Your Favorite Holiday Recipes

HolidayCooking_2_meme

Whether you are hosting and cooking a holiday meal yourself this year; selecting a side dish to bring to a Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas gathering; or deciding what to serve your extended family for breakfast when they visit from out of town, we have many recipes to choose from.

APPETIZERS

crackers and cheese

Make-Ahead Meatballs

Use this recipe to create the Cranberry Chili or Sweet and Sour Meatballs recipes below for holiday parties.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup finely chopped oniony
  • 2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 4 lbs. ground beef

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients except ground beef in a large bowl.
  2. Add meat and blend thoroughly.
  3. Shape into 1½-inch balls and place on greased baking sheet (with sides).
  4. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, or until internal temperature reads 160°F and no pink remains.
  5. Drain fat, cool meatballs, and then freeze.

Notes:
Should make about 8 dozen meatballs. These can be used with spaghetti sauce for pasta dishes, or for meatball sandwiches. The next two recipes share ways to use Make-Ahead Meatballs for party appetizers. Plan on using 12-18 meatballs per batch of sauce.

Cranberry Chili Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 cup jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 12-18 frozen, precooked meatballs

Instructions

  1. Stir together everything but the meatballs in a pot over medium heat until smooth.
  2. Add the meatballs and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are heated through.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1⅓ cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 12-18 frozen, precooked meatballs

Instructions

  1. Mix flour and sugar together in a large pot.
  2. Add remaining ingredients; heat and stir until bubbling and thickened. Stir in meatballs and simmer until heated through.

Notes
Both of these meatball recipes can be served as a meal with the addition of rice or noodles and a side of vegetables.

MAIN DISHES

Roasted Turkey

Roast Turkey

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 5 hours
Total time: 5 hours 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 brined turkey, any size (see recipe below)
  • 4 or more Tbsp. coconut oil (don’t use butter, which will burn)
  • 1 Tbsp. or more salt
  • 1 onion, wedged
  • 4 sprigs fresh or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 6 sage leaves

Instructions

  1. Place an oven rack on the lowest slot and remove your second oven rack. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place the bird, breast side up, on a roasting rack inside a stovetop-safe roasting pan or another wide, low pan.
  3. Pat the turkey dry—a moist bird will not brown well.
  4. Tuck the wing tips down under the bird’s spine near the neck and coat the whole bird liberally with coconut oil, then sea salt.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the cavity. Place the giblets and neck in the bottom of the pan, beside the bird, if desired.
  6. Place the turkey in the oven for 30 minutes (15 for a breast).
  7. Remove the turkey from the oven; place an oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, parallel to the spine, NOT touching the bone. Aim for the tip of the probe to be in the middle of the breast.
  8. Cover the breast with a double layer of aluminum foil and return it to the oven. The foil will prevent overbrowning of the meat.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cook until the thermometer reaches 161 degrees; set your thermometer to beep when it’s the right temperature.
  10. Allow the turkey to rest at least 20 minutes—longer if it’s a big bird—before carving or removing the thermometer to give the juices time to redistribute.

Notes:
This method can be used to cook a turkey breast, too. Just omit the onion. It produces a nicely browned but not overcooked bird.
Hands-on: 20 minutes
Hands-off: 1-1/2 to 5 hours

Turkey or Chicken Brine

Brining a turkey does take a little more time and a few extra ingredients, but the spectacular results are well worth the effort. Your guests will wonder how you were able to get such amazing flavor infused into the meat. The meat will be juicy and tender as long as you don’t overcook the bird.

The beauty of brining is that you can do it with a whole turkey or just the breast and then cook the bird any way you wish: grill, deep-fry, smoke, or roast. It also works for whole or any cut of chicken and other poultry. The key to avoiding tough or dry meat is to not rely on the little pop-up thermometer on the bird. Instead, use a probe thermometer you can leave in the turkey while it is in the oven and set it to sound an alarm when the turkey has reached your target temperature.

You want to roast the turkey until the breast reaches 160 degrees. Make sure the thermometer is in the deepest part of the meat, not touching any bone. Carry-over will make the turkey hit the target temperature of 165 degrees. Allow it to rest a minimum of 15 minutes before carving to help the meat retain its juices.

