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Sidling up: Accompaniments for your holiday ham or turkey

The latest “Flavors of Kentucky Holiday Cookbook” is filled with great recipes from readers of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Because many of us will have turkey or ham at our holiday dinners, we made a last-minute appeal for sides, and we got plenty. You now have lots of ideas for what to serve with the holiday entree.



“I make this every Christmas season. This recipe was given to me by a wonderful, longtime friend, the late Barbara Ann Popyach.”

—Patti Lewis Isaacs, Lexington, Ky.

1½ cups almonds, pecans and walnuts, mixed

½ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

½ teaspoon vanilla

Line a cookie sheet with foil and butter foil lightly. Set aside.

In an 8- or 9-inch cast iron skillet, cook nuts, sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring carefully and constantly, until sugar has melted and turned a rich brown, about 8 or 9 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly mix in vanilla. Spread mixture on foil-lined cookie sheet. Cool. Break into small clusters and store in sealed containers. Makes about 2 cups.


This recipe also is from Patti Lewis Isaacs.


2 cups confectioners sugar

1 can (16 ounces) pure pumpkin

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until combined. Cover and chill. Serve with gingersnap cookies, graham crackers or apple slices.



Shirley Rankin of Lexington said she has used this recipe since the early ‘70s.

1 stick butter

1 cup Uncle Ben’s converted rice

1 small jar (4.5 ounces) mushrooms, whole or pieces, drained

2 cans (10.5 ounces each) French onion soup (do not use cream of onion soup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, melt butter and add rice. When rice is brown, pour into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Stir in onion soup, minus ¼ cup, and mushrooms. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.



Darlene Cash Gilreath of Marshes Siding, Ky., shares this recipe.

6 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup American cheese, shredded

1 can (10 ¾ ounces) cream of chicken soup

½ sleeve saltine crackers, crushed

1 stick margarine


In a saucepan, cook squash and onions with a small amount of water for 15 minutes. Drain. In a large bowl, mix squash and onions with mayonnaise, cheese and soup. Pour into a greased 9- by 13-inch aluminum pan. Spread crushed crackers on top. Dot generously with margarine. Add a sprinkling of black pepper. Bake 45 minutes or until browned.



This recipe is from the files of Isa Colvin Hertlein, a Springfield, Ky., cook. “She and her husband owned Hertlein’s restaurant many years ago.”

—Sandra Davis, Springfield

1½ cups ground green peppers

½ pound ground sharp cheese

¼ pound package crackers, ground (leftover biscuits or Ritz)


Salt and pepper

1 cup cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a small baking dish. Layer peppers, cheese and cracker crumbs, ending with crackers. Dot each layer generously with butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour cream over mixture and bake for 1½ to 2 hours.



“I’ve been teaching food-preparation courses for 47 years and have been professor of hospitality management at Transylvania University since 1989. The following recipe is my original work and appears in ‘Food Preparation with Prof. Pepper, a Laboratory manual with Prof’s Notes and Favorite Recipes.’ It’s been well received for years.”

Michael R. Pepper, Lexington

1 pound fresh cranberries, washed

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 Temple orange, peeled and chopped

1 tart apple, cored and chopped

½ pound white seedless grapes, quartered

¼ cup crushed pineapple

¼ cup chopped pecans

Place cranberries, sugar and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook until skins burst. Let cool. In a medium bowl, mix together fruit and pecans. Stir into cooled cranberries.

Will keep several weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator.



Eloise Delzer shares this recipe, received from Chelsie Hogg Reynolds of Whitesburg.

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup mayonnaise

Juice of one lemon

½ cup crushed pineapple, drained

2 medium-size bananas, chopped

½ cup black walnuts, chopped

½ cup maraschino cherries, chopped

1 cup whipping cream

Small package frozen strawberries, optional

Mix cream cheese with salt, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add pineapple, bananas, nuts and cherries. Fold in whipping cream and pour into ice trays without dividers, and freeze overnight before serving. Slice in squares, and garnish with slightly defrosted strawberries on a lettuce cup.



This recipe is from Brenda Howard Gregely of Harlan, Ky.

2 teaspoons margarine

½ cup coarsely shredded carrots

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups orzo, uncooked

3 cups fresh spinach, shredded, or 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried basil

In a 3-quart saucepan, melt margarine. Add carrots and garlic, and cook about 2 minutes, until carrots are just tender. Stir in broth and orzo. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until broth is absorbed. Stir in spinach, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil. Continue cooking until spinach is tender and mixture is heated through.



Kaye Baird of Pikeville, Ky., shares this recipe.

10 slices bread

Butter or margarine, softened

½ pound grated Cheddar cheese

2 cups milk

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon chopped onion

Remove crusts from bread. Spread butter on each slice and put together like sandwiches. Cut into ½-inch cubes and place half the cubes in the bottom of a buttered baking dish. Cover with grated cheese. Add remaining bread cubes.

In a medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, salt, mustard and onion. Pour over bread and cheese. Let stand 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour. If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.



This is one of Phyllis Moore of Lexington’s best desserts.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

¾ cup crunchy peanut butter

1 container (12 ounces) Cool Whip

1 graham cracker crust, extra serving size


½ cup heavy cream

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour into graham cracker crust. Chill for several hours or overnight.

To make topping: Pour heavy cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes or until cool to the touch. Pour evenly over pie and chill for 30 minutes or until top is set.



—Ruth Freeman of Harrodsburg, Ky., shares this recipe.

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

3 egg whites, stiffly beaten

½ cup cold water

2 cups flour

1½ cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cream with beaten egg whites. Add water. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add to egg-white mixture, along with vanilla. Stir well and pour into 2 greased and floured round cake pans. Bake 25 minutes or until cakes test done. Frost with favorite icing.



“Honestly, I don’t like fruitcakes, but this one is delicious. I usually make it into five loaf pans to give to friends at holiday time.”

—Judy Fannin, Ashland, Ky.

1 box (12 ounces) vanilla wafers

1 quart pecan meats, chopped (reserve some whole ones for garnish)

1 pound raisins

1 jar (1 pound, 12 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained and cut into pieces

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Crush vanilla wafers and place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. The batter will be stiff.

Line small loaf pans with wax paper. Pour in batter and press down firmly. Place whole pecans on top. Wrap well and refrigerate until ready to serve.



This recipe is from Betty Brinkley of Harrodsburg.

1 jar (2.25 ounces) Armour dried beef

2 green onions, including tops

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon Accent

Chopped nuts

Cut beef and onions into small pieces. Mix with cream cheese and Accent. Shape into a ball and chill. Roll in nuts.


©2013 Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

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