Of all the traditions you’ll embrace this Christmas season, few are as resplendent and revered as a bounteous holiday feast. A table full of family and friends with cups that runneth over truly brings joy to the occasion. Here are a handful of recipes to help with your holiday dinner preparations.
We’re not chefs and space constraints do not allow us to plan your entire meal, but the recipes here are easy, time tested and will make a nice addition to the other dishes you plan to produce.
Whether you opt for ham, turkey or roast beef as your meat of choice, you won’t go wrong with a side of garlic-cheese mashed potatoes. Give this recipe a whirl:
Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
- 9 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup Romano cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Halve potatoes and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in pan. In separate pan, bring half and half to boil and remove immediately when it begins to boil. Mash the potatoes. Beat in butter first, then half and half. Add mashed garlic and cheeses, then mix to melt cheeses. Season with salt and pepper and continue to mix until potatoes are smooth.
While you are cooking and the children are playing, you’ll need a soothing drink to keep your heart warm and your spirits lively. Apple cider is perfect for this.
Hot Apple Cider
- 1 gallon apple cider (apple juice will work)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 allspice berries
- 1 orange peel, cut into strips
- 1 lemon peel, cut into strips
Pour cider into a large stainless steel pot. Place spices and peels into a cheesecloth. Drop cheesecloth into cider. Heat until the cider comes just short of boiling.
Remove cheesecloth and keep cider on the stovetop, over low heat. Serve warm throughout the day.
If you seek to serve a traditional feast, chances are cranberry sauce will find its way to your table. Sure, you can buy a canned sauce. No harm, no foul. If you’d prefer to make your own the day before the meal, however, here’s how:
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup honey
- 1 orange rind, grated
Mix cranberries, juice and honey in a pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, until cranberries pop. Remove from heat and stir in orange rind. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Lastly, it isn’t a proper Christmas meal if you aren’t breaking homemade bread. Try these yummy yeast rolls. It’s a batter bread recipe, which is relatively quick and easy for beginning bakers!
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 packages instant dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2 cups flour
Heat milk, then stir in sugar, salt and butter. Set aside and let cool. Add warm water to large bowl, then add yeast. Stir until dissolved. Add milk mixture, egg and two cups flour to the water/yeast mixture. Beat until smooth and then add remaining flour to make a soft dough. Transfer to a greased baking tray, cover with clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes. The dough will nearly double in size. After 30 minutes, punch down dough and shape into rolls. Place them back into greased baking tray and bake in preheated, 400 F oven until done (10 to 12 minutes).
Jeremy White, a writer for Imaginary Greetings, Inc. (www.imaginarygreetings.com), is a regular contributing author specializing in features, sports, business and food writing, and frequently contributes to a variety of print and online publications. To make your holiday display magical, visit www.holidaylighting.com.