Our team here at New Jersey Family has been excitedly discussing plans for the holidays—visiting family, exchanging gifts, attending parties—and of course, our favorite holiday-time meals! We decided to compile a holiday menu with all of our go-to recipes included, and what we came up with was nothing short of an amazing feast.
Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog)
- A large blender and two bottles (wine sized) with screw-on caps (or a large jug, we've done that before, too!)
- 1 can cream of coconut
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (fat free ok)
- 2 cans evaporated milk (fat free ok)
- 12 ozs of egg beaters
- 4-6 ozs of white rum to taste (or none at all for a dry version)
- 3 whole cloves (placed at bottom of bottle before pouring eggnog in)
Mix the ingredients (minus the cloves) in a blender. Pour into bottle and refrigerate before serving. Should be good for 2 weeks if kept refrigerated. Be careful of cloves when serving, you may want to remove them from the bottle when you take it out to serve.
Submitted by Cristin
What's next? Roasted Butternut Squash Salad—>
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
- 1 (1 to 1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
- 2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries (which I leave out because I don't like cranberries!)
- 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 ounces baby arugula (or mixed greens), washed and spun dry (I use spring mix)
- 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss to evenly coat squash. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Place the arugula (or greens) in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Submitted by Lauren
The next course? Delectable Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta…—>
Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Makes: 3 cups; Active Time: 20 min.
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 of a 4 oz. package of diced pancetta
- 1/4 cup peeled shallots, chopped
- 1 pkg. (14 oz.) shaved Brussels sprouts (can buy them already shaved, or you can chop them up until they fall apart)
- 1/4 cup basting oil (or make your own by mixing 1/2 c. olive oil, 1 lg. clove garlic (minced), 2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped thyme)
- saltn and pepper to taste
- optional: apple vinegar spritzer
- Add olive oil and pancetta to large skillet; cook on MEDIUM about 5 min, until pancetta begins to render fat but is not browned.
- Add shallots, Brussels sprouts, and basting oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, on MEDIUM, 8-10 min, until veggies are nearly softened but not browned. Remove from heat.
- Add apple vinegar spritzer (optional) and toss.
Submitted by Andrea
And for our entrée…—>
Grandma’s Christmas Ham
- 15 lb. bone-in fresh ham
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 1 cup strawberry or raspberry jam
- ½ lb. brown sugar
- 16 oz. can crushed pineapple
- 8 oz can whole cranberries
- ¼ cup brown mustard
- 1 cup good, dry red wine
- Cornstarch to thicken marinade (optional)
- whole cloves to cover ham
- 1 turkey-sized Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag
About one week before…
- Trim excess fat from ham and cover with water in a large kettle; bring to a boil. Turn heat low and simmer for 20 minutes. (This step removes a lot of excess salt, fat, and smoky flavor.) Remove kettle from heat and let ham cool in water to room temperature. (Save the broth the make a great pea soup!)
- Put remaining ingredients (except cloves) in a separate 3-quart saucepan; bring to a boil. Continue boiling until sauce is thick enough to fall from the spoon like cake batter. If it’s too thin, add a mixture of cornstarch and water. If it’s too thick, add more wine to thin out. If it’s too tart, add more brown sugar. Let cool to room temperature.
- Put cloves in the ham, then put the ham in a bag (according to directions) and set it in a large roasting pan. Pour cooled sauce into the bag to cover ham, then seal the bag. Marinate for a week, turning ham daily.
On Christmas Day…
- Preheat oven to 350. Poke air holes in the bag and bake ham 2 to 3 hours, or until the outside is amber brown. Remove ham to a carving plate to rest. Skim and fat from the gravy, then taste and adjust seasonings and thickness to your liking. Serve gravy on the side.
Submitted by Cindy
And what delicious sides would we pair with our ham?—>
Mac and Cheese
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 1/2 c. uncooked macaroni
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 lb. sharp cheese, shredded
- 1 qt. milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a 2 quart casserole. Place in oven to melt. Pour in macaroni and stir to coat. Sprinkle salt, pepper and shredded cheese through macaroni. Toss lightly. Pour milk over all. "Do Not Stir." Do not cover while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes 2 quarts.
Submitted by Ann
Have you tried Twice Baked Potatoes?—>
Twice Baked Potatoes
- 4 large Idaho or Russet baking potatoes
- ¼ to ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter or margarine softened
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Dash pepper
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4oz)
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub potatoes and pierce with a fork to allow steam to escape.
- Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Cut the tops off the potatoes and scoop out inside leaving a thin shell. In medium bowl, mash potatoes with masher or electric mixer on low speed until no lumps remain. Add milk in small amounts, beating after each addition. Amount of milk needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy depends on the kind of potatoes used.
- Add butter, salt and pepper and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in cheese and chives. Fill potato shells with mashed potato mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake about 20 minutes or until hot.
Makes 8 servings.
Filled potato shells can be put in the fridge or freezer (wrapped tightly) before being baked the second time. Bake refrigerated potatoes 30 minutes and frozen about 40 minutes.
Submitted by Mary
And finally, dessert!—>
Crispy Apple Crumble
- 6 cups apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch chunks (add in some pear chunks, too, if you’d like!)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and ¼ cup granulated sugar. Place butter into flour mixture and press with a fork, until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add oats and walnuts, and use your hands to toss until large, moist clumps form. Set aside in the freezer.
- Toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and 3 Tbsp granulated sugar. Spray a shallow baking dish with baking spray and add apple mixture. Top with chilled flour mixture. Bake until golden and bubbling, about an hour.
- Let it cool down a little bit before serving. Top with vanilla ice cream!
Submitted by Judy
What's dessert without pudding?—>
- 1 c grated corn (I’ve used frozen)
- ½ t baking powder
- 2 T flour
- 2 T sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 c milk
- 2 T melted butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grate corn on grater or in food processor
- Mix baking powder with flour and sugar. Beat eggs and add dry ingredients gradually to eggs
- Beat in milk and add melted butter, corn and then season to taste
- Pour into baking dish and bake 45-55 min until firm
Submitted by Debbie