Holiday Happenings Recipes

‘Tis the season for gatherings with family and friends. And you know what that means.... there will be food. This week, we have put together some recipes for a nice meal, from beverage to dessert.

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Holiday Punch


Yield: 15 - 20 Servings

Prep Time: 5 Min

Total Time: 5 Min


2 pt. raspberry sherbet

1/2 gal. cranberry juice (or a mix of cranberry and pomegranate juices), well chilled

1 (2 ltr.) bottle ginger ale, well chilled


Scoop the sherbet into a large punch bowl.

Pour in the cranberry juice and ginger ale and stir gently. Serve immediately.


Beet-Orange Salad


Level: Easy

Yield: 4 servings


Boil 1 pound beets in salted water until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain, then peel and slice into wedges. Toss in a serving bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons chopped chives or scallions, and salt and pepper. Add 1 bunch arugula and 2 segmented blood oranges and toss.


Sausage and Apple Stuffed Pork Roast


Level: Intermediate

Total: 1 hr 55 min

Prep: 45 min

Inactive: 10 min

Cook: 1 hr

Yield: 8 servings


1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage (or 2 links, casings removed)

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 tart apple, peeled & diced

Salt & freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 pieces white bread

2 tsp. chopped fresh sage

2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

2 T. butter

1 (3 lb.) boneless pork loin

1 T. vegetable oil

1/2 c. white wine


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the sausage until no longer pink. Remove the sausage (leave in the fat), and set aside. To the pan, add the onion, celery, and apple and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the apple is no longer crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir the sausage back in and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the bread with the sage, rosemary, and thyme into coarse crumbs.

Heat the butter in a medium saute pan and cook the crumbs over medium-high heat until coated with butter and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes (be careful not to burn). Mix the breadcrumbs into the sausage mixture.

Prepare the roast as if making a jellyroll. Place the roast with the short side toward you, and fat facing down toward the counter or cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice the roast open at about 1/2-inch from the bottom of the roast (parallel to the cutting board), being careful not to cut all the way through. Continue cutting, unrolling the roast as you work until you have a large, thin piece of meat. Place the rolled out piece of meat between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper, and lightly pound with meat mallet to increase the meat surface area by 10 to 20 percent. Be careful not to pound through the meat. Salt and pepper the pork and top with the filling, spreading evenly across the pork, leaving a 1-inch margin around the perimeter.

Starting with the short side, roll up tightly jellyroll style, and secure the roast with kitchen twine.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add oil. Add the roast and brown on all sides. Place in a roasting pan fitted with a rack and add the wine in the bottom of the pan (to keep the juices from burning), and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the internal temperature hits 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the roast from the oven and allow to rest for a full 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Roasted Sage Turkey with Vegetable Gravy


Prep Time: 30 min. + chilling

BakeTime: 2 hours 10 min. + standing

Yield: 16 servings

(3-1/2 cups gravy)


1 turkey (14 to 16 lbs.)

1 T. kosher salt

1 tsp. ground sage

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 lg. onion, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

3 med. carrots, chopped

1-1/4 c. water, divided

3 T. canola oil

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

3/4 c. white wine

3 fresh sage sprigs

4 fresh thyme sprigs



1 to 1-1/2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. minced fresh sage

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Reserve turkey neck; refrigerate, covered, overnight. Place turkey in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan, breast side up. Secure skin to underside of neck cavity with toothpicks. Mix salt, sage and garlic powder. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together. Pat turkey dry. Rub outside of turkey with salt mixture. Refrigerate turkey, loosely covered, overnight.

Preheat oven to 475°. Place onion, celery, carrots and reserved neck in bottom of a broiler pan; add 1/2 cup water. Place broiler pan rack over top; transfer turkey to rack. Rub outside of turkey with oil; sprinkle with pepper. Pour wine and remaining water into turkey cavity; add sage and thyme sprigs.

Place turkey in oven, legs facing toward back of oven. Roast, uncovered, 40 minutes.

