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Festive Holiday Recipes From Our Families to Yours

The holiday season brings with it so many of life’s greatest pleasures; time spent with those we love, glittering parties and beautifully wrapped gifts, homes decked out in festive splendor and tables laden with delicious, decadent food. While this time of year is perfect for trying out new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, most of us have dishes we look forward to eating each and every year.

The staff of Women’s LifeStyle of Greater Kalamazoo decided that there can be no better way to celebrate the nostalgia of the holidays than to share with you some of our very favorite family recipes. You’ll find here an entire meal, from drinks and appetizers to the main dish, sides and dessert, taking the guesswork out of at least one meal during this crazy time of year. From our hearts and homes to yours, we wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Peppermint Mexican Cocoa
BY SUZANNAH ZERBE | Makes 6 servings

  • 4 cups of milk (whole or 2%)
  • 4 ounce milk chocolate candy bar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 9 oz 100 proof peppermint schnapps (room temperature)
  • 6 peppermint sticks, for serving
  • Whipped Cream, for serving

Pour milk into saucepan. Add the chocolate and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted, being careful not to let it boil. Remove from heat, whisk in the cinnamon and vanilla. Pour into 6 cups. Add whipped cream, 1.5 ounces of peppermint schnapps (per cup) and one peppermint stick (per cup) for stirring.

Barbecue Jalapeno Poppers

  • 18 Jalapenos
  • 18 Slices thin bacon, cut into halves
  • 8 Ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Green onion, sliced
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Gloves
  • Toothpicks

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Wearing plastic gloves, cut jalapenos in half, keeping stems intact. Remove seeds and membranes. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar and green onions. Mix gently. Stuff each pepper half with enough of the cheese mixture to fill it. Wrap bacon slices around each half, covering as much of the surface as you can. Don’t stretch the bacon too much as it will contract as it cooks. Secure bacon to jalapenos with toothpicks. Brush with your favorite barbecue sauce. Bake for 1 hour. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Chicken Breast Supreme
BY DARLENE MOHR | Servings: 6 -10

  • 5 Chicken (skinless & boneless) breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • 10 Slices dried beef (deli style)
  • 10 Slices lean bacon
  • 1 Can (10 1/2oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • ½ Package (1 oz.) onion soup mix
  • 1 Cup sour cream½ Cup slivered almonds

Place dried chicken on cutting board with dried beef on top. Roll up with chicken on the outside. Wrap bacon strip around the chicken. If needed, secure with wooden tooth pick. Place in baking dish. Mix soup, onion soup mix and sour cream till well blended then pour over chicken. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 4 hours in slow oven – 250°.

Snowball Cake

“This recipe has been passed down through my family for generations & it is always the star of the Christmas dessert table. While this recipe started with a scratch made cake, my Nanny realized that a box mix works just as well, so not only is this cake stunning & delicious, it is also fairly simple to put together.”

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix (you can also use white cake mix)
  • 2 18 ounce jars of pineapple preserves

7 minute frosting:

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cups cold water
  • salt (pinch)


  • 1 14 ounce bag Baker’s Sweetened Angel Flake Coconut

Prepare cake in two round pans, as directed on box. Let cake cool completely. Slice cakes in two, horizontally – this will give you four separate “layers”. Place first cake on a cake plate, top with a generous amount of pineapple preserves. Continue this layering process until you top with the fourth cake.

Prepare 7 minute frosting. Put all ingredients, except vanilla in a double boiler and whisk constantly while cooking over medium-low heat for 5 – 6 minutes. Add vanilla and beat for two more minutes. Generously frost cake with the 7 minute frosting. Coat all sides of frosted cake with sweetened, shredded coconut.

Cheesy Potatoes

  • 16 hash brown patties (frozen)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 bag (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2-3 cups of corn flakes, crushe
  • 8 ounces sour cream

In a 9×13 pan (ungreased) place 2 layers of hash brown patties. Melt one stick of butter and drizzle over the top. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream, cheese and soups. Spread mixture across the patties. Melt the other stick of butter and mix with crushed corn flakes. Spread over the top of the casserole and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Virginia’s Green Beans

  • 5 cans french style green beans
  • ½ pkg. bacon
  • 2 c. sugar
  • yellow vinegar
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • salt & pepper

Slice the bacon into ½ inch pieces and brown in a Dutch oven. Halfway through, throw in the diced onion and cook until lightly browned. Drain three cans of the green beans and add, along with the other two undrained cans of beans, to the Dutch oven. Add the 2 cups of sugar and enough vinegar to cover the beans. Add a little salt and plenty of pepper. Do not stir!! Simmer for a half an hour. You may stir a couple of times while simmering. Serve with a lovely holiday dinner and enjoy!

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