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Favorite Holiday Recipes from the Readers of




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The Times - Holiday Cookbook

Welcome to The Times 2018 Holiday Recipe Book! Happy Holidays and welcome to our ninth edition of the Holiday Recipe Book. It’s a tasty tradition we hope to continue for many years to come. We asked our loyal readers to send us their favorite holiday recipes and, to our delight, the response was overwhelming! The best cooks in the land generously shared their secret family recipes and that’s what makes this collection so special. Featured recipes include appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, breads, sides, and desserts. There is something in here for everyone to enjoy. Extra copies of the Holiday Recipe Book make

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great gifts and may be conveniently purchased at either the Ottawa or Streator offices for only $1.00. Have an opinion, suggestion or comment to offer about the Recipe Book? We welcome your thoughts. We hope you truly enjoy so many of the delicious offerings made available here. Thank you for allowing us into your kitchen! We at The Times want to wish you a happy and safe Holiday Season! Bon Appetit!!


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The Times - Holiday Cookbook


APPETIZERS Seasoned Spinach Balls Joyce Kellogg, Ottawa

Makes 8 dozen 2-9 oz. frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained well) 2 cups herb seasoned stuffing mix (crushed) 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese 4 eggs lightly beaten 3/4 cup oleo, softened 1/2 cup finely chopped onion Mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Bake on ungreased pan at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Note: Can be made ahead and frozen for 3 month. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sausage Wontons Elaine Hardersen, Sheridan

1 cup ranch dressing (bottled kind) 1 cup shredded cheddar cheeses 1 lb. pork sausage browned 2 tbsp. chopped green pepper 2 tbsp. chopped red pepper

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6 green onions chopped Mix together. Put wontons in a muffin tin to shape. Bake five minutes. Then spoon sausage mixture into them and bake until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.

Party Mix

Delia Holcomb, Grand Ridge 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1/2 tsp. garlic salt 1/2 tsp. onion salt 1/4 tsp. celery salt 1 1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce 1 1/2 cups mixed salted nuts 1 cup pretzels (sticks) 2 quarts popped popcorn Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter over low heat. Add salts and sauces. Mix thoroughly. In a shallow baking pan spread popcorn, pretzels and nuts. Mix in butter mixture, until all covered. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Stirring about five times. Cool, store in airtight container. Makes 2 quarts.

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DESSERTS Pineapple Bake Jenna Clausel, Earlville

3 eggs 1 1/2 cups of sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 cup melted butter 1/2 cup half and half or milk 1 large can (or 2 standard size cans) of pineapple tidbits, drained 4 cups bread cubes Beat eggs. Add sugar, butter, salt, and milk. Stir in pineapple. Fold in bread. Pour in greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.


Joanie Combs, Marseilles 2 cups butter 2 cups sugar 1/4 cup water 2 tbsp. corn syrup 1 package chocolate chips 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts In two quart heavy pan melt butter, remove from heat, add sugar, stir until blended, return to heat , bring to a rolling boil, add water and corn syrup. Cook until soft crack, stir in nuts. Pour into a buttered foil lined pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over and spread. Sprinkle with more nuts.


Delia Holcomb, Grand Ridge 3 cups sugar 3/4 cups margarine 1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme (2 cups) 2/3 cups evaporated milk 1 cup chopped nuts 1 tsp. vanilla In a 21/2 quart sauce pan bring to a full boil sugar, margarine and milk, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove, stir in chocolate chips until melted. Add nuts, vanilla, marshmallow creme beat until well blended. Pour into 13x9 inch pan. Cool at room temperature. Cut into squares.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels Brenda Alteri, Peru

Melt chocolate down in a small crock pot, roll bottom part of pretzel, can also add sprinkles if you wish. Lay on wax paper to dry. Making a simple treat with my granddaughter, Olivia.