Ingredients

  • 7 qts. water
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1-1/2 cups sea salt
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, sucanat, or rapadura
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 4 sprigs rosemary or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 oranges, quartered (or other herb to match your meal)

Instructions

  1. Warm some of the water and dissolve the salt and sugar.
  2. Cool to room temperature and add the remaining water and all of the ingredients (squeeze the citrus and add both the juice and the peel). Place into a non-reactive (non-aluminum) container such as a stockpot.
  3. Remove the innards and neck from the cavity (don’t forget to check under the neck skin for the innards package if you have a big turkey) and refrigerate separately for later.
  4. Rinse the turkey and place it into the brine. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally if needed, for 12 to 24 hours. Weigh the bird down if necessary—using a brick in a Ziploc bag on top of a clean plate—to keep most of it in the brine.
  5. Rinse the bird thoroughly and cook by any method you choose.

Notes
Brining creates juicy meat by the process of osmosis. When it pulls in the water and salt, it also pulls in the flavor. This recipe creates enough brine for a 12- to 15-pound turkey, depending on the size of the stockpot you are using. A pot that is tall and just wide enough to fit your turkey will minimize the amount of brine you need.

If you need more brine, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup rapadura for every additional gallon of water added. Halve the recipe for a turkey breast or chicken. You can save the brine and use it for a second bird if you wish.

Slow-Cooker Baked Ham

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • 4 Tbsp. regular cola, divided
  • 1 boneless smoked ham (5 to 6 pounds), cut in half

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, mustard, horseradish, and 2 Tbsp. of the cola.
  2. Mix well and then rub all over ham.
  3. Place in slow cooker and pour remaining cola over ham.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into ham registers 140°F.

Herb Crusted Pork Loin

Ingredients

  • 4 lb. boneless pork loin, with fat left on
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme or 2 tsp. minced, fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried basil or 2 tsp. fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary or 2 tsp. minced, fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  2. Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat and fat.
  4. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 425°F and roast for an additional hour.
  5. Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 155°F, remove the roast from the oven.
  6. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook while it rests.

SIDE DISHES

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Cornbread Dressing: A Two-Step Process

Step One: Make the cornbread the day before.

Cornbread Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the first four ingredients.
  3. Stir the yellow cornmeal into the flour mixture.
  4. Add the eggs, milk, and vegetable oil and beat just until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×9” pan or a large, greased cast-iron skillet.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Cool on a rack in the pan, then cover and store overnight.

Step Two: Make crumbs and prepare the dressing.

Make crumbs of the cornbread made the night before and prepare the dressing according to the following recipe. Please note that the total amount of all bread crumbs is what is important. After measuring the cornbread crumbs, adjust the amount of other bread crumbs to total 12 cups of crumbs.

Easy Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • Approximately 8 cups cornbread crumbs
  • Approximately 4 cups bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a large pan and sauté the onion, celery, and mushrooms until tender.
  3. While the vegetables are sautéing, mix the remaining ingredients in a large pot or mixing bowl.
  4. When the vegetables are tender, pour the butter and vegetable mix into the mixing bowl with the crumbs and broth and mix well.
  5. Pour into a 9×13” baking dish and bake for 30 minutes (or until the top and edges are slightly browned).
  6. Serve the dressing with turkey and gravy. Makes approximately 12 to 15 servings.

Notes
If you are baking a turkey, the dressing can go in the oven after you remove the turkey and let it rest before carving. Leftover dressing mixed with leftover turkey and gravy (or mushroom soup) makes a delicious casserole that just needs to be heated through.

Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish

The total time needed to prepare and chill the relish is 2 hours. It can be made the day before you plan to serve it. Remember to wash and dry the outside of all fresh fruits and vegetables before using.
Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 navel orange (including zest)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (can be adjusted to taste)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Rinse the cranberries with cold tap water in a colander and set aside to drain.
  2. Zest the orange into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the cranberries to the blender.
  4. Peel and section the orange (discarding the peel and pith) and add it to the blender.
  5. Add the zest, sugar to the fruit in the blender.
  6. Pulse the ingredients in the blender, scraping the sides and stirring frequently between pulses until well-blended.
  7. Remove the relish to a serving bowl, mix in the pecans, cover, and chill at least 2 hours before serving. Makes approximately 2 cups, or 10 servings.

Notes
Two whole, seeded tangerines or 2 small cans of mandarin oranges can be substituted for the navel orange, but you will not have zest if you use canned oranges. Additional optional ingredients to add to the blender for taste and texture: 2 red apples, unpeeled, cored and sliced; you may substitute walnut pieces for the pecans.

To make a gelled cranberry relish salad omit the nuts and dissolve 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin in 1 cup of water over low heat. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Add to the blender with the cranberries, orange slices, sugar, and mix well.

