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Christmas meals for the heavy or lighter sides of the holiday

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Many families who celebrate the Christmas holiday tend to do so with at least one big, home-cooked meal. For some, the main meal may be on Christmas Eve, for others on Christmas Day, or both. Our tradition is we enjoy a Swedish Meatball dinner after attending the Christmas Eve service at church and appetizers and a lighter meal is enjoyed on Christmas Day. This year I am trying a new recipe for a stuffed bread that came highly recommended from a dear friend that would be wonderful served any time of the year. Merry Christmas to each one of you! May we all seize this opportunity to take comfort in Jesus and the special gift he has given to all mankind. May Christmas bring you many heartwarming holiday memories!

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Swedish Meat Balls

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 beaten egg

1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Dash nutmeg

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/4 pound ground pork

1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup light cream

1/4 cup finely-snipped parsley

Dash pepper

Dash ginger

1 1/4 cups water

Chicken bouillon for flavor

Cook onion in one tablespoon of the butter or margarine until tender. In mixing bowl, combine egg and half of the cream; stir in cooked onion, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg, ginger and meats. Mix well by hand, form into balls. Brown and cover one hour. Add chicken bouillon to water for gravy and addition cream at the end.

Heather’s Rolled

Stuffed Hot Bread

Sliced Mozzarella cheese

Sliced Swiss cheese

Provolone cheese slices

Sliced ham

Sliced Pastrami

Sliced pepperoni

2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed

Egg Wash:

1 egg

Oregano

Parsley

Fresh black pepper

Thaw the bread dough following the directions on the package. Make sure you cover the dough with Saran wrap that is sprayed with Pam or a light oil so it doesn’t stick and the dough doesn’t get crusty on the outside. When dough is doubled in size, punch down/flatten each loaf of dough out each one covering a rectangle cookie sheet. Brush the inside middle with egg wash. To make egg wash, combine the egg, oregano, parsley and black pepper to taste. Have the meat and cheese at room temperature (easier to roll up). Lay a single layer of meat down the middle, overlapping the pieces a bit. Layer a single layer of cheese on top of the meat, and continue alternating meat and cheeses. Heather suggested to put the Mozzarella and pepperoni by each other, the Provolone and Pastrami next to each other and the ham and Swiss cheese next to each other. Once everything is layered, roll the sides in and form a roll. Seal the dough on all sides with the egg wash to prevent the cheese from leaking out while baking. Let rise again. It won’t rise too much. Before baking, brush top again with egg wash. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until done.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: You’ll be happier if you give people a bit of your heart rather than a piece of your mind.

GARY’S TIP: When making oatmeal raisin cookies, try chocolate covered raisins instead of plain. Kids love them.

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