A Full Menu for Fun-Filled Holiday Festivities
(Family Features) When holiday gatherings turn into all-day events, having meals ready from morning to night becomes an important part of seasonal hosting. Starting with breakfast through the main course followed by a savory dessert, a full day of celebration calls for a variety of dishes.
To help keep your crowd fueled for a wide range of activities, consider these recipes for Hot Cocoa Pancakes to get your morning started, Browned Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash to pair with a holiday ham and Black Forest Cake to end the festivities on a high note.
Find more holiday recipe inspiration at Culinary.net.
Begin the Holiday with a Family Breakfast
With so many activities scheduled and places to be during the holidays, starting the morning with a filling breakfast can help set your family on the path to enjoyable moments with loved ones.
These Hot Cocoa Pancakes require little time in the kitchen, leaving you more time to spend with the family before hitting the road or working on decorations for seasonal gatherings. Made with Aunt Jemima pancake mix, containing no artificial coloring or flavors, this recipe makes it simple to put breakfast on the table quickly while still achieving a meal full of flavor.
Visit auntjemima.com for more family-friendly recipes.
Hot Cocoa Pancakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes per pancake
Yield: 12 pancakes (3 per serving)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup 2% or non-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups Aunt Jemima Original Complete or Buttermilk Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix
- 1/4 cup water
- marshmallow spread (optional)
- chocolate syrup (optional)
- Aunt Jemima Syrup (optional)
- Heat skillet over medium-low heat or electric griddle to 375 F.
- In microwave-safe bowl, mix cocoa powder, sugar, milk and vanilla until well combined. Heat in microwave 30 seconds, or until warm. Stir again to ensure mixture is combined.
- Combine cocoa mixture, pancake mix and water. Stir until large lumps disappear (do not beat or overmix). If batter is too thick, add additional 1-2 tablespoons water.
- Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter onto lightly greased skillet or griddle. Cook 90 seconds, or until bubbles appear on surface. Turn and cook additional 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Top pancakes with marshmallow spread and drizzle chocolate syrup, or top with syrup.
Almost every holiday meal calls for side dishes to complement the main course, and as one of the most versatile base ingredients available, potatoes often provide home chefs with a multitude of options.
Served mashed, fried, scalloped, sliced, diced, boiled, roasted or just about any style in-between, potatoes are ideal for matching with the centerpiece of your family meal. These Browned Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash call for Wisconsin yellow-flesh potatoes to achieve a dense, creamy texture with their just-buttered appearance.
Find more dishes for your holiday gatherings at eatwisconsinpotatoes.com.
Browned Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 pound (3 medium) Wisconsin yellow-flesh potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 8-10 fresh (2-3-inch) sage leaves, stacked and cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1/2 cup 1% milk
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In 3-quart saucepan, cover potatoes and squash with water; add 1 teaspoon salt.
- Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and cook until tender, 12-15 minutes.
- In small saucepan over medium heat, mix 2 tablespoons butter and sage. Tilting pan and watching closely, cook about 3 minutes, until butter foams and begins to brown; keep warm.
- Thoroughly drain potatoes and squash, return to pan and shake 1-2 minutes over low heat. Using hand masher, roughly mash to create chunky mixture.
- Over low heat, gently mix in remaining butter and milk.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon into serving bowl and drizzle with brown butter and sage.
Serve Up a Savory Sweet
No holiday gathering is complete without dessert, and you can take your sweets to the next level with this rich, creamy Black Forest Cake recipe.
Tart cherries and whipped cream are combined with Domino Golden Sugar - a less processed option which is made from pure cane sugar and works cup-for-cup just like white sugar, but with a golden color and distinct hint of molasses flavor - for a contrasting profile to put a spin on a seasonal classic.
Find more holiday dessert ideas at dominosugar.com.
Black Forest Cake
- 1/2 cup Domino Golden Sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water or unsweetened cherry juice
- 2 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart (Montmorency) cherries
- 2 tablespoons cherry brandy (optional)
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups Domino Golden Sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Stabilized Whipped Cream:
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Domino Golden Sugar
- chocolate curls or shavings, for garnish (optional)
- To make cherry filling: In medium saucepot, whisk sugar and cornstarch with water or juice then bring to boil over medium heat. Stir in cherries and cherry brandy, if desired, and boil 2-3 minutes, stirring, until sauce is thick and translucent. Drain cherries from sauce and set both aside.
- To make cake layers: Heat oven to 350 F.
- Line bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour bottoms and sides.
- In medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar 2 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 1 minute. Stir in flour mixture and buttermilk.
- Pour batter evenly among cake pans and bake 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool and remove layers from pans.
- To make stabilized whipped cream: In small pan or microwaveable bowl, combine gelatin and cold water; allow gelatin to bloom. Heat until gelatin melts and dissolves; set aside.
- In chilled bowl, whip cream with chilled beaters until soft peaks form. Add sugar and gelatin; beat until stiff.
- Prick tops of two bottom layers with fork and brush cherry filling over layers. Sandwich bottom layers with a 1/4-inch-thick spread of stabilized whipped cream. Sandwich second and top layer with same whipped cream. Spread remaining whipped cream over top layer and sides.
- Garnish with shaved chocolate, if desired, and decorate with any remaining whipped cream.
A Holiday Ham Worth Celebrating
(Family Features) Cooks today crave new food inspiration, creative recipes and flavorful dishes, and they want it all at a great price. Whether you’re trying one of the year's hottest cooking trends or serving up a spread for a holiday celebration, pork offers an affordable variety of cuts and flavor profiles to help inspire every occasion.
