Holiday recipes from The Mountaineer

Nov 19, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg Sports editor Chuck Fiebernitz is one of many Mountaineer employees who's offered up their favorite holiday recipes. Try his tangy ribs today.

This week, as people across Haywood County sit down for Thanksgiving dinner with their friends and family, everyone knows that the food on the table will be secondary to all the love and caring that went into it. That said, the tasty and diverse array of Thanksgiving dishes has got to be one of the great pleasures of life — and that's not lost on us here at The Guide and The Mountaineer. So, as we wish you a happy Turkey Day, we'd like to offer up a few of our favorite holiday recipes, to boot.

The Hill Family Ham

By Keri Hill, advertising coordinator

The Hill Family has been making ham this way — for every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas — since Keri married into it in 1994. Keri has also been bringing it to employee holiday potlucks for years, too, much to the delight of her coworkers. This ham is the "highlight of the holidays," she said, a time when she gets to sit together with friends and family and enjoy a good meal.

1 Gwaltney butt portion ham

1) Wrap in aluminum foil, place in cake pan. Cook for 9 to 8 hours (note that ovens vary, and you might need to cook it at 225 to 300 degrees depending on yours).

2) Slice and enjoy.

Molasses Cookies

By Laura Barry, designer

This recipe was given to Laura's mom at her bridal shower by her great aunt Eloise. It was handed down to Eloise from her mother and great-grandmother, Alice Lincoln Lusk. These soft cookies make for a good fall treat.

3/4 cup Crisco

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon ginger

2 1/2 cup flour

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together all ingredients, shape into balls and roll in granulated sugar.

2) Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Maple-bacon-butter Pizza

By Michelle Shumacher, advertising representative

When Michelle found this sweet-meets-savory pizza recipe in a newspaper a few weeks back, she simply had to tear it out. Between the butter, bacon and cheese, what could be better?

3 tablespoons butter, softened

3 tablespoons granulated maple sugar

20-ounce ball prepared pizza dough, room temperature

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled

8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees and lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2) In a small bowl, mix together the butter and maple sugar until well blended. Set aside.

3) On lightly floured surface, carefully roll out the pizza dough to about a 14-inch circle (use your hands if needed). Place on baking sheet.

4) Sprinkle the grated cheese over the pizza and top with the bacon. Arrange slices of the fresh mozzarella cheese over that. Using two spoons, scoop and dollop the maple sugar butter evenly over the pizza. Don't spread; the dollops will melt in the oven.

5) Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is puffed and browned, and the cheese at the center of lightly browned. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.

Triple Chocolate Cake

By Vicki Hyatt, editor

This is a souped-up box cake recipe that is as easy as it is tasty. It first appeared in The Mountaineer about 15 years ago, and after trying it, the recipe was quickly put into Vicki's "keeper" file. The flavor can change slightly based on the type of chocolate cake mix and chocolate chips used.

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 5.9-oz. package of instant chocolate pudding mix

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups chocolate chips

1) Mix all ingredients together with a spoon. 
2) Spread in a greased bundt pan and back for 50 to 55 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven.
3) When cool, turn upside down onto plate. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips with 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a microwave on half power for 1 minute at a time until the mixture can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Broccoli Cornbread

Jennifer Allen, advertising representative

Jennifer makes this moist, simple cornbread during the holidays — and just about every other time of year, too.

2 boxes of Jiffy Mix

1 stick of butter

2 eggs

1 tub of cottage cheese

1 package or 10 oz of broccoli, chopped

1) Mix all together in a bowl and bake according to the directions on the box.

Candy Cane Cookies

By Marcia Klettner, receptionist
Marcia's favorite holiday memories include baking Christmas cookies with her mother, who baked dozens of these cookies for family and friends. Marcia has three sisters, and they would all help with mixing the dough, cutting and shaping the cookies and decorating with sprinkles and sugars.While she's made many a cookie in her day, the ones below are her favorite — even though, interestingly enough — her mother always used almond extract instead of peppermint.

"I learned many wonderful things from my mother, but I cherish that she taught me how to bake," Marcia said.

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 egg

3 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon red food coloring

2 tablespoons finely crushed peppermint candies

2 tablespoons sugar

1) Stir together 1 cup sugar, the butter, milk, vanilla, peppermint extract and egg in a large bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Divide dough in half. Stir food color in half. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
2) Heat oven to 375 degrees.
3) Stir together peppermint candy and 2 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.
4) For each candy cane, shape one rounded teaspoon dough from each half into 4-inch rope by rolling back and forth on floured surface. Place 1 red and white rope side by side; press together lightly and twist. Place on an non-greased cookie sheet; curve top of cookie down to form handle of cane.
5) Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until set and very light brown. Immediately sprinkle candy mixture over cookies. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Paulie’s One-Skillet-Wonder Cornbread Stuffing

By Paul Viau, Guide columnist

Paul, who's known around town for his column in The Guide, makes this every Thanksgiving. Did you know? — This will be the best stuffing you ever tasted.

2 packages cornbread mix (Paul prefers Martha White's — and NOT Martha Stewart's — Sweet Yellow Honey Cornbread and Muffin Mix)

1 onion, finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced

2 cups celery, finely diced

1 pound country sausage (your choice, though Paul likes it spicy)

2-3 cups chicken stock (homemade is always better)

1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of Cajun spice mix (Paul prefers Tony Cachere’s)

The cooking: (Paul's 12 Step Program to end the chronic over-stuffing)

1) To simplify your life, everything cooks in one cast iron skillet!

2) Start by baking the cornbread, following package instructions (which calls for a cast iron skillet)

3) While the cornbread is baking, chop and prep all the vegetables.

