Recipes for the Pre-Holiday Rush

Holiday times, by their very nature, are busy, busy times.  But that doesn’t mean you have to rely on pizza and processed foods to feed your family between activities.

Go through those family recipes and start enjoying the season. Do not forget to bring out your slow cooker and dust it off.  Foods cooked slowly are wonderful this time of year. Fresh fruits and crunchy green salads add a healthy punch to the menu, too.

Here are some delicious homemade recipes to make ahead or in a hurry.

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The first time I had this recipe was at a holiday party with a dear friend who is no longer here with us. They gave me their recipe and I am sharing it with you. Plan ahead – it is worth it!

4 cups purchased eggnog
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 country white bread loaf – (14.5 oz) — halved horizontally, half cut crosswise 8 slices — (do not use ends)
1/4 cup unsalted butter – (1/2 stick) — melted
Powdered sugar
1.    Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Place bread slices in single
layer in two 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass baking dishes. Pour mixture over bread, dividing equally. Cover dishes and refrigerate at least 6 hours or
overnight.
2.    Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter 2 large rimmed baking sheets with
some melted butter.
3.    Using spatula, transfer bread slices to prepared baking sheets. Brush
bread with remaining melted butter. Bake 10 minutes. Turn over bread slices and bake until golden brown and crisp on the outside but soft on the inside, about 6 minutes longer.
4.    Place 2 French toast slices on each of 8 plates. Dust generously with
powdered sugar.

Serves 4-8, depending on your appetite


Roasted Corn and Chili Chowder

This recipe warms you from the inside out and is a wonderful hot lunch.

10 ears of corn or large bag of frozen kernel corn
5 cups  vegetable stock
4 of your favorite hot peppers, seeded, and cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cilantro

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1.    Preheat oven 400 °F. Place ears of corn on cookie sheets, or spread out kernels in single layer and spray with cooking spray. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until browned.
2.   If using cob corn,  let cool. Shuck and cut the kernels off cob.
3.    Place 3 cups of corn, 3 cups of stock into food processor and puree.
4.    Place pureed mixture, remaining stock, chilies and salt into soup pot, and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
5.    Add remaining corn and serve. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Hamburg and Rice En Casserole
This super delicious, frugal, easy meal can be made ahead of time and reheated in our modern microwaves. It comes from my Grandmother’s old recipe book and was a staple during the lean years.
1  1/2 pound ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt (I use less)
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups boiled (cooked) rice
1 cup water
1.    Mix meat, onion, salt, sage, and pepper together. In saucepan, bring water to a boil and crumble meat mixture into boiling water. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
2.    Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease all insides of your baking dish – (I like glass or Pyrexâ„¢ for this recipe)  Place half of the cooked rice into baking dish and pat it up the sides. Carefully add your cooked meat mixture (juices and all). Top with remaining rice.
3.    Bake for 15 minutes.
Allow to sit and rest 15 minutes prior to serving. Serve Hot.
Serves 4 – 6

Noodle Alfredo
Time for warm comfort foods, recipes to help you stretch your food dollars without giving up taste! Many of the ingredients may be already in your pantry. Serve with green salad and warm, crusty bread. You will not even miss the meat.

1 Pound bag of no name egg noodles
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped Fresh or dried parsley
Large pot of water
1.    Bring a large pot of water on to boil.
2.    While you wait for the water to boil, combine the rest of your ingredients in a sauce pan and bring it to a slow boil, stirring occasionally.
3.    Boil your egg noodles to al dente – not quite all the way done. Drain noodles well.
4.    Return noodles back to big pot they cooked in. Mix the cheese sauce in and completely coat the noodles.  Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley.

Serves 4 to 6

(Recipes used with permission:
Fritzinger, Dori, Oh No, More Recipes, Raleigh, North Carolina, Lulu Intl., to be released 2010.)

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.