It's amazing to me the number of restaurants that will be open on Christmas Day. While we're all at home, maybe still warm in our pajamas, servers and cooks will be readying to treat us should we venture from home. Here are the ones I've heard that will be open.
* Big River Grille, 222 Broad St. Pizza and select appetizers served 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
* Broad Street Grill at The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St. Christmas Champagne Brunch, noon-5 p.m. Reservations: 424-3700.
* Chattanooga Marriott, 2 Carter Plaza. Breakfast in Terrace Grill 6:30-11 a.m.; lunch and dinner served in Indulge Lounge with regular menu 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
* City Cafe, 901 Carter St. and 7641 Lee Highway. Open 24 hours.
* Huddle House, all locations. Open 24 hours.
* IHOP, all locations. Open 24 hours.
* Eleven at DoubleTree Hotel, 407 Chestnut St. Breakfast buffet, 6-10 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (regular lunch menu); 5-10 p.m. (regular dinner menu). Reservations: 756-5150.
* Fox and Hound Pub and Grille, 2040 Hamilton Place Blvd. Regular menu will be served 6 p.m.-3 a.m.
* New York Diner, 5565 Brainerd Road. Prime rib with horseradish sauce, rib-eye with stuffed shrimp, stuffed flounder, leg of lamb are among the offerings on the special Christmas menu. Open 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
* Waffle House, all locations. Open 365 days a year.
Taste of the week ... Just in the nick of time, Truwhip has come to Chattanooga. This is the best whipped topping, other than homemade, I've ever had. You simply can't compare it to Cool Whip, though it does come in the same type of tub. It's all natural, with no trans fats and just 30 calories per 2-tablespoon serving. I'd never have known it with its rich flavor and smooth texture.
Truwhip can only be found at Fresh Market in Chattanooga.
The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts has a great last-minute gift suggestion for those who love to cook or appreciate the wondrous items at the museum: the new cookbook, "Party at the Houston."
"We're excited about the book," said museum director Amy Frierson. "Through the years, the museum has been blessed with fabulous cooks."
Not only will you find some great recipes and suggested menus contributed by those cooks but also histories of the museum and its namesake, Anna Safley Houston, whose collection of glass and other items is displayed throughout the museum.
I'll have to give a special shout-out to Ruth Dickson, who for years designed the food pages of the Taste section here at the paper. After Ruth retired earlier this year, she took the time to type the entire text of the cookbook. I know what a job that is and admire her for committing herself to such a worthwhile project.
Copies of "Party at the Houston" are $10 and may be ordered today and following Christmas by calling the museum office at 267-7176.
It includes this recipe from Estes Stephens that would be perfect for a Christmas brunch.
Baked Deviled Eggs
8 eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
1 (3-ounce) can mushroom pieces, drained
Mayonnaise, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups cream
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed until dry
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Cut eggs in half; remove yolks. Combine yolks with mushrooms, mayonnaise and mustard. Stuff mixture into egg whites. Arrange in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
For sauce: Melt butter, add flour and combine. Slowly add cream, milk and salt, stirring until thickened. Cook spinach according to package directions; add to sauce, stirring to combine; pour over eggs. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Makes 8-10 servings.