I did more cooking for Christmas this year than usual, almost all of which was successful, so I wanted to share some of my recipes, if for no other reason than I need to remember them myself for next time.
First off, I ended up making three loaves of Coconut Lime Banana Bread, following this recipe pretty closely. I do double the amount of glaze she recommends and add more lime juice, and I like to glaze the loaves more than once, the last time while on a platter instead of a rack so the glaze soaks into the bottom of the bread as well. If you like lime and banana, you will LOVE this bread, which is tangy and moist and sweet and topped with the most amazing coconut topping (I also use more than the tablespoon of coconut the recipe calls for, opting instead to cover the whole loaf with an even layer of coconut). Warm it's divine; cooled to room temperature, it's like candy! Yum!
Then I made cornbread stuffing from a recipe basically in my head: I made a batch of corn muffin mix in a 9x9 pan and put it aside to cool. I like corn muffin flavor over cornbread for this because it's sweeter, but I actually used the muffin mix because I had gotten some for free from my friend and needed to start using it up. Next I sauteed in butter (okay, margarine) a large onion, chopped, with three stalks of celery, chopped, and two small apples, peeled, cored, and chopped. I seasoned the vegetable mixture with a little poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, and a dash or two of ground ginger (I could have added more of this, I think). Then I crumbled the corn bread into a bowl and added about a bag and a half of boxed stuffing mix (not the cornbread variety, just plain old turkey stuffing mix) for texture and flavor, though I could have done the same with crumbled old bread and more poultry seasoning. To the crumbled bread I added the vegetables and then mixed the whole with quite a lot of chicken broth. As my mother advised, make it just wetter than you would actually like it to be when you eat it, which is what I did. Into the oven at 350 for 35 minutes and voila, more yumminess!
And, of course, the strata I mentioned earlier. I followed the recipe pretty closely, though I used cheddar cheese and fat free lactaid milk and more bread than it calls for, covering the entirety of my 9x13 baking dish.
And, as I also mentioned earlier, Cranberry-Caramel Chex mix (with no nuts and the addition of white chocolate chips for color), candy cane dipped pretzels, and various kinds of pretzel turtles. All fabulous and yummy!
I declare the holiday baking season a success!