Make-Ahead Mason Jar Holiday for Two

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Stuffing-filled pumpkins can go a long way in livening up your holiday meal. Photo by Heather Wilson

Mason jars are the miracle of busy cooks. They’re cheap, easy to clean and can go from freezer to oven and straight to the table. They make elegant serving dishes and great wine glasses. There is a Mason jar for every occasion.
If you’d rather spend your holiday relaxing and watching the game, you can make your holiday dishes the weekend before and freeze them in Mason jars. That means no prep time, no mess and easy clean-up. The best part of this holiday meal is that you can cook and serve everything straight out of the jar.
You will need half-pint widemouthed Mason jars with matching caps and rings. Make sure you buy actual Mason jars, because they are made to withstand the heat of cooking without breaking.
To serve what you make, put everything in the refrigerator to thaw the night before. When you’re ready to eat, uncap all the jars and put them on a cookie sheet in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 350 F degrees and bake for 20–30 minutes. Remove jars from the oven, grab a fork and eat straight out of the jar.

Semi-homemade stuffing

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, coarsely
chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely
chopped
1/2 small apple, peeled,
cored and coarsely
chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 box of stuffing
1 and 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup margarine or butter

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute olive oil, onion and celery for 5 minutes. Add apple and garlic, saute 5 more minutes. Add water, margarine and maple syrup. Turn heat to high and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in stuffing mix. Fluff with a fork. Spoon into Mason jars, cap and freeze.

Turkey breast pinwheels

Ingredients:
2 turkey breast tenders
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, diced
2 large pieces prosciutto
3 ounces goat cheese
Salt and pepper

Put turkey breast tenders between two pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pound until flat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil. Cover each turkey tender with 1 piece of prosciutto, 1 tablespoon of sun-dried tomatoes and 1/2 ounce of goat cheese. Starting on one end, roll into a pinwheel. Freeze in individual Mason jars.

Seriously good green bean casserole

Ingredients:
1 can green beans, drained
1/2 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Reserve for topping:
1/4 cup french fried onions

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Fold in 1/4 cup of french-fried onions. Fill Mason jars and freeze. When preparing, top with french-fried onions halfway through cooking.

Easy as apple pie

Ingredients:
Refrigerated ready-rolled pie crust
2 small apples, peeled,
cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon margarine
Unroll pie crust. Use Mason jar ring to cut out four rounds. Line bottom of two Mason jars with crust. Toss remaining ingredients together in a bowl until apples are evenly coated. Divide apple mix evenly between two jars. Place remaining rounds on top and tuck edges of crust under rim. Cut a small X in the top crust. Dot with margarine and sprinkle with sugar.

The easy vegan quick pumpkin addition

Ingredients:
1 small pumpkin or acorn squash
semi-homemade stuffing
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cut top off pumpkin and scoop out seeds. Lightly coat inside of pumpkin with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of dish. Microwave 8–10 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with knife. Mix stuffing, beans and pecans together and warm in microwave. Remove from microwave and scoop stuffing into pumpkin.

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