Pour into a serving dish and chill until firm. Cut into squares before serving. Don’t forget to save any leftover relish to make bread or muffins. Simply substitute the relish for bananas or pumpkin in your favorite banana or pumpkin bread recipe.

Sweet Potato Soufflé

Sweet Potato Soufflé looks fancy, but it is very easy to make. If you’ve never whipped egg whites before, stop and check periodically to make sure they aren’t getting too stiff. You want them to fall to one side when whipped, not stand up straight. Hands-on: 20 minutes; Hands-off: 30 minutes; Serves 8.

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar, sucanat, or rapadura, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces

Instructions

  1. Place the sweet potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish all the way to the top and set aside.
  3. Place the cooked sweet potatoes, egg yolks, oil, 2 Tbsp. rapadura, and salt in a bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle the crispy nuts over the top of the casserole and set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.
  6. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar a teaspoon at a time and continue beating another two or three minutes until the meringue is glossy and holds a soft peak—when you pick the beaters straight up and turn them over, the egg white clinging to the beater forms a peak that falls to one side instead of standing up straight (hard peaks).
  7. Gently spread the meringue over the sweet potato to the edges of the dish, using a spatula.
  8. Place in the oven and bake until the meringue is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Roasted Carrots (and other veggies)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beets, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, red peppers, broccoli, etc.)
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Herbs to taste (our family likes Mrs. Dash® Garlic and Herb blend)

Instructions

  1. Process 2 cups of veggies at a time. Wash and cut veggies into bite-sized pieces. Process tubers (carrots, potatoes, beets, etc.) separately from other veggies, as they take longer to cook. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 2 cups veggies into a bowl. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil over the veggies.
  2. Chunky veggies like broccoli need more oil than peppers do. Sprinkle a couple dashes of salt and a couple dashes of herbs over the veggies. Toss veggies so that all the veggies are coated with oil and have some salt and seasonings on them. Add more oil, salt and seasoning as needed. Pour veggies out onto a baking sheet and spread so that none are on top of each other.
  3. Place sheet in oven and cook tuber veggies for 18 to 20 minutes and peppers, broccoli and other veggies 12 to 14 minutes. Serve.

Make-Ahead Twice-Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Garnish: green onion or chives, grated cheese, and cooked, crumbled bacon

Instructions

  1. Scrub potatoes thoroughly, and pierce a few times with a fork. Bake on oven rack at 400°F for about an hour, or until a sharp knife can be easily poked through the center of the potatoes. Remove from heat and cool until potatoes can be handled. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop the cooked potato pulp into a bowl, leaving a thin coating on the skins to form a shell. Add all the remaining ingredients (except for garnish) to potato pulp and mash well. Stuff mixture back into the potato skins. (Pipe it in if you want to be fancy!) Bake at 350°F for about 1/2 hour until heated through. Garnish with chives or green onion, grated cheese, and bacon.
  2. To make ahead:
  3. Bake and stuff potatoes earlier in the day or the night before. Cover and chill. To serve, bake as above.
  4. To freeze:
  5. Place stuffed potatoes on a cookie sheet and freeze for one hour. Then wrap potatoes individually in foil and freeze for up to four months. To serve, thaw and heat wrapped potatoes at 350°F for a good 1/2 hour, or until heated through. Garnish and serve.

SOUPS

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Slow-Cooker Fish Chowder
Ingredients
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups vegetable juice
  • 1 cup vegetable or fish stock
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup uncooked, instant rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. firm fish (haddock, swordfish, halibut, salmon), cut into 1-inch pieces
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients except fish, rice, parsley, lemon peel, and parmesan cheese in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours (high setting 3-4 hours) until vegetables are tender. Stir in fish and rice. Cover slow cooker and cook on high setting for 30-45 minutes until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix together parsley, lemon peel, and cheese. Serve this topping with stew.

 

Three Sisters Chowder
Native Americans traditionally planted corn, squash, and beans together—and these have become known as the three sisters. This hearty, meatless, soup provides lots of nutrition and fiber. Serve with your Thanksgiving meal or for a yummy meal on a cold evening.
Ingredients
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) can lima beans
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced
Instructions
  1. Spread drained corn on a cookie sheets and roast, uncovered in a 450° oven until lightly browned. In a large soup pot, cook onion, peppers and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in beans, potatoes, chile peppers, water, and roasted corn. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then stir in cream, cream-style corn, and zucchini. Heat for another 5 minutes or so, but don’t allow to boil. Serve this with cornbread or muffins and slices of cheese.