4) When the cornbread is done, remove from the cast iron skillet and cool on wire rack. When cool, crumble the cornbread into a large mixing bowl. Be sure to sample a little (or a lot) of the yummy cornbread.

5) Using the (now empty) skillet, sauté the onions, green pepper and celery in olive oil. When vegetables are translucent (not completely cooked) add them to the mixing bowl.

6) Using that same, great, cast iron skillet, brown the country sausage. When fully cooked and crumbled, drain grease, and add sausage meat to the mixing bowl. OK, now (and only now) you can put that skillet aside. Only one pan to clean!

7) Mix/incorporate all the meat, vegetables and stuffing in the bowl.

8) Add chicken stock and spices to suit your taste. Some folks like dry stuffing; some like it wet. I like it right down the middle.

9) Transfer the mixed stuffing to a casserole dish (or right back into that skillet)

10) Sprinkle the top of the stuffing with chopped pecans and (if you like) more Cajun spice.

11)  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. (Remove cover foranother 15 minutes.)

12) You and the stuffing rest for 10 minutes.

Spiced Cranberry Chutney with Apricots and Pecans

By Carol Viau, lifestyles editor

Paul's better half, Carol, thinks this tangy, nicely spiced chutney also makes a great stuffing for chicken breasts or a pork loin.

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon each ground fennel and ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon each ground cloves and ground ginger

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/2 cup apple cider

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1 bag (12 ounces) fresh of frozen cranberries

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup dried apricots, cut into a small dice

1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped coarsely

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1) Mix spices and bring cider, pomegranate juice and spice blend to a boil in a large saucepan. Add fresh or frozen cranberries and return to a boil, cooking until some of the cranberries just start to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2) Meanwhile, mix dried cranberries, apricots, pecans and orange zest in a medium bowl. Add cooked cranberries to the dried fruits; toss gently to coat.

3) Cool and refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be covered and refrigerated for two weeks.)

Pecan Cranberry Spread

By Teresa Jones, accounts receivable

Teresa makes this sweet spread, which you roll out like a cheese ball, during the holidays and often brings it parties. It's a favorite at shindigs like the "white elephant" soiree in her neighborhood, which she attends every year and always takes home a different crazy gift. What's the strangest thing she's gotten so far? A potpourri plunger.

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup dried cranberries or Craisins

Two tablespoons orange juice

1) Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Transfer to small bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

2) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until flavors blend (at least 30 minutes).

3) Serve cold with crackers.

Brown Rice

By Michelle Claytor, classified sales representative

Michelle learned this recipe from her grandmother, Ruth, and though Grandma used to always do it in the oven. Michelle joked that she learned to do hers in the microwave because she was always running late to family gatherings. After she moved out on her own, Michelle remembers calling up her grandmother for help with the recipe time and time again. She still serves it every year.

1 cup rice

1 cup consomme

1 can beef broth

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1) Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and put in a casserole dish. Microwave on half power for 15 minutes, then full power for 10 minutes.

2) Fluff with a fork. Microwave another 5 minutes if needed.

Mexican Wedding Cakes

By Stina Sieg, Guide editor

There's little more to these little cookies than sugar, butter and flour, but what more do you really need? These rich, tasty nibbly bits are a holiday staple at Stina's house, and are often nestled alongside fudge and cranberry chews by her mom and sent off across the country. To her, they always taste like home

1 cup salted butter

1 cup powdered sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped nuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

Extra powdered sugar to roll the cookies in

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, mix everything until it’s crumbly. Roll the dough into little balls and place on a cookie sheet.

2) Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the cookie edges start to brown. After they’re cool, roll the cookies in powdered sugar.

Betty's Potatoes

By Kimberly Perry, designer

This dish has been a Thanksgiving tradition in Kim's family as long as she can remember. Her Aunt Betty was the cheesy potato casserole connoisseur, and it was the dish most looked forward to by the entire family. When she passed away, the recipe was sadly lost, and Thanksgivings came and went before they finally uncovered the original recipe. For Kim, these simple potatoes bring back memories of snowy New England holiday seasons.

6 potatoes

1/2 stick butter

2 cups white cheddar cheese

1 pint sour cream

1/3 cup chives

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoon butter

1) Bake whole potatoes in skins until tender. Chill potatoes, skin and grate. Place in casserole dish.

2) Over low heat combine butter and cheese until almost melted.

3) Remove from heat and blend in sour cream, chives, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes and stir gently. Dot top with butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake and 350 for 35 minutes.

Sweet Potato Patties

By DeeAnna Haney, reporter

This delicious dish is a Thanksgiving and Christmas staple at DeeAnna's house. Always quick and easy, you can eat it as a side dish — or even a dessert.

1 can flaky Grands canned biscuits

1 stick butter

2 1/2 cups water

1 package of sweet potato patties (usually in meat dept)

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons white Karo syrup

Cinnamon to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a separate pan, boil water, sugar and syrup for about 10 minutes.

2) Flake biscuits apart into two pieces and pat out into a slightly larger piece. Cut sweet potato patty in half and place one half on each biscuit. Fold biscuits together enclosing the potato and pinch the ends together to seal.

3) Place biscuits in dish in the melted butter. Pour sugar, water and syrup mixture over the biscuits (will be a lot of liquid). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 10 minutes. After removing from oven, spoon some of liquid over each biscuit to keep from getting dry.

Maple Country Ribs

By Chuck Fibernitz, sports editor

Anyone who knows Chuck knows he loves to eat. Here's his favorite recipe for sweet, easy ribs with a bit of tang.

3 pounds bone-in country-style pork ribs

1 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and ground cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ribs in a Dutch oven. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain.

2) Place ribs in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; pour half over ribs.

3) Bake, uncovered, 90 minutes or until tender, basting often with remaining sauce. 

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