Diva Tasting: Holiday Menu….

We will be posting this several times for those with different cultural holidays to use at their leisure.

Holiday Menu:

Cranberry Salad

1 Pound Cranberries

8 Ounces Miniature Marshmallows

2 Cups White Sugar

1 (20 Ounce) Can Crushed Pineapple With Juice

1 Banana, Sliced

1 Cup Unsweetened Whipped Cream


Step 1 In a food processor or blender, coarsely grind the cranberries. Place ground cranberries in a large bowl and stir in the marshmallows, sugar and pineapple. Let mixture stand overnight in the refrigerator. Just before serving, stir in the sliced banana and whipped cream. Serves 6

Holiday Ambrosia


2 Cups Grapes Halved

1 (15 Ounce) Can Pineapple Tidbits, Drained

4 Bananas, Peeled And Sliced

3 Cups Peeled, Cored, And Chopped Tart Apple

1 Cup Chopped Pecans

5 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

1 Sm. Container Whipped Topping


Step 1 In a large bowl, combine the Grapes, pineapple, bananas, apples and pecans. Stir in the mayonnaise and whipped topping until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Cheesy Crescent Rolls


1 Cup Butter, Room Temperature

1 (16 Ounce) Package Ricotta Cheese

Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 Cans of Crescent Rolls

1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, Divided


Step 1 Blend ½ butter, ricotta cheese, and salt in a large bowl.

Step 2 Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.

Step 3 Roll out the crescent rolls. Sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese. Spread with the cheese and butter. Take 1 crescent shape, starting with the wide end and finishing with tucking the triangle tip under the roll. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the crescents. Dab a bit of the cheese and butter over the top and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Step 4 Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Serves 8

Asparagus and Cashews


4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

1 Teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger Root

2 Bunches Asparagus Stalks, Ends Cut

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 Cup Chopped Cashews


Step 1 Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a wok over low to medium heat. Add ginger, and stir-fry until slightly brown. Add asparagus, and stir-fry for a few minutes before adding soy sauce and cashews. Cook until asparagus is tender but still crisp and bright green, stirring frequently. Serves 8

Pineapple Dessert


½ Cup Butter, Melted

½ Cup All-Purpose Flour

6 Eggs, Beaten

2 Cups White Sugar

2 (20 Ounce) Cans Crushed Pineapple, In Juice

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon


Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Step 2 In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, flour, ½ of the cinnamon, eggs and sugar until well blended. Stir in the crushed pineapple. Transfer to a 9×12 baking dish, and sprinkle cinnamon over the top.

Step 3 Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, uncovered. Serve warm. Serves 10

Glazed Sweet Potatoes


4 Pounds Sweet Potatoes, Peeled And Cut In 1-Inch Chunks

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

5 Slices Smoked Bacon, Chopped

1 Pound Onions, Chopped

1 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme


Step 1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Toss the sweet potato chunks, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl, and spread the sweet potatoes out onto a large rimmed baking sheet.

Step 2 Roast in the preheated oven until browned and tender, about 40 minutes; stir after the first 20 minutes.

Step 3 Cook the bacon until crisp and brown in a large skillet over medium heat, about 10 minutes; transfer bacon to a bowl, but leave the grease in the skillet. Cook the onions in the bacon grease until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low, and cook the onions until very soft, brown, and sweet, another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often. Mix the onions with the bacon in the bowl, and set aside.

Step 4 Pour the maple syrup into the hot skillet with the thyme, and bring to a rolling boil. Boil the syrup until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Place the roasted sweet potatoes and onion-bacon mixture into the skillet, and stir to coat the vegetables with maple glaze. Transfer to a serving dish. Serves 12

Swiss Chard and Portobellos


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper

1 Clove Garlic, Crushed And Chopped

1 (8 Ounce) Package Baby Portobello Mushrooms, Sliced

1 Leek, Chopped

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Bunch Swiss Chard, Trimmed And Chopped

2 Cups Grated Parmesan Cheese


Step 1 Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the red pepper, garlic, and portobello mushrooms. Cook and stir until the mushroom has softened and begun to release its liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the leek, and continue cooking until the leek has softened, about 5 minutes.

Step 2 Stir in the chicken broth and Swiss chard. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer until the chard leaves have wilted, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and continue cooking until the chard is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese; let stand until melted. Serves 8

Seared Prime Rib


1 (5 Pound) Bone-In Standing Rib Roast

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

½ Cup Butter, Softened

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary

1 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Thyme

Ground Black Pepper To Taste


Step 1 Season roast generously with kosher salt. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight.

Step 2 Remove roast from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Step 3 Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).

Step 4 Mix butter, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper together in a small bowl; spread butter mixture over roast. Place roast in a large roasting pan.

Step 5 Bake roast in the preheated oven until internal temperature reaches 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) for medium-rare, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and tent with aluminum foil; allow to rest, about 20 minutes.

Step 6 Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Uncover roast.

