A Feast for the Holidays


People love the holidays, but they can invite unwanted stress, especially when it comes to deciding what to cook for the big day. A proven menu may ease the situation. Having your meal planned is half the battle. So, I spent the last few weeks testing these holiday recipes to ensure that this special day includes a feast like no other. Then, you can focus on cooking instead of planning.
Try some of these recipes from Delish, Betty Crocker, Delicious as it Looks and Eating European to impress the relatives. Scan the QR Codes for the recipes.


Smoked Cranberry Chicken Wings
Smoked hickory barbecue sauce adds a nice sweet heat to this appetizer as it enhances the mild fruity flavor of the cranberry sauce. This recipe may be inexpensive and simple, but the marinade is the secret to creating a moist and flavorful wing.

Pull Apart Christmas Tree
This very uncomplicated recipe can provide a lot of holiday cheer with minimal effort. Swap in your favorite cheese to personalize this pull-apart Christmas tree to suit your taste. If you are in a rush, make it the day before the big event. It reheats well in the microwave while maintaining the same great taste.


Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Turkeys frequently dry out after baking in the oven for hours. This year, try cooking your prized poultry in a crock pot. The lid keeps the drippings from evaporating into the air while the low and slow heat keeps the bird in a bath of it’s natural juices. You are practically guaranteed to have succulent turkey. Cut down on cooking time and carving by using a boneless breast instead.


Beef Roast

The recipe works well with a cheaper roast than called for. I used a chuck roast which has fair amount of fat, so it did not dry out. The spices add a simple flavor that does not distract from the meat and the rosemary fills the kitchen with a pleasant earthy aroma. Cooking in cast iron helps build a nice crust.





Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
These rustic garlic mashed potatoes have so much more flavor than a picture can show. Leaving the skins on the potatoes not only adds color and flavor, but saves on time. The sour cream is the secret to achieving that creamy texture and the garlic amplifies the taste.

Three Cheese Mac and Cheese
The three cheese mac and cheese is a filling side that could easily stand alone as an entrée. The thick and creamy cheese sauce, along with the crunchy parmesan panko topping, makes for a hearty recipe.





Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
The recipe seems like it would be a sugar bomb, but the sugar is balanced perfectly by the cinnamon. It is one of the lightest apple pies that I have ever eaten. The cinnamon roll pie shells can test your patience, so if you are pressed for time, use store bought rolls instead.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
A chocolate pumpkin cheesecake is a strange combination causing a mixed review. As a modern twist on the classic cheesecake, I still feel like it’s missing some ingredient to tie the flavors together. The contrasting tastes may work for some people, but not for me.