Food & Drink

Herald-Leader readers' recipes for holiday parties, family gatherings

The latest Flavors of Kentucky Holiday Cookbookwas in Thursday's paper, filled with great recipes from our readers.

Thanks to all who not only submitted recipes but brought their delicious dishes to our Flavors of Kentucky Holiday Cookbook luncheon. What a great time we had.

And wouldn't you know it, we received more recipes than we had space for in the book, so we're running the others here.

Because many of us will have turkey or ham at our holiday dinners, we made a last-minute appeal for sides, and we got plenty. You now have lots of ideas for what to serve with the holiday entree. I'd love to hear from you if you use any of the recipes.


Iced almonds, pecans and walnuts

"I make this every Christmas season. This recipe was given to me by a wonderful, longtime friend, the late Barbara Ann Popyach." Patti Lewis Isaacs, Lexington

11/2 cups almonds, pecans and walnuts, mixed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Line a cookie sheet with foil and butter foil lightly. Set aside.

In an 8- or 9-inch cast iron skillet, cook nuts, sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring carefully and constantly, until sugar has melted and turned a rich brown, about 8 or 9 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly mix in vanilla. Spread mixture on foil-lined cookie sheet. Cool. Break into small clusters and store in sealed containers. Makes about 2 cups.

This recipe also is from Patti Lewis Isaacs.

Pumpkin dip

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 can (16 ounces) pure pumpkin

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until combined. Cover and chill. Serve with gingersnap cookies, graham crackers or apple slices.Rice casserole

Shirley Rankin of Lexington said she has used this recipe since the early '70s.

1 stick butter

1 cup Uncle Ben's converted rice

1 small jar (4.5 ounces) mushrooms, whole or pieces, drained

2 cans (10.5 ounces each) French onion soup (do not use cream of onion soup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, melt butter and add rice. When rice is brown, pour into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Stir in onion soup, minus 1/4 cup, and mushrooms. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.

Yellow squash casserole

Darlene Cash Gilreath of Marshes Siding shares this recipe.

6 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup American cheese, shredded

1 can (103/4 ounces) cream of chicken soup

1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed

1 stick margarine


In a saucepan, cook squash and onions with a small amount of water for 15 minutes. Drain. In a large bowl, mix squash and onions with mayonnaise, cheese and soup. Pour into a greased 9- by 13-inch aluminum pan. Spread crushed crackers on top. Dot generously with margarine. Add a sprinkling of black pepper. Bake 45 minutes or until browned.

Scalloped green pepper casserole

This recipe is from the files of Isa Colvin Hertlein, a Springfield cook. "She and her husband owned Hertlein's restaurant many years ago." Sandra Davis, Springfield

11/2 cups ground green peppers

1/2 pound ground sharp cheese

1/4 pound package crackers, ground (leftover biscuits or Ritz)


Salt and pepper

1 cup cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a small baking dish. Layer peppers, cheese and cracker crumbs, ending with crackers. Dot each layer generously with butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour cream over mixture and bake for 11/2 to 2 hours.

Cranberry relish

"I've been teaching food-preparation courses for 47 years and have been professor of hospitality management at Transylvania University since 1989. The following recipe is my original work and appears in 'Food Preparation with Prof. Pepper, a Laboratory manual with Prof's Notes and Favorite Recipes.' It's been well received for years." Michael R. Pepper, Lexington

1 pound fresh cranberries, washed

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 Temple orange, peeled and chopped

1 tart apple, cored and chopped

1/2 pound white seedless grapes, quartered

1/4 cup crushed pineapple

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Place cranberries, sugar and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook until skins burst. Let cool. In a medium bowl, mix together fruit and pecans. Stir into cooled cranberries.

Will keep several weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Cranberry relish

This recipe is from Bonnie Cantrell Adkins of Van Lear.

1 can (15.25 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained

1 can (14 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce

2 boxes (3 ounces each) strawberry or raspberry gelatin

1½ cups ginger ale

½ cup chopped pecans, optional

In a saucepan, bring pineapple and cranberry sauce to a boil. Stir in gelatin. Slowly add ginger ale and fold in nuts. Boil 1 minute. Pour into a glass bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Corn salad

This recipe is from Wilma Turner of Springfield.

2 cans (15.25 ounces each) whole kernel corn, drained

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded cheese

In a large bowl, combine corn, peppers and onion. Stir in mayonnaise and cheese. Chill.

Ice-tray frozen banana salad

Eloise Delzer shares this recipe, received from Chelsie Hogg Reynolds of Whitesburg.

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Juice of one lemon

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

2 medium-size bananas, chopped

1/2 cup black walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped

1 cup whipping cream

Small package frozen strawberries, optional

Mix cream cheese with salt, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add pineapple, bananas, nuts and cherries. Fold in whipping cream and pour into ice trays without dividers, and freeze overnight before serving. Slice in squares, and garnish with slightly defrosted strawberries on a lettuce cup.

Chiffon salad

This is from June Shewmaker of Mackville.

2 cans (15.5 ounces each) pineapple chunks, drained, juice reserved

1 package (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar


2 eggs, beaten

4 tablespoons flour

6 tablespoons sugar

Reserved pineapple juice

Place pineapple and marshmallows in a large bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, whip cream with sugar.

