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Celebrating the Holidays with Heartwarming Foods

holidays (Nina)

It’s that time of the year again, filled with family, friends… and food! During the holidays, some families get together and celebrate another eventful year, some go to parties, some celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanza, and some just stay at home. Regardless of individual or family customs, almost everyone celebrates with food. With the approach of Christmas and big Christmas dinners, here are some easy recipes that are sure to satisfy everyone.

Recipe #1

No feast is complete without a main dish, whether it is made with turkey, fish, or different veggies. For meat-lovers, here is a recipe for a simple roasted turkey.


  • 1 fresh or thawed frozen turkey
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of seasoning
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2  carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 2 onions, quartered


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the neck and giblets. Then rinse with water.
  2. Stuff cavity of bird with celery, bay leaves, and half of the cut carrots and onions; tie legs together with kitchen twine. Rub bird with butter; sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Scatter remaining onion quarters and carrot pieces on bottom of a large roasting pan; add turkey neck. Place turkey on a roasting rack in the pan. Cook, basting frequently after the first hour, until bird is golden brown, thigh juices run clear when pierced, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast (avoiding bone) registers 170 degrees, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (If skin is browning too quickly, tent with foil.) Let rest 30 minutes before carving.

Recipe #2

Big feasts always call for side dishes! This recipe covers how to make easy buttermilk mashed potatoes.


  • 4 peeled potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Place the cut potatoes in a pan and add water to cover the potatoes. Boil and then add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook until tender when pierced with a toothpick (20 to 25 minutes).
  2. Drain the tender potatoes and then place in a bowl. Mash, and then add buttermilk and butter. Season with the salt and pepper. Mash until smooth.

Recipe #3

Last but definitely not least are the cookies! The holidays are the time of year when families bond and become closer together. Children, teens, and adults will love to cook and bake warm, scrumptious holiday cookies that are shared by everyone in the household.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frosting, sprinkles, candies, etc. (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt and then set aside. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla. Then gradually add the flour mixture from the first bowl and beat. Divide dough in half and flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic and freeze until firm (at least 20 minutes).
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough disk and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting dough with flour as needed. Use cookie cutters to make shapes (optional). Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes.) Reroll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Bake, rotating halfway through, until the edges are golden (10 to 18 minutes, depending on the size).Cool completely on wire racks. To ice cookies, spread with the back of a spoon. Let the icing harden, about 20 minutes. Decorate as desired.

As you enjoy the delicious dishes made with your own culinary flair, the MoCo Student team would like to wish you a merry Christmas!





Article by Amanda Chu, MoCo Student staff writer

Graphic by Nina Enagonio, MoCo Student staff artist                                                                  

About The MoCo Student

In 2012, Student Member of the Board of Education John Mannes created a countywide press network to help build a conduit to share fresh and relevant information written by youth to the wider Montgomery County student body.

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