(Family Features) The holiday season and all its celebrating often means 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.
Total time: 30 minutes
- 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.
Recipe courtesy of
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
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 orange, juice only
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 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.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Holiday table)
(Family Features) Getting the whole family around the dinner table every evening can be hard. Feeding your family meals that incorporate high-quality ingredients and are also delicious can be even harder. Sometimes, though, that special ingredient you’re looking for can already be in your pantry.
Consider including bursts of flavor from an ingredient such as California Ripe Olives at your next family meal and take into account the versatility and taste made possible by the hard-working farm families who grow them.
Grown by his family for more than a decade, Rick Benson vividly remembers the day he convinced his father the next crop at Benson Farms should be California Ripe Olives, which are both heat- and salt-tolerant.
That was 12 years ago, and the Benson family has grown olives ever since. Though they are seasoned farmers, the Benson family members are new to olives, and they have brought an innovative way of harvesting to the decades old industry.
While California Ripe Olives remain a primarily hand-harvested crop, the Bensons’ young grove was planted with the intention of harvesting mechanically. As newer olive groves are planted, mechanical harvesting is slowly being implemented.
“It’s a labor of love,” Benson said. “We view olives as our crop for the next generation.”
Whether you’re enjoying olives as a snack or using them in a new dish like this favorite recipe from a California Ripe Olive-growing family, consider the hundreds of farming families behind each can of olives.
Learn more about multi-generational farming families like the Bensons and find more recipes at calolive.org.
Rustic Chicken with Ripe Olives
Recipe courtesy of Vincent Richutti, a third-generation California Ripe Olive grower
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
- 1/2 cup mixed, porcini or chanterelle dried mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 pounds baby yellow potatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups California Black and Green Ripe Olives
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- In small food processor, pulse mushrooms, fennel seeds, basil, salt and red pepper flakes until mixture is finely chopped and almost powder-like.
- Place potatoes on large, shallow-rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle with half the mushroom mixture and toss lightly.
- Brush chicken with remaining olive oil and sprinkle both sides with remaining mushroom mixture.
- Nestle chicken and olives into potatoes. Drizzle with broth and wine, and top with lemon slices.
- Roast 30-35 minutes, or until chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
- Remove lemon slices before serving.
Source: California Olive Committee
This hearty casserole is full of meat, onion and cheeses, sitting on top of a crescent roll dough crust. Add even more flavor and top your casserole with olives, green onions, lettuce, tomatoes and jalapenos with a side of sour cream, chips and salsa.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can (16oz) refried beans
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 1 tube (8oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1 bag (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 bag (8oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Optional toppings: chopped green pepper, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sliced ripe olives
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook and crumble beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add beans, onion and taco seasoning.
- Unroll crescent roll dough. Press onto bottom and up the sides of a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; seal seams and perforations.
- Spread beef mixture over crust; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with toppings.
Watch video to see how easy this recipe is!
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.