Here are 5 easy holiday cooking recipes for the over-worked chef. Holiday gatherings are all about holiday foods. Of course, holidays are also a busy time when the kids are out of school and company is visiting. Even as people want to eat more, there is less time for holiday cooking and menu planning. Fortunately, there are all kinds of easy recipes for tantalizingly delicious holiday dishes. Our recipes here have been chosen because they make a great appetizer, beverage or dessert for your holiday menu.
1. Easy Layered Pumpkin Pie
- 1 9-inch prepared graham cracker pie crust
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1- 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 cup cold milk
- 2 3.5-ounce packages instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 16-ounce can pumpkin pie filling
- Chill pie crust in refrigerator for an hour beforehand.
- Combine cream cheese, tablespoon of milk, and white sugar, and blend until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping.
- Spread mixture into bottom of chilled crust.
- Chill for fifteen to twenty minutes prior to adding second layer.
- Combine cold milk, pudding mix and pumpkin pie filling, stirring thoroughly.
- Spread second layer over chilled cream cheese layer.
- Refrigerate for four to five hours before serving.
2. Toasted Almond Holiday Spread
- Cracker assortment
- 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup almond slivers, toasted and divided in half
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Lightly grease a pie pan.
- Combine cream cheese, Swiss cheese, 1/4 cup almond slivers, mayo, green onions, pepper, and nutmeg, stirring until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to greased pie pan.
- Bake for fifteen minutes and then remove from heat.
- Sprinkle with ¼ cup almond slivers and serve with crackers.
3. Holiday Caraway Cheese Ball
- 8- ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 2 tablespoons dry cooking sherry
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons Canola oil
- 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 tablespoons caraway seeds, for rolling
- Stir cream cheese until smooth.
- Combine cream cheese with mustard, sherry, canola oil and 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, stirring thoroughly.
- Fold in Cheddar cheese and shape mixture into a ball, then roll in remaining caraway seeds.
- Wrap in saran wrap and chill until firm, four to six hours.
4. Cran-Apple Spicy Cider
- 4 cups apple cider
- 6 cups cranberry juice
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 4 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1-1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- In stockpot, combine apple cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and sliced lemon.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes.
- Strain to remove cinnamon sticks, cloves and lemon.
5. Easy Cinnamon Sugar Coated Pecans
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 pound pecan halves
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Whisk egg white and water until foamy.
- In different bowl, combine sugar, salt and cinnamon.
- Pour egg whites over pecan halves and stir to coat evenly.
- Remove pecans and toss in the cinnamon sugar until thoroughly coated.
- Transfer pecans to baking sheet and cook for 60 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes.