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    Our Favorite Holiday Recipes


    The holidays are fast approaching and it’s officially time to start planning for multiple evenings spent with family and friends. Organizing holiday visits must start weeks in advance to avoid empty grocery store shelves and substandard gifts. Most importantly, you don’t want to ruin your own holiday season by frantically running around for last minute items. Instead, grab yourself a day planner and map out a plan to minimize stress.

    Start by jotting down gift ideas, decoration placement, number of guests and, of course, the menu. Gifts and decorations are important, but nothing beats a delicious holiday meal. Create a menu that’s suitable for all your guests, including those with allergies or specific diets. Consider buying nonperishable items weeks in advance and perishable items closer to the event date, especially if certain items don’t freeze well. There are millions of recipes to try and it’s very difficult to choose one that suites the needs and desires of all your guests. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to help you get started:

    CHOCOLATE RYE SPICE CRINKLES

    Start to finish: 30 minutes, plus chilling
    Servings: 48 cookies

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup dark rye flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/2 teaspoon ground mace (or nutmeg)
    1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
    2 cups packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons molasses
    4 eggs
    Granulated sugar or powdered sugar, for rolling

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, rye flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and mace. In another medium bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, molasses and eggs. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all parts are incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

    Heat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with kitchen parchment.

    Scoop the dough balls by the tablespoonful to make 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated or powdered sugar and arrange on the prepared pans, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.

    Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just set. Allow to cool on the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.

    MASHED POTATOES WITH PARMESAN CHEESE

    Start to finish: 30 minutes
    Servings: 6

    Kosher salt
    8 large Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes (3 to 3 1/2 pounds total), peeled and halved
    1 cup whole milk
    1/2 cup light or heavy cream or half-and-half
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
    1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
    Ground black pepper

    Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a generous amount of salt, return to a boil, then add the potatoes. The water should cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 or so minutes, partially covered, until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a knife.

    Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Set the pot over medium-low heat. Toss the potatoes in the hot pan occasionally for 3 minutes or so until the moisture is all gone and the potatoes have begun to dry out (but not to brown).

    Remove the pan from the heat and put the potatoes through a ricer or a food mill, or mash with a potato masher until they are smooth, or as smooth as you like them.

    Meanwhile, heat the milk and the cream together in a microwave safe bowl or pitcher for about 1 minute, or in a small saucepan on the stovetop, until hot. Add the hot milk and cream mixture to the potatoes along with the butter and stir with a wooden spoon or a whisk until well combined. Blend in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, and stir over medium-low heat until everything is hot and well-blended.

    ROASTED TURKEY

    Start to finish: Overnight, plus 3 1/2 hours
    Makes one 12- to 14-pound turkey

    1/2 cup kosher salt
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon ground black pepper
    12- to 14-pound turkey
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    3 sprigs fresh rosemary
    3 sprigs fresh sage
    6 sprigs fresh thyme

    In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar and black pepper. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity. Use paper towels to pat the turkey dry, inside and out. Rub the salt mixture all over the turkey skin and inside the cavity. Place in a roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, for 8 hours or overnight.

    Heat the oven to 425 F.

    Rinse off the turkey, inside and out, then thoroughly dry with paper towels. Rub the butter under the skin of the turkey. Fit a roasting rack into the roasting pan and mist it with cooking spray. Set the turkey on the rack, breast side down. Stuff the rosemary, sage and thyme into the cavity. Roast for 45 minutes.
    Remove the turkey from the oven and lower the temperature to 325 F.

    Using two pairs of sturdy tongs (or one pair of tongs and a long-handled spoon inserted into the cavity), or washable pot holders, flip the turkey over so that the bird is breast side up. Return to the oven and continue cooking.

    Baste the turkey with any drippings that collect in the pan every 20 to 30 minutes, or until the
    Turkey is cooked to 160 F at the breast and 175 F at the thigh, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the turkey to a carving board or serving platter and cover first with a layer of foil, then with several layers of clean kitchen towels. Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving and serving. If desired, use the drippings to make pan gravy.

    If the thought of preparing a holiday dinner is overwhelming, consider heading over to Lady Luck Casino® Caruthersville. Sit down at Otis & Henry’s® Bar and Grill for delicious comfort food in a casual setting. If you’re in the mood for a smaller meal, stop by O&H Express® for grab-and-go sandwiches, burgers, chips and more. Don’t forget to join in on the holiday festivities and inquire about special dinner deals and gaming promotions.

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