Getting Seasonal: Choose Easy To Relieve Holiday Stress

SHIRLEY'S KITCHEN

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Hello everyone:

Have you noticed that right after Halloween, the rest of the year comes at you fast. With Thanksgiving celebrated, here come Christmas and New Year's.

Holidays so close to each other tends to put a strain on people in general, affecting us emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. And all of this is projected in many ways.

Some of us become excited with all the preparations, decorating, shopping, wrapping presents, etc. Others will stress at the idea of crowded malls, traffic and holiday music everywhere.

Some of us will remember the times when our children (or we) were little, picking out the tree, baking cookies and the excitement of finding presents under the tree.

As we get older and family and friends become scattered, we sometimes get homesick and this might change our mood -- some get ornery, grouchy, up, down, laughing one minute and ready to cry in the next.

Many of us just become more vulnerable at this time of year, so as part of the season, we need to be more tolerant of each other and show a little extra kindness here and there.

To help lighten things up a bit, here are some funny observations:

You are getting older when:

  • Everything hurts, and what doesn't hurt, doesn't work
  • Your back goes out more often that you do
  • Dialing long distance tires you out; and

Do you know why women over 50 don't have babies? Because they'd put them down and forget where they left them.

One thing that does not have to be stressful is food for entertaining drop-in guests.

Avocados are in season, so here are two, easy recipes to make use of the good, green stuff.

Avocado Dip

(goes with raw vegetables, hot or cold shrimp, crackers, chips, etc.)

2 firm ripe avocados, halved, seeded and peeled

1 to 2 chopped green chiles

juice of 1 lime or lemon

1 tomato, peeled and diced

1 green onion (scallion or shallot), finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

salt and pepper to taste

freshly chopped cilantro to garnish

Mash all ingredients together, keeping texture to the mixture. Spoon into serving bowl and garnish with cilantro.

A hollowed-out gold nugget pumpkin can be used as a serving bowl for this dip.

Janice's Nachos

2 large avocados

2 cloves garlic, crushed with salt

squeeze of lemon juice

dash of hot pepper or chile sauce

6 green onions, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small tomato, seeded and diced

7-ounce package of plain corn chips

3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated

Peel avocados, cut in half and remove seed. Purée or mash avocado, add garlic, lemon juice, hot sauce, onions and season to taste. Fold in diced tomato.

Place corn chips on an oven-proof serving plate, top with grated cheese and put in 375-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese melts.

Remove chips from oven and top with avocado mix and serve warm.

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