Make it simple, but keep the high flavor

  • Tuesday, November 29, 2005 9:00pm

Making your holiday to-do list? Planning holiday meals your friends and family will love should be an enjoyable and stress-free task.

The following recipes will help you keep your holiday cooking more carefree.

Beef Brisket

4 pounds beef brisket

1 (1-ounce) envelope dry

onion soup mix

1 (10.25-ounce) jar low

sugar grape jelly

1 (12-ounce) jar cocktail


2 tablespoons butter

1 (6-ounce) package fresh

sliced mushrooms

1 (16-ounce) package

frozen white pearl

onions, thawed

2 tablespoons chopped

fresh tarragon

no-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F. Place sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil in shallow roasting pan with foil extending 6 inches beyond pan on either side. Spray with no-stick cooking spray. Place brisket fat-side down in middle of foil.

Combine dry onion soup mix with jelly and cocktail sauce in medium bowl. Pour half of mixture over brisket; turn brisket fat-side up, covering with remaining onion mixture.

Bring both sides of foil to middle and fold foil down on itself several times. Repeat with two remaining sides.

Bake 3 hours or until fork-tender. Remove from oven. (Brisket can be cooled and refrigerated overnight at this point.)

In 10-inch skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter; saut mushrooms and onions 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove brisket from pan; pour off juices, skimming fat off top. Remove layer of fat from brisket. Slice meat across grain into thin slices.

Return meat to roaster. Top meat with mushroom mixture, meat juices and tarragon. Cover with foil. Return to oven to heat through before serving.

Winter Peanut Snack Mix

14 cup butter

14cup creamy peanut

butter and honey

12 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups toasted rice and

corn cereal with honey

and nuts

1 cup honey roasted


1 cup small pretzels

12 cup sunflower kernels

1 (6-ounce) package dried


Preheat oven to 350F. Combine butter, peanut butter, vanilla and cinnamon in microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave on HIGH (100 percent power) 35 to 45 seconds; stir until well blended.

Combine cereal, peanuts, pretzels, sunflower kernels and cranberries in large bowl. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture; toss well to coat.

Line sheet pan with foil; spread mixture evenly across pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; cool. Store in resealable plastic bag.

Pumpkin Roll With Peanut Butter Cream


14 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie


12 teaspoon baking powder

12 teaspoon baking soda

34 cup all purpose or

unbleached flour

3 eggs

34 cup sugar

34 cup canned pure



1 (8-ounce) package cream

cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

13 cup extra crunchy

peanut butter

1 teaspoon almond extract


caramel sundae syrup

3 tablespoons cocktail

peanuts, chopped

Cake: Preheat oven to 375F. Sift powdered sugar generously over 12 x 17-inch area of clean kitchen towel. Grease 15 x 10 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan. Line pan with waxed paper. Grease and flour waxed paper. Combine pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and flour in small bowl. Beat eggs in mixing bowl with electric mixer; gradually beat in sugar and pumpkin, scraping bowl between additions. Add flour mixture. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately loosen cake around edges and invert cake onto prepared towel. Carefully remove paper. Roll cake, beginning at narrow end. Cool on wire rack 45 minutes.

Filling: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and extract in medium bowl until well combined. Unroll cake; spread peanut butter cream evenly to edges of cake. Re-roll cake; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours before serving.

Topping: Drizzle with caramel syrup and chopped peanuts.

Hearty Potato Soup

4 slices smoked bacon

2 tablespoons vegetable


1 cup chopped yellow


2 leeks, cleaned and sliced

(white and pale green

parts only)

2 stalks celery, cleaned

and sliced

2 parsnips, cleaned and


2 medium carrots, cleaned

and sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 (14-ounce) cans chicken


3 cups half-and-half

2 cups mashed potato


12 teaspoon ground thyme

1 teaspoon salt

14 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon chopped

fresh parsley

Cook bacon in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove cooked bacon. Cool and crumble. Set aside. Add oil, onions, leeks, celery, parsnips and carrots to bacon drippings in pan. Reduce heat to medium, cooking slowly, about 25 minutes or until vegetables begin to brown lightly. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes more.

Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; stir in half-and-half, mashed potato flakes, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley and reserved bacon.

Talk to us