One year, for our “neighborhood gift” (the tradition where we live is for neighbors to give little gifts to each other), I shared the following recipes of foods that have been favorites of mine during the holidays through the years.

What foods say “Happy Holidays” to you?

Clam Chowder

Open and drain 2 6½ oz. cans of minced clams, saving the juice! Put juice in large pot; set clams aside. Add 2 cups cubed potatoes, 1 c. chopped celery, and 1 c. chopped onion. Add enough water to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until tender.

In separate saucepan, make white sauce with: ¾ c. butter, ¾ c flour and 1 quart half and half. (No, this is not health food, but it sure is good You can make it with milk for a lower-fat version, though.) Stir white sauce over low heat over thick and smooth. Season with 1½ t. salt, ½ t. sugar, and pepper to taste. Add sauce to veggies and broth in large. Stir until blended and heated through. Add clams and stir until heated. (Don’t overcook clams or they will become chewy.)

Meringue Kisses
2 egg whites
¾ cups sugar
6 oz mint chocolate chips
Food coloring (Mom used green)

Heat oven to 350. Beat egg whites until they hold peaks. Add sugar and beat for 10 minutes. Fold in mint chips. Drop on ungreased baking sheet. Turn oven off, and put cookies in oven. Leave in closed oven for 2 hours or overnight.

Buttermilk Scones
1 quart buttermilk, warmed
2 pkgs. Yeast
¼ c. lukewarm water
2 T. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. oil
3 t baking powder
½ t. salt
8 c. flour

Soften yeast in the water. In large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients with 4 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add remaining 4 c. flour (approx) to make a soft dough. Allow to rise, covered, until doubled. Punch down and refrigerate overnight. Roll out just before frying in deep fat (oil) heated to 375 degrees. Cook and turn when golden. Serve with honey butter (below), jam, or other yummy toppings. (Dough is good in refrigerator for 5-7 days.)

Honey Butter
For 10 minutes, beat 1 c butter and 1 ¼ c honey. Voila!

Philly Phondue
1 ¾ c milk
2 8-oz pkgs. cream cheese (I’ve used the reduced fat variety; fat free probably isn’t recommended )
2 t. dry mustard
¼ c. chopped onion
1 pkg thin-sliced beef (like Carl Buddig brand) cut into strips

Heat milk. Add cream cheese and stir until almost melted. Blend to smooth (in blender). Add remaining ingredients and cook slowly for 5 minutes over low heat. Pour into fondue pot and serve with large cubes of French bread.

“Campbelled” Eggs
Put 6-8 large eggs in a blender with 1 can cream of chicken soup. Blend until smooth. Scramble in hot, greased skillet as usual. Serve with scones, cinnamon rolls, toast or your favorite breakfast bread.

-by Michelle