FOOD FOR THOUGHT—Christmas Planning

By on December 2, 2015
Share Button

It is never too early to start planning for holiday meals and Christmas lunch or dinner. Plan simple traditional menus that will please your guests. I like to prepare early in the month of December and freeze my dishes ahead of time.

My grandmother’s Cold-Oven Pound Cake is easy and delicious—and it freezes well.

We all love Sweet Potato Casserole. It is time-consuming, so assemble and freeze all of it, even the topping. I like to freeze the potatoes in a flat gallon zip-lock bag. This makes it easy to transport if traveling.

Marinated Shrimp and Artichoke appetizer can be prepped a day ahead of serving. This colorful dish can be enjoyed as a heavy hors d’oeuvre or as a light holiday supper all season long.

Blessings to our readers this Christmas season! Remember to share recipes and traditions to make family memories!

 

pound-cakeCOLD-OVEN POUND CAKE

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 /2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time.

Add flour, baking powder, milk and extracts. Place batter in a large greased and sugared tube pan. (I prefer a Bundt pan)

Place in cold oven and bake for one and one-half hours at 325 degrees.

DO NOT OPEN oven door during baking. When done, place pan on cooling rack. Turn on to cake plate when cake has cooled.

 

sweet-potato-casserole-2SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

  • 3 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 /2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 /2 cup milk
  • 1 /2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

TOPPING:

  • 1 /3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 /2 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Place potatoes, sugar, eggs, milk, butter and spices in food processor.

Mix until smooth. Next place potato mixture in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch buttered baking dish.

Mix topping ingredients; sprinkle on top of potato mixture. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Yield 10 to 12 servings.

 

Marinated-Shrimp-1SLMARINATED SHRIMP AND ARTICHOKE                                                           

  • 1 /4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (0.75 oz.) envelope garlic and herb dressing mix
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined, large cooked shrimp
  • 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
  • 1 (6 oz.) can large black olives, drained
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 (4 oz.) package feta cheese, cut into one-half inch cubes
  • Small fresh basil leaves

Whisk together balsamic vinegar and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in shrimp and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Stir in desired amount of basil just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Yield: 8 servings.