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Topic: Share holiday favorites?

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Subject: Share holiday favorites?
Date Posted: 10/21/2008 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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My husband and I are likely to be spending the holidays- Thanksgiving and Christmas- at home with just our children. I would like to still have a nice holiday meal, and am toying with the idea of cooking things ahead and freezing so it won't be as much work the day before and day of our celebration. I am also eager to create our own food traditions and try new things. Would any of you be willing to share favorite holiday side dishes?

Here is one I just learned from the Gooseberry Patch cookbook and tried last year and will have again as an appetizer:

Come & Get 'Em Meatballs

2 pounds ground beef

1 1/2 ounce package dry onion soup mix

1 cup bread crumbs

3 eggs beaten

1 tablespoon dry mustard

16 ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce

12 ounce jar chilli sauce

14 ounce can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed

1 1/ cup water

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Mix first five ingredients together shape into walnut sized balls. Arrange in an ungreased 13 by 9 baking pan, seta side. Combine remaining ingrediants in a saucepan, simmer for ten minutes. Pour over meatballs, cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours.

(As a really simple variation, just make the meatballs and then simmer them in the chili sauce with either with grape jelly, or the cranberry sauce- very tangy)

Date Posted: 10/21/2008 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2008
Posts: 173
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Hmmm, can you give us some hints about what types of cuisine, what veggies, etc., your family likes in general -- or for holiday feasts. That might spur us all in the right directions and get you some recipes popping up! Gina

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Well, we all love veggie dishes. I can tell you what we regularly have at my moms and grandmas at holidays- broccoli casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls, pan dressing... you get the idea? The holiday standards. I wouldn't mind hearing deviations on these, and maybe some ideas for "new standards".

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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This is a great recipe that I found last year on epicurious.com, and served not only at Thanksgiving, but also brought to my work holiday potluck.  It's simple and delicious, and even people who don't generally like carrots told me they liked it!

Carrots with Ginger

2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Place carrots, orange juice, butter, sugar and ginger in large skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to boil; cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and simmer until liquid glazes carrots, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Last Edited on: 10/22/08 2:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/22/2008 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2008
Posts: 173
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Here's a good recipe for DRESSING

First, make CORNBREAD:

 2 eggs

 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

 1 cup water

 1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk)

 2 cups white corn meal (medium-grind, if possible)

 2 teaspoons baking powder 

 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a well-greased 9-inch cast iron skillet or similar-size cake pan in oven to heat. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add remaining ingredients in order listed and mix well. Pour into heated pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden-brown. When done, turn out onto a rack to cool. (You may want to make an extra cake of cornbread for family members to eat NOW -- it always smells so good, they'll be wanting a slice, and you need a full cake for the dressing!)

Dressing ingredients:

  the cornbread made as directed above

  6 to 12 bread slices (you can save and use end slices, hotdog or hamburger buns, leftover baked rolls, etc. -- stale is OK, as long as not     moldy; if fresh, put out on a baking sheet to dry a bit when you begin making the cornbread)

 1 medium onion, diced

 3 to 4 stalks of celery, diced

 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter

 3 to 4 eggs

 salt and pepper to taste (try about 1/2 teaspoon of salt - keep in mind that the broth you use will likely add saltiness, too)

 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning (if you like it)

 pinch of sugar

 chicken broth (from a hen you cook or from a can/cans -- about 48 oz.)

Crumble the cornbread well into a large mixing bowl. Then pull apart and crumble well the bread into the bowl. (Rub between your hands to crumble, if needed)

Put some of the broth in a saucepan and simmer the celery and onion in that until beginning to get tender. Then add the butter. When it is melted, remove the saucepan and let mixture cool slightly.

Beat the eggs and add them and all other ingredients to cornbread and bread mixture. Stir to mix well. Have the mixture liquid enough to more-or-less "pour " into a well-greased large baking dish (I use a glass one) -- add a bit more broth, water, or buttermilk if needed.

Bake at 375 to 450 degrees (depending on type of pan you use, your oven's performance, etc.) until dressing has "set" and browned.

You can mix up the dressing the day before and bake it on holiday day.

Serve with plenty of cranberry sauce!


Date Posted: 10/22/2008 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Oh my gosh the dressing and the carrots both sound awesome!

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,549
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Good green beans (paula deans recipe-- tested and loved by my whole family!)

1/2 lb bacon, diced about 1 inch

2 pkg frozen green beans, thawed

2 red bell peppers, cut into strips then strips cut into half

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 heaping tbsp sugar

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce

In LARGE frying pan or dutch oven, cook bacon til crisp and set aside, cook peppers and onions in the bacon drippings,  till tender crisp, 4-5 mins,  (all on high heat),  cook both pkgs green beans about 8 mins,   stir in sugar and teriyaki and cook til beans are thouroughly warm, but dont overcook them to mush.   Remove from heat, sprinkle cooked bacon on top.

Date Posted: 11/3/2008 12:33 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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If you wanted a variation on potatoes you could make scalloped potatoes (these are like my favorite thing in the whole world!)

Scalloped Potatoes

Russett potatotes sliced about 1/4 of an inch or thinner - enough to fill which ever size pan you use 3/4 of the way full (about 4-5 usually)

1 cup of milk/cream



Slice the potatoes up and start to layer them in the pan. after about 2 layers put a couple little chunks of the butter in (about the size of your pinky nail) sporadically spaced (about 5/6 places if you are using a 13X9 pan) and then sprinkle a light bit of flower. Layer some more and then do it again. Layer again (should be the last time) and do again. only this time put a little more butter. Then pour the milk over (carefully so you don't wash all the butter around).  It should fill the pan to just below the top layer of potatoes. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes. Should be slightly browned when done.

