January 18th, 2019

From Our Table: Recipes for a merry Christmas dinner

By Medicine Hat News on December 18, 2018.

Christmas season is in full swing with just seven sleeps until Christmas Day. I truly hope you are taking time to enjoy the seasonal celebrations. This time of year can be very busy and somewhat stressful. It is so important to stop and take a deep breath and really look around at the delightful decorations, the people around you who just may need a smile to brighten their day and smell the crisp air with the fragrant scent of pine needles. Take a walk or a drive and do a twinkle tour of local lights. Deliver a few cookies or muffins to your bank teller or favourite waitress. There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy the Christmas season.

These past 11 weeks I have had the incredible pleasure of teaching a group of nine amazing people in another Food First Program, run through the Medicine Hat and District Food Bank. Throughout the program we cook a lot of different food, do a grocery store tour, learn about nutrition, breakfast, snacks, importance of family mealtime and so much more.

This fall session we recently cooked a turkey dinner for members of the food bank board, staff at the food bank and the Nazarene Church and a few others. I was incredibly proud of our little group and how hard they worked. Actually each week they are all committed to come and learn and work diligently. They amaze and inspire me. Each one has unique challenges in their lives yet they are happy and grateful and resilient and I’ve loved working with them. They teach me as much or more than I teach them.

One day soon, thanks to generous donations from our community, the food bank will be able to find the perfect location and begin building the dream of a Community Food Centre where there will be kitchen units we can use for our Food First classes. That will make it so much easier for us to have multiple stoves, ovens and space to put our equipment other then moving it around in Rubbermaid containers.

Here are a few of the recipes we used in our Merry Christmas dinner. We all really enjoyed them and I’m sure you and yours will as well.

From my family to yours I wish you a heartfelt merriest of Christmas seasons celebrating the birth of Jesus or my favourite name, “Immanuel” meaning God with us.

Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.

Sassy Stuffing by Kassie’s Mom

4-6 cups dried cubed bread

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped celery including leaves

1/2 cup butter

1-2 cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp seasoning salt

Pepper to taste

1. Put dried bread cubes in a large bowl

2. Saute onion and celery in butter until soft then add to bread cubes

3. Add 1 cup chicken broth then a bit more at a time until dressing is desired consistency. Some people like it drier then others.

4. Add poultry seasoning, seasoning salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to personal taste.

5. Place dressing in foil and bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until heated throughout. Drizzle with hot chicken stock if looks too dry while baking.

Honey Glazed Carrots

2 cups sliced carrots

1 Tbsp butter or margarine

1 Tbsp honey or brown sugar

Cook carrots in saucepan in just enough boiling water to cover until they are tender crisp. Drain and add margarine and honey or brown sugar. Heat until bubbly.

Cheery Cheese Ball

2 packages cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp onion flakes

1/8 tsp cayenne

1/8 tsp salt

Mash and mix all together in a bowl. Shape into one large or two medium balls. Roll in parsley or crushed nuts. Serve with crackers. These will also freeze well, just wrap in cellophane or wax paper and store in a ziplock bag or air tight container. Great idea if you are trying to get organized and make as many things ahead of your big day as possible.

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