There’s still time to add pizzazz to holiday menus

posted Dec. 18, 2017 10:31 a.m. (CDT)
email article print
font size - +
by / Janelle Thomas | Food Columnist

If you are at all like me, you try your hardest to be organized and prepared well in advance of the holidays. Some years I’m more successful at this than others. I’ve tried really hard this year not be the stressed and panicked person I often turn into as the holidays approach, and for the most part I have succeeded. Presents are bought and wrapped, cards are done and the holiday food is, well, almost done.

Luckily, I still have a couple of days to add some extra pizzazz to the holiday menus. That said, time is precious, so I’m adding the last items to the grocery list and with any luck I will still avoid the frenzied last-minute shoppers.

If you are a highly organized person who gathered their holiday recipes weeks ago, made your grocery shopping lists and have already made your last trip to the grocery store for your Christmas meal preparations, then you may just want to set these recipes aside for next year – or wait, why not try them next month? These recipes are really too good and too simple to put off a whole year. They are a variety of recipes ranging from appetizers to sides to sweets for breakfast and dessert.

One of the recipes I’m most excited about this week is the salted pomegranate fudge. Our youngest loves pomegranates thanks to an exuberant fifth-grade teacher she had a couple of years ago. He introduced the whole class to them, and I’m sure he single-handedly made the local grocers wonder what was spurring the sudden demand for pomegranates. I’ve come to love them as well, so when I found this recipe I knew it had to make the holiday menu. I’ll make sure that teacher gets some, too.

The slow cooker fried apple recipe will be perfect for a morning anytime between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I can’t wait to fill the house with the smell of apples and cinnamon. I’m predicting it will serve as a great wake-up call for our teenagers. Who could sleep with that yummy smell drifting up the staircase?

The peanut brittle recipe will be made in memory of my dad. I’m sure I have him to thank for my overzealous sweet tooth. When Christmas rolled around he loved his chocolate-covered cherries and his peanut brittle. He also loved pickled herring, but I think I will just leave it at peanut brittle!

It’s hard to believe another year is wrapping up. We say it every year, but each year seems to pass faster than the last. What a wonderful time to let those we love know how much they mean to us. I know I will celebrate having our college student home so I can set the table for five, not four, and do a little extra laundry. It’s also a time to remember those no longer with us. The peanut brittle will do that for me. May your memories be happy, your holidays be merry and your tummies be full.

Janelle Thomas can be reached at

© 2015 The Country Today, Eau Claire, WI. All rights reserved. Design by Fountainhead, LLC dba RS Design.
701 S. Farwell St., Eau Claire, WI. 54701 / 715.833.9200