Some people add some onion to this but I dont. It can also be made with fat free milk and I dont' notice much difference.

Another thing you could make in advance is homemade toffee :) It's super easy!! The recipe i use is out of the Better Homes and Garden cook book. Its basically just sugar, corn syrup, and butter. It sounds difficult but it's super easy, you just have to pay attention.

Hope your holidays go well!

Date Posted: 11/3/2008 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Yes, a vacation from mashed potatoes is in order. :-)

Paula Deen's stuff is always so yummy. Those green beans sound good.

OK, we need a few cold salads to compensate for all the rich baked casseroles and such. LOL

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 661
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My family and friends love this cold salad I found a few years ago on allrecipes.com ...

Cranberry Pecan Salad


  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups mixed salad greens, rinsed and dried
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • crumbled feta cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spread pecans evenly on a baking sheet. Toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper; mix until sugar and salt dissolve. Whisk in olive oil.
  3. In a salad bowl, toss together the greens, cranberries, pecans, onions, and cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette, and toss gently to coat.
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2008
Posts: 21
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Let me start by saying sorry I didn't see this before Thanksgiving.  I was traveling and didn't see this.  I hope some of these will help and inspire maybe for next year.


Cranberry Pineapple Relish

6-8 Servings



1          cup Cranberries, fresh or frozen (I like Fresh)

2          cups diced fresh pineapple (keep juices so you can add it if you want more liquid)

½         medium fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced (I used two slices of jarred jalapenos)

2          tablespoons fresh lime juice

1          tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

2          teaspoons light brown sugar







1.         In processor, pulse berries 2 or 3 times, until they are coarse chopped.  Add pineapple and pulse until finely chopped.  Mix with remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate ½ hour or up to 24 hours.






Notes  I use crushed pineapple.  It is good fresh and more blended the next day.


Date Posted: 1/14/2009 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2008
Posts: 21
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Holiday Ham  (leftovers are great in split pea soup, with a tablespoon or two of the ham topping)




1          6-9 pound spiral sliced ham

1          can crushed pineapple, juices included

2-4      tablespoons brown sugar

2          teaspoons ground cloves

3-6      tablespoons cornstarch

Enough water to make a semi thick liquid






1.         Preheat oven to 325 to 350 F.   Place ham in roasting pan; set aside


2.         in a small bowl combine pineapple with juices, brown sugar and cloves stir well to combine.  (Should be thick)


3.         Pack pineapple mixture over all of outside of ham.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2 to 3 hours or until ham is heated through.    


4.  For Gravy: Remove ham from roaster and cover; set aside and let rest.  Place the roaster over a burner or pour drippings and any pineapple mixture from roaster into a saucepan.  Heat to boiling, meanwhile, in a glass using a fork mix the cornstarch with enough water to make a semi thick liquid consistency.  Stirring drippings constantly slowly add the cornstarch mixture, until it is gravy consistency. 



Date Posted: 1/14/2009 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2008
Posts: 21
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Sage Bread Stuffing




1          package giblets, from turkey

6-8      cups water

2          tablespoons oil, olive or vegetable

1          medium to large onion, diced

1-2      ribs celery thinly sliced (optional)

2          large teaspoons garlic, minced

1          bag bread cubes (seasoned or not)

1          cube butter or margarine melted

1-2      tablespoons garlic powder (to taste)

3-6      tablespoons  ground sage (to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste







1.         In a  medium saucepan over medium hit heat.   Add giblets and enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches. (about 6-8 cups water).  Bring to boil and simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes or until done.


2.         Meanwhile, in a medium to large sauté pan over medium high heat add the oil and onions and celery (if using).  Sautee onion mixture for 3-5 minutes. Turn down and add garlic and simmer over medium low heat for about another  10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the celery (if using) are soft.


3.         To Assemble:  Pour bread cubes into large bowl.  Add some of the sage and garlic powder.  The onion mixture and half the butter and about 2 to 3 cups of the broth from the giblets.  Stirring to incorporate the liquid and spices.  Keep smelling to make sure it smells the way you want it to taste.  Add spices to taste or smell.  Add the rest of the butter and enough water from giblets to make very moist.  Put in pre greased casserole dish and bake until heated through.



Notes  Bake at about 350 degrees.


Date Posted: 1/14/2009 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2008
Posts: 21
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Southern Green Beans

2-3 Strips bacon, chopped

2 cans or 1 pound fresh green beans, cut to 1" pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup onion, chopped (depending on how much you like onion)

salt and pepper to taste

enough water to cover 3/4 of the way.


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add bacon and onion, (if using fresh green beans add them now), saute for 2-3 minutes or until onions are transluscent.  Add water and pepper cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until desired doneness.  salt and pepper to taste.




Date Posted: 1/14/2009 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2008
Posts: 21
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Four Cheese Mac & Cheese



Non-stick cooking spray
3          cups elbow macaroni
1/3       cup all-purpose flour
2 1/3   cups 1 percent milk
¾         cup shredded Fontina cheese
½         cup Parmesan
½         cup shredded sharp cheddar
4          Velveeta
½         cup Japanese (panko) bread crumbs or plain bread crumbs





1.         Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


2.         Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt water, add macaroni, and cook until al dente. Drain into a colander, run under cold water to stop the cooking, and then set aside.


3.         While pasta is cooking, combine flour and milk in a large saucepan, whisking until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cheeses and cook until melted and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the macaroni and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top. Bake until bubbly, about 30 to 40 minutes.


Note  I don't use panko crumbs but they are a nice twist once in a while.