With the celebration of Thanksgiving, the holiday season truly begins. Thanksgiving is a day full of food, family, football and giving thanks. And then if you are like some of our staff, it’s also the day you start planning your Christmas menu and holiday baking treats. Christmas traditions centered round family and food have always been so important to staff member, Lore. When her parents were still on this earth, Lore and her kids definitely looked forward to Christmas cookie baking day; with the cut out cookies being a family favorite. They loved to roll and then cut out the dough, all the time sneaking bites during the entire process. Then the real fun began with the decorating!
Christmas Eve was magical at Lore’s parent’s home. Every year her Mom made her amazing mostaccioli, while her Dad dressed up and played Santa to all the grandchildren. Then everyone headed out for midnight mass. What a wonderful heartwarming family tradition!
Now Lore and her family honor her parent’s memory by carrying on the same customs. Aunts and cousins all gather for Christmas cookie baking day and the next generation of Grandpas dress up and play Santa. And with such a wonderful caring family to be thankful for, everyone still makes celebrating midnight mass a top priority.
Because these recipes have always been such an important part of Lore’s life she wanted to share them. Lore said, “I hope your families might share in the love of faith, family and traditions when you enjoy these recipes.”
Cut Out Cookies
- 1 ½ c. butter
- 3 c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 5 c. flour (keep one cup for rolling)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
In a large bowl cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in 4 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least an hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough on the flour surface to ¼ “ to ½” thickness. Use Christmas shaped cookie cutters to cut the cookies out. Place 1” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper and then decorate with sprinkles, red hot candy, hard peppermint pieces…whatever you like. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Let cool and then serve with love and enjoy! (makes 5 dozen)
Mom’s Red Sauce
- 5 – 20 oz. cans of Hunt’s tomato sauce
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes (bail and oregano seasoned ones work well)
- 1 – 12oz. tomato paste
- 3 lbs. ground round, cooked and drained
- 3 lbs. Italian seitza sausage links browned and sliced into bit sized pieces
- 1 large onion diced and sautéed
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped and sautéed or 4 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped and sautéed or 3 tbsp dried parsley
- 3 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 3 tbsp basil
Bring sauce and spices to a boil then simmer uncovered with meat for about 5-6 hours. Cook mostaccioli or you can use spaghetti noodles. Serve with love and enjoy!