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Christmas Recipes with Friends

There is no holiday that makes you pull out your baking sheets and mixing bowls like Christmas. Every family has their own traditions. When I first met my husband's family, I was introduced to pierogis and white fish on Christmas. Some people do an annual cookie box. My family had traditions like sausage balls, oyster crackers, and Chex mix.

I asked a few friends and also fellow "Crushers" to share a couple of recipes from of their own Christmas traditions. Maybe you will be inspired to make something over the next two weeks while we celebrate the end of 2020 with some extra time at home.


Meet Kate!

This is Kate and her hubby, Ethan. (Can't forget her adorable pup who often joins our workouts). Kate is sharing a recipe from the Minimalist Baker--Curried Butterney Squash Soup. This sounds like a great day-after-Christmas soup.

So it's not my recipe but I LOVE sharing this recipe for a few reasons-

1) super easy to modify with what you have on hand- I grab one of the containers of pre cut butternut squash to have in the fridge (which lasts a while) and the rest is all pantry staples which is GREAT! I've adjusted proportions a few times based on what I had and it's always turned out great.

2) It's SO easy to make, is SUPER flavorful, and it's gluten free and I think vegan!


Meet Michele!

Michele is the fabulous lady in the black tank! She is surrounded by her three kids and pup.

Growing up in the Southwest (El Paso, TX), my mother's tradition for Christmas Eve was a traditional Mexican meal with tamales, etc. Typically we knew someone who made them, so we'd purchase homemade tamales a few days before.

After I married, I decided to carry on the tradition and we have had tamales and all the fixings ever since. We would always invite anyone who had no where to be and had Christmas Eve sometimes with close to 100 people. When our children were born, we started including a white elephant gift exchange for all and the kids (all ages) loved shopping for the worst gift they could find or even pulling something from their rooms (yes, my youngest even wrapped up some of his dirty underwear one year)!

Once the festivities ended, Santa's elves would always ring our door bell and leave matching pj's for our kids. They still stop by to this day! So, I though it would be good to give you a few recipes with a spicy, southwestern spin. We like our Mexican food very spicy at our house, so others may need to dial the heat back a bit. This is an easy throw together salad. You can always add a protein to this for a complete meal. No real measurements needed. Mexican Salad (Also called, the hubcap salad at my house, since the bowl I make it in, is larger than a hubcap!) any type of lettuce mix chopped tomatoes chopped red onion chopped red bell pepper slice olives (drained) can of mexicorn (rinsed and drained) can of black beans (rinsed and drained) chopped cilantro grated mexican blend cheese chopped avocado chopped cilantro fresh lime juice from 1 lime pepitas 1 fresh chopped jalapeño (if you like the heat) Cilantro lime dressing (I like Trader Joe's) Chipotle ranch dressing lightly crushed tortilla chips Add all ingredients (except tortilla chips and pepitas) to big salad bowl, sprinkle with salt, pepper, ground cumin, chile powder and fresh lime juice and toss with salad dressing to taste. Add pepitas and crushed tortilla chips and lightly toss again. Homemade Pico de Gallo 1 small yellow or white onion,finely chopped 1/4 green bell pepper finely chopped 3-4 large ripe tomatoes fnely chopped 2 cloves garlic minced 1-2 jalapeños finely chopped (if you'd like it less spicy, devein and remove seeds) 1/2 to 1 bunch cilantro chopped juice of 1 lime (sometimes more) kosher salt to taste Mix all ingredients and refrigerate to meld flavors at least an hour. Add more salt or lime to taste. Serve with fresh tortilla chips or on the side of any dish you like! Note: I make this in bulk weekly when my kids are around because they love it! I have shortened the process because of the time it takes to chop. I will pulse chop the ingredients seperately in a food processor. Do not puree, this is supposed to have a little bit of chunkiness.


Meet Amy!

I am noticing a theme with the adorable pups in everyone's photo :). This is Amy!

Growing up we would always have a proper breakfast on Christmas and once my parents had finished their coffee we would open our Christmas stockings. We would usually have poached eggs on toasted shredded wheat and crumbly sausage. It sounds odd but that is my all time favorite breakfast.

For the poached eggs on shredded wheat:

1-Turn on the oven to low broil and poach eggs. We had an egg poacher or you can do it simply by cracking the eggs into boiling water and use a spoon to contain them.

2-While the eggs are poaching, take the large shredded wheat biscuits (each person gets an entire biscuit) and cut them lengthwise and put them on a baking sheet. You can add butter to them before putting into the oven. Once they are on the oven, keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Let them get brown and toasted.

3-When the eggs are cooked, put two pieces of a biscuit on a plate and then place the egg in the middle of them. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the yolk is slightly soft, it will mix into the shredded wheat which is really yummy. Enjoy!!


Meet Jennifer!

This is Jenn with her two pups <3. Carrying forward with our theme :).

Jenn's recipe is near and dear to my heart. My mom has made this exact recipe for years and is a staple at our breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner table around Christmas.

