Good eats have always been a part of the Southern appeal.  Homemade fares full of rich flavors such as buttermilk fried chicken, biscuits, casseroles, and more are staple treats the South is known for.  These scrumptious foods are truly prepared to perfection for the holiday season.  Here are some top notch Holiday recipes to share with your family, whether you celebrate at home or with us in a cabin for the holidays.

Main Dishes:

Herb Roasted Turkey

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours


  • 1 turkey, about 14 pounds
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons mixed chopped herbs, such as chives, dill, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 orange, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 apple, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • sprigs of fresh herbs


Heat oven to 450°.

Wash turkey inside and out; pat dry. Combine the chopped herbs with olive oil. Gently separate the skin from the breast and rub a few tablespoons of the herb mixture under the skin as far back as you can reach. Rub the remaining mixture all over the bird. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Put orange, apple, onion chunks, and herb sprigs in the stuffing cavity. Cover wing tips with small pieces of foil. Roast for 10 minutes. Tent foil loosely over the top of the turkey and reduce heat to 325° and continue roasting for about 3 1/2 hours longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°.

Serves 8.

Quail with Wild Rice and Sage Stuffing


  • 6 boneless quail
  • salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage, minced
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a roasting pan.
  2. Wash quail and rub the inside cavities with salt and 1 teaspoon of orange zest.
  3. In a medium saucepan bring vegetable broth and rice to a boil. Add the bay leaf and reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent; add celery and sage and saute 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the egg white, remaining orange zest, walnuts, black pepper, cooked rice and parsley; mix well. Stuff the cavities of the quail with the rice mixture. Lightly season the skins with salt and cracked black pepper.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. Remove quail from pan and de glaze with the chicken broth. Strain and ladle over the quail.

Side Dishes:

Holiday Dressing

1 pound pork sausage
1 pound bacon
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 (8-ounce) can mushroom pieces, drained
2 packages herb-seasoned stuffing mix

Fry sausage (crumbled) until brown, drain and set aside.

In separate skillet, fry bacon until crisp, drain, crumble and set aside. Saute the onion, celery, and mushrooms in bacon grease. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. Stir in the onion mixture. Add bacon and sausage. Mix well.

Makes 25 to 30 servings.

Tennessee Fried Green Tomatoes


  • 1 extra large egg
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 green tomatoes, sliced


  1. In a small bowl whisk together egg and milk. In another small bowl mix cornmeal and flour.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; use more or less oil to reach about 1/4 inch in depth.
  3. Dredge tomato slices first in egg mixture, then in cornmeal mixture. Carefully place slices in hot oil and cook until browned on both sides.



  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 pounds fresh corn (or frozen corn, thawed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the bacon, then chop it into bite-size pieces and set it aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, celery, and peppers until soft. Stir in the flour, then the sour cream, until well combined. Add the corn and most of the bacon bits and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle on the remaining bacon bits and the parsley. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until lightly browned. (Note: for a lower-fat version of this casserole, use half the bacon, butter, and flour). Serves 6 to 8.



  • 4 sweet potatoes, baked and mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated unsweetened coconut, dried or fresh
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup margarine


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes, sugar, margarine, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Transfer the mixture into a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the topping ingredients with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until crumbly. Distribute the topping over the sweet potatoes. Then bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serves 6 to 8.

Broccoli Casserole


  • 10 to 12 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Dash pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar (6 ounces)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten


Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 2 1/2-quart casserole. Arrange the cooked and drained broccoli in the casserole.

Heat the butter in a large skillet; add onion and sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes, until onion is tender. Stir in flour until well blended and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the pepper, nutmeg, salt, and half-and-half. Continue cooking over low heat until thickened. Stir in cheese and cook just until cheese is melted. Add about 1/3 of the hot mixture to the beaten eggs; add back to the hot mixture, blending well. Pour over the broccoli. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the broccoli casserole comes out clean.

Serves 6.

Turnip Greens


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds turnip greens, washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until tender and fragrant. Add the washed and cleaned turnip greens. Mix together. Cook until they have wilted down, about 3 minutes. Add pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, whisk the Dijon mustard with the chicken stock. Add to the wilted greens and cook until the liquid has all but evaporated. Add the toasted pecans and serve immediately.


Apple Cranberry Toffee Cake With Maple Glaze

  • 4 cups peeled chopped apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts)
  • 3/4 cup toffee bits

Maple glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour Bundt pan; set aside.

Mix apples and sugar in a large bowl and set aside. Mix eggs, oil and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt in another bowl.

Add the apple mixture to the egg mixture; stir to combine. Next, add in the flour mixture; mix thoroughly, as it will be chunky. Then fold the cranberries, nuts and toffee bits into the mixture until thoroughly combined.

Bake 50-60 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan onto rack to cool completely. You also may serve it warm.

Glaze: Combine sugar and syrup with a whisk until smooth. You may need a bit more maple syrup to make it runny enough. Drizzle over cake.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Elvis Presley Cake


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Prepare cake according to instructions on package. Bake in a 9×13 inch pan. Allow to cool.
  2. Combine pineapple and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Spoon over cooled cake.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. Add pecans and mix well.
  4. Spread cream cheese frosting over cake.

Caramel Apple Salad

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup instant butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup milk
Small tub whipped topping
3 to 4 large red apples, unpeeled
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix cream cheese with brown sugar and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the dry pudding and milk until creamy; fold in the whipped topping. Fold this mixture in with the cream cheese mixture.
Dice the apples and mix with the marshmallows and nuts; fold into the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate.

Note: The amount of brown sugar used depends on the sweetness of the apples. After dicing the unpeeled apples, Milner puts them in a bowl with some frozen orange juice concentrate and water to keep them from browning. Drain the apples before mixing into cream cheese.

Makes 5 to 6 servings.

Cranberry Salad


  • 1 pkg (6 oz.) cherry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 lb. can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 lb. can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


Dissolve gelatin in water. Add cranberry sauces and lemon juice. Pour into a lightly oiled cake pan. Chill until firm. Blend together softened cream cheese, whipped cream and nuts. Spread on top of gelatin. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours before serving.


What holiday is complete without the perfect cocktails to tie the meal together?  Here are some festive Holiday drinks to go along with the meal:


  • 1 part Absolut Vodka
  • 1/2 part Absolut Pears Vodka
  • 3/4 part honey syrup
  • 1/2 part fresh lemon juice
  • 1 whole plum, sliced

Muddle the sliced plum with the honey in a shaker, reserving one slice. Add the rest of the ingredients, shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the reserved plum slice.

Tennessee Cobbler – from

  • 1.35 oz. George Dickel
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grapefruit juice
  • 1.5 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 slice orange

Combine all ingredients in an ice filled glass and stir well. Serve garnished with an orange slice.

Food is a big part of enjoying the Holidays, so give yourself a break from a diet and indulge a little.  You deserve it!

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