Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Recipes to Try...

In the spirit of the holidays, I have pulled together various recipes I have gathered from friends, FB, magazines, and different sources that I would like to try.  Some I have tasted while others are new.  Some are 'whole foods' oriented while others are not...Most are 'comfort food' type recipes that are apparently crowd-pleasers.

In case you might be entertaining this holiday season and needed some new ideas, wanted to share some of these with you.  

Enjoy, happy holidays, and cheers!

I had to include this, it's the holidays after all!

(from Shelly Sison, from Allrecipes.com)

One Allrecipes.com reviewer noted, "After reading WAY TOO MANY reviews, here is what I did and it came out PERFECT!!! 6 eggs, 2 cups half and half (no milk), 2 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, soaked overnight, let sit out while oven preheated and turned each piece over, baked covered with foil for 20 minutes, poured sauce over the top and baked uncovered for the remaining 20 minutes. FANTASTIC!!! Kids and grown-ups ate it all up. Served with fresh melon. This will be our new Christmas morning breakfast!!!"


1 (1 lb) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1-in slices
7-8 eggs
1-2 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half cream
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
3 T light corn syrup


Butter 9x13 baking dish.  Arrange slices of bread in bottom. 

In large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning: preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup.  Heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture.

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.




Assemble above ingredients as shown...



               Rosemary Sprigs
               4 oz peppadew peppers
               2 lb assorted cured meats, salami, prosciutto, mortadella
               1 lb assorted cheeses: parmigiano-reggiano, bocconcini, etc
               1/2 lb marinated olives
               1/2 marinated vegetables: onions, peppers


Line the edge of a large, round platter with the rosemary springs.  Nestle the peppers in the rosemary.  Arrange the meats, cheeses, olives, and vegetables on the platter…




               Rotisserie chicken sliced into pieces (approx 2 c)
               2 Pillsbury Pie Crusts (refrig section near dairy)
               8 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables
               Can cream of celery soup
               ½ cups milk
               ½ teaspoon garlic salt + pepper to taste
               1-1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

INSTRUCTIONS (note, picture above used espresso cups, but for my recipe, you can use ramekins or mini foil pans)

Preheat oven to 375. Defrost veggies in microwave for 3-4 minutes. Cut 2 piecrusts into quarters to yield 8 equal pieces. Coat inside of 4 ramekins with cooking spray.  Line bottom of each with a quarter of crust, molding it with your fingers to fit.  In large bowl combine the veggies, soup, milk, chicken, cheese, garlic salt, pepper.  Spoon 2/3 cup of mixture into each ramekin.  Top each with piecrust quarter, pinching edges together.  Cut vents in top.  Place on baking sheet and bake 35-45 min or until golden brown.

(100 Days of Real Food Blog)


               3 tablespoons paprika
               2 tablespoons salt
               2 teaspoons black pepper
               1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
               1 teaspoon garlic powder
               ½ teaspoon dried thyme
               ½ cup honey
               ¼ cup red wine vinegar
               3 tablespoons olive oil
               1 onion, peeled and cut in half
               3 to 3 ½ pounds pork shoulder, cut in half


1.            In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the first six ingredients (all of the spices) with a fork.
2.            Pour in the honey, vinegar, and olive oil and stir to form a paste.
3.            Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top it with the 2 pieces of pork and then pour the honey paste over all sides of the pork pieces. It’s okay if some of it (or a lot of it) just drips down to the bottom.
4.            Turn the slow cooker on to low and cook for 7 to 8 hours or until the meat is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork.
5.            Serve warm with fixings like homemade cole slaw and cornbread. My husband also likes his dipped in a little hot sauce. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.

(Crock Pot Recipes FB Page)


               2 lb Pork Tenderloin
               ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
               1 T yellow mustard
               2-3 T maple syrup
               2 T olive oil
               2 T diced dried onions
               1 ½ tsp Garlic salt or powder


Mix ingredients above.  Pour over tenderloin in crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours…


(Lindsay Reau….these are SO delicious and savory...they literally melt in your mouth!)


·     2 pkg Hawaiian Sweet Rolls - 24
·     1 lb. sliced Black Forest ham
·     1/2 lb. Swiss Cheese or Jarlsberg

Assemble rolls with desired quantities of ham and cheese, and arrange in a deep baking pan (Pyrex works)

1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds (optional)
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 1/2 T Worcestershire sauce

*Bring topping ingredients to a boil in small sauce pan and then spoon over top of the rolls just before baking.  Bake for 15 min at 350 degrees.

(Top Chef Masters Champ, Douglas Keane)

3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. spinach, rinsed and dried
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 1/4 lbs rustic bread, diced and toasted
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (reserve some oil from jar)
8 oz goat cheese
3-4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 T salt


Preheat oven to 350. In a saute pan, heat olive oil, add garlic, spinach, and mushrooms and saute over high heat until liquid is evaporated, 10-15 min.

