By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 02, 2008 at 5:23 AM

Doesn't it seem like everyone -- whether gourmet chef or microwave dinner aficionado -- has a favorite holiday recipe? You know, the dish that we bust out once a year to serve to family or friends. Maybe it's a recipe handed down from generation to generation, maybe it's a meal we saw on the Food Network.

In this festive season, here are a few recipes that our editorial staff cooks up with holiday cheer. Add your own using the Talkback feature below.

Molly Snyder Edler
Staff Writer
Broccoli casserole

My favorite holiday recipe is, believe it or not, broccoli casserole. Next to Tater Tot casserole it is, in my book, the best comfort food dish of all time. (It's becoming apparent that I have a trailer park palate, but oh well.) There are many variations of this recipe, but my favorite is something like this:


2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped broccoli
2 10.75-oz. cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups instant rice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1 16-oz. jar process cheese sauce
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste


1. Cook rice as directed on box.
2. Saute onions in butter until done.
3. Cook broccoli as directed on package and drain.
4. Mix together broccoli, soup, rice, onion, butter or margarine and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a 9 by 13 dish.
5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Julie Lawrence
Staff Writer
Brown sugar-glazed sweet potatoes with marshmallows

The holidays are a time of giving, but when it comes to food, they are a time of gluttony. We all get together and nosh on rich, decadent dishes for a month and spend the first half of the new year regretting it and / or working it off.

This is the only time of the year when I allow myself to indulge in meals that involve marshmallows before dessert is served. They are a bit over the top and should probably only be consumed in moderation, but to whoever invented candied sweet potatoes, I salute you.


4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Cover dish tightly with foil.

Bake potatoes 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes.

Drew Olson
Senior Editor
Hot cider

Whether in a baseball press box or the OMC office, I'm a bit of a freak because I don't drink coffee. I just never liked the taste/smell and I'm not a fan of hot drinks in general. I make one exception, though, and it is for the holiday cider below. It wouldn't feel like Christmas without it.


2 quarts apple cider
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 oranges, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
(Optional: 1 cup Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum or Jack Daniel's or other dark liquor in a pinch.)


Mix all ingredients and bring it close to a boil. Simmer about 10 minutes. Strain and serve. May be garnished with fresh orange or lemon slice, or a cinnamon stick in each mug.

Maureen Post
Staff Writer
Ginger snaps


1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup shortening
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together the sugars, molasses, shortening, butter, egg and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
3. In another large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.
4. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and beat while adding the water. Continue to mix until ingredients are incorporated.
5. Measure a heaping teaspoon of dough at time. Roll the dough into a sphere between the palms of your hands then press the dough onto the cookie. Flatten to about 1/8-inch thick.
6. Bake cookies for 10-14 minutes or until edges begin to brown and cookies are crispy when cool.

Bobby Tanzilo
Managing Editor
Brasato al Barolo

Although I almost never make roasts, nothing quite says holiday like a roast, so I submit to you this timeless classic, brasato al Barolo, which I usually alter to brasato alla Barbera, since I prefer Barbera and it's considerably more cost-effective, too.


A roughly three-pound chuck eye or rump roast (don't opt for something too lean or it will become dry)
A bottle of Barbera (although you can substitute your favorite full-bodied red wine; I wouldn't suggest a rose')
One stalk of celery (sliced), one large carrot (sliced) and one large onion (diced)
A bay leaf
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper

Directions: Marinate the meat, bay leaf and the vegetables in the wine overnight.

Remove the meat and pat dry. Use twine to tie up the roast so it will maintain its shape. Heat the olive oil and butter in a stovetop roasting pan and brown the meat on all sides. Add the marinade back in and reduce the heat to low. Cover and braise the meat at a very low temperature for about two hours; a little more if you like it well done, a little less if you like it on the rare side. Consult your meat thermometer!

Remove the roast and cut the twine off. Scoop out the vegetables with a slotted spoon and blend them. Remove the fat from the braising sauce and add the pureed veggies back in. Pour the liquid over the meat and serve.

Andy Tarnoff
Matzo ball soup

Hanukah dinners in my family aren't a huge deal, but when we get together, you can count on potato latkes (a.k.a potato pancakes) and matzo ball soup. In fact, you can count on matzo ball soup at just about any holiday, so here's my mom's excellent recipe:


4 eggs, slightly beaten
4 tablespoons of oil
4 tablespoons of ice cold water
1 cup matzo meal
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoons of pepper
Container of chicken soup


Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. After mixing, cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Fill a large pot with eight cups of water and one teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. The matzo balls will expand in the pot as they cook, so choose a large pot to allow for expansion. After the water comes to a boil, reduce the flame to low. Take the mixture out from the refrigerator and in your hand gently make the balls. Make sure that your hands are wet before proceeding to make the balls. Slowly add the newly formed balls to the hot water.

Cook for 30 minutes, then turn off fire, but keep the pot covered and let it cool for another 10 minutes.