It’s five days until Christmas. And if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, well it just might be time to step away from that to-do list. Take a breath. Evaluate. Maybe you’ve got out-of-towners arriving and have no clue how to motor through breakfast. Or you promised the neighbors a quiet night of soup and salad anytime (what were you thinking?). Or you’ve offered a simple bring-along vegetable for Christmas eve at the in-laws.

Whatever the upcoming scenarios, there’s a good chance you’ve done the math and realize you just aren’t in any state to accomplish Plan A.

Well, you are hardly alone. Which is why every year about this time, I like to provide a few simple-but-wonderful recipes to help you sail through the last phase of the holiday season with your spirits high and psyche intact.

Jan Roberts-Dominguez is a Corvallis food writer, artist and author of “Oregon Hazelnut Country, the Food, the Drink, the Spirit,” and four other cookbooks. Readers can contact her by email at or find additional recipes and food tips on her blog at