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Christmas Party Time Popcorn Illinois Valley Clubhouse Members, Streator

½ cup popcorn kernels or 16 cups popped corn 1 package white bark or white Wilton Candy Melts 2 cups broken pretzel pieces 12 oz. bag Christmas M&Ms 1 box Sno-Caps Christmas confetti and sprinkles Cook popcorn as directed. Pour into big mixing bowl or roasting pan. Add pretzel pieces, M&Ms and Snow-Caps. Melt bark or candy melts according to package directions. Drizzle half of the melted white coating over the popcorn mixture. Stir gently, using a rubber spatula. Pour remaining melted coating over popcorn and stir until evenly coated. Do not over-stir or coating will begin to harden. Spread mixture out on wax paper coated baking sheets. Quickly sprinkle with confetti and sprinkles, cover entire mixture. Allow to cool and harden. Then gently break into pieces. Store in air tight containers, or divide into plastic bags, tie with festive ribbon (red and/or green) and distribute as gifts.

Chocolate Cherry Cookie Balls Karen Keller, Ottawa

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened. 36 Oreo cookies finely crushed 40 Maraschino cherries, patted dry 12 oz. Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate, melted Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended. Shape into 40 balls; press to flatten. Top each with cherry; wrap cream cheese mixture around cherry to completely enclose cherry. Re-roll into balls. Freeze 10 minutes. Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper on baking sheet. Refrigerate one hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Russian Tea Cakes Mary Lindenmeyer, Peru

1/2 cup butter 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans Cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour, salt, vanilla and nuts. Mix well. Shape dough into one inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. While hot, place in bag with additional powdered sugar and shake well. When cool, repeat.

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Holiday Entertaining in Style


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The Times - Holiday Cookbook

DESSERTS Snow Ball Cookies Brenda Alteri, Peru

Preheat oven to 325. Bake 13 to 15 minutes.  1 cup butter 6 tbs. sugar 1/2 tsp. vanilla 2 cups flour 1/8 tsp. salt 1 bag (8 oz.) walnuts (chopped) 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Gradually add flour and salt. Mix well. Stir in walnuts. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes. Place powdered sugar in flat tray. While cookies are still hot roll in powdered sugar then place on cooling rack or wax paper. Makes about. 24 cookies.

No Bake Pretzel and Peanut Butter Squares Dorothy Spertzel, Ottawa

1 1/2 stick butter, melted 2 cups pretzels crumbled 1 1/2 cup powered sugar 1 cup peanut butter 1/4 cup peanut butter 1 1/2 cups melted chocolate chips In medium bowl combine butter, pretzel crumbs, powdered sugar and 1 cup peanut butter. Stir until well combined. Mixture will be stiff. Press into 9x13 pan. Set in refrigerator. Combine milk, chocolate chips and peanut butter into microwave safe bowl. Microwave at two minute intervals and stir until melted. Spread over mixture and refrigerate about an hour. Cut into squares.

5 Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies Delia Holcomb, Grand Ridge

1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies 2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese 3 cups powdered sugar Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl break up cookie dough. Add pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin. Beat with electric mixer on medium until well blended. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 14 to 15 minutes. Cool on pan 5 minutes. Meanwhile in medium microwavable bowl microwave cream cheese uncovered on high 40 to 60 seconds stirring every 30 seconds until softened stirring powdered sugar until smooth. Spread on cookies.

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Red Velvet Whoopie Pies Barbara Delehanty, Ottawa

3/4 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 cup light brown sugar (packed) ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature 2 large eggs 1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 tsp. peppermint extract for a twist 1 tbsp. liquid red food coloring ½ cup buttermilk 8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature) 1 cup marshmallow cream( such as fluff) Red decorating sugar Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In medium bowl , whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Using electric mixer beat the sugar and butter in bowl until light and fluffy. About 3 minsutes. Beat in eggs, then vanilla and food coloring. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, mixing