Cranberry Apple Crisp Recipe


3 cups chopped peeled tart apples

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup sugar (I use coconut sugar or stevia in the raw)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I use Cassava flour or almond flour to limit gluten)


1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (TJs gluten and wheat free rolled oats)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (cassava or almond flour)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar (coconut sugar or stevia in the raw)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and flour. Pour into a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. In a bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over apple mixture. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until fruit is tender.


Meet Dana!

My favorite this year is the incredibly easy Snickerdoodle recipe below. I have also included a Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate-Chip Cookie recipe (this one includes the nutritional facts!). Neither of these are the healthiest of course, but we can certainly enjoy them in moderation.

Twice-Coated Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe (Source: Servings: 24 Ingredients 1 cup Unsalted Butter (softened)

  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar

  • 2 large Eggs

  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla

  • 2 3/4 cup Flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

  • 1 teaspoon Salt Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture:

  • 1/4 cup Sugar

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon


  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and add the eggs and vanilla. Cream for 1-2 minutes longer.

  • Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, just until combined.

  • In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon.

  • Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. While the dough is in the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Roll into small balls until round and smooth (I used a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop). Drop into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and coat well. Using a spoon, coat for a second time, ensuring the cookie balls are completely covered.

  • Press down in the center of the ball, and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. This helps to keep the cookies from puffing up in the middle.

  • Bake for 9-11 minutes. *I recommend keeping it closer to 9. The cookies will still look quite soft, but they are done.* Let cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing from the pan.

Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Source: Servings: 24 Cookies Calories: 170kcal Author: John Kanell Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • 2/3 cup light-brown sugar, packed

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled or old-fashioned oats

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli)


  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour and baking soda; set aside.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

  • Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute.

  • Add flour mixture; mix until almost combined.

  • Stir in the oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Chill dough for one hour to overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  • Use a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop (or similar) to drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

  • Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

Nutrition Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1.5g | Fat: 67g


Meet Alicia!

I grew up in a primarily Italian family, (I tell people I’m 7/8 Italian – I’m not – but it sounds cool so I stick with it), and Italian food is always a part of every holiday dinner – along with the traditional ham, turkey, and sides. The past few years, my family has strayed away from making homemade meatballs due to time constraints. So I decided to take over and keep the tradition alive – but with a spicy, slightly healthier twist. I took this recipe from Gina Homolka (obsessed with her recipes) from Skinnytaste and made it my own.

Slow Cooker Spicy Beef and Pork Meatballs with Broccoli Rabe


For the meatballs:

1/2lb of lean ground beef

1/2lb of ground pork

1 bunch of broccoli rabe

1 cup of spicy panko

2tbsps of almond milk or fat free milk

½ cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 large egg beaten

2 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce:

1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil

1 teaspoon of olive oil

3 crushed garlic cloves

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper

Salt and black pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season with salt. Once boiling, add the broccoli rabe and blanch for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, finely chop both the florets and the leaves until you get about ¾ of a cup. I like to save the rest to eat with the meatball instead of pasta. Just sauté with oil and garlic.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the spicy panko with the milk. Let sit, tossing occasionally for 10 minutes. You want all the crumbs to be moist, but not soaked. If you need more milk – add it!

  3. In the same bowl as the panko, add the ground beef, ground pork, broccoli rabe, grated cheese, egg, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix with clean hands and form into about 15 meatballs (about ¼ cup each).

  4. Pour the crushed tomatoes in to a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.

  5. In a small skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until golden – be careful not to burn! Add this mixture to the slow cooker, along with the crushed red pepper, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Add a pinch of sugar to taste.

  6. Gently place the meatballs in to the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours. If you need to speed up this process, you can always broil the meatballs for 10 minutes before throwing in the crockpot. 2-3 hours on high should be fine if you do that.

I always stick to the Italian food at our holiday dinners, but there is one non-Italian side that I can’t resist: Pineapple Casserole. It sounds less than appealing, and looks like a dessert, but I promise that this side dish is life changing.

Pineapple Casserole


1 stick of butter (softened)

¾ cup of sugar

4 eggs

8 slices of white bread (cubed and crusts removed)

20oz can crushed pineapple (drained)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer.

  3. Add eggs and mix thoroughly.

  4. Drain the crushed pineapple and add to the mixture, mixing with a large spoon. Set aside.

  5. Remove crusts from the bread and cut in to 1 inch cubes. Add to the mixture. If the mixture looks too watery – add more bread.

  6. Place mixture in a greased casserole dish. Bake for 50 minutes.

  7. Sprinkle cinnamon on top if desired


Meet Carly!

This is Carly! She is giving us her favorite appetizer:

Bruschetta w/ Slow Roasted Shallots and Goat Cheese (YUMMMMMMM)

This is Carly's favorite cookie recipe!!:


I hope you find some inspiration or even enjoyment from reading about other people's recipe traditions and preferences. If you make something be sure to comment here or on Instagram and let us know!!

I hope everyone finds some enjoyment in this holiday season. And even though things may be different this year, consider starting your own traditions. I think a Christmas Eve bath sounds good ;)

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