Combine the apples, raisins, sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a glass baking dish. Cover and bake until the fruit is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir in the tapioca and allow the mixture to cool.

            Lay the 2 sheets of pastry on a large baking stone. Mound ½ of the fruit mixture on ½ side of pastry, leaving about ½ inch empty around the apples on the 3 sides. Fold the top half over the apples and wet edges of the pastry with water and pinch to seal. Brush the top of the strudel with the butter then sprinkle with sugar. Vent the strudel with a sharp knife. Repeat for other sheet.

            Bake to a golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

            Hope this helps...

            1. Italian Cheesecake.....

              1. Without question, make your favourite "best" dessert and take that.

                They will either like it or not. Regardless, you will like it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Harters

                  Yeah. It sounds like you're never going to please them. I'd say just make the thing you and yr spouse/family like the best and at least someone will be happy.

                2. I had to chuckle; my man's mother is similar when receiving food and gifts, but not to present either would offend her terribly.

                  Do go get cannoli from an Italian bakery as ferret suggests, because it'll be less effort on your part and past efforts have borne little fruit anyway. Do spend your time baking something for someone else, and make it worth your while.

                  Isn't family fun? :)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: megjp

                    My MIL is the same. I've stopped trying to please her and just make what I want at this point. I'm not terribly offended by it anymore. She drinks instant coffee and likes cool whip. Clearly her taste buds need some work.

                    1. re: LaureltQ

                      A few years back, we got her a lovely little set of Japanese plates. She thought they were pretty but they haven't made it out of her linen closet since (along with, I might add, many of my man's past gifts to her). Now we're waiting on her to forget that we were the givers, so she can re-gift to us because she knows I'm food-obsessed. This year might be the year.. oh the suspense! :)

                    2. re: megjp

                      It's Christmas. If store-bought canolli (or some other bakery sweet) will please your MIL, then by all means bring that. Gift giving is about pleasing the recipient. And, bring a home-made dessert too, that you and other guests will enjoy too.

                    3. This is very easy, very rich so a little goes a long way, and it looks like a big snowball, so very seasonal:

                      Boule de Neige:

                      10 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
                      1 cup sugar
                      2 ½ sticks butter
                      ¾ Cup strong coffee

                      Melt the above in a saucepan over warm, not boiling water, then whisk in 4 beaten eggs.

                      Line mold with foil, pour in batter. Place mold in pan with 1 inch of water. Bake at 350 F for 1 ¼ hours (it will look loose). Refrigerate overnight. Unmold before serving, and cover with fresh whipped cream.

                      I use a medium mixing bowl, and whip the cream just before serving, though it could be done earlier.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mcf

                        mcf,
                        What kind of mold? Thanks.

                        1. re: mcf

                          Seriously! What kind of mold pan? This is something I would make!

                          1. re: JerryMe

                            I assume that when mcf says, "I use a medium mixing bowl," she is saying that's what she uses as a mold, as that's what I did when I made one (different recipe). You want the dome shape to mimic a snowball (boule de neige).

                        2. traditionally, very few italians make pastry or dessert at home. if they like bakery desserts, go to a good one and get a box of cookies and cannoli. don't feel guilty that it's not home-made since your past efforts have gone over like a lead balloon.

                          eta: maybe it's my italian heritage showing, and please don't take offense, but i don't care for any of the desserts you've offered in the past either,, lol. they are very "american" and likely very very sweet.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            Yes to the Italian pastries. Get the mini assortment, baba rums, cannoli, sfogitelli? etc. or how about Strufoli? Or pignoli cookies? Torrone? Best yet, ask your hubby if his mother ever talked about what she had growing up or what he remembers her serving when he was a child...mostly we had fruit, torrone and strufoli.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              The too sweet is good diagnosis. My Vietnamese parents despise Tex Mex cuisine which is the polar opposite of the Vietnamese salads, stir fries and broth based soups we all grew up with. Luckily my lactose intolerant Texan husband was more than happy to have Vietnamese food. THe thing that raises my eyebrows is the in-laws response to the biscotti which is usually pretty unsweet.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                Italian desserts are, to my American palate, some of the sweetest around -- maybe it's bakeries catering to tourists, but they're supposed to be fairly authentic.

