Home is where the food is

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Jessica Bills -- Cooking with family over the holidays can bring about the best memories.

The holiday season is often marked with delicious, seasonal foods. Whether looking for a way to impress friends and family at home or to spread some on-campus cheer, consider these holiday-inspired dishes:

Breakfast
Gingerbread Pancakes
(Recipe courtesy of Food.com)
Who says gingerbread is only for cookies? Enjoy this tasty treat for breakfast.
Yields: approximately 12 pancakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 ¼ cups milk
¼ cup molasses
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, milk, molasses and oil together. Then, mix in the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter onto a hot, greased skillet and cook until bubbles form, then flip. Pancakes should be light brown.

If you are looking for an alternative to these made-from-scratch flapjacks, head over to World Market and pick up a package of Baker’s Pantry Gingerbread Pancake Mix. Simply add water, eggs and butter and they are ready to cook and serve.

Lunch or Dinner
Panera’s Cream Cheese Potato Soup
(Recipe courtesy of Food.com)
Panera not only has delicious sandwiches but wonderful soups too. Warm up with this recipe on a cold winter day.
Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
¼ cup minced onion
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
cut into chunks

In a pot, combine the broth, potatoes, onion and spices. Turn to medium heat and boil until the potatoes are tender. Using a wooden spoon or masher, smash the potatoes and reduce the heat to low. Add the cream cheese and heat until it melts, stirring often.

Dessert
Festive Candy Cane Kiss Centered Brownie Bites
(Recipe courtesy of Picky-Palate.com)
Chocolate is a go-to dessert for many, but by giving it a kiss, it suddenly gets a Christmas makeover. This easy recipe will delight holiday celebrators of any age.
Serves: 18
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: approx. 20 minutes
1 brownie mix (9 × 13 inch size)
Typically calls for 1 egg, ¼ cup oil
and ¼ water, depending on mix
18 candy cane chocolate Kisses
1 can chocolate frosting
3 candy canes, crushed

Begin by preheating your oven to 350° and prepare the mix as directed. Spray a mini muffin pan or mini cheesecake pan with cooking oil before filling each cup ¾ of the way full with batter. Unwrap the candy cane Kisses and press one into the middle of each cup, leaving just the tip showing. Bake according to package directions. Once baked, let cool before frosting. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top to finish.

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