Step 7 Return roast to the oven and bake until well-browned, 6 to 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Beef Tenderloin


1 (3 Pound) Beef Tenderloin Roast

¾ Cup Soy Sauce

½ Cup Melted Butter

2 Cloves Garlic Minced


Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Step 2 Place roast into a shallow, glass baking dish. Pour soy sauce and melted butter with garlic over the tenderloin.

Step 3 Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the roast over, and continue cooking 35 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally until the internal temperature of the roast is at 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium. Or, cook to your desired degree of doneness. Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serves 6

Holiday Trifle


1 Pound Cake Cut into Cubes

½ Cup Sherry

2 Pints Fresh Raspberries

1 Tablespoon White Sugar, Or To Taste

1 Egg

2 Egg Yolks

½ Cup White Sugar

Cup All-Purpose Flour

2 ½ Cups Half-And-Half Cream

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons Sherry

1 Tablespoon Butter

½ Cup Whipped Cream

½ Cup Fresh Raspberries

2 Tablespoons Chocolate Curls


Step 1 Slice the cake into 1-inch pieces. Line a glass trifle bowl with the sliced cake. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sherry over the jelly slices. Toss the raspberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar or to taste and spoon over the cake slices.

Step 2 In a bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of sugar until smooth; whisk in the flour until thoroughly combined and free of lumps. Pour half-and-half into a saucepan; heat over medium heat until the milk mixture is steaming hot but not simmering. Whisk about 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth; repeat, whisking the hot milk in thoroughly each time, until you have whisked in about 3/4 cup of the hot milk mixture. Whisk the milk-egg mixture back into the steaming milk in the saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Whisking constantly, heat the sauce until it is thickened and just at the point of simmering (do not boil sauce), 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of sherry, and butter. Allow the sauce to cool for about 15 minutes, whisking often to avoid lumps.

Step 3 Pour the custard over the raspberries in the trifle bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and set, at least 2 hours. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream, more raspberries, and chocolate shavings if desired.



1 (14 Ounce) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 (12 Ounce) Bag Semisweet Chocolate Chips

½ (11 Ounce) Package Butterscotch Chips

1 Tablespoon Almond Extract

¼ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar


Step 1 Melt condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; add almond extract, stirring until well mixed. Let cool in pan until no longer hot, 5 to 10 minutes. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Step 2 Fill a small bowl with confectioners’ sugar.

Step 3 Remove chocolate mixture from the refrigerator and roll into quarter-size balls. Drop truffles gently into the bowl of sugar and roll until well coated.

Party Meat Balls


4 Pounds Ground Beef Chuck

1 (14 Ounce) Can Evaporated Milk

2 (1 Ounce) Package Onion Soup Mix

¼ Cup Dry Bread Crumbs, Or As Needed

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

2 Cups Ketchup

1 Cup Brown Sugar

½ Cup Port Wine or Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce


Step 1 Mix ground chuck, evaporated milk, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Form approximately 40 small meatballs and place on a baking sheet.

Step 2 Set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 3 Broil meatballs until just browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn meatballs over and continue broiling until browned on other side, about 2 minutes more.

Step 4 Transfer meatballs to a slow cooker.

Step 5 Combine ketchup, brown sugar, port wine, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Pour over the meatballs in the slow cooker. Cook on High until meatballs are no longer pink in the middle and the sauce is thick, at least 1 hour. Makes 40

Party Puff Cups


8 Ounces Frozen Puff Pastry, Thawed

6 Tablespoons Goat Cheese

3 Tablespoons Mashed Avocado

3 Tablespoons Jam

1 Sun-Dried Tomato, Cut Into 3 Pieces

2 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts


Step 1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Step 2 Cut puff pastry into 6 equal squares about 4 inches diagonally and 1/4-inch thick (I dip a large shot glass in cornstarch and use that to press the puff pastry squares into the muffin cups before filling.). Push each square into a muffin cup and gently press down. Place 1 tablespoon goat cheese into each pastry. Spoon 1 tablespoon avocado into 3 of the pastries and 1 tablespoon jam into the other 3 pastries.

Step 3 Bake in the preheated oven until bottoms are browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Top the avocado puffs each with 1 slice sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle pine nuts over all the puffs.

Notes: Use any combos you like here. Go savory or go sweet or heck, go both. The idea is a fatty or soft cheese like Gorgonzola or brie, a hard cheese won’t melt properly. Suggest you use cranberry, fig, or any jam.

Holiday Casserole


2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef

1 Onion, Finely Diced

1 (10.75 Ounce) Can Condensed Cream Of Mushroom Soup

1 Cup Instant Rice

1 (14.5 Ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme

1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

8 Slices Colby Cheese


Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Step 2 Place ground beef and onions in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until beef is evenly brown. Drain any excess fat.

Step 3 Add the soup, rice, tomatoes, garlic powder, thyme, oregano and sugar. Mix well and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Place in a 9×13 inch casserole dish.

Step 4 Top with cheese slices and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and browning. Serves 10-12


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