Food helps round out the holiday season

| November 23, 2011

The holiday season has officially kicked into high gear for the next six weeks with no rest in sight!

Our calendars are filled with commitments to attend social gatherings and host family and friends. This is the time of year for everyone to be jolly, or at least that is the word on the street and in every store window.

With a whirlwind of events and libations being passed in celebration, it’s no wonder we can find ourselves dizzy from all the demands.

I personally thrive on the high energy and competing demands. Like driving a turbo-charged race car, my foot stays firmly planted on the accelerator.

But, the holidays are such a lovely time and should be filled with family and friends gathering, a time to reflect on the past year.

One of the main ways we make our holidays festive is with food.

Putting special thought and care into the meals we prepare shows our family and friends how much we love them.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it is there that so many of our dearest memories are formed.

I asked a few friends to share some of their favorite holiday recipes that are sure to please.

They graciously obliged, and here they are, shared with you.

Fudge by Frances.

Fudge by Frances.

Fudge by Frances

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Add the condensed milk to a small saucepan. Pour the chips into the pan, give a stir, and make sure that the milk coats all the chips. Add a pinch of salt. Cook over low heat until it’s melted and glossy and a looks like a thick, hot fudge.

Add the vanilla and walnuts, making sure to coat the nuts with the fudge. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with foil.

Pour the fudge into the pan and smooth it out, getting it in all the corners. Let the fudge come to room temperature, then put in the fridge for 3 hours or so. This will make it easier to cut.

Pop out of the pan and cut into little pieces.

Rachel’s Thanksgiving Oyster Stuffing.

Rachel’s Thanksgiving Oyster Stuffing.

Rachel’s Thanksgiving Oyster Stuffing

  • 1 lb cubed pieces of bread (bag of toasted croutons is easiest)
  • 1 pint raw oysters
  • 4 -8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup celery , finely chopped
  • 2 cups onions  , chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh parsley minced
  • 1/4 cup  white wine
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper , ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten (optional)


Use this step only if bread pieces are not toasted: Preheat oven to 400°F and toast the bread until golden brown on the middle rack. Turn into a large bowl.

Rinse oysters in strainer with cold water

Meanwhile heat butter and white wine until melted and foam subsides. Add onions, garlic, and celery cooking about 5 minutes until tender.

Remove from heat and stir in the spices.

Stir in the bread cubes, and drained oysters and toss well, until the stuffing is moist, but not packed together; stir in the stock and eggs.(Oyster juice may be used in place of some of the stock). Remoisten and adjust spices as necessary

If cooked in a casserole dish at 350°F until heated through with a crust on the outsides, 25 to 40 minutes.

Add paprika for color and parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Lori Kommor

Lori Kommor, Columnist/Event Chair

Lori wears many hats: writing two weekly columns, chairing The
Voice-Tribune’s events and keeping the staff fed with a stash of snacks
Willy Wonka would envy. She’s a fervent high school soccer fan (go
Collegiate!) and has the raspy voice to prove it after game days.

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