Category Archives: Christmas

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Sliders

I love sliders. They are literally the perfect food for any gatherings from sports to holidays. Another thing that makes them awesome is you can prep them the day before, and simply pop them in the oven before your event.

These sliders may be my new favorite. I mean, bacon, ranch, CHEESE?!?! What’s not to love, right?

Begin with 12 potato rolls (I like Martins) and place the bottom halves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Melt a stick of butter with 1tsp garlic salt, 1/2tsp onion powder, & 1tbl dried parsley. Brush over your roll halves.

Break apart 6 slices of Colby jack cheese and place on your bread.

Now layer 1lb thinly sliced deli chicken (or you could use shredded rotisserie chicken).

Cook 6 pieces of bacon until crispy.

Crumble and sprinkle on top of your chicken.

Drizzle 1/3C “good” Ranch dressing (y’all know what I’m talking about) over the bacon.

Add more broken Colby jack slices.

Put the tops of the rolls back on and brush with the rest of your butter. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Try and grab 1 or 3 for yourself before they disappear!

Adapted From: Melissa’s Southern Kitchen

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The Perfect Steak

So, my husband is letting me share this unbelievably amazing steak recipe that he spent months perfecting. I literally don’t order steak anymore because it won’t compare…..not even close.

You MUST begin with a great cut of meat. We look for beef tenderloin sales and then have the butcher cut it into 1.5 inch pieces. Ryan pressure seals them in twos or threes and we thaw them usually once a week.

Begin with room temperature steaks.

Coat them with EVOO and an obscene amount of cracked salt and pepper on all sides.

Put cast iron skillets on your grill and let them get super hot. Like, I’m talking 550 degrees hot!

Lay down your steaks.

Cook for approximately 3 minutes per side and then switch to 1 minute per side for medium to medium rare steaks (you will waste good steak if you overcook it, trust me). So, a total of about 8 minutes.

Put them on a plate and cover them with foil to rest for 10 minutes. This is a VERY important step.

We love surf & turf combo but literally this goes with anything.😋

Holiday Slaw with Homemade Honey Mustard

We all know most food during the holidays isn’t necessarily figure friendly. Well let me introduce this perfect companion to your guilty indulgences. I served this for Thanksgiving and used it for my detox food for the 3 days that followed. So, so good.

Begin with a bag of cruciferous greens such as a kale and broccoli mix. You need sturdy greens that won’t get soggy in the dressing. Trader Joe’s is a good spot to grab a bag of this.

Combine 1/3C vegetable oil (I’m sure EVOO would also work), 1/4C apple cider vinegar, 2tbl honey, 1tbl whole grain Dijon, and 1/2tsp salt. Whisk to blend. Now add 3/4C sliced green onions. Set aside.

Using a large mixing bowl, combine about 10 packed cups of your greens, 1C dried blueberries, 1C dried cherries, 1/2C sunflower seeds, and 1C coarsely chopped smoked almonds.

Toss in your dressing and enjoy!!

Adapted From – The Kitchn

Sausage Stuffed ‘Shrooms

I feel like winter holidays need a sausage dish; whether it be sausage stuffing or sausage balls, it’s just a festive comfort food. This year I made something different and I’m so glad I did! I made around 50 of them, and there was not a single one leftover.

Begin with whole Bella mushrooms and rinse well.

Remove the stems and save them for dicing.

Spray a baking dish (or 2!) with non-stick spray and place your mushrooms hole side up.

Warm a tablespoon of EVOO in a sauce pan and combine your diced stems, 1 chopped onion, and 1lb of Italian sausage. I used mild, but sweet or spicy would be delicious as well. Cook until sausage is fully browned. Add in 1 minced garlic clove and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Remove from heat.

Let cool completely.

Stir in 1C herb stuffing mix, 1/3C Monterey Jack cheese, 3tbl mayo, and 1/2tsp black pepper.

Fill your mushroom caps. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, top with fresh parsley and serve!

Note: These can be prepared the night before.🙌🏼

Adapted From – Spicy Southern Kitchen

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

I’ll be honest, I didn’t grow up eating mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. We were a sweet potato casserole group (and I’m still on that team). However, my husband of almost 10 years (13 years together), insists on mashed potatoes every year.

Previously I’ve made a loaded potato casserole with cheddar, bacon, green onions, etc., but this year I decided to make traditional mashed potatoes. I was skeptical as a non-fan, but these are pretty darn tasty.

Begin with 4lbs of russet potatoes.

Skin and rinse.

Cube into 1 inch pieces.

Transfer to a large pot and add 2tbl room temp 1/2 inch butter squares, 2 smashed garlic cloves, and 2tsp salt.

Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it bubbles, simmer over low for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Drain, remove garlic cloves, return to pot, and mash.

Add in 3/4C grated Parmesan, 1/2C low sodium chicken bone broth, 8oz mascarpone cheese, 2tsp salt, 1tsp pepper, and 4tbl cubed butter. Cracked pepper to taste. Stir over low heat until creamy. Enjoy!😋

Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

Snowballs☃️

You know what makes shortbread taste even more delicious than it already does? Pecans and powdered sugar – LOTS of powdered sugar. I had never made these before but they have always been one of my favorite Christmas cookies. So easy and festive.