                                Personally, I would bring both, if finances allow -- go to an Italian bakery and get something you think they'd like and wouldn't have already purchased, and make something homemade as well. I wouldn't try to beat the Italian bakeries at their own specialities -- go ahead and make something American that you're good at.

                                Thus every angle of propriety is covered -- the one that says gifts should always be to the hosts's tastes, and the one that says storebought is never an acceptable gift if it's food.

                              2. either buy something from a good bakery or make a lovely trifle.
                                layers of pudding and whipped cream and fruit in a pretty trifle bowl.
                                if they turn their nose up, shame on them and their taste buds *+)

                                http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                1. I'd avoid something italian because you don't know what they're expecting when you bring an Italian dessert and it might disappoint. What about a cheesecake?

                                  I love this pecan caramel chocolate shortbread torte that I posted a while ago. It takes a few steps, all easy, and the end result is delicious and very pretty. I don't know if it's too similar to your dessert from last year, though.

                                  Chocolate Pecan Caramel Shortbread (from Delicatexas Food Creations)

                                  Shortbread crust
                                  1 1/2 c. sifted all purpose flour
                                  1/4 tsp salt
                                  1/4 tsp double acting baking powder
                                  6 tbsp butter, softened
                                  3 tbsp sugar
                                  1 egg
                                  1/4 tsp vanilla

                                  Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, salt, baking powder. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat on low until mixed. Add flour mix in three batches just until dough comes together. Scrape into 9" fluted tart pan, press w/ fingers to cover up sides of pan. Set aside.

                                  Pecan filling
                                  8 tbsp butter, cut into 8
                                  2 tbsp honey
                                  2 tbsp sugar
                                  1/2 c brown sugar
                                  1 c pecan halves
                                  2 tbsp heavy cream

                                  Place butter, sugar, honey, brown sugar into heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until it comes to boil. Continue boiling for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and then add cream. Pour over crust and bake 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack for an hour.

                                  Chocolate ganache
                                  1/2 c heavy cream
                                  1 tbsp sugar
                                  2/3 c semisweet chocolate chips (I use regular chocolate)

                                  Combine cream and sugar in small sauce pan, cook until it comes to boil. Remove and pour over chopped chocolate (or chips). Whisk until smooth. Set aside 1/3 c for decorations.

                                  Pour ganache over tart, spread evenly. Refrigerate 15 minutes to set. Melt white chocolate (1 oz, coarsely chopped), spoon into parchment bag and make white crisscrosses across top (I do make parallel lines in the chocolate before I refrigerate the tart and then pull a toothpick through it, in even perpendicular lines).

                                  Chocolate Pecan Caramel Shortbread (from Delicatexas Food Creations)

                                  Shortbread crust
                                  1 1/2 c. sifted all purpose flour
                                  1/4 tsp salt
                                  1/4 tsp double acting baking powder
                                  6 tbsp butter, softened
                                  3 tbsp sugar
                                  1 egg
                                  1/4 tsp vanilla

                                  Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, salt, baking powder. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat on low until mixed. Add flour mix in three batches just until dough comes together. Scrape into 9" fluted tart pan, press w/ fingers to cover up sides of pan. Set aside.

                                  Pecan filling
                                  8 tbsp butter, cut into 8
                                  2 tbsp honey
                                  2 tbsp sugar
                                  1/2 c brown sugar
                                  1 c pecan halves
                                  2 tbsp heavy cream

                                  Place butter, sugar, honey, brown sugar into heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until it comes to boil. Continue boiling for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and then add cream. Pour over crust and bake 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack for an hour.

