My FAVORITE Holiday Recipe!

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Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2017


Celebrate the Holidays of Season with your Cruise Critic Friends -- Thanksgiving - Hanukkah - Christmas - Kwanza - The New Year

This forum contains posts from prior holidays since they are packed full of good cheer and great recipes!
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#1
Ewing, NJ
2,508 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I am going to share my version of a holiday classic side dish - feel free to reply and share your recipes as well!

Green Bean Casserole

No cream of mushroom soup for this girl! Try my from scratch version of a holiday table staple ..It is slightly more work but you will never go back after trying this

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed. You can cut into smaller size if you wish but not necessary. Honestly you can use frozen too - I won't tell!
1/2 large onion chopped/diced fine
2 handfuls of shiitake or chantrelle mushrooms (about 1 cup BEFORE they are chopped) - small chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
4 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
1/2 cup half and half
2 1/4 cups milk - preferably whole
1 jar (4oz) pimentos - rough chopped
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, or could increase if you are spicy)
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup breadcrumbs (panko works well) or french fried onions

Preparation Instructions

Prepare the green beans. Put them into salted/boiling water and allow for 4-5 mins. Remove the to a bowl of ice cold water. Drain beans once they have cooled off.

Meanwhile:
Cook bacon pieces in a skillet over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes, then add onion and mushrooms and continue cooking for about 5 mins, when bacon is cooked through and the onions soften. Then add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, then remove from heat and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook for about 2 mins then pour in milk and half and half. Keep on cooking and whisking until the sauce gets nice and thick. Around 3-4 mins. Turn off heat. Now is when you add the cheese and cayenne(optional) also add some salt and pepper to your liking - probably about a tsp of salt and half of pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted.

Add the pimentos and the bacon/mush/onion mix into the cheesy sauce. If your saucepan is large enough, stir in the green beans and mix until well coated, otherwise put the beans in a large bowl and do the same. Try hard not to lick the bowl/spoon/pan etc. It will be tough!

You'll want to put this mixture into a large 13x9 baking dish. Top with your fav topping (breadcrumbs or french fried onions) Put into a 350 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

You can make this and freeze prior to putting the topping on, or make it a day or two in advance refrigerated. When ready to prepare, bring to room temp - add topping and bake per instructions.

Enjoy
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#2
Santa Fe, Texas
2,553 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Your recipe sounds WONDERFUL! This is my husband's favorite side dish on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I might give yours a try!
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#3
SE Michigan
586 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I will gladly share my sweet potato souffle recipe that I received from my son's mother-in-law, passed down from generation to generation in their family. It's heavenly!

Sweet Potato Soufflé

5 lbs. peeled sweet potatoes, steamed and pureed
½ c. melted butter
7 eggs
1¼ c. evaporated milk
2 c. sugar
½ t. salt

Place sweet potatoes in large mixing bowl. Whip smooth. Add butter, eggs and evaporated milk. Mix thoroughly. Add sugar and salt. Mix again. Place in a 9x13 pan. Top with pecan topping (below).. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Pecan Topping:
¼ c. flour
2 T. melted butter
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. pecan pieces

Mix flour, butter and brown sugar until it's the consistency of sand. Add pecan pieces-chopped. Mix thoroughly.
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#4
Pennsylvania
13,986 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by tntfox
I will gladly share my sweet potato souffle recipe that I received from my son's mother-in-law, passed down from generation to generation in their family. It's heavenly!

Sweet Potato Soufflé

Made this today. Had to cut down the recipe, halved it, and it was yummy. One of my Thanksgiving traditions is to overcook the sweet potatoes , so it was the perfect recipe for me.
#5
108,118 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I am going to share my version of a holiday classic side dish - feel free to reply and share your recipes as well!

Green Bean Casserole

No cream of mushroom soup for this girl! Try my from scratch version of a holiday table staple ..It is slightly more work but you will never go back after trying this

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed. You can cut into smaller size if you wish but not necessary. Honestly you can use frozen too - I won't tell!
1/2 large onion chopped/diced fine
2 handfuls of shiitake or chantrelle mushrooms (about 1 cup BEFORE they are chopped) - small chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
4 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
1/2 cup half and half
2 1/4 cups milk - preferably whole
1 jar (4oz) pimentos - rough chopped
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, or could increase if you are spicy)
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup breadcrumbs (panko works well) or french fried onions

Preparation Instructions

Prepare the green beans. Put them into salted/boiling water and allow for 4-5 mins. Remove the to a bowl of ice cold water. Drain beans once they have cooled off.

Meanwhile:
Cook bacon pieces in a skillet over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes, then add onion and mushrooms and continue cooking for about 5 mins, when bacon is cooked through and the onions soften. Then add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, then remove from heat and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook for about 2 mins then pour in milk and half and half. Keep on cooking and whisking until the sauce gets nice and thick. Around 3-4 mins. Turn off heat. Now is when you add the cheese and cayenne(optional) also add some salt and pepper to your liking - probably about a tsp of salt and half of pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted.

