As December rolls around, thoughts turn toward hearth and home, and celebrations with family and friends.
Like the song goes, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." There's no time like Christmas to celebrate time honored ways to make this magical season of the year the best that it can be.
Pamper your loved ones with a gourmet fare, the glow of candles and good conversation. Pam Olson Lorenz' recipe for dried cranberry dressing makes a great side dish served with chicken breasts in a cream sauce to make a memorable meal.
Pam's Gourmet Dressing
8 cups cubed bread crumbs
12 ounces Jimmy Dean Sage Flavored Sausage
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup wild rice
3 cups chicken broth
Sage to taste
Brown sausage, celery and onion. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Put in a crockpot and cook on low until done, 3-4 hours.
Pam used canned wild rice and said it worked great.
Chicken Breasts With Sun-Dried Tomato-Cream Sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, drained, oil packed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup whipping cream
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy, large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in skillet. Add sun-dried tomatoes, shallots and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and saute until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Add cream and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Mix any accumulated juices from chicken into sauce. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.
Light Artichoke Dip
1/2 cup reduced calorie mayonnaise
1/4 cup reduced fat Swiss cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
14 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Spread in ungreased 9-inch quiche or pie pan or 1-quart shallow casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve hot or cold with assorted crackers or fresh vegetable dippers.
GARY'S TIP: When preparing cinnamon rolls or similar filled breads, use dental floss to cut the dough. That way you won't ruin the shape and lose the filling.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Hard work is often the easy work you did not do at the proper time.
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