TCDI Favorite Holiday Recipes


Holiday Breakfast Casserole

My family always prepares this ahead of time and pops it in the oven while we open presents!


  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Crumble sausage into a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown then drain
  2. Mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add the sausage, bread cubes, and cheese, and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  4. Cover and bake for 45 – 60 minutes. uncover and reduce temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Main Dish

Venison on a Bun

Venison slow cooked in BBQ sauce of choice, onion, seasonings, peppercorn. Way better than a honey baked ham!


Traditional Chex Mix with Some Twists


Extra butter
Pretzel twists and sticks
Cayenne pepper


Buried Cherry Cookies

Makes about 45 cookies

“My mom, daughter and I first made these cookies 8 years ago and we love the tradition of making them every year!”


  • 1 or 2 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries* (about 45 cherries)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (about half a can) sweetened condensed milk


  1. Drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Lay the cherries out onto paper towels to let them dry off a little bit.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer (or with stand mixer) until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another minutes, scraping the sides.
  3. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in the cocoa powder, and then the flour until it is just combined. If you are using an electric mixer you might need to do this by hand.
  4. Chill the dough in the fridge for about an hour.

Coconut Cake

Every Christmas eve I make a Coconut cake – this is the closest I can find to my late grandmother’s recipe.


  • 5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  •  2 cups sugar
  •  1/2 cup butter, softened
  •  1/2 cup canola oil
  •  2-1/4 cups cake flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup buttermilk
  •  2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, chopped
  •  1 teaspoon coconut extract
  •  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  •  1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 4-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted


  1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°. In another large bowl, beat sugar, butter and oil until well blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in coconut and extracts.
  4. Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites.
  5. Transfer to 3 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and extract; beat until smooth.
  7. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting and sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutella Cheesecake



  • 3 cups (403g) Oreo cookie crumbs (about 35 Oreos)
  • 5 tbsp (70g) salted butter, melted


  • 24 oz (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (155g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (24g) flour
  • 2 cups (616g) Nutella
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature


  • 1 cup (309g) Nutella
  • 1/4 cup (43g) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (135ml) heavy whipping cream


  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup (29g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (86g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
  3. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
  6. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour on low speed until well completely combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Add the Nutella and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
  8. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined. The batter will be thick and a little sticky.
  9. Pour the cheesecake evenly batter into the crust.
  10. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
  11. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly.
  12. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well. Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
  13. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
  14. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and place on a serving dish.
  15. To make the Nutella ganache, add the Nutella, chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream to a medium bowl. Heat in 15-20 second increments, stirring well between each, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes
  16. Pour about half of the ganache into the center of the cheesecake and lightly help it spread mostly to the edge of the cheesecake. It will continue to spread a little as it cools. Save the remaining ganache for later.
  17. Refrigerate until the ganache is firm, then make the chocolate whipped cream.
  18. Add the heavy whipping cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixture bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  19. Pipe the whipped cream around the outer edge of the cheesecake, then finish it off with a drizzle of some of the remaining ganache and Ferrero Rocher candies. If you have ganache remaining, serve it with the cheesecake slices.
  20. Refrigerate the cheesecake until ready to serve. Cheesecake is best if eaten within 3-4 days.

Chocolate Chip Pie


  • 1 ½ cups of Rolled graham cracker crumbs (or you can buy the ones already rolled for you as a time saver)
  • ¾ Cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup of powdered sugar (pinch of salt)
  • Mix sugar, crumbs & add melted butter


Once combined, pour into 9” pie tin/plate, press into pie form and then bake at 350 for 10 minutes then set aside and cool

While this is baking and then cooling…


  • 8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 7 oz jar of Marshmallow Crème
  • 6 squares of Bakers Bittersweet chocolate (ground up to small shaved pieces)


In a mixer (Standing or handheld is fine), whip well the cream cheese and marshmallow crème to fluffy and then add in half of the bittersweet chocolate folded in well (no blended, just use a spatula)

Pour carefully into the cooled Pie tin and then take the remainder of the bittersweet chocolate shaken on top. Cool in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Hungarian Crescent Cookies

My grandmother’s hand written recipe for Hungarian Crescent Cookies!


  • 6 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 household yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 pound butter our margarine


  1. Mix flour until well blended
  2. Add eggs, yeast dissolved in 1/4 c water, warm milk. Makes a dough like pie crust.
  3. Chill over night. Roll out in confectioner’s sugar.
  4. Cut in 2 inch wedges, fill with milk mixture – roll up and bend in crescent shape.
  5. Bake in greased tin 375 degrees about 20 min – until golden brown
  6. Filling – 2 2 cups of ground walnuts 1/2 cup of granulated sugar