Add the pimentos and the bacon/mush/onion mix into the cheesy sauce. If your saucepan is large enough, stir in the green beans and mix until well coated, otherwise put the beans in a large bowl and do the same. Try hard not to lick the bowl/spoon/pan etc. It will be tough!

You'll want to put this mixture into a large 13x9 baking dish. Top with your fav topping (breadcrumbs or french fried onions) Put into a 350 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

You can make this and freeze prior to putting the topping on, or make it a day or two in advance refrigerated. When ready to prepare, bring to room temp - add topping and bake per instructions.

Enjoy
You have an excellent recipe.

I just copied it and will run it off tomorrow.
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#6
108,118 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by tntfox
I will gladly share my sweet potato souffle recipe that I received from my son's mother-in-law, passed down from generation to generation in their family. It's heavenly!

Sweet Potato Soufflé

5 lbs. peeled sweet potatoes, steamed and pureed
½ c. melted butter
7 eggs
1¼ c. evaporated milk
2 c. sugar
½ t. salt

Place sweet potatoes in large mixing bowl. Whip smooth. Add butter, eggs and evaporated milk. Mix thoroughly. Add sugar and salt. Mix again. Place in a 9x13 pan. Top with pecan topping (below).. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Pecan Topping:
¼ c. flour
2 T. melted butter
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. pecan pieces

Mix flour, butter and brown sugar until it's the consistency of sand. Add pecan pieces-chopped. Mix thoroughly.
I am making this for Christmas.

Thank you.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#7
Nashville, TN
384 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I didn't make it this year, yet, but may for Christmas.

Sweet Potato Pie with Praline Topping

Of course, I add extras anytime I bake so I add a bit of quick oats and coconut to my pecan, brown sugar, and butter topping. Like candy on top of the pie!
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#8
West St. Paul, MN USA
1,573 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Mon always fixed a turkey dinner at Christmas with her mom's sage dressing. It is not a light and airy dressing but a rather heavy, stick together type dressing and oh so good with turkey gravey over it. It's what I grew up with so many yummy memories!
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#9
Saranac, MI USA
2,169 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
don't think there is anything more disgusting re holiday food than traditional green bean casserole w/ the mushroom soup..yecchhh.. only thing worse was my wife's aunt's stuffing w/ oysters and thankfully that tradition passed w/ her..

Will say that this recipe (and the sweet potato souffle) bear trying

will share one of my favorite holiday recipes and it's oh so easy..

make your favorite cup of hot chocolate in a mug that will leave a good inch or better of space at the top... pour in a jigger of butterscotch schnapps.. and top liberally w/ a shot of ready whip

consume .. and repeat .. and maybe repeat again...
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#10
Vancouver, BC
1,282 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
I've made the sweet potato souffle for a couple of years now, bascially because I love, love, love the pecan topping. It's the topping that makes this recipe so wonderful.
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#11
Ewing, NJ
2,508 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I would like to think I have perfected the cookie. It took a few years, many recipe tweaks, and lots of taste testing ... but here is my favorite chocolate chip recipe. This is a double batch - I usually freeze half for baking later

Ingredients

8 ounces (2 sticks usually) unsalted butter (room temp)
1 stick of crisco
4 1/4 cups bread flour (you can sub All purpose if you want)
1.5 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cup brown sugar (light)
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
2 tbs of milk or half and half
3 tsp vanilla extract (even better if you got iy while in Costa Maya or Cozumel - Mexican Vanilla is FANTASTIC)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (can add more if you LOVE chips)
1 package chocolate chunks (usually 11-12 ounces)

Directions

Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.

Add the butter, crisco, sugar and brown sugar to your stand mixer (if your lucky) or a large bowl and beat with the paddle attachment and/or handmixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.

In another bowl whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract.

Slowly add the egg mixture to your sugar/butter mixture Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, drop the speed to "stir" and add the chocolate chips and chunks

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough on a sheet and bake for 10-12 mins. Cook on a rack.

I used to make this with all crisco (which would be 2 sticks and no butter) as my son had a dairy allergy - they are just a bit chewier that way and very yummy - now that my son has grown out of his dairy allergy I added in the butter - for flavor - but still kept it at 1/2 crisco because it does produce a nice chewy cookie.
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#12
Ewing, NJ
2,508 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by michmike
don't think there is anything more disgusting re holiday food than traditional green bean casserole w/ the mushroom soup..yecchhh.. only thing worse was my wife's aunt's stuffing w/ oysters and thankfully that tradition passed w/ her..

