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A little holiday gift to you

A little holiday gift to you

As a little holiday gift to you, our dining services team has a few family recipes to share with you. Merry Christmas!

Deanna Woodfield’s Thanksgiving Cranberries

This recipe was one of my mother’s favorites at Thanksgiving time. Now that she has passed away, we still have it at Thanksgiving to honor her.

3-4 sleeves of saltine crackers
2 cans jellied cranberry sauce, mash until smooth
1 carton heavy cream

Crush crackers and put in a 9x13 pan. Mash cranberry sauce until smooth. Spread on top of crackers. Whip heavy cream until still. Spread on top of cranberry sauce. Refrigerate.

Note: This needs to be made the day of serving so the crackers don’t get soggy.

Paula Hoskinson’s Pecan Fudge Pie

This was always one of my favorite desserts, especially during the holidays. I especially remember as a child we were taught not to eat after one another, so if one of us were sick we would not pass germs to the others. So, if we four kids weren’t ready for dessert, we would put our pie on a plate, and take a bite knowing our pie was safe from the others. What great memories!

1 c. sugar
¼ c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa
½ t. salt
3 eggs, well beaten
¼ c. melted butter
¾ c. dark corn syrup
¾ c. cream
1 t. vanilla
1 c. pecan halves
1 unbaked pie shell

  • Sift together: sugar, flour cocoa, and salt.
  • Combine: Beaten eggs, melted butter, syrup, cream and vanilla.
  • Add: Sift dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, slowly stirring until smooth.
  • Blend in nuts.
  • Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 min.
  • Test with toothpick – it should come out dry.
  • Cool. Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Creamy Christmas Chicken and Veggies (over Mashed Potatoes)

Marc Fitzroy CDM/CFPP, Director of Dining Services

This is a recipe that developed over the years that combined my love for comfort food and my wife’s desire to have more vegetables in our diet. It actually ends up being pretty low in fat, although I would probably not try to pass it off as a “healthy” meal. And, in true Midwest fashion, it is best served over homemade mashed potatoes. A little heavy on the starch, but true southern comfort food with a healthy amount of veggies, and a great weekday meal in the busy holiday season.

2 fresh chicken breasts
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery, washed and sliced
3 or 4 mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1 onion, diced
1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, cleaned and diced
(optional) diced zucchini, chopped baby spinach, frozen corn
2 cups skim milk
½ cup flour
Olive oil, thyme, basil leaves, salt, onion powder, pepper, chicken base or broth, bay leaf.

Peel a couple carrots and cut into uniform slices. Cut up two celery stalks as well. Dice peppers and onions. Chop a handful of tender young spinach. Chop some fresh mushrooms and maybe even a diced zucchini. Might even throw in a handful of frozen corn

Cut fresh chicken breasts (preferably never frozen) into ½” strips across the grain. Season with garlic salt, a little basil, and pepper.

OK, now that the prep work is out of the way comes the fun part.

Heat about a ¼ cup of olive oil in a large soup pan good and hot, but not smoking. Toss in the chicken and stir until pink is nearly gone. Throw in the carrots and celery and cook for a couple minutes. Now throw in the rest of the veggies and sauté a couple more minutes. Add two cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil and turn down the heat. Throw in a bay leaf, a couple dashes of basil, thyme, onion powder and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, boil some potatoes and make mashed potatoes.

Once the veggies are tender (check the carrots and celery for tenderness), put about a half cup of flour in a bowl with a lid and add 2 cups or so of milk. Cover and shake like crazy. Turn the heat up on the soup so it is boiling, and stir in the milk and flour mixture. Bring just to boiling and turn the heat back down to low. Pull out the bay leaves and keep stirring. You want the consistency to be somewhat thinner than gravy, more stew like.

Now comes the most important part. Taste it. Add salt, pepper, chicken base or broth until you have a nice savory flavor. Serve over mashed potatoes and enjoy!

Heather Wallace’s Potato Pancakes Recipe 

My family tradition for Christmas has always been breakfast, but we have a few who have to have their potatoes, so this is our way to provide those picky family members with their spuds!

4 russet potatoes
1 large onion, run through food processor to finely chop
2 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup flour
¼ c. vegetable oil

Finely grate potatoes and add onion in large bowl. Drain off any excess liquid. Mix egg, salt, black pepper. Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in skillet on medium heat. Patty up the potato mixture, dip in egg mixture, then flour, and fry over medium heat until golden brown. Dust with parmesan or sprinkle with cheese as you wish.


PHOTO: Marc, Heather and Paula stirring up some Christmas cheer!

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