 

Smooth and Creamy Sweet-Potato Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 5 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, cook onion, garlic, and green onion in butter until tender.
  2. Add water, bouillon cubes, sweet potatoes, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg.
  3. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft.
  4. Let cool slightly.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick. Ladle about ¼ of the soup into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour into a bowl.
  6. Repeat until all of soup is processed. Pour soup back into pot.
  7. Add cream and maple syrup, and heat through.
  8. Garnish this pretty soup with slices of green onion and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and serve with breadsticks or plain crackers. It’s so yummy!

 

Wild Mushroom Soup
You start with a variety of fresh mushrooms, using the stems for the vegetable stock, which is also made from scratch. After the stock is made, you cook leeks in butter, and then add the mushrooms. It smells divine! Use this soup before a meal or let it be the meal itself!
Ingredients
  • 5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 8 ounces fresh portabella mushrooms
  • 2 ounces fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. good olive oil
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 tsp. minced thyme leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if they are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, onion, carrot, sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain; reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water. Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.

 

Potato and Corn Chowder
Ingredients
  • 4 to 5 medium potatoes (try a yellow or red variety potato for more flavor)
  • 2 Tbsp. oil or butter
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • 4 cups of corn (not on the cob)
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh or ground parsley
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut potatoes into 1–2-inch chunks. Put aside while getting the onions going. Dice 1/2 onion. Put 2 Tbsp. oil or butter in large pot and sauté onion on medium heat until translucent. Carefully pour 4 cups of water or broth into the pot and turn heat up to medium-high. Put the cut potatoes into the pot, then the 4 cups of corn. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the 2 cups of milk and cook another 10–15 minutes until potatoes are soft. Add the parsley to the top of the pot and cook one more minute. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then serve.


 
 

SALADS

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Mandarin Almond Salad
Ingredients
  • Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup oil
Instructions
  1. Combine the 2 Tbsp. of sugar with the almonds in a skillet.
  2. Over low heat, stir together until sugar is melted and coating almonds. Be careful; it can burn easily. Turn out onto plate to cool.
  3. Toss almonds, romaine, and oranges in serving bowl.
  4. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.
Notes
This is a very flexible salad. Use different fruit vinegars—pear is especially yummy. Walnuts or pecans can be used instead of almonds, and apples or pears work well instead of, or in addition to, the mandarin oranges. A sprinkle of feta cheese is a delicious addition! Also, although fruit vinegar may be a bit pricey, one bottle goes a long way, and will make several batches of dressing. It is much tastier and healthier than purchased dressing, and less expensive too.

 

Nana’s Bean Salad
Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 15-ounce can yellow wax beans
  • 1 15-ounce can green beans
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans (rinsed)
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup malt vinegar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Drain all cans and combine the beans and sliced onion in a serving bowl.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.
  3. Toss beans with dressing to coat and refrigerate overnight before serving.

 

Holiday Broccoli Salad
This is salad is delicious. It’s a very adaptable, flexible recipe. Shredded cheese and/or hard boiled eggs can be added; the sunflowers seeds can be omitted; raisins can be substituted for the dried cranberries; and cauliflower for some of the broccoli. You can also try using Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise and part of the vinegar.
Ingredients
  • 1 or 2 heads broccoli cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 9 or 10 slices bacon, fried crisp, then crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup (or more) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (use more if your salad seems too dry)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine broccoli, bacon, and onion in a large serving bowl.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar together to make dressing, then toss with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


 

BREADS, ROLLS, and MUFFINS

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Bread, the simplest of foods, can be so rewarding to prepare for our families. One of the most comforting gifts we can give our loved ones is to bake fresh bread. Think back to when you were a child, coming in from playing outside to wash up for supper or walking into the home(s) of family for a Sunday dinner or special occasion. You were immediately hit with the aromas of a meal waiting to be shared. When you smell some of those same foods today, are you taken back to those childhood days? Give your family the gift of good bread baking in the oven and create special memories that resonate in the comfort of homemade goodness. Are you ready to try? Here’s a basic recipe and instructions. Roll up your sleeves, tie on an apron, and let’s see what we can do.
 