Reduce oven setting to 350°. Cover breast tightly with a double thickness of foil. Roast until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175° (thermometer should not touch bone or fat), 1-1/2 to 2 hours longer.

Remove turkey from oven. Let stand, uncovered, 20 minutes before carving. Using a turkey baster, remove liquid from turkey cavity to a large measuring cup. Line a strainer or colander with cheesecloth; place over measuring cup. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables from bottom of broiler pan, reserving 1-1/4 cups. Discard turkey neck. Strain cooking liquid into measuring cup. Skim fat, reserving 1/4 cup fat. Add enough broth to the cooking liquid to measure 2 cups.

In a large saucepan, mix flour and reserved fat until smooth; gradually whisk in broth mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add half of the reserved vegetables. Puree gravy using an immersion blender; or cool gravy slightly and puree in a blender. Stir in sage, pepper and remaining vegetables; heat through. Serve with turkey.


Smashed New Potatoes with Peas, Lemon, and Pearl Onions


Level: Easy

Total: 35 min

Prep: 5 min

Cook: 30 min

Yield: 4 servings


1-1/2 to 2 lbs. red bliss potatoes

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

3 T. unsalted butter

1 (10 oz.) box frozen pearl onions, defrosted

Pinch sugar

Splash freshly squeezed lemon juice

5 slices lemon

2 (10 oz.) boxes frozen peas, defrosted

1 lemon, zested

Kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper

1/4 c. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 heaping T. roughly chopped fresh dill

1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed just above the rubber band


Put the potatoes into a large pot, cover them with cold water, and add a large pinch of salt. If they’re large, cut them in half. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain. Stick a fork into the potatoes, 1 at a time, lift them out of the colander and peel with a paring knife. Toss the potatoes into a bowl and roughly crush them. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil with the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the pearl onions, sugar, and lemon juice and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the lemon slices, peas, and lemon zest and continue cooking until the peas are hot. Season with salt and pepper. Dump the vegetables over the potatoes in the bowl, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil add the parsley and dill and taste for salt and pepper. Scatter the watercress over the top, fold it in just until it wilts and call it a day.


Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin Mac n Cheese


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 20 min

Active: 20 min

Yield: 6 servings



1 sm. head or bundle broccoli, trimmed into florets

1 sm. head cauliflower or half a lg. head, trimmed & cut into florets

1 lb. whole-wheat macaroni or penne or other short cut pasta

2 c. sour cream or reduced-fat sour cream

1 T. Dijon mustard

1/3 c. finely chopped chives

2 cloves garlic, peeled & grated or crushed into paste

A few drops hot sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

2-1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Salt the water and add the broccoli and cauliflower florets. Boil the vegetables for 5 minutes, then remove them with a spider or a strainer and drain. Add the pasta to the water and undercook by about 2 minutes, drain.

Meanwhile, combine the sour cream in a large bowl along with the mustard, chives, garlic, hot sauce and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pasta and cauliflower and 2/3 of the cheese. Stir to combine, then transfer it to a casserole or baking dish and cover with the remaining cheese. Cool and chill for a make-ahead meal.

To heat and eat, put the casserole on baking sheet and bake it in the middle of a preheated 375 degree F oven until deeply golden and bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes. 


Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 30 min

Prep: 10 min

Inactive: 30 min

Cook: 50 min

Yield: 8 to 10 servings



1/2 c. whipping cream

1/2 c. whole milk

3 T. sugar

1/4 c. amaretto liqueur

2 tsp. cornstarch


Bread Pudding:

1 (1 lb.) loaf panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1” cubes

8 lg. eggs

1-1/2 c. whipping cream

2-1/2 c. whole milk

1-1/4 c. sugar


To make the sauce: Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix the amaretto and cornstarch to blend and then whisk into the cream mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. (The amaretto sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)

To make the bread pudding: Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend. Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm amaretto sauce, and serve.


Quote of the Week:

“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little nameless, unencumbered acts of kindness and of love.”  




The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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