                                  Chocolate ganache
                                  1/2 c heavy cream
                                  1 tbsp sugar
                                  2/3 c semisweet chocolate chips (I use regular chocolate)

                                  Combine cream and sugar in small sauce pan, cook until it comes to boil. Remove and pour over chopped chocolate (or chips). Whisk until smooth. Set aside 1/3 c for decorations.

                                  Pour ganache over tart, spread evenly. Refrigerate 15 minutes to set. Melt white chocolate (1 oz, coarsely chopped), spoon into parchment bag and make white crisscrosses across top (I do make parallel lines in the chocolate before I refrigerate the tart and then pull a toothpick through it, in even perpendicular lines).

                                  Chocolate Pecan Caramel Shortbread (from Delicatexas Food Creations)

                                  Shortbread crust
                                  1 1/2 c. sifted all purpose flour
                                  1/4 tsp salt
                                  1/4 tsp double acting baking powder
                                  6 tbsp butter, softened
                                  3 tbsp sugar
                                  1 egg
                                  1/4 tsp vanilla

                                  Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, salt, baking powder. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat on low until mixed. Add flour mix in three batches just until dough comes together. Scrape into 9" fluted tart pan, press w/ fingers to cover up sides of pan. Set aside.

                                  Pecan filling
                                  8 tbsp butter, cut into 8
                                  2 tbsp honey
                                  2 tbsp sugar
                                  1/2 c brown sugar
                                  1 c pecan halves
                                  2 tbsp heavy cream

                                  Place butter, sugar, honey, brown sugar into heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until it comes to boil. Continue boiling for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and then add cream. Pour over crust and bake 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack for an hour.

                                  Chocolate ganache
                                  1/2 c heavy cream
                                  1 tbsp sugar
                                  2/3 c semisweet chocolate chips (I use regular chocolate)

                                  Combine cream and sugar in small sauce pan, cook until it comes to boil. Remove and pour over chopped chocolate (or chips). Whisk until smooth. Set aside 1/3 c for decorations.

                                  Pour ganache over tart, spread evenly. Refrigerate 15 minutes to set. Melt white chocolate (1 oz, coarsely chopped), spoon into parchment bag and make white crisscrosses across top (I do make parallel lines in the chocolate before I refrigerate the tart and then pull a toothpick through it, in even perpendicular lines).

                                  To decorate--fill pastry bag w/ remaining ganache, top w/ star tip. Pipe rosettes along edge.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: chowser

                                    i know many native italians who have never had pecans until they came to the states, lol.

                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                      My Italian teacher had to look up the names of some of the nuts we asked her because she didn't know them in Italy. We rehashed the struffoli/crostoli/pignoletti discussion in class because everyone had different versions of them growing up, most italian American from different areas of the country. My theory is to stay away from what they're used to having unless I know what it is.

                                  2. So bizarre to me to hear Italian Americans characterized as not being bakers! My family absolutely is. My mom makes home made cannoli, shells and all, and we have a struffoli day every december where we spend the day making it all from scratch. to the original poster, I do agree that a lot of what you've brought before is not what I would like, they are very 'american' desserts...except we do usually have a homemade buche de noel for christmas dessert, so that is one exception. at this point, do what I do when I go to my non-italian inlaws for thanksgiving....bring what YOU like to have. for me, I need an italian component to my meal, so i bring antipasto platters. If christmas eve means coconut cake to you, by all means bring it!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: ediecooks

                                      pies are a distinctly american food.

                                      growing up, we only had cannoli stuffed with ricotta filling, dusted with bit of powdered sugar. it really wasn't a sweet dessert, like carrot cake or any kind of pie. zeppoli and struffoli are more akin to donuts.

                                      1. re: ediecooks

                                        Cannoli and struffoli are fried rather than baked, although it does bring up the question of what "bakers" really do and if frying counts. Although sicilian cheesecake is baked and that's a delicious treat.

                                      2. My husband made a ricotta tart last night that was amazing. Light, flavored with lemon peel, it was utterly Italian and so different from the heavy, cream-cheese based dessert we call cheesecake.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: escondido123

                                          I think this is a good idea, But if you have a good Italian bakery near you I think you should buy something there, because that is what they like.
                                          You have been trying to get them to like what you like. They don't.