 

Basic Bread
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of bread flour (white bread flour is recommended for first-timers)
  • 1 package or 1 Tbsp. of yeast (often sold in a strip of 3 packages)
  • 1 cup of warm water plus extra water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 loaf pan, well-greased (typical size is 9x5x3 inches)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Clean dish towel
Instructions
  1. Before beginning, warm your oven to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit and turn on the oven light. Once you’ve acquired this temperature, turn off the oven and leave the oven light on. Depending upon your particular make or model of oven, you may need to remove one of the oven racks to give the dough enough room to rise. Know where you plan to knead your dough (counter top, table top, etc.).
  2. Clean and lightly flour this surface. You’ll need to have extra flour available to flour your hands, coat your kneading surface and to add to the dough as you work the ingredients together. Measure one cup of warm water (not hot, but fairly warm) into a narrow bowl. Add the yeast to the water and stir in. Let this rest at least 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Measure four generous cups of bread flour into a large mixing bowl. Sifting is optional. Add at least two teaspoons but not more than one tablespoon of salt to the flour. Make a small crater in the center of the flour and slowly add the warm water and yeast mixture. With floured hands, work the flour and water mixture together. Add more water to the flour mixture, a little at a time (about 1 cup), pulling and working the flour with your hands. If the flour remains dry and crumbly, you’ll want to add water, if the flour mixture becomes sticky, you can add more flour back to it a handful at a time.
  4. As the dough comes together and forms a ball, it will become smooth to the touch. Transfer the dough from the mixing bowl onto your kneading surface. (You’ll want to take a moment to wash your mixing bowl, then dry and grease it. You’ll be returning the dough to this bowl for rising.)
  5. Continue to dust with flour as needed while you work the dough. Plan on kneading the dough for a good 10 minutes. To knead, you will start with your dough in a rounded disc shape and you can use one or both hands. You will use the heel(s) of your hand(s) to push into the bread dough with a pushing away motion, then pull the top portion of the dough back toward you, folding the dough over and press your heel(s) into it again. Turn the dough and repeat this process over and over until the dough is worked thoroughly and becomes smooth. You can dust the dough with flour to work into the dough if needed. The dough should be elastic but not sticky. If you need a visual example of how to properly knead dough, YouTube has a number of videos available with demonstrations on kneading bread dough. WikiHow has some photos and additional kneading directions as well.
  6. After kneading is complete, neatly round your dough into a large ball and return it to your greased mixing bowl. Cover with a dampened dish towel and place inside your warm oven to rise for 30 to 40 minutes. It should double in size. Grease your loaf pan. Take your bread dough from the oven and return it to your kneading surface. Knead the dough for another 10 to 15 minutes. Shape into a loaf and place in your greased loaf pan. Place the loaf pan inside the warm oven, cover with dampened dish towel and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes, allowing the dough to rise between an inch to two inches above the edges of the loaf pan. Remove dish towel and turn oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Bake bread on the middle rack for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and hollow sounding when you tap the crown of the loaf. Remove from oven and allow loaf to cool completely.
Notes
To keep the bread crust soft, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely across the top of the loaf (like a piece of paper) while it cools. Enjoy!
This basic recipe can easily be built upon. Consider adding a tablespoon or two of sugar or honey for a bread that is a little sweeter. Drizzle up to ½ cup of olive oil or other type of cooking oil into the dough at the beginning. You can add herbs and garlic as well, and/or brush the top with butter or an egg yolk wash. Experiment on your own, or go to the library and check out some great bread books. Bread baking should never be intimidating. Bread is something you can enjoy preparing for your family and friends.

 

Harvest Bread (2 loaves)
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (or 2 cups pureed)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  3. Stir in oatmeal, raisins, and nuts.
  4. Divide dough in half and pour into two greased 9×5” loaf pans.

Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350°F. Remove from pans and cool. On the days I bake Harvest Bread, my house smells good enough to eat. This bread is great with a dollop of whipped cream on top as a dessert, just like it is for breakfast with coffee or tea, or whenever your tummy begs for a slice.

 

Homemade Rolls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Stir the first three ingredients together and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. While that is dissolving and resting, heat the milk and oil until warm to the touch.
  3. In another bowl, beat the 1/2 cup sugar and three eggs together. Set that aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the yeast, milk, and egg mixtures. If the dough is still too sticky to handle, add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, but do not exceed 2-1/2 cups.
  5. Knead until smooth and soft but not sticky, about 5 minutes. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise again till doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Cut dough into fourths. Roll out each fourth into a large pie crust shape, about 1/4” thick (or a little bit less). Taking a pizza cutter or a knife, slice the pie crust shape in half, then into fourths, and then into eighths. After cutting, you should end up with eight triangles.
  7. Roll each triangle starting with the wide edge and make sure that the pointed end is well tucked and pinched under the roll.
  8. Butter lightly. Let rise again till doubled in size.
  9. Bake at 400ºF for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

Yield: Approximately 32 rolls.

