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!


17 Responses to “10 Best Thanksgiving and Holiday Recipes”

  1. #
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl posted November 10, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Great round up list! I’m in the brussels sprouts mood right now and have been eating them for lunch the last few days. Your glazed variety looks perfect, must try!

  2. #
    Sues posted November 10, 2014 at 9:42 am

    This post makes me soooo happy for fall. Everything looks so warming and perfect :)

  3. #
    Lindsey @ Simply Lindsey posted November 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    These recipes look delicious!! One of my friends made the salted chocolate turtle graham bars the other week and they taste sooo good!!

    My favorite holiday recipes are my Mom’s sausage & egg casserole and cranberry bread!

  4. #
    Kammie | Sensual Appeal Blog posted November 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Holiday recipes are some of my favorites ever. It’s so delicious, so naturally this post is pretty cool in my book ;)

  5. #
    Megan posted November 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    That squash and brussels sprout dish looks amazing!

  6. #
    Daisy posted November 10, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    such a delicious round up. I love roasting vegetables this time of year, going to have to try your spicy maple glaze.

  7. #
    Meghan posted November 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Tis the season for holiday recipe posts! I love anything with Brussels sprouts!

  8. #
    Monica posted November 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Bianca – everything looks great but that maple brussels sprouts and squash look screaming good!! You’ve got me in the Thanksgiving spirit with this round up!

  9. #
    Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy posted November 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    What a yummy bunch of recipes! especially the pineapple upside-down cake! :D

  10. #
    Choc Chip Uru posted November 11, 2014 at 1:42 am

    I wish we celebrated thanksgiving here! These dishes and desserts all look absolutely addictive :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. #
    lea @ healthy coconut posted November 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    oh my, that’s what I said when I see the Sangria chicken

  12. #
    Fabiana posted November 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I am going to prepare that pineapple upside down cake! Wish me kuck (I am bad at baking)

  13. #
    Joanne posted November 13, 2014 at 7:19 am

    So much deliciousness to choose from!

  14. #
    Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen posted November 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Love this! That pineapple cake and those mini sticky buns!!! Yummm :)

  15. #
    El posted November 16, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Great recipes- thanks for sharing!

  16. #
    Molly Galler posted November 18, 2014 at 11:18 am

    My dad does all the cooking for Thanksgiving (it’s like his own personal Super Bowl) and I’ve requested Brussels sprouts. Will share this recipe with him!

  17. #
    GiGi Eats posted November 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts are A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN!

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