Holidays: All about Food (and families of course)

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is all about spending time with family and food. Yes, food.  Throw the diet out the window and finish off the Christmas cookies.

For the first time in a long time we had a quiet Christmas. With the expected bad weather, we decided to postpone the annual white elephant exchange with my family. My brother lives in Binghamton and we were worried about ice. And we didn’t want to have the meal and regifting without him. We’re shooting for New Year’s Day.


We have some new recipes for festive meals.

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
(from Campbell’s Kitchens and there’s plenty more where this came from) 
Prep: 10 min.
Cook: 20 min.
Makes: 4 servings
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 shallot, finely chopped or substitute 1 tbsp. finely chopped onion. 
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup thinly-sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
4 cups hot cooked extra wide egg noodles
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 10 min. or until well browned on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet.
Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook and stir 2 min. Stir soup, water, tomatoes, vinegar and basil in skillet.
Return chicken to skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken and sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with cheese and thinly sliced basil, if desired.
Good-For-You Chicken Parmesan

From Campbell’s Kitchens
Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 25 min.
Stand: 5 min.
Makes: 6 servings
Vegetable cooking spray
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 cups Italian sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
Spray 12″ skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat 1 min. Add chicken and cook 10 min. or until well browned on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet.
Stir sauce and 3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese in skillet. Heat to a boil. Return chicken to skillet and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 10 min. or until chicken is cooked through.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese over chicken. Let stand 5 min. or until cheese is melted.
Sweet & Spicy Picante Chicken
Prep: 5 min.
Bake: 20 min.
Makes: 4 servings
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 cups sauce
3 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
3 cups hot cooked regular long-grain white rice

Place chicken into 2-qt. shallow baking dish. Stir picante sauce, brown sugar and mustard in small bowl. Pour picante sauce mixture over chicken.
Bake at 400°F. 20 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice.
Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole
It’s famous. What can I say? I never ate this until a recent church dinner, but I love it and plan to cook it when the kids come over today.
Prep: 10 minutes                                                                        

Chicken Parmesan from Campbell's Kitchen

Chicken Parmesan from Campbell's Kitchen


I never thought I'd like this but I do. Hopefully the family will too

I never thought I'd like this but I do. Hopefully the family will too

Bake: 30 minutes
Makes: 12 servings
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request®)
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups cooked cut green beans
2 2/3 cups  French Fried Onions

Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in 3-quart casserole.
Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
Bake 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.
TIP: Use any of the following – 2 bags (16 to 20 ounces) frozen green beans, 4 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, 4 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans or about 3 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.
For added crunch, add ½ cup sliced almonds to the onion topping.
For bacon lovers, add 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, to the bean mixture.
For a festive touch, stir in 1/2 cup chopped red pepper with soup.
For cheese lovers, stir in 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese with soup. Omit soy sauce. Sprinkle with an additional 1/2 cup additional Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions.
For Golden Green Bean Casserole, substitute Campbell’s Condensed Golden Mushroom soup for Cream of Mushroom soup. Omit soy sauce. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped red pepper with the green beans.

And for Dessert:
Baked Alaska
Courtesy of the Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage





Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled




2 quarts ice cream, softened (flavor of your choice)
1 quart sorbet, softened (flavor of your choice)

6 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For Cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with nonstick spray. Whisk eggs, sugar, and vanilla in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water); whisk constantly just until mixture is warm, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until very thick and ribbons form when beaters are lifted, about 7 minutes. Add flour in 3 additions, gently folding just to combine after each. Fold in poppy seeds, then quickly fold in butter in 2 additions (do not overfold). Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake cake until top is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Remove pan sides.

For Filling:
Line 4-quart 10-inch-diameter bowl with plastic wrap, leaving 8-inch overhang. Spread sorbet in even layer over bottom (not sides) of bowl. Spread ice cream over sorbet. Place cake atop ice cream, pressing slightly to compact. Cover with plastic wrap overhang; freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.
For Meringue:
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until thick and glossy. Beat in vanilla.
Unfold plastic wrap from over cake at top of bowl. Invert dessert onto 9-inch-diameter tart pan bottom; remove plastic wrap. Working quickly, spread meringue over dessert, swirling to form peaks and covering completely. Freeze at least 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead; keep frozen.)

Preheat oven to 500°F. Place dessert on its tart pan bottom on heavy large baking sheet. Bake just until meringue is light golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to platter. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 servings

Happy eating!

Just think. Next week we’ll be into January and just weeks (OK months) away from gardening season. We’ll get to work all these pounds off.

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