by Patricia Schaefer
Whether you have your own business or work for someone else, the innumerable combined demands of work, family and the holiday season leave few individuals able to prepare time-consuming gastronomic delights.
Holiday dishes that draw rave review and happy tummies need not take hours to prepare. Business Know-How has some “tried-and-true” delectable and flavorsome favorites that we guarantee your family and holiday guests will find to their liking. All recipes take 30 minutes or less to prepare.
Holiday Breakfast Scone
When the aromas from this cinnamon-topped breakfast scone waft through your home, it will be sure to awaken everyone from their beds.
2 cup all-purpose Flour
1½ TB Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
½ cup (1 stick) Butter
½ cup Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
½ to ¾ cup Raisins to taste (mix dark and light raisins)
½ cup Strawberry or Cherry Preserves
½ Tbsp Sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Butter an eight-inch round cake pan. Combine flour, 1½ Tbsp sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut the 1 stick of butter into pieces and add to flour mixture. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Add milk, eggs, and raisins to bowl and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Place half the dough into the bottom of the pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula or floured hands. Spread preserves on top of dough. Place remaining dough on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with the ½ Tbsp sugar mixed with ¼ tsp cinnamon.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until wooden pick in center comes out clean. Best served warm out of oven.
Festive French Toast
Prepared in part the night before, this fruit-laden French toast makes a delicious syrup of its own while it bakes; no other is required.
1 loaf French bread
¾ cup milk
¼ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 (20-oz.) bag frozen whole strawberries
4 ripe sliced bananas
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
The night before: Cut French bread into 1-inch thick slices and place in baking dish. Combined and beat eggs, milk, baking powder, and vanilla. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning: Preheat over to 425 degrees. Combined sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and place aside. Combined frozen strawberries, banana slices, and 12 cup of the sugar and spice mixture. Put in greased baking dish and top with prepared bread. Sprinkle with the rest of the sugar mixture. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes and then uncovered for 10 minutes or until tops of bread slices are nicely browned.
Jolly Berry Punch Bowl
Five different fruit flavors plus luscious sherbet create a wonderful taste sensation.
1 8-oz can frozen orange juice
48 oz. cran-raspberry juice cocktail
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup pineapple juice
24 oz. ginger ale
1/2 of a 1.75 Quart container Turkey Hill Fruit Rainbow Sherbet
½ cup fresh raspberries
(The day before, make an ice ring. Simply take a bundt pan, fill half way up with water, and freeze.) To make punch, combine first five ingredients and pour over ice ring placed in punch bowl. With an ice cream scoop, place balls of sherbet on top of punch. Gently rinse raspberries and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle fresh raspberries on top of punch. Delish!
Hot Mulled Cider
Welcome your guests in from the cold with the fragrant smell and warming comfort of this deeply satisfying elixir. A few spices wrapped in cheesecloth transform everyday apple cider into a warm liquid ambrosia.
8 cups apple cider or natural apple juice
½ cup packed brown sugar
Dash of ground nutmeg
6 inches cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
8 thin orange wedges
8 whole cloves
In large saucepan, combine apple cider or juice, brown sugar, and nutmeg. For spice bag, place cinnamon, allspice, and the 1 teaspoon of cloves in cheesecloth (can be found in your local supermarket) and tie; add to apple cider mixture. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove spice bag and discard. Serve cider in mugs with a clove-studded orange wedge in each. Serve in soup tureen with lid or just keep in covered pot. Makes 8 (8 ounce) servings.
Party Pork Chops
These chops have a delectable sauce that tastes like it took hours to prepare. The simple ingredients combine to make a real epicurean delight.
6 pork chops (3/4 inch thick), outer fat removed
1 large onion, sliced in ¼ inch rings
1 (10 ½ oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup catsup
2 to 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1½ tsp vegetable oil
Combined soup, catsup and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and set aside. Heat skillet to medium, add oil, and brown chops on both sides. Reduce heat to low. Top chops with onion slices and sprinkle with just a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour soup mixture over shops. Cover; simmer 60 minutes. Serves 6.
Orzo with Mushrooms
This side dish uses a rice-like pasta and is truly simple to prepare and “simply” delicious.
1 lb. box of Orzo
6 Tbsp margarine
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 (8 oz) can of sliced mushrooms, drained
Cook Orzo until al dente. Drain pasta and combine with margarine, soup mix, and drained sliced mushrooms. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Ginger Candied Carrots
Ginger, brown sugar and carrots are a winsome trio in this spicy-sweet mixture.
12 medium-size carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
5 Tbsp butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1½ tsp ground ginger
¼ to ½ tsp caraway seeds
Place carrot pieces in pot and add water to cover. Bring to gentle boil and cook carrots until just tender (al dente), 20 to 30 minutes (test with fork). Drain well. Return carrots to same pot and add butter, brown sugar, ginger, caraway seeds and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Old Fashioned Rice Pudding
Once you taste this heavenly rice pudding, no other will ever do.
2 quarts of whole milk
1 cup long grain rice (I use Carolina)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup of mixed dark and golden raisins
1 pint heavy cream
¼ tsp vanilla
½ Tbsp Confectioners sugar
Red maraschino cherries with stems
In a large pot, place milk, ricea and sugar. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to low. Cover. Simmer until rice is cooked (about 20 to 25 minutes); taste to be sure. Beat eggs. Take a little of the milk, rice and sugar mixture and slowly beat into eggs with a fork (If you add eggs directly to hot mixture, the eggs will curdle). Then take egg mixture and slowly add and stir into pot. Add 1 tsp vanilla and raisins. Cook until the mixture thickens. Cool for at least a half hour. Place in a pretty serving bowl (I use a trifle bowl) and lightly sprinkle top with cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, whip heavy cream with ¼ tsp vanilla and Confectioners sugar. Serve rice pudding with the fresh whipped cream and top each serving with a red cherry.
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
This holiday winner is especially easy to make, even for beginners; perfect for Mom or Dad and little helpers
2/3 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cups water
½ cup crushed peppermint candy
Combined butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder; add this alternately with water to creamed mixture. Blend just until combined; add crushed candy, reserving one tablespoon. (An easy way to crush candy is to place peppermint candies or candy canes in heavy-duty plastic bag, seal the bag, and crush with rolling pin or other heavy object). Pour into buttered (be sure to get in every nook and cranny) and floured 9-inch bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in densest spot comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely; place on plate covered with aluminum foil. When ready to serve, sprinkle lightly with Confectioners sugar; then sprinkle reserved crushed candy on top. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.