The Raider Review

Holiday Recipes to Make During Winter Break

Ayanna Jones-Reid, Staff Writer

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The holidays are quickly approaching! This is the time of year when people come together to give gifts, eat delicious food, and plan events with family and friends. Despite how enjoyable the season is, the event planning can become overwhelming.

Deciding what dishes to prepare is just one of the stressful tasks of the season. To your luck, listed below are a few recipes to consider following this year. Mrs. Jeeva Ashok, the Clinical Nutrition and Health class teacher at ERHS, shared her favorite dishes to make around the holiday time with us, along with the recipes!

Kashmiri Pilaf with Fruits and Nuts

2 Tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 small–medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons blanched almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons raisins
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed until the water runs clear and soaked in water while cooking the onions
A good pinch of saffron strands, soaked in 2 Tablespoon hot milk
Canned pineapple cubes – ¼ C (separately fry in in 1 Tablespoon butter until it is lightly golden brown)


  1. In a large nonstick saucepan, heat the butter until it melts.
  2. Add the whole spices and the bay leaf and cook over low heat for 30 seconds. Quickly add the onion and cook until soft and golden, then add the almonds and raisins and cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the drained rice to the pan. Stir it in the spiced oil for a minute and add 1 3/4 cups water, the saffron milk, and salt to taste.
  4. Bring to a boil and boil for a couple of minutes, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 7–8 minutes. Taste, the grains should be cooked; if not, cover for another minute. Season and add the walnuts or pistachios and the pineapple pieces. Fluff up with a fork as you stir them in.
  5. Leave for 4 minutes to allow any excess water to be soaked up by the rice. Serve hot (you can add minced cilantro to garnish while still hot). 


String Beans Casserole
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 dash black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French Fried Onions


  1. Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole. 
  2. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  
  3. Sprinkle with the remaining onions. Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.


Honey Glazed Carrots
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (16-ounce) bag Grimmway Farms Baby Carrots
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons fresh dill
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, honey, brown sugar, dill and thyme and gently toss to combine.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Serve immediately.


Orzo with Parmesan and Basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb. Chicken (cut into bite size pieces)
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 C- Baby Spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in minced garlic and sauté for a minute.
  2. Add the chicken or cleaned shrimp and cook for 2 minutes with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
  3. Add orzo and sauté until lightly browned.
  4. Stir in 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  5. Add ¼ C water and further cook ONLY if the orzo is not cooked.
  6. Add a cup of baby spinach and basil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Mix in Parmesan cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish.

Chicken Tandoor
Ingredients for the marinade:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp chili powder
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
12 pieces chicken (6 pc. drumsticks and 6 pc. boneless or bone-in thighs, 4 breast halves and 4 leg quarters, etc.)
3 slices of raw onions, separated into rings, for a garnish
½ lemon cut into slices for garnish


  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt and lemon juice. Add the spices, minced garlic and whisk until you have a smooth, thick marinade.
  2. Put 6 pieces of the chicken in each of two zip-lock bags, and add 1/2 the marinade to each bag. Zip closed and knead the bags until the chicken is well-coated with marinade.
  3. Open bags slightly, squeeze out most of the air, and zip closed again. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. Turn the bags and knead the marinating chicken once or twice while it’s in the refrigerator.
  4. When ready to cook, take the chicken out of the refrigerator, line a large roasting pan with foil, lay a rack over the pan so air can circulate under the roasting chicken, and preheat your oven to 425. If you have a convection bake or convection roast cycle, use that.
  5. Place the chicken pieces on the rack so they are not touching. Empty what is left of the marinade into a bowl or measuring cup and touch up any “empty” spots on the chicken pieces with the marinade.
  6. Once the oven is hot, put the pan with the chicken in the oven, and leave the door closed (no peeking!). Turn the chicken pieces once after 30 minutes of cooking time, then roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly charred on the second side, but no more than 15 minutes for legs and thighs. If you are cooking breasts, poke one with a skewer to make sure the juices run clear.
  7. NOW TURN THE OVEN OFF, and let the chicken rest in the closed oven for 20-30 minutes more (not critical, but NO PEEKING!).

Note: This recipe is especially good when done on an outdoor grill. 


Mini Cheesecake
12 vanilla wafers
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 can cherry pie filling or any topping.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line miniature muffin tins (tassie pans) with miniature paper liners.
  3. Crush the vanilla wafers, and place 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed vanilla wafers into each paper cup.
    (can also use graham cracker lining by combining powdered graham cracker, sugar and melted butter).
  4.  In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and creamy.
  5. Beat eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and then mix it with the cream cheese mixture until light and fluffy.
  6. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost 3/4th.
  7.  Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Top with a teaspoonful of cherry pie filling or fresh strawberries.

Feel free to try making these dishes on your own this winter break! 


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Holiday Recipes to Make During Winter Break