Archive for the ‘Holiday Food’ Category


December 18, 2010

My mother in law makes this and it’s amazing!

 Cook Time: 120
Prep Time: 15
1/2 gallon (8c) apple cider
1 pint (2c) cranberry juice
3/4 cup sugar (optional)
1 tsp. whole allspice
3 sticks cinnamon
Lemon, halved and studded with cloves
Orange slices from two small oranges
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup rum (or MORE!)

Combine all ingedients in large pot or crock pot
Bring to a boil and simmer for a few hours.
Tip – Add the alcohol late so it keeps it’s potency – or pour rum into cups and then add wassel.
Makes: 3 quarts

From the Christmas Lover’s Handbook, 1985


Cranberry, Apple, Sweet Potatoe Bake

January 10, 2010

My mother in law made this for a holiday once and I have yet to recreate it because I haven’t looked for that stinking packet of ingredients yet!  But I will someday soon.


2 lg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes (about 3 cups)

1 lg apple, peeled and cut into 3/4″ cubes

1 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1 pkg. Concord Foods sweet potato casserole mix with marshmallow topping


Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a 11×17″ casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries, butter, cranberry juice, and sweet potato pie pack, mix well.  Pour sweet potato, cranberry mixture int prepared pan.  Bake for 35-45 min, stirring occasionally o until sweet potatoes are softened enough.

Remove from oven stir in pecans.  Sprinkle top of sweet potatoes with the packet of marshmallows and return to oven for 5 min. 


Cranberry Sauce

December 26, 2009

I made cranberry sauce for the fist time, and it was awesome.  I usually don’t eat it from the can, so this was a real treat!


  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup 100 percent cranberry juice, not cocktail (I bought the wrong kind – cocktail – and it was fine)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups
  • Instructions:

    Wash the cranberries and discard any soft or wrinkled ones.

    Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

    Carefully spoon the cranberry sauce into a 3 cup mold. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

    Remove from the refrigerator, overturn the mold and slide out the sauce. Slice and serve.


    Homemade Eggnog

    December 24, 2009

    Found this recipe on the internet and modified a little to what I had on hand. Will update tomorrow when I know how good (or not) it is!

    UPDATE: this is amazing. It’s perfect how I made it because with regular eggnog I feel like it’s so thick you can’t even swallow it, but with this balance of milk and cream it was just right!


  • 4 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 5 whole cloves (I used 2 or so teaspoons of allspice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups light rum (I used only 1 and 2/3 cups dark rum)
  • 4 cups light cream (I used 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 2 cups 1% milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Instructions:

    Combine milk, cloves/allspice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil. I had a hard time doing this, so I brought it to almost boiling and combined it earlier because I was afraid of curdling!

    In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. So here’s where I made sure the eggs were cooked and no one would get salmonella. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil and make sure that it gets to 165 degrees. My mixture got a little foamy on the top (shown in the last picture) but it went down in the fridge so I wasn’t too worried.

    Strain to remove cloves if you used them, and let cool for about an hour.

    Stir in rum, cream (and milk if using the combo), 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.


    Banana Pancakes with Syrup

    December 24, 2009

    Tried this for Christmas Eve brunch.  Ah, who doesn’t love brunch? 

    The pancakes I made were a little doughy, so if you have any suggestions on how to lighten them up I’ll definitely make this again!


    • 3 large bananas, peeled, divided
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, divided
    • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    • 2 cups self-rising flour (I used all-purpose)
    • 2 cups buttermilk (I used 1% milk)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 t vanilla (I added this)
    • 1/2 t all spice (I added this)
    • Additional melted butter


    Cut 2 bananas into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Combine 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup water in heavy large skillet. Boil over medium-high heat until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and sliced bananas. Remove syrup from heat.

    Whisk flour and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl. Mash remaining banana in medium bowl, then whisk in buttermilk and eggs. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients (some lumps will remain). Mix in remaining 1/4 cup melted butter.

    Preheat oven to 200°F. Heat griddle over medium heat; brush with additional melted butter. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm.