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DESSERTS until incorporated. Drop level tablespoon of batter onto cooking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake until tops are set and spring back when lightly pressed. 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the marshmallow fluff cream and beat until fluffy about 3 minutes. Spread 1 level tablespoon of cream filling onto half the cookies then sandwich with remaining cookies. Sprinkle red decorating sugar all around cookies on cream filling. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a single layer covered for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature for serving. Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

into sprayed or greased muffin pan. Drain pineapple, reserve juice, spoon pineapple into prepared cups. Place a cherry half at bottom of each cup. In large bowl combine cake mix, eggs, oil and reserved juice. Beat on low speed for 40 seconds. Spoon over pineapple filling each cup 3/4 full. Bake 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes. Check with toothpick, if done flip out onto platter, cool and serve.  Recipe from my daughter Jennifer to me.

Mini Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Amy Swanson, Manteno

Brenda Alteri, Peru

2/3 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup butter (melted) 1c. (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits drain and reserve juice for later 12 maraschino cherries (halved) 1 pkg. yellow cake mix 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil In small bowl combine brown sugar and butter until blended. Spoon

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Creme de Menthe Cake 1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix 1/2 cup Creme de Menthe, divided 12 oz. Cool Whip 12 oz. bottle chocolate ice-cream topping Make cake according to package directions, but add 1/4 cup Creme de Menthe to batter. Bake in a greased 13x9x2 pan. When cooled, spread ice-cream topping over cake. In a bowl, gently fold the other 1/4 cup of Creme de Menthe into the Cool Whip. Spread over top of cake and store in fridge.

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DESSERTS Crockpot Applesauce Delia Holcomb, Grand Ridge

Fruit Cocktail Cake

5 to 6 lbs. of apples 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 tbsp. cinnamon Peel core, cut into chunks, apples. Place them in the crockpot. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, add in the water, stir mixture. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Mash until you get the consistency you want. Allow to cool. Freeze in freezer containers.

Pound Cake

Janet Roth, Mendota 1 lb. Oleo 1 lb. powdered sugar 1 lb. flour 6 eggs 1 ½ tsp. Lemonflavoring Blend well. Pour into greased tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes.

Pumpkin Crunch

Dorothy Spertzel, Ottawa

2 cups all purpose four 2 pinches of salt 2 tsp. baking soda 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 (15 oz.) can fruit cocktail with juice 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Topping 3/4 cup white sugar 1/2 cup butter 2/3 cup evaporated milk 2 cups flaked coconut Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9 x 13 pan. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In large bowl beat eggs and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in flour mixture and fruit cocktail with juice. Spread into prepared pan. Mix brown sugar and chopped walnuts. Spread on top of batter. Bake 34 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately

Janet Roth, Mendota


15 oz. can pumpkin 12 oz. canevaporated milk 3 eggs 1 ½ cups sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. salt Blend well pour into 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with Pam spray. Sprinkle with dry cake mix. Sprinkle with ½ cup chopped pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.



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DESSERTS Candy Dandies

poke holes in cake with fork. For topping. In small sauce pan combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and bring to a boil. Stir in coconut and pour evenly over cake.

Janet Roth, Mendota

Butter a 9x9x2 pan.Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.¾ cup brown sugar, ½ cup oleo or butter. Cook 7 minutes. Spread into the pan. Sprinkle with ½ cup of chocolate chips. Cover pan with foil. Let set 3 minutes uncovered and spread over candy. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Let cool then cut up.

Soft SugarCookies Janet Roth, Mendota 1 cup butter or oleo 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 cup milk Cream together. 3 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp baking soda 6 cups flour Blend all together. Add 1 tsp. salt and 3 tsp. vanilla or any flavor you like. Blend well. Let chill for one hour. Roll out ¼ inch thick on well floured surface. Cut into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.Tops do not brown. Cool and frost.

