Christmas is  a time to cherish family and friends, whether past or present.  We celebrate Christmas by re-enacting the story of the birth of Jesus, decorating our homes in celebration and exchanging gifts.  It is also a time we indulge in delicious delicacies that tantalize our taste buds and widen our girth.  While this time can be stressful, the traditions spur us on because they remind us of Christmases of the past and the creation of even more memories with those we love.

Christmas is when we celebrate the greatest gift God gave us – the birth of Jesus.  The impact on each of us cannot be measured and we celebrate by giving one another gifts.  Two gifts in my life have been my mother and my mother in law.  Each created memories with their cooking that are conjured up whenever I make these two recipes below.   As a thank you to my readers I would like I share them below.

Because we moved between the United States, Brazil, and Italy throughout my childhood; I do not have a lot of traditions that come to mind at Christmas.  I do, however, have two favorite foods that were a part of our Christmas dinners.  The Nabisco Ice Box Cake is from my mother.  This originated during WWII and was made because it was easy and families would pool their war rations to make this for Christmas.  The Cranberry Jello Salad is from my mother-in-law.  Originally, she would use fresh grated cranberries but over the years simplified it to the recipe below.

Nabisco Ice Box Cake/Zebra Cake

1 ½ cups Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tbsp. Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1  9 oz Package of Nabisco Chocolate Wafer Cookies

Grated Chocolate nuts or Maraschino Cherries for decoration

  1. Beat cream in a large glass or metal mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually add ‘ sugar and vanilla extract, continuing to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the whipped cream should form a sharp peak that holds its shape.
  2. Spread a generous teaspoon of whipped cream on each cookie. Press cookies together to make 3-inch stacks.
  3. Spread a 1-inch wide line of whipped cream down center of a serving platter. Assemble cookie stacks into a log on platter following the line of whipped cream.
  4. Frost cookie log with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate.
  5. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  6. To serve, slice diagonally to create striped pieces.

Cranberry Salad

1 large Package Cherry or Raspberry Jello

1 large Grated Red Apple with Peel

2 ½ Cups Hot Water

1 can Whole Cranberry Sauce

1 cup Crushed Pineapple with Juice

1 Tbsp. Orange Juice

  1. Dissolve Jello into the 2 ½ cups of hot water.
  2. Add cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple, orange juice and grated apple.
  3. Pour into 8×8 or 9×9 servicing dish or other dish
  4. Chill till firm

You can serve this with sweetened sour cream, if desired.  I like it plain or with a dollop of whip cream.

Are you stressing about what to make this Christmas?  If you are looking for a quick, easy addition to your Christmas meal, then look no further.  They will be dishes that your friends and family will ask for time and time again.

What are your favorite recipes?  What food traditions do you have?  Please share and tell us why they are special to you.

Merry Christmas and blessings for health and wellness.

A big thank you to all who have purchased my debut book, Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, consider purchasing a copy for someone who is going through medical mayhem or a caregiver for someone who is.  Give them a prescription that inspires and empowers and guides them from hurting to healing.  Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and on www.lorettaschoen.com

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