Christmas Holidays & Occasions

A Family Christmas Dinner

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Menu: Crock-pot wassail, herb turkey breast, Paula Deen Mashed Potato Bake, broccoli salad, chunky sweet potatoes, frozen cranberry salad, and Chuck’s favorite cheesecake for dessert.

Crock-pot Wassail
1 (46 oz) can pineapple juice, 1 (24 oz) bottle apple cider, 1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate, 1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 whole cloves, 1 cheesecloth bag.

Tie cinnamon and cloves in cheesecloth bag. (If you don’t have a cheesecloth bag you can improvise with a coffee filter tied with a twisty tie.) Add spices in cheesecloth to crock pot along with other ingredients. Cover and heat on high for 3 hours. Remove cheesecloth bag. Turn crock pot to warm and serve. This serves 10 to 12 mugs of wassail. You can also cook the wassail in a large pot on the stove.

Herb Turkey Breast
5 to 5 1/2 lb. turkey breast, 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper.
Rinse and pat the turkey dry. Loosen the skin from the turkey without totally detaching skin. Combine the olive oil, minced garlic and rosemary. Brush about one-third of the oil mixture under the skin. Replace the skin. Sprinkle breast with salt and pepper. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 335 degrees for 1 hour.Uncover, baste with remaining oil mixture. Bake uncovered for 1 more hour or until the meat thermometer registers 170 degrees.

Paula Deen Mashed Potato Bake

5 cups water, 4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, 7.6 oz package Betty Crocker Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes mix, 1 stick butter, 4 oz cream cheese, 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 cups French’s fried onion rings.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring water to a boil, adding hash browns and cook for 45 minutes; drain. Prepare mashed potato mix according to package directions. Soften the butter and cream together in microwave. In a large bowl mix together all ingredients except onion rings. Place in a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden on top. Sprinkle the onion rings over the casserole and bake for about 5 to 8 minutes longer, or until onions are golden brown.

Assemble one or days ahead of time. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Broccoli Salad
2 bags broccoli florets, 10 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon, 5 thinly sliced scallions, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 finely chopped Granny Smith apple, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar.

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, scallions, raisins, apples, nuts, and bacon. In a separate bowl blend, mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar. Pour over the broccoli mixture. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving.

Chunky Sweet Potatoes

5 large cubed sweet potatoes, 2 large Granny Smith apples cut into chunks, 1/2 cup honey, 1 stick butter, 2 tablespoons cardamom, 3 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 tablespoon dry ginger, 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Place sweet potatoes and apples in a large baking dish. Melt the butter and honey in the microwave. Add the cardamom, ginger, and brown sugar. Pour over the potatoes and apples. Cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove and mix the potatoes, return to oven and cook another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and slightly brown. Serve warm.

Frozen Cranberry Salad

2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 pint whipped whipping cream, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup chopped pecans.

Mix cranberry sauce and lemon juice together. Pour into 11x 17 dish and freeze. Mix next 4 ingredients together. Fold in nuts. Top frozen cranberries with mixture and return to freezer. Once frozen, cover with aluminum foil and return to freezer until ready to serve. This can be made up to two weeks ahead of time.

Chuck’s Favorite Cheesecake

Crust: 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Blend the crust ingredients together and press into a spring-form cheesecake pan. Place in the refrigerator while you are making the filling.

Filling: 16 oz softened-to-room-temperature cream cheese, 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 pint sour cream, zest of one lemon, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour into the graham crust. For an incredibly creamy cake, make a water bath to bake it in. To make a water bath wrap the bottom of springform pan with aluminum foil. Place pan in a large roasting pan with 2 cups of water. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the water bath for one half hour before placing in the refrigerator for 4 hours. The cake will be slightly jiggly when you take it out of the oven, but as it cools, it will firm up. Top with your favorite fruit topping.

Make the cheesecake one to two days in advance.

About Loi Palmer

Loi and her husband Chuck have been married 22 years and have a revolving back door with three teens. She has a successful direct sales business, and is involved in a thriving mentoring ministry to women--Mom to Mom. Loi's passion is cheering on young moms in their vital role as godly wives and moms.

Encouraged? Share this post...

Loi Palmer

Loi and her husband Chuck have been married 22 years and have a revolving back door with three teens. She has a successful direct sales business, and is involved in a thriving mentoring ministry to women--Mom to Mom. Loi's passion is cheering on young moms in their vital role as godly wives and moms.

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