Greetings Holiday Goers!
Welcome to the DBHDD’s Office of Behavioral Health Prevention & Federal Grants Holiday Cookbook. This has been a very difficult year for most of us and our office wanted to share the holiday spirit from our family and friends across the state with you. We wanted to help you get in the holiday spirit and shed some of those “bah humbug” feelings you may have.
Our staff went on a mission to find and produce some of our favorite holiday recipes to share with you and your families. We want you to use this as a chance to make new fun memories with your family and perhaps start your own favorite recipe book. Cooking for fun, expressing your personality and feelings in your food selection and decorations is a great way to lift your spirits this year. Use the recipes as a guide but add your own flavor and flair to bring joy to yourself, your family, and your friends.
Some of the benefits of cooking for fun:
- Food can trigger feelings of comfort, elicit strong happy memories, and can produce happy endorphins in your body.
- Sharing the activity of cooking and preparing the meal with your kids and family can be a strong bonding experience and a cherished memory for years to come.
- Cooking can take your mind off your worries and distract from other concerns – it can cause you to focus your thoughts on the present and be mindful of your actions and intent.
If done wrong holiday cooking can be stressful but when done right, it can be a therapeutic tool for destressing. The key is your approach. We want users of our recipes to view this as an opportunity to have fun. Approach this season and the recipes as new adventures to be undertaken. The journey is the reward. Use these recipes to connect with one another, create and remember great memories, and shared experiences. Let someone know you are trying a new recipe. Even if you just call and tell someone about what you’ve cooked and how it turned out can be fun and spark deeper conversations. There are many times I’ve burned the dish or completely totaled a recipe but sharing that with my mom or a friend turned into a great story that we have a laugh about for years afterward.
We hope you have as much fun trying these recipes as we did putting them together to share with you.