In a large bowl, combine spinach mixture with bread, tomatoes, and goat cheese.  Add enough broth to moisten. Add salt to taste.

Place stuffing in a greased 3-qt baking dish and bake 45 min.  

Drizzle with reserved tomato oil just before serving.


(Similar to Cracker Barrel’s) –
(100 Days of Real Food Blog)


               6 tablespoons butter + extra for greasing the pan
               cup diced onion
               1 clove garlic, minced
               4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
               1½ cups milk
               ½ teaspoon salt
               Pepper, to taste
               2 cups freshly grated mild cheddar cheese
               1 pound frozen hash browns (no need to defrost), be sure to buy a brand with only 1 ingredient – potatoes


6.            Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a square baking dish with butter (8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch) and set aside.
7.            In a large saute pan over medium heat melt the butter. Cook the diced onion until it softens but does not brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Throw in the minced garlic and cook while stirring for 1 more minute.
8.            Turn the heat down to medium low and whisk in the flour. Continuously stir until the flour darkens but is not burnt, about 1 to 2 minutes.
9.            Whisk in the milk, salt, and pepper until it slightly thickens, about 1 minute.
10.       Turn the heat off and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the grated cheese until it melts. Fold in the hash browns until evenly coated.
11.       Transfer to the baking dish being careful to push the thick mixture down on top into one even layer.
12.       Bake for 30 to 35 minutes uncovered, and then turn the heat up to broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Keep a close eye under the broiler so it doesn’t burn! Serve warm and enjoy.


·     2 Bags of Orida frozen “mashed” potatoes
·     1/2 cup chopped onion
·     1 stick butter
·     1 16-oz sour cream
·     Cream of mushroom soup
·     8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
·     1 tsp salt
·     ¼ tsp pepper


Saute chopped onion in butter until tender.
Add mushroom soup, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper.
Stir until cheese melts.  Remove from heat.  Add sour cream.  Mix with potatoes.  Place in 9x13 baking dish, 325-350 degrees covered for 45 min, uncovered 15 additional minutes (1 hr total).



·     4 ounces pancetta, diced
·     1 tablespoon olive oil
·     2 cups fresh roasted chestnuts, approximately ¾ pound in shell (substitute peeled, frozen chestnuts if desired)
·     2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved (quartered, if large)
·     Salt and pepper
·     ¼ cup warm water
·     2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
·     Pinch cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Roasting removes the shell and richens the flavor of chestnuts. Using the tip of a knife, cut a small X in the flat side of their outer shell, then spread them out on a baking pan. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes; you will see the skin curling away and the chestnut taking on a golden color. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. The shells can easily be removed. Set aside the chestnuts.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large (approximately three- to four-quart) saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until it renders its fat and is lightly browned. Add the chestnuts, toss or stir to combine, then cook for about one minute. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, tossing or stirring, for about two minutes.
4. Transfer vegetables to a rimmed baking pan or roasting pan; they should spread out into one slightly overlapping layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the upper third of the oven, stirring once halfway through until the vegetables are golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Use the tip of a sharp paring knife to test the doneness at the base of a Brussels sprout; it should insert easily.
5. In a small bowl or cup, stir together the water, maple syrup, and cayenne. Pour the mixture into the hot baking pan, using a wooden spoon to dissolve any browned bits. Return pan to oven and cook another five minutes. Serve hot or warm, family-style, in a festive bowl.


Claim to fame:  “One bite and you will never go back to the "old way" of making green bean casserole ever again. No "cream of something" soup in this baby.


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup sour cream
3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
1 tablespoon butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350
Melt 2 T butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.
Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

(thanks to Ruthie Wittenberg for sharing!)



               3 lemons, room temp
               1/2 cup sugar
               1 bottle (750 mL) Champagne, chilled
               3/4 cup best-quality vodka, chilled
               4 oz candied lemon peels


1) With a vegetable peeler, remove zest from each lemon in a long, continuous spiral.  Juice lemons, and strain pulp (you should have 3/4 cup juice). Set aside.
2) Heat sugar and 1/2 cup water in small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat. Add zest. Let syrup cool completely, about 2 hours.
3) Pour Champagne, vodka, lemon juice, and syrup into a punch bowl; stir.  Serve glasses of punch with candied peels.

Note > Lemons are easier to peel and will release more juice at room temp than when chilled.


1.5 oz #DoubleCross Vodka
3/4 oz lime juice
Ginger Beer
Dash of cranberry juice

Pour all ingredients over ice. Garnish with cranberries and lime. Cheers!

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