The List

The List: Top 8 Holiday Recipes

By Charlotte on November 24, 2014 6:37 AM

Our holidays got off to a rocky start last year. Bob and I were meeting our New York son Cole at the beach house in Alabama. I never get to cook for him anymore so I was really looking forward to fixing all his favorite foods.

But about the time we got to Shreveport, I realized we'd forgotten the little, white notebook with all my go-to recipes. Sure, there's always Pinterest but I'm talkin' about tried-and-true ideas perfected over more than three decades of marriage. My understanding husband (who has a weakness for a certain Chocolate Pie) saved the day by driving four hours back to Dallas so I could pick up my notes. Then turned around and drove another 11 1/2 hours to the beach. Yes, he is a keeper!

Since then, I've been putting more and more of our holiday favorites on the site so that never happens again. Here are eight top picks that must be our table both Thanksgiving and Christmas:

Texas Turkey

While I focus on appetizers, sides and desserts, Bob works magic with the main course. His easy recipe gives us up a moist, perfectly seasoned bird with a Texas kick. Yum!

In about 3 1/2 hours, you'll be licking your lips.

Turkey - 600.jpg

Simple Slow-Cooker Cornbread Dressing

You can bake the cornbread for this delicious dressing from a mix, one or two days ahead of time. Then cook this comforting creation in a large crockpot leaving the oven free for scalloped potatoes, spinach casserole, sweet potatoes and other goodies.  

Made in a crockpot, this Texas-favorite recipe uses cornbread crumbs, stuffing mix and soups to create a moist dish with a nice side and bottom crust.  

Dressing Ready to Eat - 600.jpg

Cranberry Relish

This tart Cranberry Relish calls for only four ingredients. You cook it in the microwave and it keeps several days in the fridge. We love it with turkey, on rolls and on turkey-and-dressing sandwiches made from any leftovers.

Fresh cranberries taste wonderful in this microwave treat but you can also use frozen berries.


Easy, Cheesy Hash Brown Potato Casserole

Everyone loves this simple, seven-ingredient potato casserole. You can make it ahead, it freezes well and you get a delightfully cheesy, baked potato taste without peeling one potato.

Chopped pimentos give this company-worthy potato casserole a festive look. Ready to Serve-600.jpg

Best-Ever Broccoli Rice Casserole

We've been enjoying Broccoli Rice Casserole since one of my brother's girlfriends got us hooked on it many moons ago. My spin on this classic includes water chestnuts for a little crunch and a touch of hot sauce to make things more interesting.

This cheesy concoction complements turkey, ham, fish, most any main dish. And the leftovers (IF there are any) freeze beautifully.

Broccoli Rice - 600.jpg

Classic Chocolate Cream Pie

A chocolate-lover's dream, this irresistible treat includes a store-bought crust filled with creamy, milk-chocolate pudding and covered with whipped topping and roasted pecans. It's based on a Betty Crocker recipe from a dog-eared cookbook I received when Bob and I married 36 years ago.

Born on Thanksgiving Day, Bob always requests this classic pie for his birthday celebration.

Ready to eat-600.jpgMother's Perfect Pecan Pie

Bob's grandmother, Norma Crawford, often made this nut-filled wonder when he was a boy living in Granbury, TX. Besides being utterly addictive, this fall, holiday and winter go-to ranks high at our house because it couldn't be easier and my dessert-loving hubby goes for pecans in a big way ... almost as much as me and Diet Coke.

It takes only seven, simple ingredients to make the filling for this mouthwatering pecan pie.

Pecan Pie Ready to Eat - 600.jpg

Go-To Pumpkin Bread

A long-time holiday tradition, this comforting bread is one of Cole's favorites for breakfast. Plan to share with friends because one small can of pumpkin makes three, luscious loaves.

This moist favorite is laced with allspice, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

PumpkinBread1 600.jpg

Want other holiday menu ideas? You'll also enjoy:


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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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