With Christmas right around the corner from Thanksgiving, and knowing that I usually have about the same meal for both holidays, I have chosen to stick with mostly desserts for recipes for this feature. I will include links to the last feature for the main meal recipes that I use for your convience.

Heres the menu I plan to use for this Christmas dinner:

Click on the recipe name to go directly to that recipe
Oven Roasted Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Turkey Gravy
Gourmet Sausage Stuffing
Homemade Apple Pie
Homemade Cherry Pie
Sour Cream Cookie Cutouts
Butter Cream Frosting
Date Nut Balls
Peanut Butter Fudge
Banana Nut Bread

Sour Cream Cookie Cutouts

Makes 1 dozen medium cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

First sift and stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, egg , vanilla and sour cream. Slowly combine in the dry ingredients a little at at time being sure to mix well after each addition.

On a clean , lightly floured surface, roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick and use you r cookie cutters to cut out what ever shape is desired.

425F for 8 to 10 minutes (do not over bake)

Frost with Butter Cream Frosting, can be flavoured to suit your tastes. Recipe to follow. Then decorate with sprinkles and serve.

Butter Cream Frosting

For 1 dozen cookies

1 pound of Confectioners Sugar (also called 10X or Powdered Sugar)
1/4 pound soft butter
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 to 4 Tablespoons milk

Combine 1/3 of the sugar with the butter and salt. Blend vanilla, 2 Tablespoons of milk and remaining sugar into the mixture. Gradually stir in remainin milk, until the desired consistency is reached.

You may also add flavourings to the frosting such as peppermint for a flavoured frosting other that butter cream. To do that, add a bit of flavouring at a time till desired taste is reached. The same with colourings as well

Peanutbutter Fudge

2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Stick Butter
2 Cups Peanutbutter
1 teaspoon Vanilla

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar milk and butter, bringing them to a full boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until it reaches the hard ball stage, use a candy thermometer to be sure you have reached the correct stage. Next, remove from heat, and stir in the peanutbutter and the vanilla. Mix until desired creamy texture is reached. Pour immediately into a greased brownie pan, if the recipe is doubled, use a 13" X 9" pan. Cool , cut into squares and serve.

Optional: You may add chopped walnuts or chocolate chips to the recipe or garnish the top of the fudge with nuts also.

IMPORTANT NOTE:You may double this recipe, but do not try to more than double it as it will fail to set properly, and your fudge will be runny.

Date Nut Balls

1 Egg
8 ounces Chopped dates
1/2 Cup of butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup rice Krispies
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/2 Cup Chopped walnuts
1 Cup Confectioners Sugar

In a medium saucepan , combine the egg, dates,butter, and brown sugar. Cook , stirring constantly over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool this mixture to room temperature. Then add the rice krispies, coconut and chopped nuts, mixing well . Roll into balls and coat with confectioners sugar.

Banana Nut Bread

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cream together the shortening and sugar; add egg and beat well. Sift together the dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the banana, blending well after eadh addition. Stir in the nuts. Pour into a well greased loaf pan (9 1/2 X5X3 inch pan)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes

Gourmet Sausage Stuffing

enough to stuff a 12-15 pound turkey 2 pounds Bob Evans Origional roll sausage
8 cups Fresh bread crumbs, dried or toasted
1 cup condensed beef broth
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
4 whole eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half
Canned chicken broth of turkey pan drippings (optional)

Crumble the sausage into a large skillet, and cook over a low heat until well browned. Stil in bread cube. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beef broth to same skillet and stir to pick up any browned bits. Add to sausage mixature. Add celery, onion, green pepper, and seasonings to the sausage mixture. In a small bowl, beat the eggs; stir in the half-and-half. Add to sausage mixture; tossing lightly to combine. Use to stuff turkey or place stuffing in a greased 13X9 inch baking dish. Bake at 350F for 30 - 45 minutes.