Despite a busy holiday schedule, you can take the stress out of entertaining and cooking by planning ahead and simplifying your menu. Here’s how:
Start with Showstopping Recipes
When hosting for the holidays, visual dishes that look as good as they taste lend themselves toward seasonal celebrations. Try shareable creations like this Baked Camembert Wreath with Navel Orange and Cranberry for a fun way to beautify your table. Or give an edible gift like Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peels – just place in a clear glass jar adorned with seasonal ribbon.
Serve Seasonal Ingredients
Also, for added flavor in favorite dishes, look for easy-to-find, in-season ingredients like navel oranges, which are at their peak and deliciously sweet. Also, they are perfect for snacking or adding to recipes from cocktails to desserts, they support your immune system by offering 90% of your daily vitamin C.
Wind Down with Movie Night
A final touch of family festivity can be found in an evening spent watching a holiday classic like Elf or It’s a Wonderful Life. Gather loved ones, lay out favorite snacks and treats then look to the big screen for a fun way to relax and take in the joy of the season.
Baked Camembert Wreath with Navel Orange and Cranberry
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 15 minutes
1 navel orange
1 can (8 ounces) jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Camembert cheese wheel
1 bag (25 ounces) frozen Parker House style rolls, thawed
sprigs rosemary, for garnish
sprigs thyme, for garnish
In bowl, add zest and juice from orange.
Add jellied cranberry sauce and red pepper flakes; mix.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use.
Cover baking sheet or round pizza stone with parchment paper.
Using cheese wheel as guide in center, arrange rolls around cheese leaving about 1/4-inch space between rolls.
Create two concentric circles of rolls around cheese then place cheese back in refrigerator and let dough rise 2 hours.
Heat oven to 325 F.
Remove top of rind from cheese wheel and place in center of dough.
Bake 7-8 minutes.
Remove from oven and add orange cranberry sauce.
Bake 7-8 minutes until bread is golden and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Garnish with sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peels
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Rinse and dry oranges. Slice both ends off each orange.
Using paring knife, carefully score each orange in quarters then remove peel from each section, trying not to get too much pith.
Slice peels into 1/4-inch strips. Add to pot and cover with water and sugar; stir. Bring to boil.
Turn heat to medium-low until water reaches soft simmer. Simmer 45 minutes. Add vanilla before turning off heat and stirring.
Remove peels from syrup and cool on wire rack. Roll in sugar to coat.
Serve immediately or dry at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Dip candied orange peels one at a time in dark chocolate.
Place on parchment paper to set up and harden. Store in airtight container.