                                        2. I'd buy something. They don't sound like they're worth going to any more trouble than that for.

                                          1. Your m-i-l sounds a lot like mine was. Not much pleased her, but if I could go back in time, I'd try this. Ask her what she would like for you to bring, or what her fav. desert is. This may seem like you are bowing to her, but what can it hurt to try? She still may not like what you make or bring, but then you'd know you tried your very best and you can deal with it from here on in. Their tastes may be very different from yours and they may not be at all adventurous when it comes to food,but you seem to be trying really hard to please them. Just ask her what she'd like-then she can't dislike what you bring---hopefully! Good luck!

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: jackie de

                                              Ask her what she would like for you to bring, or what her fav. desert is. This may seem like you are bowing to her,

                                              ~~~~

                                              why is this "bowing" ? the m-i-l is hosting. isn't this a question you'd ask a friend who was having a dinner party?

                                              if the response is 'oh, nothing," lol, than bring something you've seen them eat -- like bakery pastries., or hell, don't bring food. bring some other kind of hostess gift like an amaryllis.

                                              i find it terribly rude, as some others have suggested, to just bring what "you" like so the m-i-l can basically go screw. even if she's difficult, (is she, truly?) these are the kinds of days we should be making nice.

                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                Well the key phrase to me in the original post was "they look at it like it is poison." There's nothing wrong with something not to your taste but if that's how that person's in-laws' displeasure comes across, that's pretty damn rude.

                                                1. re: Dcfoodblog

                                                  christmas cheer, taking the high road, falalalalalala... ya know?

                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                    I've seen that look though, but I've always interpreted it more as bewilderment - when the "American" guests bring something. Remember the bundt cake in "My BF Greek Wedding?" Love how she stuck a plant in it.

                                                    1. re: lilgi

                                                      But I think you do have to bring something. I remember my aunts talking over a guest who had co,e to visit one of them. The other aunt asked what the visitor had brought, and the not so kind response was, " her personality."

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        I agree, the thing that always stands out in my mind is "you've got to know your audience."

                                                        It seems that they're traditional, and if she's not Italian it'll be harder for her to get in their good graces - just saying, might be that you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Mine might be the 21st box of cannolli they receive that night.

                                                        The look might not have been malicious, more like "what IS this"? Too familiar with that one, so maybe it's not a bad idea to step back and re-evaluate. I agree with asking, it's a nice gesture, and if the expected response is "just bring yourselves" or "nothing at all", then bring an Italian treat, made by the op where it's possible that the effort will be appreciated and go a long way, or by the bakery. In this case she'd know better.

                                                        One thing they might LOVE if they're traditional, not dessert though; hard and soft Italian cheese, very dry sweet and hot sausage from a nice, well known Italian neighborhood deli where the butcher can help with getting the best, hardest and driest sausages. Make a nice basket with good imported olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, and some Italian bread from a nearby bakery and/or crackers.

                                            2. First question.....are YOU Italian? I dealt with being a "non-Italian" for 20+ years and ex-bf's mother only referred to me as "the tall one". Mama was Sicilian and she never, EVER accepted me. If that is your situation, just throw in the towel :)

                                              1. First of all, you have my sympathy!! I agree with others here, make what YOU like and let them eat what they want or not. My in-laws have all passed. They were all so wonderful to me. How is your husband? Hope he is not the same as his relatives.

                                                I am the next to the last alive in my family, and believe me, I really appreciate the things people do. I have never refused what people cooked, how rude!! I am so grateful for cheerful people. :)

                                                1. PS: I just thought of something! Make a Duncan Hines cake with the DH frosting and let it go at that!!!They will love it! Save your wonderful creations for people who will appreciate them.

                                                  1. Tiramisu? No oven required.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Rick

                                                      That was my first thought but there are so many variations and I'd hate to make something that they'd turn their noses up to. But, along those lines, what about a Boston Cream Pie--cake/cream, American, no expectations you need to reach.