Using a Kitchenaid mixer: Begin by creaming together 2 sticks of softened butter and 1/2C powdered sugar. Once combined, add in 2tsp vanilla extract. Slowly add 1/4tsp salt, 2 cups of flour, and finally 1C chopped pecans.

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. This makes about 30 cookies.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Roll them immediately in powdered sugar while they are still hot, and then a second time after they cool. Enjoy!

Inspired By: Delish.com

Holiday Crack

I decided to try something besides my infamous white chocolate chip cookies this year. Cooking comes much more naturally to me than baking, so I tend to keep things simple. I knew combining butter, brown sugar, and chocolate was basically fool proof, and I was right. My boys delivered all but a tiny bit to our neighbors yesterday to keep my indulgence at bay. Next time you need to whip something up for a holiday party that’s quick, super easy, and most likely you already have all of the ingredients, try this.

Begin by generously coating a foiled-lined baking sheet with nonstick spray. Now layer the entire pan with saltine crackers.

Melt 2 sticks of butter and a cup of brown sugar over medium heat. Once melted, bring the pot to a boil and stir quickly for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the crackers and even out with the back of a wooden spoon.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Remove and top with chocolate chips.

Pop back in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove and spread chocolate evenly over the crackers.

This is where you can let your Littles help by decorating with M&Ms, sprinkles, colored sugar, etc.

Run a sharp knife along the sides of the crackers and then refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Enjoy!

Spicy Beef Sliders

Between football season and holiday parties, there are so many occasions for good sliders. I’ve been making these particular ones for a few years and they never disappoint. You can even make them a day ahead of time and pop them in the oven right before serving.

Begin by generously spraying nonstick spray into a baking dish. Cut a dozen dinner rolls in half and lay the bottom half in your pan. I’ve used both plain and Kings Hawaiian rolls and both turn out perfectly.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat until it’s almost smoking. Add a pound of ground sirloin – don’t break it up, just let it sizzle for 2 minutes on each side until it begins to char. This adds amazing texture and flavor to the meat.

Now add a chopped onion plus 1tsp salt, 1tsp pepper, 1tsp cumin, 1tsp mustard powder, and 1/2tsp paprika. Break up meat and cook it through. Add a 1tsp minced garlic and cook for another minute before removing from heat. Drain off any excess grease and then stir in 1 drained can of Rotel.

Once combined, spoon your meat mixture over the bottom half of your rolls. Layer with 12 slices of sharp cheddar cheese and cover with the top halves of the rolls.

To make your glaze melt 1 stick of butter in a small sauce pan. Add in 2tbl brown sugar, 1tbl Worcestershire, 1tbl Dijon, and 1tbl sesame seeds. Pour over your rolls.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until tops begin to brown. Enjoy!!

Adapted From – Kevin & Amanda

Loaded Potato Casserole

I didn’t grow up with mashed potatoes being part of the Thanksgiving spread, we always had the sweet potatoes with the marshmallow topping. However, my husband feels mashed potatoes are a necessity for the holidays. They are so simple, so why not jazz them up a bit?

Begin by partially skinning and cubing 4lbs of red potatoes and slice 3 large garlic cloves into thirds.

Place into a large pot of boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes soften. Mash to your desired consistency. 

Now add the following: 1/4C butter, 1C sour cream, 1/2C heavy cream, 4oz cream cheese, 2 chopped green onions, 2C shredded cheddar, and 10 slices chopped, crispy bacon. I used my hand mixer to combine everything but stirring would be fine also. 

Top with 1/2C cheddar, 2 chopped green onions, and 2 more pieces of chopped, crispy bacon. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Inspired By – Spend With Pennies

The Best Ever Holiday Dressing

With the holidays upon us and Thanksgiving less than a week away, I’ve decided to share the sides that are a MUST in our house. Ryan is in charge of frying a turkey, smoking another, and the oysters, but I’m in charge of the sides that he feels are mandatory.

I think we can all agree that dressing is a must-have with the Thanksgiving spread. It happens to be one of my absolute favorite sides too, so several years ago I set out to make the most epic dressing possible. I think I’ve achieved it – try it and see for yourself.😋

Begin with a couple large loaves of good, soft, unsliced bread. I use a combo of white and wheat. You’ll need about 9 cups total of bread cubes. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Sauté over medium heat in 3/4 cup of butter the following: 1.5C diced celery, 3/4C diced onions, and 1C mushrooms (optional) until soft. Now stir in 1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp sage, 1/2tsp thyme, 1tsp poultry seasoning, and 1/4tsp pepper.

Toss seasoned veggies with bread cubes in large mixing bowl. Add in 1C chicken broth to moisten.

Transfer into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 (uncovered) for 35-40 minutes. You can thank me later – Enjoy!!

Inspired by – Chef In Training