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Last minute solutions for planning that goes awry

This week's recipes include Oven Stuffing, Microwave Pudding and Orange Pineapple Shake
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

Despite all the advance planning, sometimes the need arises to come up with quick and efficient solutions to properly fulfil all the holiday cooking requirements.

If the turkey’s cavity is too small for all the stuffing that is required for the size of the gathering, solve that dilemma by preparing extra stuffing in advance.

If there’s not enough pumpkin pie to go around when extra folks show up for a meal, a pudding made in the microwave will be a quick solution.

And after the dishes have been cleared away, everyone deserves a glass or two of a creamy shake.

This week’s recipes address all of those eventualities. 

• • •

Oven Stuffing

1/2 cup or more butter
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrot, optional
1 1/2 cups diced celery
2 tbsps. poultry seasoning
2 tsps. rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
18 cups dried bread cubes
1 1/2 cups or more chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a roaster with non-stick spray or grease with butter.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook 8-10 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir in seasonings and cook 5 minutes longer.

Place bread cubes in the prepared roaster. Add vegetable and butter mixture. Stir then add chicken broth and stir again to moisten bread cubes.

Cover and bake 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

Dressing may be made ahead, stored in refrigerator and then reheated before serving. Dressing may also be frozen.

Notes: If dressing is too dry, add more chicken stock while cooking. Taste about halfway through cooking time to ensure the proper amounts of seasonings have been used. As a quicker method for the onions, use the M&M frozen diced onions.

• • •

Microwave Pudding

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
2 tbsps. golden syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp. mixture of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
1 1/4 cups dried fruit, chopped 
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and grated

Grease a 2 1/4 pint pudding basin or similar microwaveable dish.

In a small bowl, stir cranberry sauce and syrup. Spoon 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared basin. Reserve remaining cranberry mixture.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs, flour and spices, dried fruit and apples until combined.

Spoon over cranberry mixture. Press a large piece of parchment paper on the pudding to cover the surface.

Microwave on high for 9 minutes or until firm to touch. Let stand 10 minutes before removing parchment paper and turning onto a plate. Spoon reserved cranberry mixture over the top. Serve immediately with ice cream or a favourite sauce.

• • •

Orange Pineapple Shake

2 cups orange juice, chilled
1-8 oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup spiced rum, optional

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Makes about 6 servings.

Joyce Walter can be reached at