Will say that this recipe (and the sweet potato souffle) bear trying

will share one of my favorite holiday recipes and it's oh so easy..

make your favorite cup of hot chocolate in a mug that will leave a good inch or better of space at the top... pour in a jigger of butterscotch schnapps.. and top liberally w/ a shot of ready whip

consume .. and repeat .. and maybe repeat again...
Love your recipe - It is yummy with baileys or Kahlua as well
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#13
423 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
12 Small McDonalds hamburgers (extra onions), no pickles, mustard, or catsup.
1 cup celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. ground thyme
1+ tbsp. rubbed sage
2 tsp.. coarsely ground black pepper
Turkey broth

Saute vegetables in butter. In a large mixing bowl, tear the burgers into pieces and add vegetables and seasonings. Toss and add broth. Toss well. Place in a half hotel pan and bake at 350º. Cover with aluminum foil and uncover the last 30 minutes to crisp top.
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#14
108,118 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by michmike
don't think there is anything more disgusting re holiday food than traditional green bean casserole w/ the mushroom soup..yecchhh.. only thing worse was my wife's aunt's stuffing w/ oysters and thankfully that tradition passed w/ her..

Will say that this recipe (and the sweet potato souffle) bear trying

will share one of my favorite holiday recipes and it's oh so easy..

make your favorite cup of hot chocolate in a mug that will leave a good inch or better of space at the top... pour in a jigger of butterscotch schnapps.. and top liberally w/ a shot of ready whip

consume .. and repeat .. and maybe repeat again...

I like to add Frangelica to my hot chocolate.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#15
God Bless the USA
2,897 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
This is great for Christmas. Red and Green grapes.
You can put this in a large glass bowl or a glass cake pan.

I actually like the glass cake pan better. That way each serving gets some of the topping. I just dish it out with a spatula. It's been a big hit.


GRAPE SALAD


Ingredients
    • 2 lbs green seedless grapes
    • 2 lbs red seedless grapes
    • 8 ounces sour cream
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, to taste
    • Topping Ingredients
      • 1 cup brown sugar, packed, to taste
      • 1 cup crushed pecans, to taste
  • Directions
    1. Wash and stem grapes.
    2. Set aside.
    3. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, white sugar and vanilla by hand until blended.
    4. Stir grapes into mixture, and pour in large serving bowl.
    5. For topping: Combine brown sugar, and crushed pecans.
    6. Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover
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#16
IAD
495 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by mongo59r
12 Small McDonalds hamburgers (extra onions), no pickles, mustard, or catsup.
1 cup celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. ground thyme
1+ tbsp. rubbed sage
2 tsp.. coarsely ground black pepper
Turkey broth

Saute vegetables in butter. In a large mixing bowl, tear the burgers into pieces and add vegetables and seasonings. Toss and add broth. Toss well. Place in a half hotel pan and bake at 350º. Cover with aluminum foil and uncover the last 30 minutes to crisp top.
I'm guessing this is a joke recipe, right? If it is a real recipe, wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just use REAL hamburger? Unless you enjoy eating pink slime and filler.
#17
14,693 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by mongo59r
12 Small McDonalds hamburgers (extra onions), no pickles, mustard, or catsup.
And serve with the famous Ritz cracker "apple pie":

2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1-3/4 cups water
Zest and 2 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon
1 pkg. (14.1 oz.) ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1-3/4 cups)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Mix sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in the water. Bring to boil on high heat; simmer on low heat 5 min or until mixture is reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Stir in zest and juice, cool 30 min.

Heat oven to 425°F. Roll out 1 crust on lightly floured surface to 11-inch circle; place in 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust. Pour sugar syrup over crumbs; top with butter and cinnamon.


Roll out remaining crust to 10-inch circle; place over pie. Seal and flute edge. Cut several slits in top crust to permit steam to escape.
Bake 30 to 35 min. or until golden brown. Cool.

I think I'll pass on both these culinary treats this year.
#18
2,253 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
This isn't to be eaten. Boil on your stovetop and your entire house will smell like Christmas.
Combine in a pot:
2 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
3 TBS. vanilla
5 whole cloves
*2 star anise
1 TBS. lemon extract
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced lime
1 sliced orange
Simmer gently. It's reusable. Store in 'frig.
(*Star anise. The first time I made this, I couldn't find star anise so I bought Anise Extract at Target. Later, a friend gave me a pkg. of star anise from World Market.) The scent is just fabulous!
#19
2,253 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
My friend Crystal brought this to a Christmas party. It was devoured. It's one of the best holiday dishes ever.
CRYSTAL'S HOT FRUIT DISH
1 extra large can pears
1 extra large can peaches
1 large can pineapple
1 large can apricots
1 large can Bing Cherries (or dark cherries) (No substitutions)
1 pkg. Mother's Macaroon cookies crumbled.
1/4 to 1/2 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
Put half of the crumbled cookies in the bottom of a greased 9 x 12 dish. Drain fruit and cut into bite sized pieces. Layer fruit in this order - pears, peaches, pineapple, apricots and top with cherries.
Sprinkle remaining 1/2 of cookies on top.
Mix melted butter and brown sugar and sprinkle that on top of cookies.
Bake 1 hour at 350.
According to Crystal, the recipe can be doubled by increasing peaches and pears. However, Crystal says she only uses 1 can of the other 3 fruits
when doing so. She has a large family and says that many years she's used her turkey roaster pan to make it. They have the leftover for breakfast the following morning.