10 Best Thanksgiving and Holiday Recipes

maple and cayenne brussels sprouts butternut squash

With Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away, and then Christmas right around the corner, I think it’s time I write down a list of my favorite holiday dishes. I love the holidays because I get to spend quality time with my family and friends, and we all get to eat some very tasty and decadent meals together. You all probably have your own traditional meals already, but if you’re looking for some easy to make dishes, here are some ideas.

I have a few suggestions for main entrees and sides, a few luxurious desserts, and some indulgent breakfasts. There’s something about a having a treat for breakfast that makes the day seem more special. Obviously there’s chocolate involved!

I hope you guys like these 10 Best Thanksgiving and Holiday Recipes.

Main Entrees and Sides:

ribeye with brocollini

Ribeye Steak – just because you don’t have a grill available during the winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice juicy steak. A ribeye is my very favorite cut of steak, and I love cooking it on a stovetop. My dad taught me how to cook a great steak – with a golden brown crust, and a tender pink inside – on the stovetop.  No grill, no oven roasting time, but just with a hot pan, some seasonings, and a lot of patience.

sangria roast chicken

Sangria Chicken – I meant for this Sangria Chicken recipe to sound fancy, but it’s not. It’s really just a hop and a skip away from regular roast chicken. Or more specifically, it’s red wine and orange juice away from regular roast chicken.  It tastes like what a good home cooked meal should taste like, and it makes my “kitchen” (in quotes because I have a small box of a room that’s designated to be the kitchen, dining, and living room) smell what a nice, homey kitchen should smell like. And best of all, it’s made with my favorite drink.

spicy maple brussels sprouts and butternut squash

Spicy Maple Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash – aka THE BEST THANKSGIVING SIDE EVER!!! You guys, I’m not exaggerating with the all caps and the exclamation points. This really is the best. When you combine maple syrup, a generous amount of cayenne pepper, good olive oil, and the aromatic base of garlic and shallots with traditional Thanksgiving veggies butternut squash and  brussels sprouts, you’ll end up with the Channing Tatum of all side dishes. Sweet, spicy, easy to love. *sigh* One of my readers also emailed me with suggestions on how to make a nice vegetarian meal out of this: just add toasted walnuts, and serve on top of brown rice. So good.


pecan wedding cookies

Pecan and Cranberry Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies – I think these might be the most perfect Christmas cookies ever. Rich, buttery cookie balls with chopped pecans and chopped cranberries, dusted in confectioner’s sugar. They have just the right amount of sweetness, with a texture that straddles the balance between delicateness and sturdiness. Each bite will leave a dusting of powdered sugar on your fingers and lips, each bite will melt in your mouth and coax out some mmm-mmms.

chocolate turtle graham bars

Salted Chocolate Turtle Graham Bars – these have some pretty luxurious ingredients like salted caramel, smooth creamy chocolate, flaky sea salt, and pecans, but it’s grounded by store-bought graham crackers. They are are technically bark – I made a giant slab then broke them apart in uneven pieces. We’re going for rustic and approachable (bark is very forgiving), instead of perfect and intimidating. They’re super easy to make, a teeny bit messy to eat, and taste absolutely delicious. pineapple upside down cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Pineapple Cake. Spiked with rum. Studded with Cointreau-soaked raisins. Blanketed by sticky caramel. So good. So sweet. I can’t even write in full sentences. I know that upside down cake isn’t the most sophisticated nor traditional looking dessert for the holidays, but it’s nice to bring in a little tropical flavor with the juicy pineapples. It’s sure to brighten up the winter.

chocolate banoffee pie

Salted Chocolate Banoffee Pie – Banoffee Pie is traditionally made with crushed biscuits, sticky toffee (or dulce de leche), bananas, and whipped cream. But this recipe is extra special, because it has an added layer of salted chocolate ganache. I love the cloud of whipped cream on top, the chopped up pieces of dark chocolate with sea salt, and sweet pie filling.


homemade mini sticky buns

Mini Sticky Buns – Technically, these are Mini Salted Bourbon Caramel Cinnamon Sticky Buns. I know that sounds over the top. But you know me, I like over the top…  And these little treats are so adorable and teensy, and they are so sticky and sweet and decadent.  And the best thing about them? They are really easy to make. The secret is pre-made crescent rolls :)

mini orange pound cake

Mini Orange Pound Cakes – this easy and delightful little treat involves sour cream, orange marmalade, and rum, and it might just be the perfect weekend breakfast treat… or midnight snack. Who else loves to snack late at night during the holidays? The pound cake is dense and soft, thanks to the eggs and sour cream in the recipe. Each cake is perfumed with orange zest, and amped up by a sweet orange and rum syrup. Yes, rum. It’s the holidays!

tsokolate 3

Hot Chocolate – thick, frothy, with the bittersweet taste of dark chocolate and the slight graininess that sets it apart from other versions, Tsokolate, or Filipino Hot Chocolate, is one of my very favorite treats back home. Made with tablea (chocolate tablets), and tempered with milk and sugar, it is simple and luxurious at the same time. Whisked manually with a batidor (or molinillo, a wooden hot chocolate stirrer), it is a labor of love. I hope you can try it sometime.

Tell me about your own favorite holiday recipes!


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