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Video: Christmas dinner with mom

TODAY recipes
updated 12/26/2008 8:38:47 AM ET 2008-12-26T13:38:47

Recipe: Sausage and sage stuffing

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 pounds sage pork sausage; block of sausage, not links
  • 1 loaf white square sandwich bread
  • Use 1/2 container of 0.43 ounce rubbed sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place bread slices on cookie sheet and broil both sides until slightly toasted. Cut into small cubes.

Put aside cooked chunks of sausage in large saucepan. Drain the fat and set sausage aside.

In sauce pan melt the 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion and sauté 10-15 minutes until vegetables are softened.

In a separate casserole bowl combine the vegetable mixture, cooked sausage and bread cubes.

If the mixture seems dry, slowly add another 1/2 cup melted butter, or a little water or chicken broth. You want the mixture moist, not soaked. Season and mix with the 1/2 container of sage, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and use your hands, but try not to crush the bread cubes.

Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Recipe: Sweet potato souffle

  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds yams, cooked and peeled
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecan, halved
  • Orange juice, up to 1 cup

Mashed cooked yams thoroughly

If potatoes seem dry, slowly add a little orange juice at a time until moist and fluffy.

Beat in 2 eggs,  1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, salt and cinnamon.

Put into 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish

Arrange pecan halves to encrust entire top completely. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup melted butter.

Bake at 375 degrees uncovered for 20 minutes or until the sides bubble. This can be made and cooked the day before.

Recipe: Tasty morsels Christmas cookies

  • For icing:
  • Use half a box (1 pound box) of confectioners' sugar and place in a small mixing bowl
  • 1/2 stick of softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon milk (add more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For cookies:
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 small box of Ritz crackers
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup buttercream icing

For icing:
Turn on mixer slowly so that the sugar doesn't fly around. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.

For cookies:
Place chopped nuts, dates and condensed milk into double boiler. Stir often until mixture thickens. When thickened, put aside for about 3 minutes.

When cooled spread mixture over crackers and place on greased cookie sheet

Place cookies in 350 degree oven for only 3 minutes. Remove and cool on cookie rack.

When cooled, cover with buttercream icing.

To firm icing quickly put frosted cookies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then place cookies in a tin and place in the freezer.

Recipe: Hummus

  • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo), drained -- save liquid
  • 2/3 cup of Tahini (sesame seed paste available in Middle Eastern stores)
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Put ingredients in a blender and blend with liquid from the chickpeas until the mixture is a creamy dip consistency. Serve with pita bread cut into triangles.

Recipe: Baklava

  • 1 package of fillo dough 16 ounces (1 pound), about 40 sheets, 9x13 or 14 inches
  • 4 sticks of unsalted butter
  • For filling:
  • 6 cups of walnuts, grind into small pieces (not too fine)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • For syrup:
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For filling:
Mix nuts with sugar. Add butter and water (filling should be moist not dry).

For syrup:
Mix ingredients and heat just till sugar melts and let cool in the refrigerator.

For assembly:
Melt 4 sticks of unsalted butter.

Unfold packages of fillo dough sheets. Brush 9x13 pan with butter.

Take 3 to 4 sheets of fillo dough at a time, put in the 9x13 pan and brush with butter. After you've brushed approximately 12 sheets with butter, spread half of the walnut filling and continue adding more fillo dough sheets, then spread the remaining walnut filling. Make sure to leave enough sheets to cover the last walnut filling and to brush with butter every 3 to 4 sheets. Drizzle the remaining butter on top.

Cut in diamond shape (don't cut all the way through).

Bake in pre-heated 325 oven for 1 hour or until golden brown.

Add cool syrup and complete the diamond shape cutting-remove from pan immediately.


Keep fillo dough covered with foil while working with it to prevent drying.


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