                                                    2. i know, i know: take them a claxton fruitcake!

                                                      ….then they won't bother you anymore. ;-).

                                                       
                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        ^This^ ;D

                                                        I can help with the Italian immigrant cookie - aka the Rainbow, 7 Layer, Venetian, Neapolitan, Flag, Napoleon cookie, etc, but they're labor intensive. I've been making them for over 20 years, you'd probably run away from my notes. But if you make them, you'll be smitten. Mine differs from the one that is circulated on the web, I can post for you if you like but you would need at least 2 9x12 shallow or jelly roll pans because the batter can't sit for too long and you need 3 layers.

                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                          Sorry, but I lived in Georgia, and Claxton fruitcake is DEF my favorite !!!!
                                                          By FAR !!!!

                                                          As are Alabama's Chilton County Peaches... :-)

                                                          1. re: oooYUM

                                                            uh oh… ;-)).

                                                            don't mess with the fruitcake peeps! LOL

                                                            er…not calling YOU a fruitcake, of course…...

                                                        2. What about a nice gelato ?
                                                          What about a beautiful presentation for the gelato
                                                          in some gorgeous cut glass goblets or something
                                                          you already have on-hand,
                                                          with something pretty for garnish ?
                                                          I know it's not home-made, but might be a
                                                          rather pretty and light treat after a savory and (heavy?) meal......
                                                          I vote for that.
                                                          With maybe some nice thin cookies (purchased ?)

                                                          1. Baklava? if you don't want to bake it, TJ's had good one last year.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Nanzi

                                                              I'm half Italian and I really don't think you can go wrong with an assortment of Italian cookies from the best Italian bakery you can find.

                                                              If there are no Italian bakeries, just buy the best cookies or chocolate truffles you can find at Costco.

                                                            2. I'm not Italian but have Italian friends & have been to many an occasion at some of their homes....if you've brought all of those other desserts (which I would be happy to eat) and they still wen't uneaten, don't continue to bring these types of desserts. I disagree about bringing what you want to eat...you tried that, it didn't work. Bring something Italian, whether you make it yourself or get one at a Italian bakery.

                                                              Italian Ricotta Cheesecake is delicious and lower in sugar than a traditional cheesecake; it's also very easy to make or go with a bakery cookie assortment. No joke, I'd bring a fruit basket.

                                                              1. Thank you all for your suggestions! Now if I can just keep from drooling over these ideas I should be set.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Woodensandals

                                                                  You didn't say if YOU were Italian, or even the same region, so I wish you all the best results. The "future Sicilian MIL" killed me.

                                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                    Lol sorry! I am not Italian, but I make a nice meatball.

                                                                2. Make struffoli and watch their jaws drop.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    I had to look that up. :) Looks absolutely delicious, and you're right, they'd be floored. I'd do it!

                                                                    bring a bowl of clementines to go on the table with it.

                                                                    1. re: AnneMarieDear

                                                                      I think that's perfect. And struffoli are so easy to make. You can make them a couple of days in advance (in fact, they're better on the second or third day). A bowl of clementines is a great idea. Back in the day, when we were kids and would go to the aunts' houses for Christmas, they'd also have a bowl of mixed nuts in the shell on the table for dessert.

                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        My mom did that, too. Bowls of nuts in the shell and oranges always had their place on the Christmas table (and in our stockings!). Thanks for the little trip down memory lane, Roxlet. :)

                                                                        I'm anxious to hear what Woodensandals ends up doing.

                                                                    2. re: roxlet

                                                                      seriously considering struffoli! I am a big fan of fried everything...

                                                                      I will check back in after christmas.

                                                                      1. re: Woodensandals

                                                                        Do it! They're so traditional and so easy and fun to make!

                                                                    3. I have a serious question. Have you been asked to bring a dessert or are you bringing something that you feel is the equivalent of a hostess gift and expecting it to be consumed in front of you? I ask this because you mention that you can't bring wine because they don't drink.

