My Christmas Eve Dinner

by Holly on December 26, 2011

in dinner,family,holidays,recipes,silliness,story

Sooo…I ate Christmas Eve dinner at Arby’s on Saturday night.

This was not by choice.

Although, I hope you already assumed that to be true.

While my family rarely eats fast food, we somehow have a penchant for stopping at fast food restaurants in celebration of the birth of Jesus. In the past, there’s been trips to McDonalds and White Castle…all coincidentally on either Christmas Eve or Day. Let’s just say that in my family, hunger always wins and nothing says “Merry Christmas!” like a hot ham n’ cheese.

Back to Saturday night…finding a restaurant open for dinner while driving three hours west from Central Wisconsin to the Twin Cities is no easy feat, even with a food blogger in the car. As our blood sugar levels started crashing faster than Lindsay Lohan’s career (<- too easy), we exited and found only three places open: Taco Johns, McDonalds and Arby’s.

Debating which was the worst of three evils, we ended up at Arby’s at 5:47pm.

They closed at 6:00pm.

That means we had 13 minutes to order, eat and leave or face another two hours of driving with grumbling stomachs through the rural, Amish-furniture-store-filled boonies of Wisconsin.

And so, we decided it best to shovel our “good mood food” into our mouths surrounded by four other restaurant patrons, two of them dressed in bright orange hunting gear and the other two outfitted in snowmobiling jackets. Welcome to rural Wisconsin, friends.

I ate my roast beef, curly fries and Diet Pepsi, but I wasn’t happy about it.

But I couldn’t let eating a sub-par Christmas Eve dinner ruin my mood because (a) it was really, really funny to be nearly kicked out of Arby’s because you couldn’t eat fast enough, (b) eating fast food once in three years isn’t going to kill me and (c) it was CHRISTMAS EVE.

Plus, I’ve learned my lesson.

Next Christmas, I’m planning ahead and bringing snacks…no ifs ands or Arby’s about it.

Vegan Tropical Breakfast Bar
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes

1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 T ground flaxseed
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
1 medium-sized banana, mushed
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried tropical fruit medley, chopped
1/2 cup slivered or crushed almonds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 8×8-inch pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together canola oil, agave, banana and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix well.  Add all the dried fruit and 3/4 of the almonds.  Mix well. Press the batter firmly in the pan.  Top with the rest of the almonds.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 9 bars


Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Haven’t had Arby’s in oh, so, long! Love their Jamocha shakes though!

Keelie (SweatEqualsSuccess) December 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I always end up meeting my year’s quota for junkfood during Christmas week… Funny how that works. :)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

the bars look great…i love banana, oats, coconut, dried fruit, raisins, etc..bars. I don’t even bake mine. I just do them as no-bake bars!

Arbys. Flashback to h.s. I worked across from them in the mall and every day, all day long, all I smelled at the retail store I worked was….Arby’s. Ugh.

Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile December 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Hunger definitely wins!! I hope you had a great holiday otherwise. These bars look delicious!

Amber December 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

oh Arby’s… I used to love their curly fries. Anything with coconut is a hit in my book.

Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas December 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Jamocha shakes were my lover when I was pregnant. I’m not proud.

Those bars totally balance out the Arby’s evil. I’m sharing with my newly vegan brother. Thanks!

Jessica December 26, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I used to eat Arby’s curly fries on a weekly basis. Now I’m craving them! However, I think I would have picked Taco John’s instead of Arby’s. That’s my ultimate fast food guilty pleasure!

Erica December 27, 2011 at 1:39 am

Ugh! I always overpack our coolers on car trips to avoid fast food! This works great on the way there….but we always end up stopping somewhere junky on the way back! Hope you had a good christmas!!

Allison (Allison's Delicious Life) December 27, 2011 at 2:46 am

Haha! Too funny. I always find road trip pit stops to be amusing. It sounds like you and your family rolled with the punches. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Alison December 27, 2011 at 7:10 am

I so would have gone to Taco Bell.

P.S., have you ever read Cake Wrecks? The last cake in this post is for you!

Hillary December 27, 2011 at 7:18 am

That is quite possibly the best picture of you ever.
And a good story, to boot!

angela@spinachtiger December 27, 2011 at 9:59 am

Whatever you do, don’t go to McDonalds. I was forced there last week (first in 4 years) and I was sick for three days. I think it was a toxic reaction, merely not being used to whatever it was in the burger they called meat. Love the vegan breakfast bars and all those healthier ingredients.

Megan (Braise the Roof) December 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

At least you were classy and got out of the car to eat. I would’ve just gone through the drive-thru. :) Merry belated Christmas!

julie December 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm

gahhhhhh HAPPY BELATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at least you didn’t have to have white castle on your 27th??

janetha December 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

boo to arbys. yay to your scarf! i love you.

sarah @ sarah learns December 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

ohhhh no! hahaha – arby’s on christmas eve doesn’t sound very fun, but at least you were with family, right?! i’m with you though…go for the breakfast bars next year. :)

Andrea@WellnessNotes December 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I think Andy would love it if we were forced to go to Arby’s as we haven’t been in years, and I know he (secretly) would love to go… :)

Hope you had a very merry Christmas!

Jen@FoodFamilyFitness December 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I have had so much fast food the past week or so, I can’t stand the thought of it anymore…hard to believe eating would leave me craving it, now I want to vomit.

Funny story, when I was in middle school up until the year my oldest was born we would have dinner at taco bell and go to the movies on christmas eve. I really miss that tradition!

Dean December 28, 2011 at 7:05 am

My wife and I had the same experience on a lonely Easter Sunday and found an Arby’s open and ready to serve us our Easter Dinner. I like your idea of packing healthy food a lot better!

Sarah (I Dream of Beets) December 28, 2011 at 9:21 am

I dig their Jamocha shakes, but I haven’t had one in YEARS. Despite your thumbs down, I want one!

Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby December 29, 2011 at 7:57 am

i feel like a broken record, but hero? you are mine. and if anything, this christmas eve is a funny story for the scrapbooks :)

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