    Serve pancakes with caramel-banana syrup.


    Cheese Ball

    December 20, 2009

    My mom’s recipe.


    8 oz cream cheese

    2 cups shredded cheddar

    1/8 cup onion

    1/4 t garlic powder

    1/4 t worstechire

     1/4 t season all

    3/4 c walnuts, chopped

    Instructions: mix all ingredients together except for the walnuts.  Roll the ball in the walnuts and serve with crackers.

    Stuffed Pork Loik with Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese

    December 20, 2009

    My mother made this for Christmas one year, and it is ABSOLUTELY incredible. I’ve done a version of this with split chicken breasts and it’s really good too!


    2 slices bacon

    2 cups butternut squash

    1/2 cup diced onion

    1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

    1/2 cup and 2 T blue cheese or goat cheese, divided

    3 T freshly chopped sage leaves, divided

    1 4 lb boneless pork loin

    1 cup chicken broth, divided

    1/4 cup dry sherry

    1 T cornstarch

    Instructions: preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove and put aside and crumble into small pieces, reserving the fat in the pan.

    To the same pan, add squash and onion and cook 3 minutes until onion is soft. remove from heat, add to a large bowl with the bacon, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of the cheese, 2 T sage, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t black pepper. Mix well.

    Butterfly the pork on a flat surface and spread the filling evenly over the meat. Roll up pork and tie with kitchen twine at 2″ intervals. season pork all over with S+P and transfer to prepared pan. Roast 15 minutes.

    Reduce oven temperature to 325 and bake 45 more minutes until temperature reads 160. Let the pork rest 10 minutes before cutting crosswise into 1″ thick slices.

    In a small saucepan, whisk together chicken broth, sherry and cornstarch. Bring it to a simmer. Add remaining 2 T of cheese and 1 T of sage and simmer 1 minute until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and season to taste with S+P.

    From Robin Miller





    Brownie Cookies

    December 20, 2009

    As you may be able to tell, I don’t bake a lot.  But these cookies are worth it.  I got the recipe from my friend Sara, and I only make them about twice a year, but they’re so good!


    1 (19 oz) package of dark chocolate brownie mix

    1/2 cup butter, melted

    3 T water

    1 egg

    1 cup chocolate flavored rice crisp cereal

    1 cup M&Ms

    1/2 cup rolled oats

    1/3 cup white baking chips, melted

    Instructions: heat oven to 350.

    Mix brownie mix, butter, water, and egg until well blended. Stir in cereal, candies, and oats. Mix well.

    Drop dough by rounded table spoons about 2″ apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

    Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes.  Cool for 1 minute, and then take off sheets to cool for at least 10 minutes.  Drizzle with melted baking chips.

    Champagne Punch

    December 20, 2009

    My mom sent me this recipe, and we tried it out tonight and it was absolutely fantastic!  Goes down almost a little TOO easy.


  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
  • 1 (6 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle white wine, chilled
  • 1 liter carbonated water, chilled
  • 2 (750 milliliter) bottles champagne, chilled
  • 1 lemon – sliced, for garnish
  • Instructions: In a punch bowl (or any pitcher) combine ingredients and stir.  Serve over ice.


    Sweet Potato Pie

    November 28, 2009

    My mom gave me this recipe and it’s always a hit at Thanksgiving. I don’t know why I don’t make it more often! Super easy and pretty healthy.


    1 can 40 oz. sweet potatoes in light syrup, drained

    1/2 cup milk (or a little less)

    1 egg

    2 T butter, melted

    1 T light brown sugar

    1 t pumpkin pie spice

    1/2 t salt

    1 can 8 oz. crushed pineapple in juice, drained

    1 cup mini marshmallows

    1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)


    Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients accept the walnuts and marshmallows into a food processor and blend. Put into a greased shallow baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

    After baking, add the walnuts and marshmallows to top, and place back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Note to self: when doubling the recipe this still can fit in the food processor and bake in the glass dish with lid.