 

Harvest Muffins
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup (1 medium) apple, peeled, cored, and shredded
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • *I make a gluten-free version using 1 cup rice flour (brown or white) and 1 cup sorghum flour.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease with oil or shortening.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine carrot, apple, raisins, nuts, and coconut. In a third bowl, combine beaten eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Stir carrot/apple mixture into the wet ingredients, and then add this all at once to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened—about a dozen strokes.
  4. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Yield: 2 dozen.

 

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 4 cups blueberries (fresh are amazing— frozen work fine as well)
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F, and prepare your muffin tins.
  2. For topping—in a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and lemon rind. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the creamed butter mixture. Stir gently until just combined, and then stir in blueberries. Note: tossing the blueberries in a little flour before adding to the batter will help prevent them from sinking or “bleeding.”
  5. Spoon batter into muffin cups and sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick at 25 minutes.

Yield: 24 muffins.

 

COOKIES

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Raisin Spice Bars

(Approximately 3 dozen 3” x 1” bars)
Many holiday recipes call for pumpkin pie spice, which isn’t something I keep in my pantry. A good substitute for 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice is ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves or allspice. This recipe for Raisin Spice Bars, also from my mother’s recipe box, is one that I use my pumpkin pie spice substitute for.
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or substitute listed above)
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Spread in a greased 9×13” baking pan and bake for 25 minutes at 350°F. Cool completely before frosting with Butter Frosting.
Butter Frosting
Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1–1½ Tbsp. milk

Directions:
Heat butter in saucepan to a light brown over medium heat. Remove from heat and blend in remaining ingredients. Beat until smooth.

 

Chocolate Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour mix (*see below)
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free semisweet mini chocolate chips
  • Granulated sugar

Directions:
Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add vanilla and mix well. Add flours, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, and salt, and mix until a soft dough is formed. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape dough into a flat square, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drop dough in small mounds across a large sheet of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic over the dough and shape into a long, 1”-diameter log, leaving a space at both ends. Twist the ends and flatten dough at each end. Try to smooth the log by rolling it on the counter. Refrigerate until well chilled. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a thin, sharp knife, slice the chilled dough into 5/8” slices and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Chill cookies on the cookie sheet until cold before baking. Bake in center rack of oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until centers are cooked. Cool slightly on cookie sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
*Brown rice flour mix: 2 cups extra finely ground brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch (not potato flour), and 1/3 cup tapioca flour.
Like most gluten-free baking, this recipe is a little work, but it is well worth the effort. We recommend Authentic Foods and Bob’s Red Mill for their great flours and flour mixes.
 

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Chocolate “kisses” candy, 1 for each cookie

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cream together butter, both sugars, and peanut butter. Add egg and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Form into walnut-sized balls. Roll each ball in white sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Press chocolate kiss into each cookie when fresh out of the oven. Makes about 2-1/2 dozen.

 

Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 5-1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet. Combine milk, coconut, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove carefully to waxed-paper-lined cooling racks. They’ll get a little firmer as they cool. If you really want to be decadent, you can dip them in a little melted chocolate!
 

Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups flour

Directions:
Cream butter, shortening, and sugars thoroughly. Add egg and dry ingredients and mix well. Roll dough into small balls (they will flatten by themselves in the oven). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350°F.
 

Oatmeal Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields approximately 3 dozen
Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shortening (or butter)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. hot water
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag mint chocolate chips
  • 2 cups uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup nutmeats (optional)

Directions:
Sift flour with soda and salt. Cream shortening and gradually add sugars, creaming until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add hot water, and then sifted dry ingredients. Add vanilla and blend well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and nutmeats. Mix thoroughly. Drop by tablespoon on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on pan for 1 minute before moving to cooling rack. Trust me. Your family and friends are going to beg for more of these cookies, so make sure you have plenty of ingredients on hand for multiple batches. In fact, just go ahead and bake a double-batch to start.
Hint: Mint chocolate chips are usually only available during the holidays, so consider buying multiple bags as soon as they go on sale.
Using common ingredients like oats and mint or plain chocolate chips in more than one recipe is an excellent way to buy in larger quantities and save money. The mint chocolate chips taste fantastic in banana chocolate chip muffins, and I also use oats in Harvest Bread, another family holiday favorite.


