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5 holiday recipes for your junior chef

Just in time for the holidays! The crescent dog pull-apart wreath recipe will add some holiday flair to your dinner table.
Just in time for the holidays! The crescent dog pull-apart wreath recipe will add some holiday flair to your dinner table.

Credit: From Pillsbury.com

Credit: From Pillsbury.com

The holiday season is perfect for spending time with family and building traditions. If your kids enjoy working in the kitchen, it might be fun to let them help make a full course meal for the family. If your junior chef is up for the challenge, here are some simple recipes you can make together.

Appetizer – Crescent Dog Pull-Apart Wreath

Nothing screams kid-friendly like mini sausages. A crescent dog pull-apart wreath using Pillsbury™ crescent dough allows your child to wrap those sausages and form an edible holiday wreath.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dough sheet
  • 30 cocktail-size smoked link sausages (from 14-oz package)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Grape tomatoes, halved, and Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, cut into sprigs for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet (without sides) with cooking parchment paper. Unroll dough on work surface. Press into 13x8-inch rectangle. With pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut dough into 15 squares (about 2 1/2 inches each). Cut each square diagonally in half to make 30 triangles.
  2. Place sausage on short side of dough triangle, and roll up. Place in circle with sides touching on ungreased cookie sheet with every other wrapped sausage extending out slightly. Leave about 6 inches for opening in center of wreath.
  3. Brush dough with beaten egg. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with tomatoes and parsley. Serve with ketchup, barbecue sauce or honey mustard, if desired.

Taste of Home's potato chip chicken recipe might be as fun to eat as it is to make.
Taste of Home's potato chip chicken recipe might be as fun to eat as it is to make.

Credit: From TasteofHome.com

Credit: From TasteofHome.com

Main course – Potato Chip Chicken Strips

Chicken strips are a staple on most children's menus. Taste of Home's Potato chip chicken gives children a chance to make their own (and have fun crushing potato chips!).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 package (12 ounces) potato chips, crushed
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Salsa, barbecue sauce or sweet-and-sour sauce

Instructions

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine sour cream and seasonings. Place crushed potato chips in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken strips in sour cream mixture, then coat with potato chips. Place in a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Drizzle with butter.
  1. Bake at 400° for 20-22 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve with salsa or sauce. Freeze option: Transfer cooled chicken strips to a resealable plastic freezer bag; freeze. To use, reheat chicken strips in a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan in a preheated 400° oven until crisp and heated through.

Sides

Two classic holiday sides that your child might enjoy making are Spend with Pennies' macaroni and cheese and soul food collard greens from Divas Can Cook.

Mac and Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

  • 12 oz dry macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can condensed cream of cheddar soup optional 10.75oz
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and let cook 2 minutes while stirring. Slowly whisk in cream, milk, mustard powder and onion powder. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese & 3 cups cheddar cheese until melted. Add soup if using.
  5. Toss cheese sauce & macaroni noodles together. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 18-24 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over cook. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
Soul food collard greens might be a great recipe to prepare with your more advanced junior chefs.
Soul food collard greens might be a great recipe to prepare with your more advanced junior chefs.

Credit: From DivasCanCook.com

Credit: From DivasCanCook.com

Soul Food Collard Greens

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large smoked turkey leg (fully cooked)
  • 32 oz. collard greens, thoroughly washed and cut into strips.
  • salt & pepper
  • hot sauce

Instructions

  1. In a large deep skillet or pot, heat olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add in onions and cook until tender.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add chicken broth, red pepper flakes and smoked turkey.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
  6. Cover and boil lightly for about 20-30 minutes.
  7. Remove turkey leg and let cool.
  8. Remove meat from bone and cut into bite-size pieces.
  9. Return meat and skin back to the pot.
  10. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Add collard greens to pot, pushing them down if needed.
  12. When greens begin to wilt down, cover and simmer for up to 60 minutes or until your desired texture is reached, stirring occasionally.
  13. Add salt and pepper if desired.
  14. Plate the greens and pour on a few drops of hot sauce.
  15. Serve hot.

Dessert – Sweet Potato Pie

To close out the meal, you and your junior chef will need the perfect dessert. One popular option during the holidays is sweet potato pie. Tastes of Lizzy T has an easy, kid-friendly recipe that can be made using store-bought or homemade ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (you can make this yourself or buy cans)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup butter (very soft so it mixes in easily)
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (you can make your own or buy one)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Blend sweet potatoes and sugar with a hand mixer.
  2. Add one egg, then beat the mixture.
  3. Add the second egg and beat again.
  4. Add softened butter, pudding mix, condensed milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Pour into an unbaked pie crust and bake for 40-50 minutes.