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Teresa Hatchell 2005

There are only a twelve days until we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. While Christmas is a cherished day, it is also a day that comes with a bit of chaos – especially for families with children who can hardly wait to open gifts and loved ones and friends who enjoy a nice meal together.

Obviously, on Christmas morning, there is little time to attend to preparation of a noon meal; many families enjoy dinner at 2 p.m. or later in the afternoon. Our family usually enjoys baked ham, roast beef and/or baked chicken as our entrees. The rest of the menu varies, according to what side dishes and desserts are brought. If you haven’t planned your Christmas dinner menu, consider the following lineup. Everything can be cooked the night before and refrigerated.

Broccoli salad

2 (16 ounce) packages frozen broccoli florets

1 cup green scallions, chopped

8-ounce package shredded mild or medium cheddar cheese

3/4 cup bacon bits

1 cup lite mayonnaise

1/4 cup sugar

Steam the broccoli for two minutes (no longer). Chop to desired size and cool to room temperature. Put the chopped broccoli into a large bowl and add all other ingredients. Toss to evenly distribute. Put the salad into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. This recipe makes 8 to 10 servings.

Ham and tomato rice casserole

1 cup baked ham, cut into small pieces

1 cup uncooked rice

1 large can tomatoes (about 6-1/2 cups)

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup onion, minced

1 cup cheese, grated

1 cup boiling water

1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl and pour the mixture into a large casserole dish; cover. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Remove lid and bake another 1/2 hour to an hour. This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings. Double the recipe if you plan to feed a crowd, but bake in two dishes so your rice will cook properly.

Corn casserole

3 beaten eggs

1  can cream-style corn

2 tablespoons melted butter

1  can whole kernel corn

1 pint of milk, heated

Salt and pepper to taste

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add eggs to cream-style corn and whole kernel corn. Add remaining ingredients; pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Set in a pan of boiling water. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

Apple pie with self-made buttery crust

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 large egg

2/3 cup shortening (Butter-flavored Crisco is best)

3/4 cup water

16-ounce can apple pie filling

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, egg, shortening and water. Mix for about two minutes or until well combined into a batter. Pour this batter into a very lightly greased 9x11x2-inch pie pan and smooth the batter evenly into the pan. In a separate bowl, mix the apple pie filling, lemon juice and apple pie spice or cinnamon. Pour this into the center of the batter. Do not stir this filling in with the crust. Bake at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.

Contact writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com.

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