Holiday Recipes

holiday recipes for small parties, turkey breast sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie

Hello Friends.

By popular demand, I am sharing my holiday recipes. I just wanted to preface this by saying that my holiday menu (we use the same for all major holidays) is small. We have a tiny family. It is pretty much John, the kids and yours truly. Many of you may not know but my husband grew up in the foster care system, and my family lives in Poland. We do not have any other relatives, so it’s just us for most holidays.

I have made the same dishes since John and I got together. This will be our 11th Thanksgiving together 🙂 Also none of these recipes are “mine” they all came from online search, and Food Network so… just not that creative haha. (this post contains affiliate links)

Turkey ( we only do breast) recipe from Food Network

Brine:

This recipe calls for brining…If you have not brined your bird before, you are missing out friends! It is a game changer, which results in the most flavorful and moist meat.

  • 3/4 gallons of water
  • 2 cups of dry white wine (I use Sav Blanc)
  • 1.5 cups of OJ
  • 1 cup of kosher salt (must be kosher)
  • 1 cup of brow sugar (I use light)
  • 1/3 chopped ginger
  • 1 tbl spoon of peppercorns
  • Few  fresh Bay Leaves
  • Several sprigs of fresh Thyme

Combine all in a stockpot and stir really well. Place the bird and leave for 12-24 hrs in the fridge. I always get a 6-8 lb fresh (if possible) turkey breast. Remove the bird before baking, pat dry with paper towels and I like my bird to air dry for 30-45 minutes as well (you can also put it in the fridge to dry faster). Rub the bird with vegetable oil and your seasoning of choice ( I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and thyme).

I bake the bird at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 30 min (cooking time may vary based on your oven). Remove the turkey from the oven and glaze it with 1/3 cup of the cranberry glaze (recipe below). Place back in the oven and cook until the meat is at 160 degrees F (use meat thermometer).

Cranberry Glaze/ Sauce Food Network Recipe (not sure by who as I use a piece of paper I printed off years ago)

  • Bag of cranberries
  • 1/3 chopped ginger
  • 2 tbl spoons orange zest
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of water
  • 1/4 orange juice
  • 1/4 orange liquor

Combine all the ingredients (except the liquor) in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer (stir occasionally). Cook for 10 min (the cranberries will burst, and the sauce will thicken). Strain through a mesh sleeve into a bowl for cooling. When it cools down, add the liquor and refrigerate until ready to use. Best to bring to room temp before using.

 

Potatoes

This recipe is not low in calories or fat. But is is absolutely my favorite part of the meal. It is so scrumptious and mouth watering. You have to try it! Since there is only 4 of us, I cut the recipe by half. Btw you can use the leftovers for breakfast and use as side for your eggs.

The recipe is by Emeril Lagasse from Food Network. I apologize , I could not fine the direct link on their website. Here is the screenshot from my recipe cards.

twice baked potato casserole recipe

 

Sweet Potato Casserole

Tip : Use the potato ricer to remove potato strings. It is such a game changer ( lol I use that phrase a lot). It makes the casserole so fluffy and smooth.

This is hands down the most scrumptious sweet potato recipe I have ever made. It is from Southern Living mag (direct link HERE).

holiday recipes, sweet potato casserole

 

Rolls

My dear friend Megan sent me her family recipe, and these rolls are divine. Sweet dinner rolls, dense and delicious. My daughter literally talks about these year round. Best part is you can freeze extra dough, or use it to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast (just roll it with a mixture of butter, brown sugar and add cream cheese frosting).

  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of butter flavored shortening
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 packages of yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 cups of all purpose flour
  1. Scald milk, then combine in a large mixing bowl with shortening, sugar and salt. Let it sit for few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile dissolve yeast in warm water, blend in eggs with a fork.
  3. Combine yeast with the milk/shortening bowl.
  4. Using a standup mixer (I use my KitchenAid mixer, I have the large Pro 600 model on sale HERE) add flour one cup at the time.
  5. Cover with cloth and store in the fridge (yes you read that right) for a minimum of 2 hours.
  6. Remove from the fridge and knead for 5 minutes (use hook attachment).
  7. Divide the dough in 4 parts. Each part can be used to make 8-12 balls.
  8. Place in a muffin tin (brushed with melted butter), brush the rolls with melted butter as well.
  9. Let the rolls rest for 1.5 hours on the counter before baking.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-12 min (baking time may vary based on your oven).

You can refrigerate or freeze the extra dough.

Pumpkin Pie

Let me start by saying I do not like pumpkin pies at all. But I love this one. I think the addition of cream cheese gives it a cheesecake like consistency. It is so good. The recipe is by Paula Dean from the Food Network. Find the recipe HERE.

 

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