 
 

DESSERTS

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Grandma Coffey’s Icebox Fruitcake

Hands-on: 25 minutes; Hands-off: 24+ hours
Icebox Fruitcake is a family favorite. I don’t enjoy traditional fruitcakes, but this graham-cracker based loaf I adapted from my mother-in-law’s recipe can be done without the candied fruit. It comes out sweet and is nothing like a cake. It’s made with marshmallows and butter, like Rice Krispies treats, but the consistency is quite different due to the graham crackers. All of these recipes can be made gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free. If you are allergic to nuts, they can be omitted.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. graham crackers, crushed into a mix of small bits and crumbs
  • 1 lb. pecan pieces
  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds dried fruit (dates, raisins, apricots, etc.), chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) or coconut oil
  • 1 lb. (10 to 12 ounces) marshmallows
  • 2 Tbsp. milk, cream, or coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup sugar, sucanat, or rapadura
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the broken graham crackers, pecans, and dried fruit. Set aside.
  3. In the top of a double boiler, melt the fat and marshmallows with the milk over low heat.
  4. Stir in the rapadura until dissolved, remove from the heat, and whisk in the vanilla.
  5. Pour three-quarters of the mixture over the graham cracker mixture and mix. Add extra of the liquid mix if needed and mix thoroughly until the graham cracker mixture is evenly moistened.
  6. Pack into the parchment-lined loaf pan and smooth the top. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours before serving.
  7. Keep this cake wrapped and stored in the refrigerator.

Notes: This is my recipe for a once-a-year treat at Christmas, although I think we could easily eat our weight in it each year if we didn’t show restraint. If you do like the candied fruit that is often used in fruitcakes or if your husband insists that it be included, you can add in up to a half-pound of it with the graham crackers. If you wish to make this dish gluten- and dairy-free, I recommend Kinninnick graham crackers and Jet Puff marshmallows.

 

Pavlova: A Traditional Dessert from Down Under


Ingredients:

  • 5 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch (corn flour)
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • Fruits for garnish

Directions:
Beat egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff. Beat in the sugar a little at a time until stiff peaks form, then add the cornstarch and vinegar. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Make a 9-inch circle on the foil by drawing around a cake pan or pie plate. Mound the beaten eggs whites into this circle to make a cake shape. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 5 minutes, turn the heat down to 300°F and bake for 20 minutes more. Turn oven off and leave pavlova to sit at least 3 hours, and preferably overnight. Do NOT open the oven door until pavlova has completely cooled!
To serve, carefully peel foil from the bottom of the pavlova shell. Place shell on serving plate. Spread with real whipped cream, and garnish with fruit and/or chocolate shavings. In season, fresh strawberries or raspberries are delicious. In winter, sliced or chopped kiwi and canned mandarin oranges make a pretty topping. Garnish the berry version with chocolate shavings. (Make shavings or curls simply by using a vegetable peeler on the edge of a chocolate bar.) The kiwi/orange version can be garnished with a 1/2 cup or so of toasted coconut. (Spread shredded coconut on a baking sheet and broil until toasted. Watch closely as it can burn quickly!)

 

Slow-Cooker Baked Apples

Ingredients:

  • 6 large cooking apples
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:
Remove core from apples, and peel a strip around the top of the apple to help prevent cracking. Arrange apples in 3- to 4-quart slow cooker. In large bowl, mix together orange juice, rind, cider, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Pour over apples. Cover slow cooker, and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until apples are tender. Cool slightly, and serve warm with sweetened, whipped cream.
 

Holiday Pretzel Salad Dessert

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (3-ounce) block cream cheese.
  • 2 (3-ounce) boxes raspberry gelatin (or flavor of choice, such as strawberry)
  • 8 oz. frozen berries

Directions:
Place crushed pretzels in the bottom of a 9×13” pan. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar over pretzels. Melt butter and pour over sugar and pretzels. Mix together, press firmly in pan, and then bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes. While the crust cools, mix together softened cream cheese, whipped topping, and 1/4 cup sugar. Spread on top of cooled crust. Place in refrigerator. Prepare gelatin according to package directions. Stir in the frozen berries—this should cause it to partially set up. When it barely begins to firm up, pour over cream cheese mixture. Place in the refrigerator until it’s completely firm; about 2 hours.

