SOUP TO NUTS
Missy Chase Lapine, creator of the New York Times-bestselling Sneaky Chef series
“I love to make a butternut squash and apple soup. I roast squash and an onion, then simmer it with a peeled, chopped apple and vegetable or chicken broth. Puree it at the end, and add a dash of cinnamon and a little butter and cream. It’s our family’s favorite!”
YAM IT UP
Donna Pocekovic, age 45, mom of 3
via Twitter @celeb_facialist
“My whipped yam with pecan and maple syrup topping is a big hit – my family asks for it every holiday season. They even ask for it for lunch the next day, so I always make extra. It pairs well as an entrée with turkey and all the trimmings.”
How she makes it: Bake yams in the oven with lots of butter until soft. When cooled, peel the skins and mash the yams with butter until light and fluffy. (If they seem too thick, add fruit juice.) Put in a casserole dish and smooth out. In a separate bowl, mix pecan pieces and maple syrup. Drizzle the mixture over the yams, and then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes.
NOT TOO CRABBY
Cat Cora, star of Food Network’s Iron Chef America
Oven-roasted Crab Buon Natale is a tradition at Cat’s house on Christmas Eve. Each year, after Midnight Mass, her family feasts on the crab, white wine (for the adults), salad, and lots of crusty bread to sop up the garlic-butter sauce. They set out plenty of napkins – along with finger bowls and lemon wedges for each person so that everyone can clean their fingers.
Paula Deen, two-time Emmy Award winner and host of Food Network’s Paula’s Home Cooking
“My favorite traditional dish for the holidays is the dressing. So many people have problems with their dressing being too dry or too mushy, so I made sure to learn from the best, my Granny Paul. I have been asked to make the dressing for the last 40 years, so she must have known what she was talking about!”
TAKE IT SLOW
Sandra Lee, host of Food Network’s Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee and Sandra’s Money Saving Meals.
“While I do love to cook warm and hearty meals around the holiday time, I seem to have less and less time to actually do it. That’s why I adore slow-cooking: I toss a chicken into my slow cooker in the morning, and come home to a dinner ready aroma that greets my family with a warm hug. My girls especially love my Chocolaty Chili; it’s a favorite because of the secret ingredient I add, cocoa powder.”
Robert Stanek, age 45, dad of 4, author
“It’s not the turkey I remember most about Thanksgiving at grandma’s when I was child – it’s the stuffing with mushrooms. That was always my assignment, mixing the sticky, gooey concoction together following grandma’s mamma’s recipe. We don’t make the stuffing with mushrooms precisely from scratch anymore, but the thoughts and cares that go into making it are the same. And it’s grandma we think about when we eat it.”
Megan Hess is a digital assistant editor with Parent & Child magazine.