During the holidays, food plays an important role in any celebration. Whether it’s the central piece of a family dinner or a compliment to a conversation at a holiday party, appetizers and hearty meals are central to the holiday experience.
At Sagora Senior Living’s 61 communities [NOTE: https://www.sagora.com/communities/], we value food and the way it reinforces holiday cheer. Our Culinary Team works to create holiday-themed dishes that we can all enjoy during the most wonderful time of the year.
Here are a few of our favorites, courtesy of Senior Culinary Director Specialist John Tolbert.
3/4 pound (3 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are combined, and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into 1-1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown. Cool and serve.
Pear and Kale Salad
1 small bunch of kale, stems removed, cut or torn into small pieces
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 pear, peeled and sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Crumbled blue cheese, for garnish
Toss kale, pecans, green onion, and pear together in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinegar then oil over the top. Toss and serve with a sprinkling of cheese.
Cornish Game Hens
4 (1-3/4-pound) Cornish game hens, butterflied
1 stick butter, softened
5 to 7 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for sauteing
4 strips bacon, chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place hens on a sheet tray fitted with a cooling rack in the refrigerator to dry skin out for one hour. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium heat, melt butter with sage, zest, salt and pepper. Remove hens from the refrigerator. Preheat 2 large sauté pans over medium heat, and lightly coat with oil. Season hens with salt and pepper and sear, skin side down, in the pans. Sear until skin caramelizes and turns golden brown and crispy, which takes about seven to 10 minutes. Flip birds over, and baste with sage butter. Sprinkle tops with chopped bacon and place in preheated oven to finish cooking, 25 to 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Our Culinary Team ensures that residents at each Sagora community can enjoy chef-prepared, restaurant-quality food that is both delicious and nutritious. We utilize locally sourced ingredients and foods with proven health benefits at each meal. We know that sometimes, there’s nothing like a familiar, home-cooked meal. That’s why we utilize residents’ suggestions to create dishes just the way they like them!
To learn more about our Culinary Team, click here [HYPERLINK: https://www.sagora.com/life-at-sagora/culinary/]. Ask about special cuisine options or locally inspired dishes at any one of our 61 communities. [HYPERLINK: https://www.sagora.com/communities/]
Come and visit us this holiday season! We know you’ll love the Sagora Senior Living lifestyle as soon as you walk in the door!