Holiday Recipes From Our Family to Yours

The holidays are a time of year that many of us look forward to. We may be spending it with family, and sometimes that may include travel. The stores are bustling and the weather has gotten cooler. You might follow family traditions and look forward to those family gatherings.  It’s a time of giving and time well spent with loved ones. 

Food that we eat during the season brings us together and may have you reminiscing about past years and your childhood. Familiar flavors bring you back in time. ElderHealth would like to share our family holiday recipes with you. 

At the end of this article, we would also like to highlight a few charities and drives that will be held this holiday season for you to consider participating in or donating to. 

We hope you enjoy our shared family recipes, feel free to share your favorites too!

Peggy Schmidt, NP shared Great grandmother’s recipe: Carrot Pudding For Instant Pot

Materials needed: Instant Pot and a metal bowl or can, approx. 2 lb size

Makes one steamed pudding/cake


  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated potatoes
  • 1 tsp soda mixed with potatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, clove and nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Mix all together and put in a metal container. Place the metal container inside the instant pot with about 1 cup of water in the bottom of the instant pot.

Steam 15 minutes, then pressure cook 45 minutes

Serve with a hard sauce: warm and stir ½ cup softened butter and 1 cup powdered sugar mixed with ½ tsp vanilla and a small amount of brandy (optional) to taste

Corinne Self, MD’s shared recipe: Chestnut Stuffing

Yield: About 10 cups (enough to stuff a 12-14 pound turkey with extra to bake on the side)

Ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 6 cups torn bite-size pieces of day old homemade style white bread
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 TBSP minced fresh thyme leaves OR 2 tsp dried, crumbled
  • 1 TBSP minced fresh rosemary leaves OR 1 ½ tsp dried, crumbled
  • 3 TBSP minced fresh sage leaves OR 1 TBSP dried, crumbled
  • 1 TBSP minced fresh savory leaves OR 1 tsp dried, crumbled
  • 1 Stick (½ C) Butter
  • 1 pound fresh chestnuts, shelled and peeled, chopped course or ¾ pound vacuum-packed whole chestnuts, chopped course (about 2 C)
  • ½ C chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a shallow baking pan arrange the bread pieces in one layer, bake them in the oven, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Transfer them into a large bowl. In a large skillet cook the onions, the celery, the sage, the thyme, the rosemary, and the savory in the butter over moderately low heat stirring until the vegetables are softened add the chestnuts, and cook the mixture stirring for 1 minute. Add the vegetable mixture to the bread pieces, tossing the mixture well, stir in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Let the stuffing cool completely. 

The stuffing may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. 

To Shell and Peel Chestnuts:

With a sharp knife cut an X on the round side of each chestnut. Spread the chestnuts in one layer in a jelly roll pan, add a ¼ C of water and bake the chestnuts in a preheated 450-degree oven for 10 minutes or until the shells open. Remove the chestnuts a handful at a time and shell and peel while they are still hot. 

Melissa Koon, NP’s shared recipe: Seasoned Crackers

Ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 Box Saltine crackers (4 sleeves)
  • 1 ⅓ C Canola Oil
  • 2 TBSP Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Pkg Dry Ranch Dressing Mix

Place crackers in an oblong sealable container standing up edge-wise. Mix oil, pepper, and ranch dressing mix. Pour mixture over crackers. Seal the container and let stand for 15 minutes. When the time has expired, flip the container over and allow it to sit for an additional 15 minutes. Continue until one hour in total has expired. Place crackers in a zip lock bag for storage.

Brittany Wagner, Operations Manager’s shared recipe: Granny Faye’s Cornbread Dressing

This is a family favorite. It’s been made for 76 years in East Texas by my Granny Faye Steed and even years before with her helping MaMaw make it in her childhood years. She lived on a small farm that we would gather at for Thanksgiving. Everything was made completely from scratch, delicious, and homemade. Please enjoy!

What you will need:

  • 9×13 baking dish with at least 2-3” depth
  • Mixing Bowls & utensils
  • Gallon size zip lock bag(s)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Knife and cutting board

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 loaves of white sandwich bread
  • 2 packages of yellow cornbread
  • 1 ½ large white or yellow onions
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Celery Seed (optional see below)
  • 1-2 Cans of Chicken Broth
  • 6 Large eggs uncooked
  • 6 Large eggs hard boiled (chopped)

Night before:

  1. Tear and crumble 1 and ½ of the 2 loaves of bread into large gallon size zip lock bag(s). (The torn bits and crumbles should be a bit larger than breadcrumbs).
  2. Bake according to package directions, the 2 packages of yellow cornbread. (Brands suggested Mrs. Whites, or Gladiola) Once baked and cooled, crumble and combine in large gallon size zip lock bag(s) containing white bread.

Day of:

  1. Open the zip lock bag(s) and put contents in a large bowl. Allow a good amount of time for the white bread crumbs and cornbread breadcrumbs to stale in the bowl. (Maybe do this first thing in the morning)
  2. Boil 6 eggs, drain, peel, and chop whites and smash up yolks so both can easily be incorporated in the dressing set aside.
  3. Chop 1 large white or yellow onion into pieces about ¼ to ½ inch in size and set aside.
  4. Lightly beat 6 raw eggs in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Lightly spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray to ensure nothing sticks.
  6. Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degrees.
  7. Put your breadcrumbs into your baking dish. 
  8. Add your spices to the breadcrumbs; salt, celery seed (optional), pepper. (You are welcome to add additional desired spices). Mix together and sprinkle spices over the entire top of the breadcrumbs mixture from one end to the other so they are evenly spread.
  9. Pour in two cups of chicken broth, stir until moistened. The mixture should not be dry, and it should not be watery, it should be the consistency of a thick milkshake. Add more broth as appropriate to reach desired consistency. 
  10. Add beaten eggs, chopped onion, and chopped hard boiled eggs to dressing. Stir until combined. (Consistency is loose oatmeal).
  11. Put the cornbread dressing into your 350 degree preheated oven for 60 minutes. Check to make sure it is golden brown and insert a toothpick. If toothpick is clean, remove the dressing from the oven. If the toothpick is not clean, continue to cook for 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. 
  12. Once the dressing is completely baked, remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!

laura aylmer lcsw

Laura Aylmer, LCSW’s, shared recipe: Mrs. Donno’s Christmas Fudge

My mom, Marian, shared this story.  The fudge was given to us by our neighbor Mrs. Donno during a Christmas gathering in our new home in Dix Hills, NY, 50 years ago. It was delicious then and we have made it every Christmas since.  I  will travel home for the holidays to this same home where my mom, dad, and sister live and we will enjoy this fudge together. 

This fudge is so easy!
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz bag)
  • 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of walnuts (optional)

Line an 8-inch pan with waxed paper. Melt chocolate chips and condensed milk in the microwave or on the stove. Stir in vanilla and nuts (optional). Spread evenly in pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove from pan and cut into squares.

Local food drives and charities to consider participating in or donating to:

Holiday Harvest Food Drive – Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Blessings to Go – Gospel Rescue Mission 

Adopt-a-Family – The Salvation Army

"I believe deeply in our model of care. Everyone deserves to be empowered, listened to, and supported in their healthcare journey." - Brittany Wagner, Practice Manager

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2 Responses

  1. Hi: I think you are doing a “Great” job with your newsletter and I enhave enjoyed each issue and passed them on to some of my friends.

    Have you made any more lip care? If so I’d like to purchase 3-4 of them when you let me know the price. I can send a check to Peggy for them. Thanks.


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