Holiday Family Favorite Recipes

Home For The Holidays

When it comes to holdiays, everyone in our family is expected to contribute a dish for the family dinner. Especially since my "moms" have about had it with cooking all the holiday meals each and every year (hey it's been years - who can blame them).

Now, as I said, everyone MUST contribute - even the men. They really aren't expected to cook anything (thank goodness - we might all end up in the hospital) but they are required to bring the beverages (wine, beer, soda, etc.) and any bakery items needed (fresh bread, pastries, dessert).

Below are the dishes I bring to the table for the holidays. Enjoy

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Pie

Come Thanksgiving, this is the dish am responsible for. I am instructed that I MUST make two pies and that any leftovers WILL be staying at my mom's house. Everyone loves it, especially the kids. It is slightly sweeter than the standard but that's the way my family likes it. We serve it with the main meal and not for dessert. It is simple to make and yummy to eat. Recipe makes two pies. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Pie

2 frozen pie crusts
3 large sweet potatoes
½ cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
2 sticks of butter (softened)
1 cup of sugar
I tbs. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce each potato many times with a fork, wrap in foil, bake for one hour or until potatoes are soft (keep the oven heating at 350 degrees). Remove foil, and peel skin off with a fork (will come off easily). Mash potatoes well and combine with remaining ingredients (I use a hand mixer).
Pour mixture evenly into the two frozen pie crusts and bake for 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

This can be served immediately. Each pie serves about 8 people. You can refrigerate any leftovers. It is sweet enough to be served for dessert. Just top with whipped cream and enjoy.

The Jewish Holidays

We always spend the Jewish holidays with my in-laws when they are in New York (snowbirds - need I say more). I come from a Catholic household and had never had, let alone heard of, noodle pudding until I got married. You know what? I tried it and I liked it! Now, I make it for the holidays instead of my mother-in-law. Can be made ahead and reheated (which is what she does a week in advance - which is in turn why I now make it - fresh - that day - lol).

Noodle Pudding

½ lb. broad egg noodles
4 large eggs
5 tbs. sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
1 pint of sour cream
1 stick of butter - melted
ground cinnamon

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain thoroughly. Mix together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, sour cream and half the butter. Pour remaining butter into shallow, 3 quart baking dish (coating the bottom and sides). Toss egg noodles with the egg mixture and pour into baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon evenly on top of noodles. Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Serve immediately.

Quiche Lorraine for Easter

On Easter Sunday, my mom makes this dish that's sort of a cross between a quiche and a fritatta. It has no specific name and is known in our house simply as "the egg thing". After 30 years, I decided it was time to change it up and put "the egg thing" to rest so I went to work on finding a replacement dish. I lucked out and came across a recipe for a classic quiche lorraine. It was a hit and has now replaced "the egg thing" at Easter dinner.


8 ounces bacon, diced

2 frozen pie crusts

8 eggs

2 1/2 cups half-and-half

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground white pepper

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium skillet, saute bacon over medium-high heat to remove some of the fat (about 8 minutes). Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate and cool briefly. Sprinkle over the bottom of each pie crust/shell.

In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and stir in the half-and-half, cream, salt pepper and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the pie crusts and bake 1 hour or until knife knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature.


Fourth of July Fruit Salad

There is one reason and one reason only that I make this fruit salad for the Fourth of July - I get to use my melon baller! I love my melon baller and relish any chance I can get to use it! Sad, isn't it? Extremely simple and you don't need to use a melon baller for this - you can just cut the fruit up into chunks with a knife.


1 cantaloupe melon

1 honeydew melon

1/2 seedless watermelon

1 pint blueberries

1 lb. strawberries

1 cup seedless red grapes

1 cup seedless green grapes



Start with the watermelon. Take the melon baller and start scooping balls out of the watermelon, placing them in a large bowl. Once you've gotten as much of the watermelon out as you can, scoop the remaining watermelon from the rind (I put this in a storage container and make frozen drinks with it) so that just the shell remains. Set aside for the moment. This will be used as a bowl to hold the fruit salad.


Next, cut the cantaloupe and honeydew in half, scoop the seeds out with a spoon, and once again use the melon baller to scoop out the melons adding those to the bowl with the watermelon balls.


Remove the stems from the strawberries, hull and cut each in half, adding them to the bowl with the assorted melon. Add the blueberries and grapes. Toss gently so that the fruit doesn't get crushed. Once mixed together, transfer to the watermelon bowl that you had set aside.


Refrigerate until needed. You can garnish with fresh mint leaves if you like.

You are my obsession....

Christmas Sweets

There is only one holiday that I will attempt to bake for and that is Christmas. Why? Because I suck at baking. I'm an awesome cook but I can't bake to save my life! Can barely handle premade or boxed mixes and definately cannot handle baking from scratch. I'm the cook and my BFF is the baker. She rocks and there is nothing she can't bake from scratch. Too bad she lives so far from me :-(

These cookies are what as known as "semi-homemade". The base is a packaged cookie mix. Pretty easy (hey, if I can do it...). However, the end result is delicious and everyone loves them.

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies



1 pouch ( 1lb. 15oz.) of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix

1/2 cup butter or margerine, softened

1 egg

3 TBS. all-purpose flour

1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam



Heat oven to 375 degrees F.


In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg, and flour until dough forms.


Roll dough into 3/4 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/4 tsp. of jam into each indentation.


Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.


Will make about 5 1/2 dozen cookies

These mini-cheesecakes rock! Easy, simple and delicious (that's the way I like it)!




12 vanilla wafers

2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs



Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.


Line a muffin tin with foil liners. Place one vanilla wafer in each liner.


Mix the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar on medium speed intil well blended. Add the eggs. Mix well.


Pour over wafers, filling 3/4 full. Bake 25 minutes.


Remove from pan when cool and refrigerate.


You can top them with fresh fruit, preserves, nuts, or chocolate. Be creative!

Comments 7 comments

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

Sweet potato pie -- a def must to try!!! Thanksgiving is just around the corner for me... Thank you for sharing this recipe!

pddm67 profile image

pddm67 7 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Thanks Beth100! Truct me, it's really good. The only problem (well, not really a problem) is that once you make it, you will now be asked to make it every year :-) Enjoy & rock on!

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

My mom never liked pumpkin. We always have Sweet Potato Pie on the holidays too. She makes plain, heavy cinnamon, &/or potato with coconut.

pddm67 profile image

pddm67 7 years ago from Queens, New York Author

I'm partial to coconut (as is my family) but my husband loves it. You've given me an idea - I'll add coconut to one of the pies so that my family won't take the second pie for themselves! I might actually get to take one home this year. Tell them I wanted to change it up a bit (with an innocent smile on my face) :-)

floating mind profile image

floating mind 7 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

You had me at "Sweet Potato Pie". My mother makes a "Coconut Banana Cake" for the holidays. And I make my own chocolate layer cake.

pddm67 profile image

pddm67 7 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Hello floating mind. My husband would absolutely love the coconut banana cake and I am always partial to chocolate. I'll be looking for a hub on those from you :-) I made the sweet potato pies this year as usual and actually got to take half of one home with me (finally) but not without a fight! I was told (well - ordered actually) to make 4 next year instead of the usual 2. Thanks again.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

thanks for the many recipes here Pattie, fourth of July fruit salad seems awesome too, complete for holidays hehe, you rock on, I wish you are nearby here, makes me hungry, Maita

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