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The Times - Holiday Cookbook

DESSERTS Apple Sauce OatBran Muffins Dolores Passwater, Ottawa

2 cups (1 box) oatbran (Hodgson Hot Cereal) 3 cups white flour 3 tsp. baking powder 3 tsp. baking soda 1 cup brown sugarpacked 2 cups apple sauce 8 tbsp. Vegetableoil (1/3 cup) 4 large eggs This is optional: 1 cup raisins 1 cup chopped dryapricots 1 cup choppedwalnuts 1 cup frozencherries ½ cup coconutflakes Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners. Blend together dry ingredients. Blend together remaining ingredients in separate bowl.Pour liquid ingredients onto dry. Mix well. Spoon into cups. Bake 15 minutes. Do not over bake. Yields approx. 60 muffins. They freeze well.

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ENTREES Stuffed Shells

Joanie Combs, Marseilles 1 lb ground beef 1 onion diced 1 clove garlic diced 8 oz. Mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs 1/4 cup chopped parsley 1 egg salt and pepper 18 giant shells 2 jars spaghetti sauce Parmesan cheese Mix ground beef, onion, garlic, cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Make the night before and then you do not have to cook noodles. After you stuff the shells pour the spaghetti sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and refrigerated. Bake the next day at 350 degrees for at least 40 minutes, uncover to let cheese brown a little.

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2 cups russet potatoes sliced 1 lb. ground beef browned 1 cup white onions chopped 1 cup celery chopped 2 cups carrots sliced 1 10.75 oz. can of celery soup Spray bottom and sides of a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the ingredients on top of each other in order listed. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours without opening lid during cooking time.

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Sandra Stewart, Buchanan, Tenn. 2 lbs. ground beef 1/2 cup ketchup 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup yellow mustard 8 hamburger buns Brown beef in large skillet. Stir to break up meat 6 to 8 minutes. Remove beef to crock pot. Add ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Stir well, cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours. Serve on buns.

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ENTREES Christmas Quiche

Every Day Baked Chicken

9 inch pie shell “deep” 1/2 lb. bacon fried and crumbled 6 - 8 oz. petite diced Ham 6 oz. shredded Swiss Cheese 6 eggs 1 cup whipping cream 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg 1/2 tsp. Salt (optional) 1/8 tsp. pepper Layer bacon, cheese, and ham in pie crust. Beat eggs, add whipping cream and seasonings. Slowly pour over pie contents. I prep the quiche the day before and add the egg mixture Christmas morning just before baking it. Bake on a cookie sheet for one hour at 350 degrees.

2/3 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 tsp. garlic powder Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together. Spray baking pan with oil and place chicken breast in casserole dish. Combine spices and mayonnaise and slather over chicken on both sides. Bake in oven 10 minutes and flip and bake 10 more minutes.

Becky Tirevold, Ottawa

Sandra Stewart, Buchanan, Tenn

Crock Pot Pork Chops Linda Jonen, Streator

5 to 6 pork chops Salt and pepper to taste 29 oz. can cling peach halves, drain (reserve juice) 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 8 oz. can tomato sauce 1/4 cup vinegar Place pork chops in slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place drained peach halves on top of pork chops. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, tomato sauce, 1/4 cup peach syrup and vinegar. Pour over pork chops and peaches. Cover and cook on low 5 to 7 hours.

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Cider-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Almonds Jane Schomas, Ottawa

Orange Party Salad Christy Colon, Ottawa

1 lb. container small curd cottage cheese 2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained and cut in half 1 large box Orange Jello (you need just the powder so don’t make like box says) 1 large container cool whip, thawed Chopped walnuts, optional Combine cottage cheese and jello, add in oranges and walnuts and mix well. Fold in cool whip and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4 slices bacon, chopped. 1 tbsp. butter 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved 3/4 cup apple cider 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted Cook and stir bacon in large skillet on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tbsp. drippings from skillet. Add butter, onions and Brussels sprouts to drippings in skillet; cook and stir on medium high heat one to two minutes or until Brussels sprouts are lightly browned. Mix next five ingredients; pour over sprouts. Cook five minutes or until liquid is evaporated and sprouts are evenly glazed, stirring occasionally. Stir in bacon. Spoon sprouts into bowl. Top with nuts.

