Avoid store bought foods; here are 5 easy recipes to bring to a holiday feast • Hi-lo



You got up early and plucked some thyme leaves off a stalk and potatoes sliced ​​to exactly an eighth of an inch. You separated the whites from the yolks and beat a meringue until your biceps burned, then you removed tripe and a turkey neck from a carcass and bathed the bird in salt water for three days.

And when the desserts are chilled, the food is hot, the table is set, a guest will inevitably arrive with a paper bag from Ralphs and present you with a plastic box of cupcakes brushed with food coloring and frosting is too much. sweet, or a bucket of hot KFC chicken.

Please don’t be that guest. Over the years, I have perfected the art of aggressive passive “thank you you, and through the skillful skills learned from my mother – a housewife’s housewife – I will put your store-bought food in the trash.

It’s not hard to do something from scratch, honestly. It takes a little planning, a little work, and you get the satisfaction of bringing something of yourself, for someone else, instead of a frantic stop in a grocery chain.

Here are some simple recipes to get you started.

Bread without kneading (this version contains thyme leaves mixed with the dough). Photo by Melissa Evans.

Bread without kneading

I adapted my instructions on this one slightly, after poor effort from my colleague, Tim Grobaty, who tried this recipe while crouching at home during the pandemic. (Yes, I yelled at him.)

You will need three cups of all-purpose flour, a quarter teaspoon of active dry yeast, a quarter teaspoon of salt and a 2/3 cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees).

Gently mix all the ingredients. Use a wooden spoon; DO NOT put it in a stand mixer. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for two to 24 hours.

Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour on a cutting board. Use a cake scraper or spatula to gently flip the dough onto the cutting board (it will be very sticky and bubbly). Gently stir in about five tablespoons of additional flour.

Grease a Dutch oven or a cast iron saucepan or skillet with butter. Form a ball of dough and place it in the pan, covered, for one to two hours.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Bake bread, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 15 minutes until golden brown.

Recipe from “Better Homes and Gardens”.

Pecan Sandies

These are my absolute favorite cookies. They are buttery, not too sweet and always a hit. But like bread, you’ll have to plan a bit ahead and prepare them in stages:

Beat a cup of butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add half a cup of powdered sugar. Beat until well blended, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir in two cups of flour, and a cup and a half of minced meat, gate pecans (do not skip this part, which must be done ahead of time: lay out the pecans on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for five minutes; let them cool, then chop them).

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Divide the dough into halves, then roll each into a log shape (about 4 to 5 inches thick or thinner for small cookies). Wrap in plastic wrap and let cool for at least two hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut the logs into quarter-inch-thick slices. Place the slices on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

After cooling, the recipe says to sprinkle them with powdered sugar, but I prefer to dip them (bottom side) in dark or white chocolate (place on waxed paper and refrigerate after).

These cookies also last forever in the fridge or freezer.

Recipe from “Better Homes and Gardens”.

Green bean casserole

Here’s an effortless, sort of “homemade” recipe that involves opening cans, which I generally disapprove of. I am including it, however, in honor of my colleague Jackie Rae, who I recently learned to be a declarative fan of crispy onions. (And you can hear us both talk about the holiday season on The Word podcast, here.)

Combine a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, half a cup of milk, a teaspoon of soy sauce, four cups of cooked and chopped green beans and two-thirds of a cup of crispy onions.

Spread out in a gratin dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the top with another two-thirds of a cup of crispy onions and cook for another five minutes.

Of the back of a can of Campbell’s soup. If you want a more advanced, homemade option (and experiment with frying your own onions), this New York Times recipe is fantastic.

Bourbon Pecan Cranberry Sauce

I haven’t tried this recipe, but it comes with the recommendation of Lindsey Dobruck, a fantastic cook and pastry chef and wife of editor Jeremiah Dobruck, and it’s good enough for me.

In a medium saucepan, combine a cup of sugar, half a cup of water and half a cup of bourbon and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add 12 ounces of cranberries (whole, real berries; no canned gel, just to be clear) and bring to a boil. Stir every few minutes, for about 10 minutes, until the cranberries start to pop.

Remove from the heat and let the cranberries cool for a while, then add another half a cup of bourbon. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, add a cup of coarsely chopped pecans.

Recipe from “Southern Cooking for Company”.

Good Good Green Beans

What would a recipe list in Long Beach be without a Snoop Dogg selection?

Bring a large pot of very salted water to a boil, add two pounds of trimmed green beans and cook for three to four minutes. In a large skillet, melt six tablespoons of the butter until it turns brown, then add the green beans to the skillet. Stir and sauté for three to four minutes. Add salt and lemon zest to taste.

Recipe from “From the Crook to the Kitchen: Platinum Recipes from the Kitchen of Tha Boss Dogg”.



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