Good, old reliable recipes for the holidays

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It seems that everywhere I go people are planning for a Christmas gathering of some type, which we all know will involve food. I have pulled several of my favorite recipes out of the drawer to have on hand during the school vacation when the children will be home and for the different gatherings we will be attending. If you have some of those good old favorite recipes you can pass along to us, it would be greatly appreciated.

Oatmeal Pie

Freda Hogan of Cape Girardeau sent in two oatmeal pie recipes some time back, but they just seem like a fall or winter pie, so I am sharing one of those with you here today.

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

3/4 cup milk

2 large eggs, well beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix ingredients well, then add:

1 cup coconut

1 cup quick cooking oats

Stir all together and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Add chopped pecans over the top and bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Depending on your taste, you can decrease the sugar and corn syrup a bit. You also may need to use a pie edge protector or foil for the edges of the pie to prevent over browning of the crust.

Autumn Cider Punch

At the monthly dance at the senior center last week we served this punch recipe and it was a big success. Maybe you can give it a try sometime over the Christmas season.

1 (64-ounce) bottle apple juice

1 (64-ounce) bottle cranberry juice

1 (12-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 (2-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

Chill all juices and ginger ale before serving time. Stir together apple juice, cranberry juice, orange juice concentrate and lemonade concentrate. Chill. Just before serving, add in ginger ale. Serve over ice ring.

Holiday Cheese ball

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups chopped pecans, divided

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt

Mix cream cheese, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning together. Roll into a ball, and then roll in remaining pecans. Cover with waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Vegetarian Mexican Casserole

Cheryl Mothes of Cape Girardeau sent in this recipe using the frozen vegetarian Chik'n Strips.

1 can mild enchilada sauce

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1 medium onion, diced

1 bag Chik'n Strips from Morningstar Farms (found in frozen section)

10 flour tortillas, rolled up and cut in thin strips then cut in small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the Chik'n Strips into small pieces, add them and the tortilla pieces to the soup mixture and stir together. Pour into casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray, bake for 30 minutes or until edges are browned. Serve hot.

Cider Glazed Turkey

Jodi Thompson of Jackson sent me these recipes and I am anxious to try this turkey as it sounds delicious.

1 gallon apple cider, divided

1 cup salt

1 bunch fresh thyme, divided

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 bunch fresh sage

5 cups ice cubes

6 cups water

1 (13- to 15-pound) frozen turkey, defrosted

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup brown sugar


In a large pot with a lid that is big enough to fit the turkey, add all but 2 cups apple cider and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the salt, 3 sprigs of thyme, 3 sprigs rosemary and stir to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat, add 5 cups of ice, 6 cups water and stir. Put the turkey in the pot with the brine and hold it down so that the cavity fills with the brine. If the turkey is not completely submerged in the brine, add another 2 to 3 cups of water to the pot until covered. Cover the pot with a lid and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Arrange it, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Stuff the remaining thyme and the bunch of sage into the cavity and tuck the wings back underneath the bottom of the breast. Tie the legs together with a piece of butcher's twine. In a small bowl combine the canola oil, poultry seasoning and pepper. Brush the turkey liberally until completely coated. Put in the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. About 30 minutes before the turkey is done, liberally baste the bird with the cider glaze. Baste with the remaining glaze two more times at 10-minute intervals. Remove from the oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.


In a small saucepan combine the reserved 2 cups of apple cider and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Simmer until reduced to about 1/2 cup.

Yum Yum Brownie Muffins

Jodi Thompson also sent in this two-ingredient recipe. There are several versions of this recipe floating around, which goes to show you can play with it and make it as you like.

1 box of devil's food cake mix

1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the 2 ingredients together. Do not add anything else. Mixture will be thick. Place batter into 12 lined muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes.

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I do have one recipe request this week from Sylvia Graff of Gordonville. She has a small 1 1/2-quart crock pot and is looking for recipes she can make in it. She is particularly interested in entree dishes. The book that came with the pot has a lot of appetizers and dips, but she would like main-dish recipes. If you have some to share with her, please send them in and we can help her out with her request.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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