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A tasty take on turkey just in time for Thanksgiving Perhaps no day is more synonymous with a certain dish than Thanksgiving is with turkey. As tasty as turkey can be, this flavorful fowl doesn’t find its way onto many families’ dinner tables unless it’s Thanksgiving day. Secret family turkey recipes may reign supreme in some households, but holiday hosts with no such resources can consider this unique recipe for “Holiday Turkey” from Andrew Schloss’ “Cooking Slow” (Chronicle Books). By slow cooking the turkey, cooks can ensure it’s evenly cooked Holiday Turkey Makes 15 servings 1 fresh turkey, about 15 pounds, preferably free-range 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 quart apple cider 2 teaspoons dried poultry seasoning Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Remove the giblets from the turkey and discard (or save for another use). Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub it all over with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. During that time, the surface of the turkey will become visibly dry and the skin will tighten; this encourages a nice crisp skin on the finished bird. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to start roasting. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Put the turkey on a rack set in a large, flameproof roasting pan. Drizzle the oil over the top. Roast for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 175 F. Pour the cider into the roasting pan and sprinkle the poultry seasoning in the liquid. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh (but not touching bone) registers to 170 F.

pan. Put the roasting pan over two burners and bring the pan drippings to a boil over high heat. Cook until the juices reduce and thicken slightly, enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Carve the turkey and serve with cider pan juices. Resting tip: Slow-roasted meats need far less resting time (pretty much none) than those that are traditionally roasted. The reason for resting meat that has been roasted at a high temperature is to allow juices that have collected in the cooler center time to migrate back into the dryer (hotter) exterior sections after it comes out of the oven. Because slow-roasted meats are cooked evenly and a temperature that keeps most of the juices in place, a resting period is largely unnecessary. A brief resting time does allow the meat to become a little

Transfer the turkey to a carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for about 15 minutes (see tip). Meanwhile, skim the fat from the surface of the liquid in the

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4 tips to simplify cooking for a crowd this holiday season Families big and small typically celebrate the holiday season together. For some, celebrating the holidays with family requires traveling, while others stay put and welcome family and friends into their homes. At some point during the holiday season, celebrants who host family and friends will no doubt prepare a homecooked meal for their loved ones. Cooking for a crowd can seem like a daunting task, especially for first-time hosts. However, there are various ways for hosts to simplify cooking for a crowd this holiday season. 1. Prepare a familiar dish. Hosts may agonize over their holiday menus, and some may feel compelled to prepare a family specialty or the same dishes their parents or grandparents prepared for holiday dinners when they were children. But holiday hosts can make things easy on themselves by choosing dishes they’ve made in the past, regardless of their place in family history. Chances are the ingredients for hosts’ own specialties are already in the pantry, saving a potentially time-consuming trip to the grocery store. And thanks to the familiarity factor, hosts’ own specialties likely won’t require as much time to prepare. 2. Share some cooking duties.

4. Start early. If the big is on Christmas Day, that does not mean hosts have to start cooking while everyone unwraps their presents. Hosts who are uncertain about what to cook can look for meals that can be prepared in advance so come the big day all they need to do is turn on the oven and let meals cook while the family spends time together. Hosts can employ various strategies to simplify the process of cooking for a crowd this holiday season.

Another way to simplify cooking for a crowd is to invite guests to bring along a side dish or dessert. Guests who live nearby can make something in advance of the big meal, while hosts can hand over their kitchens to overnight guests who express a willingness to contribute their own homecooked dish to the party. Sharing the cooking duties gives hosts more time to connect with friends and family and serves as a great way to plan the menu in advance. 3. Only make what guests are likely to eat. Hosts also should not feel pressured to cook more food than is necessary. Holiday meals have a tendency to be lavish, but hosts don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen preparing food that will likely end up as leftovers or trash. Get a final headcount in the days before everyone comes over and adjust your recipes accordingly.

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