Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Dinner

Due to popular demand (by which I refer to my sister-in-law) I'll be posting a couple of my more successful recipes here from our Christmas dinner.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

from the site
 This ham recipe is by far and away the best ham I've ever had.  The orange zest & juice along with the sprigs of Thyme are a winning combination.

 (unfortunately I don't recall where I got this recipe from originally, but a copy of it appears in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining.

2 lbs yams, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
2 medium size tart cooking apples, such as Fuji or pippin, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2" thick
One 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unfiltered apple or pear juice (I used apple)
3 tbs unsalted butter, cut into bits

Coat the inside of the crock with nonstick cookintg spray.  Alternate slices of the yams and apples in the corck, in overlapping layers.  Sprinkle with the cranberries. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl: sprinkle over the cranberries.  Drizzle with the apple juice and dot with the butter.

Cover and cook on LOW untill the yams are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 6 to 7 hours.  (Or if you're like me and can't seem to get started that early, cook on HIGH for 4 hours).

from the site.

This recipe is deceptively simple, leading you to fear that it will turn out bland.  However, it was actually quite good and had my folks raving about the sauteed onions and cornbread.  Since I know I can't make moist and delicious cornbread if my life depended on it, I ran to Vons and bought some of their freshly made cornbread from the bakery department. What a life-saver!



Again, I have this recipe written down but don't remember where I originally got it from.  However, I ended up making these sugared walnuts to take to my husband's aunt's house and it was a great hit there.

1 lb walnuts
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

In saucepan, combine sugar, milk, cinnamon, and salt.  Whisk over medium high heat until completely combined, then stop stirring and bring to boil.  Boil to "soft ball stage" on candy thermometer (about 15 minutes).  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Add walnuts & stir to coat.  Spread on wax paper to dry.  For me, this recipe works best when I make it a day or two early and allow to dry on a paper plate so it's not as sticky.  However, the hard part is not nibbling at it every time you walk through the room!

 I thought this light pie recipe would be just the thing to finish off our orange-flavored ham dinner, although I would normally think of this recipe as being strictly a summertime dessert.

Crust (if you choose to make it yourself)
9 tbs butter/margarine (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
cooking spray

Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl.  Beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Add flour and salt and beat until well blended.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pat dough into a 13"x9" baking pan coated with cooking spray and pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork.  Bake for 12 minutes.

Two 11oz cans mandarin oranges
1/4 cup sugar
16oz carton fat free sour cream
8 oz carton low fat sour cream
2 packs (about 3 oz total) of vanilla instant pudding mix
  (my original recipe, which is about 20 years old actually calls for 2 of the 3.4oz packs, and since I couldn't find any 3.4oz size boxes at the store, and didn't want to dump 4 little boxes into my pie, which would seem excessive, I used 2 of the smaller packs and it turned out just fine)
8 oz container frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping (thawed)

Combine sugar, sour creams, pudding mix, and juice from one can of mandarin oranges in a large bowl.  Drain the other can of oranges and gently stir in orange segments.  Spoon mixture onto cooled crust and top with whipped topping, (I actually prefer to gently fold in the whipped topping with the filling to lighten the whole thing up), spreading evenly.  Chill one hour and serve.

Beware, this does make quite a towering pile of cream pie, and it can be quite intimidating when faced with such a wall of yummy sweet goodness.  I know I made the filling for one pie and left my husband with instructions to put the filling into one of the two prepared pie crusts and refrigerate it.  When I came back home I found he didn't believe all of that filling was really for one pie, so he used both crusts.  C'est la vie!

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