                                                                      I know this has been discussed on Chowhound and people have differing opinions but I am of the group that feels that you bring a hostess gift for the hosts to enjoy later and leave it at that. If you are asked to bring a dish then do as requested. Please don't bring food to add to a menu that you didn't make and then expect it to be consumed. No wonder that they could be annoyed. I am royally ticked off when someone does this to me.

                                                                      If you have been requested to bring dessert then that is a different story. Try something simple like a chocolate chip cookie or a fruit based dessert. Heck, why not pretty whole fruit that can be enjoyed at that time or later over the next few days?

                                                                      I think it is important to see what your in-laws serve on other occasions. Do they serve dessert on their own for other functions? Ask your husband what was served for the holiday when he grew up. Dessert might not have been on the menu.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Astur

                                                                        I know what you mean about the planned menus and not wanting another dish to interfere. I like to plan all the courses to complement each other too. I don't get annoyed by an additional dish though because i am a glutton! They aren't like that though. There is no set plan or theme for their dinners that I can discern.
                                                                        They serve dessert all the time, like every day. It is usually cupcakes (Betty C) or something from the bakery. They buy their own cannoli for X-mas which is why that idea is take already. Definitely not averse to sweet desserts.

                                                                        They are vey odd/picky people though. I have never seen a whole piece of fruit in their house and definitely no nuts ever. No cheese plate, no antipasti, never seen a sausage of any kind in their house. They don't keep indoor plants because they attract bugs... Tried that one year when I brought a poinsettia. You see why I am here for advice, right?:)

                                                                        1. re: Woodensandals

                                                                          They sound very set in their ways. I would definitely do the box of chocolates and bake up something wonderful to have at home later.

                                                                      2. I will make it easy for you, just make this simple lemon pudding cake recipe (google food network recipe contest) which won $250,000 in recent national recipe contest and you will be fine. This recipe may not be traditional Christmas but is impossible to make undelicious and you just tell everyone its worth its weight in gold! You could garnish it with some icing sugar , lemon slices/cranberries and /or christmas ivy or noel decorations to dress it up, along with fancy dish, doily. It won the pulitzer prize of cooking so who can argue with that, atleast it lets you off the hook and saves you time in the kitchen for yourself!

                                                                        1. So I was all set to make Struffoli, found local honey, bought extra oil, and then my fryer cord was MIA. Fight with husband ( why do you have to move my stuff, this is the second one lost, why did you throw out my range hood,etc.) I sent him out to the bakery and he chose bakery made struffoli, and two platters of italian cookies and mini pastries, cannoli, rainbow cookies and the like.

                                                                          Reaction: Poison look. Again.

                                                                          Oh well.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Woodensandals

                                                                            oh, you poor dear.

                                                                            next year, don't bring any food. maybe xanax. :)

                                                                            1. re: Woodensandals

                                                                              I was wondering how you would fare. Don't take it personally. They don't seem very nice.

                                                                              Are they pleasant outside of the food-bringing part of the evening?

                                                                              1. re: Woodensandals

                                                                                You're in-laws are jerks. End of story. Good on you for trying.

                                                                                1. re: Woodensandals

                                                                                  It's time to put an end to this. Next year, if you choose to bring something, you can't be surprised or annoyed if they don't like it.

                                                                                  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

                                                                                  Next year ask them exactly what you should bring, bring nothing or bring what you like and totally ignore their response.

                                                                                  It's all you from here on out.

                                                                                  1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                                    I agree. Quit trying to make them happy and getting upset when they aren't....you already know what will happen so live with it.

                                                                                  2. re: Woodensandals

                                                                                    Gosh, what pills these people are! Can't they even pretend to be excited/appreciative?

                                                                                    Well, you did everything in your power to try and please them. Accept that the problem is THEIRS not YOURS and just be polite, smile, bite your tongue and drink large quantities of alcohol. Your husband will owe you big time!