This season, the National Pork Board is teaming up with leading chefs from across the country –Matt Abdoo, Adam Sappington and Jose Mendin – to discover their favorite pork dishes, the techniques behind them and how pork inspires their creativity in the kitchen.
Chef Mendin is a five-time James Beard semi-finalist and founding partner and chef at Pubbelly Noodle Bar, an Asian-inspired gastropub in Miami. In his Honey Balsamic-Glazed Ham recipe, pineapple combines with honey and balsamic vinegar for a flavorful centerpiece that's easily paired with smashed potatoes.
Visit PorkBeinspired.com for more pork cooking inspiration this holiday season.
Honey Balsamic-Glazed Ham with Smashed Potatoes
Recipe courtesy of Jose Mendin, Pubbelly Noodle Bar, on behalf of the National Pork Board
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 1 3-pound boneless ham, netting removed and casing trimmed off
- 1/2 cup water
Honey Balsamic Glaze:
- 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple (2/3 cup pineapple, 1/3 cup juice)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley)
- Make the Honey Balsamic Glaze: In a small heavy saucepan, bring ingredients to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced by about half, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Using a sharp knife, score ham in a crosshatch pattern. Place ham in roasting pan and add 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and spread half of the glaze over the ham, forcing it into the scored cuts. Bake for 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining glaze and bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the ham reads 140° F, about 15 minutes more. If necessary, to keep glaze from scorching, tent ham with aluminum foil. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Make the Smashed Potatoes: After about 30 minutes of baking the ham, place potatoes in large saucepan and add enough cold, salted water to cover by 2 inches. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to saucepan. Add butter, oil, salt and pepper, and crush with a large fork then stir in the parsley. Partially cover with the lid to keep warm.
- Slice the ham crosswise and serve with the smashed potatoes.
Fire Up the Fourth with Tasty Backyard Recipes
(Family Features) Fireworks, family and food are what the Fourth of July is all about. This year, add some spark to backyard staples like grilled chicken and potato salad with a little help from tangy condiments, smoky rubs and your cast-iron skillet.
For a main dish that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, smother grilled chicken with a white barbecue sauce – the South’s tangy little secret. It’s made with simple pantry ingredients like mayonnaise, cider vinegar and mustard.
Make a one-pan side dish next to the cooking chicken by placing your cast-iron skillet directly on the grates. Smash whole potatoes in the pan then top with bacon, cheese and a chipotle seasoning. Let it all melt together and then top with sour cream for a smoking side.
Round out the meal with a festive cake that looks as impressive as it tastes. Dye white cake mix batter red and blue using food color then assemble in a flag shape with whipped cream and berries.
Find more recipes and ideas to fire up your Fourth of July at McCormick.com.
White Barbecue Sauce with Smoky Chicken
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
White Barbecue Sauce:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Zatarain’s Creole Mustard
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hickory wood chips
- 2 pounds bone-in chicken parts
- 2 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub
- To make sauce: In medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, vinegar, creole mustard, horseradish, black pepper, garlic and salt until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to blend flavors.
- To make chicken: Cover wood chips in water and soak 30 minutes. Season chicken with rub. Drain wood chips. Fill smoker box with wet wood chips. Place smoker box under grill rack on one side of grill before lighting. Close grill.
- Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (350-375° F). Heat grill by turning all burners to medium. Once cooking temperature is reached, turn off burner(s) on one side. Place chicken on unlit side of grill. Close grill cover.
- Grill, turning occasionally, 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature of thickest part of chicken is 165° F. Move chicken to lit side of grill with skin side down. Turn lit side of grill to high.
- Grill, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer, or until chicken is charred. Serve chicken with White Barbecue Sauce.
Test Kitchen Tip: Refrigerate any leftover sauce and use as salad dressing, condiment for burgers or dipping sauce for pretzels and vegetables.
Grilled and Loaded Smashed Potatoes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5 teaspoons McCormick Grill Mates Bacon Chipotle Seasoning, divided
- 6 slices Applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Heat grill to medium.
- Place potatoes on microwavable plate. Pierce potatoes with fork several times. Microwave on high 5-6 minutes, or until fork-tender but still firm. Let stand until cool enough to handle. In large bowl, toss potatoes, oil and 3 teaspoons seasoning until well coated.
- Place potatoes on grill and cook, turning frequently, 4-5 minutes or until skin is crispy. In large cast-iron skillet on grill, cook and stir bacon 8-10 minutes, or until crisp. Add yellow onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 2-3 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
- Push bacon mixture to one side of skillet. Add potatoes to other side of skillet. Smash each potato with heavy spatula, bottom of small sturdy bowl or meat pounder. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining seasoning. Spoon bacon mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Cover pan or close grill. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. To serve, sprinkle with green onions and dollops of sour cream.
Test Kitchen Tip: Cooking potatoes before grilling reduces overall grill time.
Red, White and Blue Cake
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Blue McCormick Assorted Neon Food Colors & Egg Dye
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Red Food Color
- nonstick spray
- 1 container (16 ounces) white frosting
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to small bowl and tint with neon blue food color. Tint remaining batter red by adding cocoa powder and red food color. Pour each color batter into separate 9-by-5-inch loaf pans sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake blue-tinted cake 20-25 minutes; red-tinted cake 30-35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
- Trim cakes to remove rounded tops and edges. Slice red cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers. Place one layer on platter. Slice remaining red cake layer in half lengthwise. Slice blue cake in half lengthwise. (Blue and red cakes should be same dimensions.)
- Frost red cake layer on platter with 1/3 frosting. Top with lengthwise slices of red and blue cake side-by-side. Frost with 1/3 frosting. Repeat cake layer and frosting. Garnish with raspberries and blueberries to resemble flag.
Source: McCormick Spice