The Record-Courier staff share favorite holiday recipes |

The Record-Courier staff share favorite holiday recipes

by Karel Ancona-Henry, Staff Writer

The Record-Courier staff have a standing joke that, unless you can cook, you’re not allowed to work here. While that’s clearly not a hiring criteria, most of us do enjoy cooking. Face it, we’ll never starve as long as we’re working here.

Any rate, we thought that cooking our favorite holiday recipes and sharing them with the community might be kind of fun. This also gave us an excuse to squeeze in one more holiday buffet. We hope you and your loved ones have as much of a good time cooking and eating these recipes as we did. A happy and peace-filled season to everyone of you from each of us.

Mary Ann’s

Hot Cranberry Cider

I love to start this in the morning and enjoy it and its fragrance all day. One year I had extra company and not enough cider, so I threw in a bottle of cranberry juice. Everyone enjoyed it so much, I made the change permanent.

3 quarts unsweetened apple juice or cider (I prefer cider)

1 quart cranberry juice

2 to 3 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

Combine all the ingredients in a large kettle; bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick. Serve warm (I put it in a crock pot set on low). Yield: 1 gallon.

Sally’s Wassail Bowl Punch

1 quart tea

1 quart cranberry juice cocktail

1 quart apple juice

3 cinnamon sticks, 2 inches long

12 whole cloves

2 cups orange juice

3/4 cup lemonade

Mix all ingredients over low heat. Serve hot. Makes approximately 15 servings.

For adults: add either red wine or brandy as desired.

Joey’s Party Suggestions

Let’s face it. In every office anywhere there is at least one person who can’t cook. Normally, these individuals are the young single males who survived college on Ramen noodles, instant oatmeal and every cut of meat cooked every possible way.

Playing the cook-book illiterate Neanderthal this year is myself.

Basically, the easiest way around cooking for office parties is to be the one who brings the chips and dip. A party is simply not a party without the chips and dip.

It’s best to buy the dips that at least appear homemade, so that in a pinch you can pour it into a bowl and appear that you spent more than 10 minutes on your entry.

When chips and dips simply aren’t acceptable, peanut butter and celery or ranch and carrot sticks make a classier substitute.


Chocolate Meringues

2 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

1 cup melted chocolate

1 cup chopped nuts

Beat egg whites w ith salt until foamy. Add sugar and vinegar. Beat at high speed until peaks. Fold in melted chocolate and nuts. Bake at 350 on greased baking sheet for 15 minutes. For double recipe add 1 1/2 cup nuts.

No Carb Fried “Rice”

As a side dish serves 6, as a main dish serves 4

1 medium cauliflower, grated

1/4 cup olive oil

3 green onions, sliced including some of the green

2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce

3 eggs, beaten

Remove all the green from the cauliflower and grate.

Heat a large frying pan or wok to med hot and add half the oil. Saute green onions about 2 minutes. Add grated cauliflower and stir fry about 6 minutes. Add more oil as needed. Add soy sauce and mix well. Push cauliflower mixture to the side of the pan, add oil to the empty side, add beaten eggs and scramble. Incorporate eggs into the cauliflower mixture.

Optional: you can also add chopped, cooked meats such as chicken, pork, or shrimp.

Festive option: Add 1-2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper to the onion and add 1/4 cup chopped broccoli flowerettes to the cauliflower.

No Carb Mashed “Potatoes”

Serves 4

1/2 medium cauliflower

2 Tablespoons cream

3/4 cup sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Steam cauliflower until soft and tender, mash with potato masher or hand mixer adding cream and sour cream until smooth. Serve with butter.

Adele’s Milk

Chocolate Florentines

2/3 cup butter

2 cups quick oats, uncooked

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

one 11 1/2 ounce pack of milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in medium saucepan on low heat. Remove from heat and add everything except chocolate chips. Mix well and drop level teaspoonfuls, 3-inches apart on foil-lined cookie cheets. Spread thin with rubber spatula.

Bake 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks. Peel foil from cookies. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Spread on flat side of 1/2 of cookies and top with remaining cookies.

Makes 2 to 3 dozen, depending on size.

Tony’s Holiday

Sausage Souflee

Day 1:

2 to 3 cups sage and onion croutons

2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 pounds prok sausage (friend, crumbled and drined)

5 eggs

2 1/2 cups milk

3/4 tablespoon dry mustard

Grease three quart casserole with butter. Blend eggs, milk and mustard. Layer croutons, cheese and sausage in casserole dish. Cover with egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day 2:

1/2 can golden mushroom soup

1/2 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 can milk

Blend and pour over casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Serves 8.

Infamous Watergate Salad

Courtesy of Maggie’s childhood. This recipe could go in my future recipe book, “Easy Cooking: Recipes with Four Ingredients or Less,” Maggie said.

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix

1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, with jucie

1 cup miniature marshamallows

1/2 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

In a large bowl, mix together pudding mix, pineapple with juice, marshmallows and nuts. Fold in whipped topping. Chill.

Martha Washingtons

A special treat from Karel’s childhood.

1/2 cup margarine

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond or peppermint or whatever you want extract)

2 pounds powdered sugar

3/4 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)

3/4 cup coconut optional

The original recipe calls for 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips and one-half bar of paraffin wax, melted in a double boiler for dipping.

I suggest giving that up and using dipping chocolate melted in a double boiler. Dip balls in chocolate and cool on either waxed paper or parchment paper.