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Thankful for this exciting time of year

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I don’t particularly love snow or cold weather, but Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons are an exciting time of year. It’s a time to celebrate the joy of family and friends together and a reminder of how truly blessed I am.

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With each holiday task, from preparing Thanksgiving dinner to starting my holiday baking and decorating, it’s always a time full of wonderful memories. You can just feel the warmth in the air that holds you tightly against the winter chill.

This week’s recipe for Freezer Holiday Cranberry Salad is a tasty salad you keep in the freezer. Many salads don’t keep well in the refrigerator and end up getting thrown out after the Thanksgiving feast. This salad keeps for quite a while in the freezer and is so handy to have on hand to serve with other meals.

Freezer Holiday

Cranberry Salad

Serving size: 8

1 can jellied cranberry sauce (16 ounces)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup powder sugar

1/2 cup mayonnaise (do not substitute)

3/4 cup chopped pecans

8 ounces Cool Whip

Break up cranberry sauce with lemon juice using a fork. Spread out in an eight- to nine-inch pan and put in freezer.

Cream together cream cheese, powder sugar, and mayonnaise. Fold in Cool Whip. Put Cool Whip mixture on top of frozen cranberries. Freeze. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Karla’s Yams

Serving size: 12

7 fresh yams, peeled, quartered, partially cooked and drained

Cinnamon, to your liking

1 stick butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream

Marshmallows

Place partially cooked yams in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon to your liking. Melt 1 stick of butter, brown sugar and vanilla ice cream until just melted and slightly thickened. Pour over yams. Bake in a 350 degree oven until done. At the end of baking, sprinkle with marshmallows and let melt in oven or place under broiler for a few seconds until lightly browned.

Rich Turkey Gravy

Yields about 1-1/2 cups

1/4 to 1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup turkey pan drippings

2 cups boiling water

2 teaspoons chicken-flavored instant bouillon or 2 chicken-flavored bouillon cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, stir flour into drippings; cook and stir until dark brown. Stir in water and bouillon; cook and stir until thickened and bouillon is dissolved. Refrigerate leftovers.

GARY’S TIP: Chop cranberries while frozen or partially defrosted, since chopping becomes difficult once the berries thaw or become softer.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Have a wonderful Thanksgiving as you gather with family and friends. Let’s not forget to give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives.

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Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
(218) 855-5879
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