Celebrate the Holidays with Happy Times Café

Categories:Trivia
rachael@doukasmedia.com

The holidays with the family means home-cooked feasts, caroling, snowball fights, and festive decorating. The countertops are piled with cookies, cakes, and casseroles, and the house is decorated with ribbons and bright string lights.

At Happy Times Café, we relish in the fun of the Fabulous Fifties. This holiday season join us for your holiday celebration. We’ve hosted office parties, fundraisers, networking events, birthdays, family gatherings, and much more. We cater events with a fun environment, unique retro décor, and timeless cuisine. Let us take care of your festivities so you can focus on your family’s happy times.

For some classic Christmas dishes you can make yourself, these delectable recipes will be sure to transport you back to another time. Now cue the Christmas music and wrap up in your favorite sweater!

Old-Fashioned Holiday Glazed Ham

You can’t go wrong with this quintessential holiday dish.

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 spiral-sliced half ham
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple slices, juice reserved
  • 15 to 20 whole cloves (optional)
  • 1 small jar maraschino cherries
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven as directed on the ham package and follow the instructions for baking the ham. Remove the ham from the oven about 30 minutes before the end of the warming time.
  2. Decoratively arrange the pineapple slices on top of the ham, securing them with whole cloves, if using, or toothpicks. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring and secure with a clove or toothpick.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and just enough of the reserved pineapple juice to make a thick glaze. Spoon the glaze over the ham and bake for the remaining 30 minutes. Remove the ham from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and carve.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Who doesn’t love this classic? And with marshmallows? Yes, please!

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 8), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows or chopped regular marshmallows

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water by 1 inch; salt generously. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, and return to pan. Heat over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 2 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat; add milk, butter, and nutmeg. Mash until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Transfer sweet-potato mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. (To make ahead, refrigerate, up to 1 day.)
  3. Top casserole with marshmallows; bake until center is warmed through and marshmallows are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Chestnut Stuffing

Nat King Cole sang about ‘em for a reason! Chestnuts are a must for the holidays.

Yield: 12 Servings

You will need to dry the bread cubes overnight; transfer them to re-sealable plastic bags until you’re ready to make the stuffing, up to 1 day more.

Ingredients

  • 2 loaves good-quality white bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 20 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh chestnuts (4 cups), scored with an X
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 small onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 bunch celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 5 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Spread bread cubes in single layers on baking sheets. Let dry at room temperature, uncovered, overnight.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add chestnuts; cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain; let cool slightly. Peel and quarter chestnuts; set aside. Peeled chestnuts can be refrigerated in an airtight container 2 to 3 days.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery; cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add sage; cook 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup stock; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl. Add remaining 4 1/2 cups stock, the chestnuts, bread, salt, and parsley; season with pepper. Toss to combine. If not stuffing turkey, transfer to a buttered 17-by-12-inch baking dish. Cover; bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake until hot and golden brown, 30 minutes more.

Holiday Eggnog Pie

It’s not Christmas without eggnog!

Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared, unbaked pie crust, thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Mix the sugar and flour together in a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggnog, eggs, and vanilla to make a smooth mixture. Stir in the butter. Pour into the prepared pie crust.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until the custard is set, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool before serving.

Hot Cross Buns

One a penny, two a penny! You can never go wrong with these yummy treats.

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon instant powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Directions

  1. Put warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in bread maker and start on dough program.
  1. When 5 minutes of kneading are left, add currants and cinnamon. Leave in machine till double.
  2. Punch down on floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes.
  4. Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.
  6. To make crosses: mix together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk. Place glaze in a piping bag or a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off; pipe a cross onto each roll.

Footnote

To make this recipe in a stand mixer, combine warm water and yeast in the bowl of the mixer and let soften for about 5 minutes. Add flour, milk powder, sugar, salt, egg, and egg white. Mix on low speed using the dough hook, scraping the dough down occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the softened butter, cinnamon, and currants and mix for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and allow it to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Proceed with the recipe instructions.

What’re your favorite holiday family recipes? Let us know on social!