Holiday Recipes

Every year, I like to share a few Holiday recipes that are standards in my house. I hope you enjoy! Feel free to share your own recipes in the comment section if you’d like!!

Melt In Your Mouth
Shortbread Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups butter, very soft (I use salted, but unsalted works, too)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Colored candied cherries or dried cranberries, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lighty grease three baking sheets.
  2. Using a hand-held electric mixer (see notes), cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until very creamy. Gradually beat in the cornstarch and flour. Continue to beat the batter until it looks like slightly overbeaten whipped cream, about 10 minutes. I always set a timer for 10 minutes as it feels like a long time.
  3. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons (or 3 level tablespoons, to be exact) onto the prepared cookie sheets. Add a colored cherry or dried cranberry in the center of each cookie. Note: if you don’t have 3 cookie sheets wait until you remove the baked cookies from one and it cools completely. Putting the cookie sheets outside in the cold winter weather cools them down very quickly.
  4. Bake the cookies for approximately 15 minutes. You can bake two sheets at once, turning them halfway through. Remove the cookies from the oven just as they start to brown on the bottoms.
  5. Let the shortbread cookies cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Do be careful when moving them as they will fall apart if you transfer them too soon.

NOTES

I have always used a hand-held electric beater to make these. Based on feedback from both a reader and my sister, if you use a stand-mixer the cookies will fall flat. If you want to use your stand mixer, please make sure to reduce the time you mix the batter.

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Easy Sausage & Herb Stuffing

A longtime family favorite for the holidays, this easy sausage and herb stuffing uses store-bought stuffing cubes, eliminating the step of slicing and drying out the bread. Servings: 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 cups (14 oz) store-bought unseasoned stuffing cubes
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups diced yellow onion (from 1 large or 2 small onions)
  • 1 cup diced celery (from 3 large celery stalks)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (i.e., sausage with the casings removed) — see note below
  • 2-3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. Place the stuffing cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the onions and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the vegetables to the stuffing cubes. (Don’t wash the pan but scrape out every last bit of vegetables, otherwise they will burn in the next step.)
  4. In the same pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage with a metal spatula while cooking (the largest pieces should be no greater than 1/4-inch). Add the browned sausage and fat to the bread cubes and vegetables.
  5. Add the chicken broth, egg, rosemary, sage, parsley, salt and pepper to the bread cube mixture and mix until the bread is soft and moistened. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish and bake for 65-75 minutes, uncovered, until deeply golden and crisp on top.
  6. Note: If you can’t find bulk sausage, simply buy regular sausage and remove the casings.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: This dish can be frozen, after baking, tightly covered, for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve it, defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours then reheat it, covered with foil, in a 325°F oven until hot. You can also make the stuffing ahead and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake, up to two days in advance.

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Nuts and Bolts

An addictive mix of pretzels, chex cereal, cheerios and nuts, Nuts n’ Bolts is a great snack to feed a crowd.Servings:Cook Time: 15 MinutesTotal Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SNACK MIX

  • 4 cups corn chex
  • 3 cups rice chex
  • 3 cups Shreddies
  • 3 cups pretzel sticks
  • 3 cups cheerios
  • 1-1/2 cups salted mixed nuts (or use cashews only)

FOR THE BUTTER SEASONING

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 heaping teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the snack mix ingredients in a large disposable aluminum pan.
  3. Combine all of the butter seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour slowly over snack mix, stirring as you go, to coat evenly. Continue stirring until snack mix is well coated with seasoning. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool, then serve or store in an airtight container.
  4. Note: You can omit any of the snack mix ingredients as long as you substitute something else. The idea is to keep the ratio of snack mix to butter seasoning the same. Also, be sure your oven is fully preheated before you put the snack mix in. The initial surge of heat to preheat the oven will burn the snack mix in a heartbeat.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: This can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Cool completely before freezing.

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