Holiday recipes + donation to Feeding America

Oh, how I love the holiday season! I have been blasting Christmas music (sorry neighbors), decorating and holiday shopping since before Thanksgiving. Now that we’re well into December I’m sure there is a lot on everyone’s mind, especially the thought of what you’re going to cook when the family gets together! I thought I would help you along with your planning by providing you with some of my favorite holiday recipes.

Starting with an appetizer, here’s a full menu idea (recipes below):

  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Marmalade-glazed ham
  • Goat cheese potato gratin
  • Cheesy grits souffle
  • Peanut brittle
  • Pecan-pumpkin pie

Another great tip is to make as much as you can ahead of time. And plan, plan, plan! Read your recipes a couple of days in advance to see how long each dish takes so your recipes can all come out at the same time and still be warm when you are ready to serve! Some parts can even be made the day before, or even the week before if you can freeze and store until you are ready to finish baking or cooking. You can also assign different activities to different people. I have also included a sample time-table below.

As an added bonus, the company I work for, GolinHarris, just launched their holiday site, Every time someone submits a recipe, they will donate to Feeding America. So share your favorite recipes – it’s for a great cause!

Stuffed mushrooms


  •  1 lb cremini mushrooms (small, bite sized mushrooms that are good for stuffing)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Remove the stems from the mushrooms by gently turning the stems and pulling them out. Chop the stems up and save for the next step. Chop the green onions and bell pepper. Melt the butter on the stove over medium heat in a 12 inch skillet.

Add the chopped mushroom stems, bell pepper, and onions to the skillet and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

If you want to make ahead of time, you can stop after this step and pick up with the next when you are ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use remaining butter to grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. Place mushrooms, open side up, in the pan. Fill each mushroom with the mixture. Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Total time: 30 minutes

Marmalade-glazed ham


  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 cooked, spiral-sliced, smoked bone-in half ham

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together marmalade, sugar, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and rosemary. Place ham in a 9×13 inch roasting pan. Brush the mixture all over the ham. Place in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted horizontally in the bottom portion of the ham (not touching the bone) reaches 140 degrees. Transfer to a platter and garnish with herbs and fruit if you like!

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Goat cheese potato gratin

goat cheese potatoes

  • 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping cup soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Chives or green onions, chopped, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease an 11×7 inch baking dish.

Slice the potatoes very thinly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, garlic, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish overlapping them slightly. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes, then repeat the layers two more times with the remaining potatoes and cream.

Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and the potatoes are cooked through. Allow to stand at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chives or green onions and serve.

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cheesy grits souffle


  • 6.5 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 large eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking dish.

In a saucepan, bring water, margarine, salt, and 1 1/2 cup of milk to a boil. Whisk in grits. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Whisk well, then stir in nutmeg, cayenne, remaining 1 cup milk, and the Cheddar cheese. Whisk in 3 egg yolks; discard the remaining yolks. Transfer to a bowl and cool.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat all 6 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add one-third of the whites to the grits mixture and stir until blended. Fold in remaining egg whites, stir gently, then transfer to a souffle dish. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown on top.

Total time: 1 hour

Peanut brittle

peanut brittle

  • 1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Grease a baking sheet, and set aside. In a glass bowl, combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook in microwave for 6 to 7 minutes on High (700 W); mixture should be bubbly and peanuts browned. Stir in butter and vanilla; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Quickly stir in baking soda, just until mixture is foamy. Pour immediately onto greased baking sheet. Let cool 15 minutes, or until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

Total time: 30 minutes

Pecan-pumpkin pie


  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 prepared deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°.

In small bowl, combine one egg, pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Spread in pie crust.

In medium bowl, beat remaining two eggs slightly. Stir in corn syrup and remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the butter and vanilla; stir until well blended. Stir in pecans. Carefully spoon over pumpkin mixture.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until filling is set around edge. Cool pie completely on wire rack.

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Time table

Day before:

  • Make peanut brittle
  • Make pecan-pumpkin pie
  • Prepare the filling for the stuff mushrooms and store in the fridge over night

Day of:

  • 10:00 am Before guests arrive, set the table, set out wine glasses, etc.
  • 12:00 pm Assemble the stuffed mushroom, bake, then serve for guests
  • 12:30 pm Mise and place – Prepare the glaze for the ham
  • 12:40 pm Mise and place – Prepare the ingredients for the goat cheese potato gratin
  • 1:15 Put the ham in the oven to cook
  • 1:15 Put the potatoes in the oven to cook
  • 1:20 pm Mise and place – Prepare the ingredients for the cheesy grits souffle
  • 1:40 pm Put the souffles in the oven to bake
  • 2:30 pm Remove the ham from the oven and let rest
  • 2:30 pm Remove the potatoes from the oven
  • 2:30 Remove the souffles from the oven
  • 2:35 Serve!

I would love to hear about your favorite recipes – share them here and also on!


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