Sidling up: Accompaniments for your holiday ham or turkey

Lexington Herald-LeaderNovember 20, 2013 

Because many of us will have turkey or ham at our holiday dinners, we thought it would be helpful to offer lots of ideas for what to serve with the holiday entree.

ICED ALMONDS, PECANS AND WALNUTS

1- 1/2 cups almonds, pecans and walnuts, mixed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Line a cookie sheet with foil and butter foil lightly. Set aside.

In an 8- or 9-inch cast iron skillet, cook nuts, sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring carefully and constantly, until sugar has melted and turned a rich brown, about 8 or 9 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly mix in vanilla. Spread mixture on foil-lined cookie sheet. Cool. Break into small clusters and store in sealed containers. Makes about 2 cups.

-- Patti Lewis Isaacs, Lexington, Ky.

PUMPKIN DIP

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 can (16 ounces) pure pumpkin

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until combined. Cover and chill. Serve with gingersnap cookies, graham crackers or apple slices.

-- Patti Lewis Isaacs, Lexington, Ky.

RICE CASSEROLE

1 stick butter

1 cup Uncle Ben's converted rice

1 small jar (4.5 ounces) mushrooms, whole or pieces, drained

2 cans (10.5 ounces each) French onion soup (do not use cream of onion soup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, melt butter and add rice. When rice is brown, pour into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Stir in onion soup, minus 1/4 cup, and mushrooms. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.

-- Shirley Rankin of Lexington, Ky.

YELLOW SQUASH CASSEROLE

6 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup American cheese, shredded

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) cream of chicken soup

1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed

1 stick margarine

Pepper

In a saucepan, cook squash and onions with a small amount of water for 15 minutes. Drain. In a large bowl, mix squash and onions with mayonnaise, cheese and soup. Pour into a greased 9- by 13-inch aluminum pan. Spread crushed crackers on top. Dot generously with margarine. Add a sprinkling of black pepper. Bake 45 minutes or until browned.

-- Darlene Cash Gilreath of Marshes Siding, Ky.

SCALLOPED GREEN PEPPER CASSEROLE

1- 1/2 cups ground green peppers

1/2 pound ground sharp cheese

1/4 pound package crackers, ground (leftover biscuits or Ritz)

Butter

Salt and pepper

1 cup cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a small baking dish. Layer peppers, cheese and cracker crumbs, ending with crackers. Dot each layer generously with butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour cream over mixture and bake for 1- 1/2 to 2 hours.

-- Isa Colvin Hertlein, a Springfield, Ky.

CRANBERRY RELISH

1 pound fresh cranberries, washed

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 Temple orange, peeled and chopped

1 tart apple, cored and chopped

1/2 pound white seedless grapes, quartered

1/4 cup crushed pineapple

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Place cranberries, sugar and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook until skins burst. Let cool. In a medium bowl, mix together fruit and pecans. Stir into cooled cranberries.

Will keep several weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator.

-- Michael R. Pepper, Lexington

ICE-TRAY FROZEN BANANA SALAD

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Juice of one lemon

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

2 medium-size bananas, chopped

1/2 cup black walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped

1 cup whipping cream

Small package frozen strawberries, optional

Mix cream cheese with salt, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add pineapple, bananas, nuts and cherries. Fold in whipping cream and pour into ice trays without dividers, and freeze overnight before serving. Slice in squares, and garnish with slightly defrosted strawberries on a lettuce cup.

-- Chelsie Hogg Reynolds, Whitesburg, Ky.

SPINACH ORZO

This recipe is from Brenda Howard Gregely of Harlan, Ky.

2 teaspoons margarine

1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrots

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups orzo, uncooked

3 cups fresh spinach, shredded, or 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried basil

In a 3-quart saucepan, melt margarine. Add carrots and garlic, and cook about 2 minutes, until carrots are just tender. Stir in broth and orzo. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until broth is absorbed. Stir in spinach, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil. Continue cooking until spinach is tender and mixture is heated through.

-- Brenda Howard Gregely of Harlan, Ky.

CHEESE PUDDING

10 slices bread

Butter or margarine, softened

1/2 pound grated Cheddar cheese

2 cups milk

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon chopped onion

Remove crusts from bread. Spread butter on each slice and put together like sandwiches. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes and place half the cubes in the bottom of a buttered baking dish. Cover with grated cheese. Add remaining bread cubes.

In a medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, salt, mustard and onion. Pour over bread and cheese. Let stand 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour. If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

-- Kaye Baird of Pikeville, Ky.

PEANUT BUTTER PIE

This is one of Phyllis Moore of Lexington's best desserts.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners' sugar

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 container (12 ounces) Cool Whip

1 graham cracker crust, extra serving size

Topping:

1/2 cup heavy cream

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour into graham cracker crust. Chill for several hours or overnight.

To make topping: Pour heavy cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes or until cool to the touch. Pour evenly over pie and chill for 30 minutes or until top is set.

-- Phyllis Moore of Lexington, Ky.

MY MOM'S ICEBOX FRUITCAKE

1 box (12 ounces) vanilla wafers

1 quart pecan meats, chopped (reserve some whole ones for garnish)

1 pound raisins

1 jar (1 pound, 12 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained and cut into pieces

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Crush vanilla wafers and place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. The batter will be stiff.

Line small loaf pans with wax paper. Pour in batter and press down firmly. Place whole pecans on top. Wrap well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

CHEESE BALL

This recipe is from Betty Brinkley of Harrodsburg.

1 jar (2.25 ounces) Armour dried beef

2 green onions, including tops

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon Accent

Chopped nuts

Cut beef and onions into small pieces. Mix with cream cheese and Accent. Shape into a ball and chill. Roll in nuts.

-- Betty Brinkley of Harrodsburg, Ky.

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