Family recipes enhance holiday celebrations

Kate Bauer, Staff Writer

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IMG_4796-769694By Staff Writer: Kate Bauer

During the holiday season, friends and family tend to gather in one place—around the dining room table. It’s a time for us to catch up on each others’ lives, clink our glasses in a toast to good times, and to eat ourselves into a food coma.  There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the holidays and these edible traditions are just a few of my favorites.

Homemade Chex Mix

3 cups Corn Chex® cereal

3 cups Rice Chex® cereal

3 cups Wheat Chex® cereal

1 cup mixed nuts

1 cup bite-size pretzels

1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 250°. Melt the butter and add seasoning and “crunchies” (the cereals, chips, and nuts) and stir. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

This snack is super easy to throw together and fits almost any event. We usually have to make a double batch during the holidays because there never seems to be enough in my household!

Classic Green Bean Casserole

1 can (10-3 / 4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup

¾ cup milk

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 can (28 oz) cut green beans, drained

1-1/3 cups (2.8 oz. can) French fried onions

Combine soup, milk, and pepper in a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish; mix well. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French fried onions. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.

Traditional Stuffing

½ cup (1 stick) margarine, substitute butter

5 large celery stalks, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon dried sage

1 can (14 ½ ounces) chicken broth

2 loaf(s) (16 ounces each) sliced firm white bread, lightly toasted and cut into ½ inch cubes

½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F. In 12-inch skillet, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion, and cook 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in thyme, salt, pepper, sage, chicken broth, and ½ cup water; remove skillet from heat. Place bread cubes in very large bowl. Add celery mixture and parsley; toss to mix well. Spoon stuffing into 13×9 inch glass baking dish; cover with foil and bake 40 minutes or until heated through.

Cranberry-Pineapple Jell-o Salad

1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple

2 packages (3 oz.) raspberry jell-o

1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

1 medium apple, chopped

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to measure 2 ½ cups. Pour into sauce pan, bring to a boil. Pour cranberry sauce over jell-o in large bowl, stir until completely dissolved. Stir in pineapple, cranberry, nuts, and apple. Pour into 9×13 inch pan and let chill.

Holiday Cake Bon Bons

1 box cake mix

1 container of frosting

36 oz. almond bark

Bake cake and let cool for 15 minutes. Crumble the warm cake, mix in frosting. Let refrigerate for 2 hours minimum. Shape dough into balls and freeze for 30 minutes. Melt almond bark. Dip balls into bark and decorate before they cool.

This is a newer recipe that my mom has adopted and is my absolute favorite! This is the perfect treat for cookie dough lovers because the texture of the cake is very similar, but unlike raw dough, this is sweet and safe to eat!

Holidays are unique in the fact that everyone has their own traditions, but food is one that we all share. So take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to sit down and have a taste of tradition.

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