Holiday Recipes

November 19, 2018

Season’s Greetings!  The holidays are such a wonderful time of the year and there’s nothing like sharing them with the ones you love. Of course, enjoying great food with great company is always a plus too! On this page you’ll find some fun holiday recipes – some are from my husband Tom and me, others from family members and some are new ones that we plan to try this holiday season. Check back often as I continue to add to the list. Enjoy!   Fran


One of our listeners, Lori in Perry Hall sent this recipe to me and I wanted to share it with everyone. This is one of her "go to" holiday recipes. It's easy to make and she says it's always a crowd pleaser. I'm looking forward to trying it!


White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Mousse Pie


1 Graham Cracker Crust, bought or home-made/ 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 10 graham crackers, full sheet/ 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted/  1/3 cup granulated sugar/

White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream/ 12 ounces white chocolate chopped/  1 8 oz block cream cheese softened/  1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream/ 1/3 cup powdered sugar/  1 tsp vanilla


Crushed candy canes


Graham Cracker Crust

1. Use a prepared graham cracker crust or mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl until combined.

2. Once combined press the mixture into the bottom of the dish or pan and up the sides as far as you want it to go up, it will be thick and fits into a 9 - 10 inch pan.

3. Make sure the crust is pressed together tight, you can use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it down firmer.

4. Bake this crust for 10 minutes for 7-8 minutes at 350°F. Let cool all the way before adding filling.

5. You can also use the option of chilling the crust for 2 hours before using in your recipe.

White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Filling

1. Over medium heat, in a saucepan, heat 3/4 cup heavy cream in saucepan until hot, almost to boiling, but not boiling, then remove from heat.

2. Stir in chocolate until it's melted and then stir in peppermint extract and let cool completely.

3. In a bowl, using mixer, beat 3/4 cup heavy cream until firm peaks form. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, using mixer, beat the cream cheese until whipped. Set aside.

5. Fold the cooled white chocolate mixture gently into whipped cream mixture until combined and then spoon into the cream cheese mixture and continue folding until mixed.

6. Pour into prepared graham cracker pie crust.

Whipped Cream & Toppings

1. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

3. Spread whipped cream over peppermint cheesecake mousse.

4. Set in fridge for a few hours to set up.

5. Garnish with candy cane crushed bits right before serving.


Begin your Christmas morning with a stack of festive Gingerbread Pancakes! I got this recipe from the New York Times and I’m really looking forward to making these pancakes during the holiday season. I have it on good authority that Santa loves them served with warm maple syrup and butter.

Gingerbread Pancakes


2  cups/256 grams all-purpose flour /  2  tablespoons dark brown sugar/   1 ½  teaspoons baking powder/  ½  teaspoon baking soda  / 1  teaspoon kosher salt  / 2  teaspoons ground ginger/ 2  teaspoons ground cinnamon/   ½  teaspoon ground allspice/    1 ¼  cups whole milk/   ⅓  cup unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap) /  2  eggs/  3  tablespoons unsalted butter, melted/   1  teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger/   ½  teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


Step 1 In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Step 2 In a separate bowl, whisk milk, molasses, eggs, melted butter, fresh ginger and lemon zest until well combined.

Step 3 Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir until combined. (A few small lumps are fine.)

Step 4 Heat a lightly greased griddle or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Drop the pancakes into the pan by the quarter cup, making sure to leave plenty of room in between for the batter to expand.

Step 5 Cook until the batter bubbles on the surface and browns on the bottom, a minute or two, then carefully flip. Cook until the batter is completely cooked through and the pancakes are slightly dark brown. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve pancakes as you make them or keep them warm as you cook them by setting them on a baking sheet in a 250-degree oven. Yields 4 servings.

Eggnog Cookies Recipe

If you love eggnog  - then you’ll love these eggnog cookies! They’re perfect for holiday parties and family get-togethers.  I hear Santa likes them too!



• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour • 1/4 tsp baking soda • 1/4 tsp nutmeg ground • 1/8 tsp cinnamon ground • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature • 1/4 cup granulated sugar• 1/2 cup light-brown sugar packed • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 1 tsp rum or 1/2 tsp rum extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla • 1 large egg yolk * room temperature • 1/4 cup eggnog room temperature


• 1 cup powdered sugar • 1 tsp rum or 1/2 tsp rum extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla • 1 Tbsp eggnog


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugars on medium speed until pale and fluffy (approx. 2-3mins).

3. Reduce speed and add egg yolk, eggnog, and rum. Beat until well combined.

4. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.                                                                                      

5. Refrigerate cookie dough for at least 3 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. Using a medium cookie scoop, portion cookies onto your baking sheets.

8 .Bake for about 9-11mins or until golden on the edges. Remove from oven.

9. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes, then transfer onto wire racks to cool completely.


Stir all ingredients with a fork until well combined. Drizzle over cooled cookies and sprinkle with nutmeg if desired.


Christmas Potpourri

During the holidays, I love to make up a batch of stove-top simmering potpourri.  It looks so festive and makes the house smell like Christmas!  It’s easy to make and lasts for several days. This recipe is for smelling purposes only. Please do not drink.

Ingredients:  3 apples/ 2 oranges/ 4 cups of water/ 3 cinnamon sticks/ 1 Tbsp. cloves/ 1 Tbsp. nutmeg/ a few pine sprigs

Cut the apples and oranges into thick slices.  Pour water into a saucepan and add all ingredients. Simmer on low throughout the day and add water as needed.  This batch usually lasts for several days. Please – never leave a simmering pot unattended.  Enjoy! 


Tom’s Sweet Potato Casserole

Let’s start with Tom’s Sweet Potato Casserole. He started making this dish several years ago and it has become a family favorite. I think all of my siblings have made it at least once. This Thanksgiving, my sister Cathy will be preparing this awesome dish!


4 cups sweet potato, cubed / 1/2 cup white sugar / 2 eggs, beaten / 1/2 teaspoon salt / 4 tablespoons butter, softened / 1/2 cup milk / 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1/2 cup packed brown sugar / 1/3 cup all-purpose flour / 3 tablespoons butter, softened / 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender, drain and mash.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  • In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
  • Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

I use white sweet potatoes when I can find them and usually double the recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Enjoy, Tom

Mom’s Garlicky Chutney

I love cranberries! And this is one of my all-time-favorite sides. My mother got this recipe from The Baltimore Sun many years ago and she makes it every Thanksgiving and for Christmas dinner too. She even makes a little extra for me to take home.


1 inch cube of ginger peeled/ 3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped/ ½ cup of apple cider vinegar/ 4 tablespoons sugar/ 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper/ 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce/ ½ teaspoon of salt/ and pepper to taste

  • Place the ginger and the garlic in a food processor and process until fine. 
  • Place in a sauce pan with all other ingredients except the cranberry sauce, the salt and pepper.
  • Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes until there is approximately 4 tablespoons of liquid left.
  • Now add the cranberry sauce, the salt and the pepper.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes on gentle heat. 
  • Allow it to cool and place in a jar and refrigerate until serving.

Hot Chocolate

I found this recipe in Bon Appetit and it looks so good!  I definitely plan on trying this during the holidays!


3 tablespoons cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed), plus more for serving/ 3 cups whole milk/ 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably Scharffen Berger), finely chopped/ 3 tablespoons demerara or granulated sugar/ lightly sweetened whipped cream (for serving)

  • Bring ¾ cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Whisk in 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder until no lumps remain, then add milk and return to a simmer.
  • Whisk in chocolate and sugar and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and creamy and chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes.
  • Divide hot chocolate among mugs. Top with whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder. Serves 4.