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(Family Features) The holiday season and all its celebrating often mean full days of visiting family and friends, opening gifts, and enjoying moments with loved ones, even if much of that interaction may take place virtually this year. With all the laughter and happiness, you’re bound to get hungry, and feeding the family throughout the day means you’ll need recipe ideas ready for the occasion.

Starting the big day with a bountiful breakfast helps begin the festivities on a high note, while appetizers help hold everyone over for the main course, sides and, of course, dessert. Consider these tasty dishes to take your holiday gatherings to new heights from morning to night.

Visit Culinary.net to find more holiday meal ideas.

One Terrific Turkey

Centering your holiday meal around a turkey cooked to golden perfection is the ideal way to serve a feast. Without the right preparation and execution, however, your bird could fall short. To ensure your holiday dinner centerpiece lives up to expectations, follow these simple tips, from purchase to plate:

1. Buy the right bird. Finding a turkey that’s just the right size for your expected party is the start to a successful gathering. One common rule of thumb is the buy 1 pound of turkey per person – so, for a 10-person meal, purchase a 10-pound turkey. Don’t forget that nearly everyone loves leftovers, so you may consider buying a few pounds more than necessary.

2. Be patient. If you opt for a frozen turkey, don’t rush the thawing process. For larger turkeys, it can take days to defrost properly.

3. Timing is everything. Finding the right amount of time for your turkey to spend in the oven is crucial but not always the easiest thing to do. For an 8-12-pound bird, aim for 2.5-3.5 hours; 12-16 pounds for 3.5-4 hours; 16-20 pounds for 4-4.5 hours, and so on. The key is bringing the turkey to a temperature reading of 170 F.

4. Let it rest. Instead of pulling the turkey out of the oven and immediately carving it, give it a chance to rest for 20-30 minutes, which allows the juices to soak into the meat and moisten it up.

An Easy and Cheesy Holiday Appetizer

If you need a last-minute appetizer or want to impress your friends, but don’t have the time to spend hours making something, consider this easy-to-make, easy-to-eat cheesy treat.

This Cheeseball recipe calls for a handful of common household ingredients like cream cheese, cheddar cheese, vegetables and Worcestershire sauce rolled together and chilled for a tasty dip served with crackers. For added flavor, it’s made using Buddig Beef, which has been feeding traditions for more than 75 years with its time-tested appetizer.

Find more holiday recipe ideas at buddig.com/recipes.

Cheeseball

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 10

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced black olives, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 packages (4 ounces) Buddig Beef or Ham, chopped, divided
  • 1 package assorted crackers

In large bowl of mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and cheddar cheese until creamy.

Mix in black olives, green onion, red bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and 2 ounces chopped beef until well combined.

Form into ball. Wrap in plastic wrap.

Chill at least 2-3 hours to allow flavors to blend.

Just before serving, roll in remaining chopped beef until completely coated.

Serve with assorted crackers.

Call Together Loved Ones with Cookies

A true holiday celebration calls for sharing moments with loved ones and creating memories that can last a lifetime. Crafting a sweet dessert to cap off the festivities is a perfect way to come together in the kitchen and enjoy the moment with those who matter most.

These Gingerbread Cookies made with C&H sugar can be a hallmark holiday treat that allow kids to help in the process. Once they’re out of the oven, ask little ones to help decorate the festive and delightful cookies.

Visit chsugar.com to find recipes perfect for entertaining and celebrating with family throughout the year.

Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe courtesy of

Bernice Baran

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup C&H® Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • royal icing

In large bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar about 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses; mix until well incorporated.

In separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Use mixer on low speed to add to butter mixture until combined and dough is formed.

Divide dough in half, wrap with plastic film and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Flour clean work surface. Roll dough 1/8-1/4 inches thick. Cut out shapes with desired cookie cutters.

Transfer cookies to lined baking sheets and bake 10-12 minutes, or until firm. Let cookies cool on baking sheets 2-3 minutes then transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Decorate cookies with royal icing.

A Memorable Morning Breakfast

Holiday mornings are iconic for those moments spent together opening gifts, sharing stories and enjoying a meal. Skip the cereal and frozen foods for a spread like these Orange Eggs Benedict with a homemade hollandaise sauce.

With six servings, it’s perfect for a family breakfast to fill empty stomachs after a morning of gift-giving. Plus, kids can join in on the fun by helping make the hollandaise, which simply requires mixing a few ingredients before pouring over the completed dish.

Find more breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.

Orange Eggs Benedict

Serves: 6

Orange Hollandaise:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  •  water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 6 French baguette slices, 3/4-inch thick each
  • 6 thick slices ham
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  •     orange zest, for garnish

To make Orange Hollandaise: In small bowl, blend egg yolks, orange juice and salt until combined. Gradually add melted butter into egg mixture while blending. Set aside.

In skillet, add water halfway up sides. Add vinegar. Bring to simmer. Break eggs into water to poach. Cook 3-4 minutes until whites are cooked through and yolks are still runny. Using slotted spoon, remove eggs and drain on paper towels.

Spread butter on one side of bread slices. Place bread in skillet and cook until golden brown. Add ham to same skillet and cook until browned on both sides.

To assemble, spread bread slices with orange marmalade. Top each with one slice cooked ham and one poached egg. Pour hollandaise over eggs and garnish with orange zest.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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