To make dressing: Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cook until mixture thickens. Pour over pineapple and marshmallows. Stir in 3/4 of the whipped cream. Spread remaining whipped cream on top.

Frozen fruit salad

"My family enjoys this frozen fruit salad." Phyllis Moore, Lexington

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

1⁄3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 can (21 ounces) peach pie filling

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

2 cans (11 ounces each) mandarin oranges, drained

2 cups miniature marshmallows

½ cup chopped pecans

6 to 8 ounces maraschino cherries, drained and halved

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

In a large bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add pie filling, pineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, pecans and cherries. Stir in whipped cream. Freeze until firm.

Crunchy cabbage salad

Katheryn Stephens of Russell Springs shares this recipe.

2 packages ramen noodles, beef or chicken flavor

1 package (16 ounces) cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 cup slivered almonds

2 cups roasted sunflower seeds


Ramen noodle seasoning packets

1 cup oil

¾ cup sugar

1⁄3 cup vinegar

Crush ramen noodles and place in a large mixing bowl. Add coleslaw mix, green onions, almonds and sunflower seeds. Toss.

To make dressing: Combine all ingredients in a 2-cup measure. Mix well. Pour over cabbage mixture. Refrigerate.

Spinach orzo

This recipe is from Brenda Howard Gregely of Harlan.

2 teaspoons margarine

½ cup coarsely shredded carrots

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups orzo, uncooked

3 cups fresh spinach, shredded, or 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried basil

In a 3-quart saucepan, melt margarine. Add carrots and garlic, and cook about 2 minutes, until carrots are just tender. Stir in broth and orzo. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until broth is absorbed. Stir in spinach, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil. Continue cooking until spinach is tender and mixture is heated through.

Cheese pudding

Kaye Baird of Pikeville shares this recipe.

10 slices bread

Butter or margarine, softened

½ pound grated Cheddar cheese

2 cups milk

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon chopped onion

Remove crusts from bread. Spread butter on each slice and put together like sandwiches. Cut into ½ -inch cubes and place half the cubes in the bottom of a buttered baking dish. Cover with grated cheese. Add remaining bread cubes.

In a medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, salt, mustard and onion. Pour over bread and cheese. Let stand 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour. If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Peanut butter pie

This is one of Phyllis Moore of Lexington's best desserts.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners' sugar

¾ cup crunchy peanut butter

1 container (12 ounces) Cool Whip

1 graham cracker crust, extra serving size


½ cup heavy cream

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour into graham cracker crust. Chill for several hours or overnight.

To make topping: Pour heavy cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes or until cool to the touch. Pour evenly over pie and chill for 30 minutes or until top is set.

Whipped cream cake

Ruth Freeman of Harrodsburg shares this recipe.

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

3 egg whites, stiffly beaten

½ cup cold water

2 cups flour

1½ cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cream with beaten egg whites. Add water. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add to egg-white mixture, along with vanilla. Stir well and pour into 2 greased and floured round cake pans. Bake 25 minutes or until cakes test done. Frost with favorite icing.

My mom's icebox fruitcake

"Honestly, I don't like fruitcakes, but this one is delicious. I usually make it into five loaf pans to give to friends at holiday time." Judy Fannin, Ashland

1 box (12 ounces) vanilla wafers

1 quart pecan meats, chopped (reserve some whole ones for garnish)

1 pound raisins

1 jar (1 pound, 12 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained and cut into pieces

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Crush vanilla wafers and place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. The batter will be stiff.

Line small loaf pans with wax paper. Pour in batter and press down firmly. Place whole pecans on top. Wrap well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Ann's cranberry raisin pie

Frank Kourt of Richmond shares this favorite holiday recipe.

2 9-inch Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts

Melted butter

11/2 cups pure unsweetened cranberry juice

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 package (3 ounces) unsweetened, unflavored gelatin

2 cups frozen whole cranberries

11/2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press one pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Brush inside with melted butter to keep it from getting soggy.

In a saucepan, heat cranberry juice, sugar and cornstarch over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Stirring constantly, boil for one minute until thickened, then remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and mix well. Stir in cranberries and raisins. Pour into pie shell.

Using second pie crust, make lattice top for pie by unrolling onto waxed paper. Cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips, then interlace strips, one over, one under, on pie.

Bake 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool and serve with whipped cream or whipped topping.

Papaw's Chex party mix

"This is always a hit at Christmas." Larry Miller of Ashland

8 tablespoons margarine

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons seasoned salt

4 teaspoons garlic powder

8 to 10 drops hot sauce

4 cups corn Chex

4 cups rice Chex

4 cups Crispix

1 cup wheat Chex

1 cup Cheerios

1 cup pretzels

1 cup cheese curls

1 cup Cheez-It baked crackers

11/2 cups salted nuts

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt margarine in saucepan over low heat. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder and hot sauce.

In a large bowl, mix together cereals, pretzels, cheese curls, Cheez-its and nuts. Divide mixture between two 9- by 13-inch baking pans. Pour equal amounts of margarine mixture over cereal, stirring well to coat. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on absorbent paper to cool.

Makes about 17 cups.

Cheese ball

This recipe is from Betty Brinkley of Harrodsburg.

1 jar (2.25 ounces) Armour dried beef

2 green onions, including tops

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon Accent

Chopped nuts

Cut beef and onions into small pieces. Mix with cream cheese and Accent. Shape into a ball and chill. Roll in nuts.