For most of us, the Holidays are a special time of year...in more ways than one! The nostalgia, the hustle and bustle, the coziness of chunky sweaters and warm blankets. Holiday music, intricately designed store windows, inspirational and heart-warming movies that make you want to immediately give your entire bank account to the first person who needs it. Glitter, glitter and MORE glitter--it's the most wonderful time of the year!!!
Robust calories everywhere you turn, that one gift that has you in near meltdown mode, the anxiety of how many ways your romantic life can (and will) undoubtedly consume the better majority of the dinner conversation, and having to go through the entire exercise of explaining why you are, once again, owning that single life until you finally excuse yourself to nervously chain-smoke 3 cigarettes out of the upstairs hall bathroom window while texting your best friend to let her know that not only does she owe you twenty bucks (because you knew this would happen), but she can tack on another fifty for Tom, the surprise "perfect match" complete with pleated slacks and his beige sweater, who was coincidentally seated beside you before your clearly broken radar for "ATTENTION! Immediate danger straight ahead!" caught on and you were able to switch the place cards! Okay, so soooometimes "the most wonderful time of the year" has its flaws...and requires a great deal of wine...
So here we go, let's address some bob-and-weave strategies, shall we?
Plan A: Hatteras Island holiday beach vacation. Beach, warm weather, a gorgeous selection of nearly 500 beautiful homes with full kitchens for delicious feast making. Stress-free so the wine is more for pleasure than medicinal purposes. Learn more here.
Plan B: Can't swing the Hatteras Island holiday beach vacation? Channel it! Throw a little Jimmy Buffet "Christmas Island" on the stereo, do a nautical Christmas tree and create a beach-themed dinner complete with some traditional Hatteras Island fixin's! Not totally sure what that means but want to put a Hatteras Island twist on your holiday dinner this year? Try this recipe for Oyster Dressing straight out of the local’s kitchen! Bam! The whole romantic life conversation will be immediately derailed by this delicious island flavor! Bon appétit!
Oyster Dressing Recipe
Makes: 8 to 10 servings
Prep 20 mins
Bake 350°F 30 mins
• 1/4 cup butter or margarine
• ½ tsp garlic, minced
• 1 medium onion, coursely chopped
• 2 stalks of celery, coursely chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1 14 oz package of pre-seasoned bread cubes (Recommended: Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing)
• 1 pint shucked oysters, strained
• 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic; sauté until onion and celery are tender. In a very large bowl, combine sautéed vegetables, pepper and stuffing mix; set aside.
3. Strain oysters in a large colendar. Thoroughly rinse oysters under cold running water to remove any sand or shells. Once fully cleaned, coarsely chop. Add oysters to bowl with stuffing mixture.
4. Stir chicken stock into stuffing mixture. Cover and bake casserole at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until casserole is golden brown. Makes 8 cups (8 to 10 servings).