November 3, 2011

Ella’s Kitchen – Dinner for Four

As we age, our family size changes. Immediate family gets smaller and our extended family gets larger. Perhaps you are planning a small meal. No reason it can’t be just as festive as the big laborsome meals of years gone by. Below I have suggested a holiday fare for a small group. Enjoy!

– Ella

[Ella can be contacted at or Ella – 50+ Lifestyles, 804 W Lombard Street, Davenport, IA, 52804]

Dinner for Four

Menu – Cornish Game Hens with Cranberry-Orange relish,
Baby Potatoes,
Buttered Broccoli,
Stuffed Acorn Squash.

Add your own bread and dessert, or better yet, have your guests bring breads and desserts! Enjoy your meal,
your friends, and remember to give thanks!

Make ahead….

Cranberry-Orange Relish

1 small or 1/2 large unpeeled orange
(remove seeds if any)
2 Cups raw or thawed frozen cranberries
1 Cup sugar (or equivalent sugar substitute)

Put orange and cranberries through food chopper. Mix in sugar and let stand for several hours. Store covered in refrigerator.
Makes 1 and 1/2 cups.

Start ahead….

Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash – rinsed off,
then cut in half; remove seeds
2 Tbs. butter
1/4 Cup brown sugar
3 Cups chopped apple
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts and an additional 2 Tbs butter.

In each acorn half, coat inside with 1 tsp. butter and 2 Tbs. brown sugar. Add 3/4 Cup apple and 2 Tbs. nuts. Dot with butter. Wrap securely in foil. Refrigerate. *See Game Hens recipe below for cooking instructions to roast with hens.


Cornish Game Hens

Four 12 to 15 oz hens –
if frozen, thaw then wash hens and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 425. Season game hens. May roast with or without stuffing. If using stuffing, only 1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. of your favorite recipe per bird. Place breast-side-up in roasting pan. Brush with unsalted butter or olive oil. Roast about 1 hr., until fork tender. Baste 2 or 3 times during roasting.
* Cook squash in oven with hens. Place foil-wrapped squash on cooking sheet on separate shelf in oven. Keep wrapped for 1/2 of the cooking time. Then open up or remove foil for the remainder of the time.


Steamed Baby Potatoes

Wash and scrub size B red potatoes or white
fingerlings. Steam potatoes, approximately
1/2 C per serving, while hens and squash are roasting. When serving, dot with butter and sprinkle with parsley.


Buttered Broccoli

1 1/2 lbs fresh broccoli

Wash, trim tips of stems. Make 3 – 4 slashes in the stems.
Place upright in a small pan, water to cover stems and boil
for 10 – 12 minutes. Season to taste with butter, salt and pepper.