Holiday Recipes & Traditions

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Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 Minutes

·      1 ¾ cups Vanilla Wafer crumbs
·      ¼ cup brown sugar
·      1/3 cup unsalted butter (melted)
Pecan Filling
·      1 cup sugar
·      2/3 cup dark corn syrup
·      1/3 cup unsalted butter (melted)
·      2 large eggs lightly beaten
·      1 ½ cups pecans chopped
·      1 tsp vanilla extract
Cheesecake Filling
·      24 oz Cream Cheese (softened)
·      1 ¼ cup light brown sugar
·      2 tbsp all purpose flour
·      4 large eggs
·      2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
·      1 tsp vanilla extract
·      3 ½ tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
·      ½ cup brown sugar
·      1 tsp cinnamon
·      ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
·      1 cup toasted pecan (chopped)
1.     Line the bottom of 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2.     Combine vanilla wafer crumbs and brown sugar, stir in melted butter, then press the mixture evenly into bottom and halfway up the side of 9 inch springform pan. Set in the fridge to firm the crust while making the filling.
Pecan Filling
1.     In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, eggs, pecans and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer stirring constantly until thickened, 5-7 minutes. Pour into prepared crust and set aside.
Cheesecake Filling
1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.     Beat the cream cheese until creamy, then add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy.
3.     Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Do not overbeat it!!! Stir in heavy cream and vanilla, then pour cheesecake mixture over pecan filling.
4.     Place springform pan on a cookie sheet, put it in the oven and reduce the heat to 325 F Bake the cake for 60-70 minutes (until toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean). Turn off the oven and leave cheesecake in with oven door closed for 1 hour.
5.     Run a knife around edges of cheesecake but don’t take out of the pan until completely cooled.
1.     In a small saucepan combine butter and brown sugar. Cook for 3-5 min or until very bubbly, then stir in cinnamon, heavy whipping cream and chopped pecans. Cool to room temperature.
2.     Release the sides of springform pan and spoon the topping over cooled cheesecake.
3.     Store the cake in the fridge.
                        -Sandy Sanders
Coffee-Marinated Grilled Pork
serves 6

½ cup freshly ground coffee beans 1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mild molasses
1/4 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce ( I use Coconut Aminos)
2 garlic cloves
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 TBSP Mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh peeled ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon course kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, coarsely chopped with seeds 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 1/2 pounds total)

1.     Puree all ingredients except the pork in a food processor until almost smooth.
2.     transfer to a large resealable plastice bag.
3.     Add pork, release excess air, seal bag and turn to coat.
4.     Chill 24-48 hours.
5.     Prepare grill (medium heat). Grill pork until thermometer inserted in the registers 145 degrees, turning often, about 20-25 minutes.
6.     Transfer to work surface; let rest 10 minutes. Thinly slice.
            -Nancy Skelley
Pineapple Casserole

·      1 cup sugar
·      6 tablespoons flour
·      2 cups grated sharp cheddar (do not use the prepackaged grated cheese because it doesn't melt very well)
·      2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
·      1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
·      8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan
1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.     Grease a medium-size casserole dish (9 x 12) with butter or use a spray such as PAM, etc.
3.     In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
4.     In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved 6 tablespoons of pineapple juice, stirring until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
John’s Premium Mac & Cheese
·       1 pound (16 oz pkg) of elbow macaroni
·       4 tablespoons of butter
·       4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
·       2 cups half and half
·       1⁄2 tsp salt
·       Fresh ground black pepper to taste
·       1 tsp Emeril’s Original seasoning (Bam!)
·       1⁄2 tsp Badia Complete Seasoning
·       8 oz good cheddar cheese (I like Cracker Barrel white or Cabot white extra sharp) - shredded
·       4 oz Gruyere cheese – shredded
Optional Topping
·       1 cup Panko bread crumbs
·       4 TB butter
1.     Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2.     While macaroni is cooking, shred the cheeses and set aside in a bowl
3.     In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat
4.     Add flour mixed with salt, pepper, Emeril’s and Complete Seasoning, using a whisk to stir until well blended.
5.     Gradually pour in half and half, stirring constantly
6.     Bring mixture to boiling point and boil 2 minutes. stirring constantly
7.     Reduce heat and cook 8 minutes, stirring constantly
8.     Add shredded cheeses, little by little and simmer until all cheese is melted and well blended.
9.     Combine macaroni and cheese sauce, tossing to coat macaroni with cheese sauce.
10.  Transfer mixture to greased (I use PAM spray) baking dish (2.5 quart)
11.  Topping , if desired
a.     Melt butter and use it coat the bread crumbs
b.     Sprinkle coated bread crumbs over macaroni and cheese
12.  Bake 20 minutes (or until topping is lightly browned) in a 400 degree oven
13.  Enjoy!
-        Eileen Henriksen
“My daughter and I bake a chocolate pie (like my Grandma’s) the night before and we have pie for breakfast Thanksgiving morning!
            -Ambyr Lobins
“Every Christmas Eve, our family gathers together to watch Christmas Vacation.”
            -Lori White
“An Italian tradition my family does is we have seven different types of fish on Christmas Eve. It is called the Feast of Italian Fishes!”
            -Michele Rappa
“On Christmas morning, we always have an extravagant breakfast with fresh made pancakes, waffles & BACON! For Thanksgiving, my newest tradition is a spatchcocked & smoked turkey.”
            -Jeremy Blanton
“We have a tradition of going to Christmas Eve service at church and then out to dinner. When we go home we watch a Christmas movie, we each open a present before we go to bed. We open our presents on Christmas morning & always have Christmas dinner with family somewhere!”
            -Dona Lee