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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.

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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.

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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 janrd@proaxis.com or find additional recipes and food tips on her blog at www.janrd.com.

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