 

Peanut Butter Squash Blondies (Grain-Free)

Hands-on: 10 minutes; Hands-off: 25 to 30 minutes
Serves 8
Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup peanut butter or Sunbutter, smooth or chunky
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash or other winter squash puree

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8×8” square pan and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg with a whisk and then add the peanut butter and honey. Beat until smooth.
  4. Add the baking soda and squash and whisk until mixed.
  5. Pour into the pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

 

Mocha Ricotta Créme (Sugar-Free and Grain-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-6 packets sugar substitute (or sweeten to taste)
  • Chocolate curls (optional topping)

Directions:
Mix together all of the ingredients except chocolate curls. Divide into four small bowls, cover, and chill. If you prefer, you can mix the ingredients in a blender, though it’s just fine mixed by hand. Top with chocolate curls. Serves 4.

 
 

DRINKS

Picture9

Sparkling Apple Cider Punch

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle club soda
  • 2 cans apple juice concentrate

Directions:
Chill the club soda. Mix with the apple juice concentrate until well blended. Add ice and serve. For an extra bit of flair, add thinly sliced apple and/or whole cranberries to your pitcher, punch bowl, or drink dispenser.
Note: You can also substitute cranberry juice concentrate or grape juice concentrate if you prefer Cran-Apple or Cran-Grape Sparkling Cider.

 

Hot Cocoa from Scratch

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
Mix cocoa, sugar, water and salt in a saucepan. Over medium heat, stir constantly until mixture boils. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla; blend well. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

 
 

BREAKFAST

Picture10

Overnight Breakfast Casserole #1

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices of white bread
  • 3 cups ham, sausage or bacon
  • 2 cups cheddar or Colby Jack cheese, grated
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. prepared mustard
  • Spreadable butter or margarine

Directions:
Remove crust from 12 slices of bread and spread margarine on one side. Place 6 slices, buttered side down, in a greased 9×13” pan. Spread half the meat evenly over the bread. Sprinkle half the cheese over the meat. Place the other six slices of bread, buttered side up, in the pan. Repeat with a second layer of meat and cheese. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, milk, and mustard and pour slowly over casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Bake uncovered at 350°F for one hour. (Serves 8)
 
 

Overnight Breakfast Casserole #2

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 lb. sausage, bacon or ham, cooked and drained
  • Frozen hash brown patties

Directions:
Grease an 8×8” baking dish and layer with the frozen hash browns. Sprinkle meat on top of hash browns. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and milk and pour over casserole. Top with cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to one hour.

 

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

If you’d prefer not to rise before the crowd to stick your casserole in the oven, this Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole may be just what you’re looking for. It will be ready and waiting for your early risers and can be kept warm for those who would rather sleep in.
Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 10 slices of white bread
  • 1-1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups cheese, grated
  • 1 lb. sausage, bacon, or ham
  • Salt & pepper
  • Yellow mustard

Directions:
Brown and drain meat. Spread mustard on one side of the bread. Grease or spray the inside of the slow cooker. Create layers of bread, cheese and sausage. You may need to cut bread slices to fit in the slow cooker. Beat eggs and milk together with salt and pepper to taste and pour over the top of the casserole. Cook on low for 8-12 hours.

 

Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage
  • 8 slices bread, cubed
  • 4 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 2 cups milk

Directions:
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook and stir the sausage until crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Grease a 9×13” baking dish. Spread the bread cubes in the prepared dish; sprinkle the browned sausage and cheese over top. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until smooth; add the salt, mustard powder, and milk, and whisk until evenly blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 1-1/2 hours.

 

Cinnamon Rolls

These are delicious, and your guests will be amazed that they are made from scratch!
Ingredients:

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (or 1 tablespoon)
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the sugar, salt, egg, and 1 cup flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease an 8×8” square baking pan. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Smear the dough with butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up the dough along the long edge until it forms a roll. Slice the roll into 16 equal-size pieces and place them in the pan with the cut side up. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
 

Favorite Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups flour (I use all-purpose, unbleached, or whole wheat)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oats (I use uncooked regular oats) 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cinnamon 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 salt

Directions:
Mix together dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Bake in waffle iron or maker, following the manufacturer’s directions. Pour batter into the center of the bottom half until it spreads to about an inch from the edges. Lower the top and bake, without lifting the cover, until done. Pancakes and waffles are usually served with butter or margarine and syrup, honey, molasses, or other toppings such as fruit or nuts, as desired. It’s helpful to soften the butter or margarine by leaving it out of the refrigerator while the pancakes and waffles are cooking.
Some photos downloaded from freefoodphotos.com

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