Holiday Inspiration for Every Occasion

From hosting guests to kids returning home on winter break, the holiday season can require more planning than usual…..

(Family Features) The holiday season is full of opportunities to eat, drink and gather around the table with the ones you love. Whether it’s a family dinner, office potluck or neighborhood brunch, good food is a cornerstone of nearly every great holiday celebration.

From hosting guests to kids returning home on winter break, the holiday season can require more planning than usual. Ensure you’re prepared this year with a savory centerpiece staple like Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham or a crowd-pleasing favorite like Bacon French Toast Bake, giving you more time to soak in the best parts of the season.

To keep the holiday season fresh and exciting, consider putting a twist on a classic, like adding sausage to a traditional side dish like Sausage and Ciabatta Stuffing. Available as links, patties and rolls, Smithfield’s line of Fresh Breakfast Sausage is made using premium, high-quality pork to provide big flavor that can be enjoyed any time of day.

For more recipes and tips that can help make your holiday soiree a breeze, visit

Bacon French Toast Bake

  • 1 small loaf challah or brioche bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 slices Smithfield Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. Leave bread slices out, at room temperature, at least 3 hours, or until slightly stale.
  2. Generously coat 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread, slightly overlapping.
  3. In large bowl, whisk eggs, heavy cream, milk, Gruyere cheese, maple syrup and cinnamon. Add chopped bacon, saving 2 tablespoons for later. Pour over bread in baking dish. With hands, press down on bread to submerge.
  4. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.
  5. Heat oven to 375 F. Remove plastic. Sprinkle remaining bacon and Swiss cheese over top of bread mixture.
  6. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
  7. Top with blackberries and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Sausage and Ciabatta Stuffing

  • 1 large loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound Smithfield Fresh Sausage Roll
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. Bake ciabatta bread cubes until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 375 F.
  3. In skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter.
  4. Cook sausage, breaking meat into medium pieces, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer sausage to large bowl; set aside.
  5. Add remaining butter to skillet; cook carrots, onions and celery until soft, 5-7 minutes, and transfer to bowl with sausage.
  6. In large bowl, mix bread cubes, chicken broth, olive oil, parsley, rosemary and salt and pepper, to taste. Add vegetable and sausage mixture to bread cubes mixture and combine.
  7. Spread evenly in greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until golden brown and bread is slightly crisp on top, 30-35 minutes.
  8. Garnish with additional parsley before serving.

Tip: Recipe can be made one day before and refrigerated overnight.



Interested parties are encouraged to make prior inquiries to be assured of the location of the property…..

Matthew Oestreich, Wood County Auditor, will hold a forfeited land sale December 5, 2018, beginning at 10:00 am in the hearing room on the fifth floor of the County Office Building in Bowling Green, Ohio. The sale will be a public auction and the parcels, which are being offered due to non-payment of taxes, will be sold to the highest bidder. Each property has been forfeited to the State after failing to sell at Sheriff’s sale.

“It is my intent to sell all of the available properties so that they can return to productive use on Wood County’s tax rolls,” said Auditor Oestreich.

A list of parcels is available at the Wood County Auditor’s Office or online at These properties are located in seven different taxing districts in the County as follows:

Henry Township; North Baltimore; Lake Township; Bradner; Perry Township; Perrysburg Township; Weston

There are 11 parcels and 13 manufactured homes listed for sale at this date. However, if prior to sale time, the delinquent tax charges are paid by the owner the parcel will be removed from the list.

Registration for the sale will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the fifth floor hearing room. Interested parties are encouraged to make prior inquiries to be assured of the location of the property. The successful bidder will receive an Auditor’s Deed for each parcel for the purchase price plus $5.50 deed and transfer fee.  Bidders are cautioned that this would not necessarily extinguish any federal tax liens that may have been imposed on the parcel.

The successful bidder will have no delinquent real estate tax liability for the parcels purchased and will receive the tax bill for the first half of 2018 tax settlement due February 2019. More information can be found online at The link for the auction will display a list of properties and by clicking on a parcel number you will be directed to more specific information about that property.


William “Bill” E. Solarik, Jr., 66 of Cygnet

William “Bill” E. Solarik, Jr., 66, of Cygnet, passed away at 7:10 a.m., Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at the Bridge Hospice Care Center, Bowling Green.

William “Bill” E. Solarik, Jr., 66, of Cygnet, passed away at 7:10 a.m., Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at the Bridge Hospice Care Center, Bowling Green.

He was born on January 31, 1952, in Fostoria to the late William E., Sr. and Lois (Boyer) Solarik. He married Suzanne “Sue” Distel on November 20, 1978 and she survives.

Bill is also survived by his son, Benjamin Solarik of Cygnet; his daughters: Amanda (Nolan) Wickard of Wayne, Kimberly (Pat) Kurzenhauser of Columbiana, Ohio, and Sarah Solarik of Columbus; his sisters: Bette (Rodney) Reiter of Fostoria and Linda (Dan) Snow of Bowling Green; and his beloved grandchildren: Hayden Wickard, Gavin Solarik, Bailey Solarik, Coen Wickard, Emerson Wickard, Thea Kurzenhauser, and Lincoln Wickard.

Bill retired in 2018 from the Ohio Operating Engineers, and was a member of the Ohio Operating Engineers Local 18. He was a U.S. Marine Corp Veteran, and a member of the North Baltimore American Legion Post 539.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at SMITH-CRATES FUNERAL HOME, North Baltimore, with David Boswell officiating.

Burial will be in Weaver Cemetery, Bloom Township, where full military rites will be conducted by the North Baltimore American Legion Post 539.

Visitation will be held Monday from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 p.m. at SMITH-CRATES FUNERAL HOME. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be made at

BVHS Nurse Named the 2018 Forensic Nurse of the Year

Michelle Stratton has been BVHS associate for the past 10 years………

Michelle Stratton, RN and forensic nursing program coordinator at Blanchard Valley Hospital (BVH), has been named the 2018 International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) Ohio Chapter Forensic Nurse of the Year.

Congratulations to Michelle Stratton, Ohio Forensic Nurse of the Year

According to the Ohio Chapter of the IAFN, forensic nurses of the year are providers who contribute to the development of teaching, disseminating information and/or promoting forensic nursing in their communities. Among other requirements, forensic nurses of the year must also have made significant contributions to the development of forensic nursing through leadership at a local, state and/or national level.

A BVHS associate for the past 10 years, Stratton’s role includes managing the schedule of the forensic nursing program, training new sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) nurses and budgeting forensic nursing program funds. Stratton has helped identify grants for this program to create personal, private exam rooms for sexual assault victims as well as provide comfort items such as robes, lotions and clean clothes. She also educates the community on sexual assault and domestic violence in eight counties.

Martha Rothey, development officer at the Blanchard Valley Health Foundation, and Jessica Schetter, RN nominated Stratton for this award. “Stratton identified a need within her department to better serve victims of sexual assault, collaborated with other departments to receive a grant and successfully implemented in one year a 24/7 on-call forensic nursing program to meet the needs of some of BVH’s most traumatized patients,” explained Rothey.

“She is a role model for staff and has inspired many nurses to become SANE nurses,” added Schetter.

“I am honored to receive this recognition and will continue striving to deliver the highest quality of care to sexual assault victims in our community,” Stratton said.

Blanchard Valley Health System offers this forensic nursing program at both BVH and Bluffton Hospital. For more information, call BVH at 419.423.5207 or Bluffton Hospital at 419.358.9010. A SANE educational brochure is also available for download at