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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Christmas dinner with Chef Donna Desfor

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 17, 2012 4:56 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, December 18:

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After all the presents are unwrapped Christmas morning, the attention will turn to dinner.  That usually means families gathering for one of the biggest, if not THE largest, sit down meals of the year.  Often, the Christmas dinners provide the most memories of the holiday.

Sharing time with loved ones is a special part of the Christmas dinner but so is the food.  Will it be turkey or ham this year?  Maybe the main course is unique to your family or your family's background.  What about desserts and sweets?  Christmas day can be a great time to experiment with a new recipe.

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On Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk, Chef Donna Marie Desfor joins us with a few Christmas dinner ideas and tips and to answer your questions about holiday cooking.

We’d like to share your holiday recipes as well.  Submit a recipe on the comments section of under the description of Tuesday’s Radio Smart Talk.  We’ll try to share it on-the-air and direct our audience’s attention to your recipe.

Listen to the program:


Bernadette "Bunny" Zotter and Chef Donna discuss Holiday Food on Radio Smart Talk.



Bernadette "Bunny" Zotter, Chef Donna Marie Desfor, Scott LaMar

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  • dankane img 2012-12-18 09:12

    I bought half of a heritage breed pig last spring and still have a few hams in the freezer. It appears that the ham was smoked (it has a nice pink smoke ring) but not cured (it does not have the normal pink ham color that occurs with nitrate based curing).

    My question is: Would it work to braise this "ham" in milk or would I be better off using a herb crust or some other type of traditional preparation.

    I have braised pork shoulder (no smoke, no cure) in milk before with great success but am not sure how it would work in this situation. And my family is not keen on my ruining Christmas dinner!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-12-18 09:26

    Email from Heather:

    We switch from donuts to cinnamon buns every other year. This year it is cinnamon rolls. I make the rolls the night before and usually put them in the fridge overnight, but then the kids have to wait 25 minutes before they are baked up, before they can come down the steps and do their stockings… Can I put the unbaked rolls in the oven the night before and set the oven to bake so that they are done by 7:15?

    Thank You!!!

  • Debbie img 2012-12-18 09:38

    Hi Donna and Scott!
    Donna - last year you told a story about a cranberry sauce that you made a few years ago as a throw-away and not only did everyone love the dish, your husband specifically requested it the following Thanksgiving. :) I was driving at the time and could not write your repice down. :( do you happen to remember the recipe?? I would love to make it for Christmas.


  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-12-18 09:44

    Email from Steve:

    Traditional Bobalky or Loksa

    Bobalky at home was always made with fresh bread dough, but today, one can use frozen bread roll dough from the supermarket. Either prepare or buy about 1 pound of bread dough. To make Bobalky, pinch off portions of your bread dough into small pieces about an inch in diameter. Place on a greased cookie sheet, set in a warm location, and let rise for for 15 minutes. Then bake at 375-F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. When cool break the bread pieces in half and place in a colander.

    Cook 1 1/2 cups of ground poppy seed in 3/4 cup of water for 10 minutes. Bring 3 cups of milk to a boil. Add either 1 cup of sugar or honey or according to how sweet you want the Bobalky to be. Now pour about 2 cups of boiling water over the bread. Mix the poppy seed and milk & sweetening together and pour over the bread. Mix well and you have Bobalky. Can be served either warm or cooled from the refrigerator. It was traditional to have bobalky every Christmas and New Year.

  • Helena img 2012-12-18 09:47

    For that Slovak dessert, try soaking the poppyseeds in milk.

  • Lisa Kurcina img 2012-12-18 09:52

    Thanks for the suggestions on bobalky! I am so excited that so many listeners share my same traditions. We also have the peas and prunes but have dropped the mushroom soup tradition.

  • Lisa Kurcina img 2012-12-18 09:58

    Thanks for the suggestions on bobalky! I am so excited that so many listeners share my same traditions. We also have the peas and prunes but have dropped the mushroom soup tradition.

  • Gary img 2012-12-18 10:14

    We developed a method for keeping the children from coming downstairs too early on Christmas morning which has been copied by ou daughter for her son. At the top of our stairs there was a small landing where we placed a VERY SMALL Christmas tree on a table. The "tree" was a two foot cutting from the top of a fir (later an artificial) which was decorated with a string of mini lights and ornaments made by our children. Beneath the tree we placed a small wrapped present for each child. Usually it was a wind up toy, coloring book, a puzzle or something that would occupy a young mind for a time. We had three children and it worked every year for six years - then we moved to a ranch house and never really came up with a satisfactory delaying tactic.


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