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Main Content

Favorite Family Recipes | Winter 2015 Out Here Magazine

The best recipes are those passed along as family favorites

Photography by Mark Mosrie

Food styling by Whitney Kemp

From delectable main dishes to flavorsome sides and dessert, make your Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals unforgettable.

These tasty recipes from Out Here readers are perfect for serving up a bit of holiday spirit at your table.

Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

If turkeys are in short supply this year, this pork loin roast recipe from Mary Menzel of Owendale, Mich., would make an excellent centerpiece for a holiday meal. It is, she writes, “very good.”

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 boneless center cut pork loin roast (4-5 pounds)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin strips (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine garlic, salt, rosemary, thyme, and pepper in small bowl.
  3. Cut lengthwise down the roast almost to, but not through, bottom and open like a book.
  4. Rub half of garlic mixture onto cut sides of pork.
  5. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and onion; cook and stir 5-10 minutes or until soft.
  6. Stir in brown sugar and mustard.
  7. Spread mixture evenly onto one cut side of roast.
  8. Close halves and tie roast with kitchen string at 2-inch intervals. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan.
  9. Pour apple cider over roast, then rub outside of roast with remaining garlic mixture.
  10. Roast uncovered, basting frequently with pan drippings 2 to 2½ hours or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of the roast registers 155 degrees.
  11. Remove roast from oven and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.
  12. Carve roast crossways to serve.

Serves 6-8.

From the Out Here kitchen: It may be easier to stuff the pork loin if you pound each side of the meat flat after cutting down the middle (after Step 3).

When placing the roast on a rack (Step 8), place it so the fat cap is on top, so those juices will flavor the roast.

Caesar Green Beans

“Tired of the same plain green beans, or the green bean casseroles?” writes Carol Fictum, of Wilber, Neb.

“Try this different simple, delicious green bean recipe to delight your guests.”

  • ¾ cup salad croutons
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 can green beans or 3 cups fresh green beans, cooked
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. salad oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. onion, chopped
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Mix croutons with melted butter.
  2. Place green beans in saucepan (drain, if canned) and add croutons.
  3. Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and onion and add to beans and heat thoroughly.
  4. Place in serving dish and sprinkle with grated cheese; let set until cheese melts.

Serves 3-4.

Note: This dish works well in the microwave.

Grandpa's German-Style Black-Eyed Peas

This black-eyed pea recipe is one of his family’s holiday favorites, writes Frank Vana, of May, Texas.

“These go well with smoked turkey at Thanksgiving, ham at Christmas, and as a dish with broccoli cornbread on New Year’s Day,” he says.

  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • 2 15½-oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 5-6 dashes Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. dry ground mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place celery, onions, and ham in medium saucepan and add enough water to just cover. Cook on medium until celery gets tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients; add water, if needed, to just cover peas.
  3. Simmer on low-medium heat 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir frequently and add water as needed.
  4. Serve when peas have a thick consistency.

Serves 6-8.

Holiday Pudding Supreme

“This is one of my favorite holiday dessert recipes,” writes Mayra Diaz Ballard, of Mayfield, Ky. “The green with white and red gives it a Christmas holiday touch.”

First layer:

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup nuts, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients and press into sheet cake pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; set aside to cool.

Second layer:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Cool Whip
  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Spread evenly over first layer.

Third layer:

  • 2 boxes (3¾ oz.) instant Pistachio Nut pudding (or your flavor of choice)
  • 3 cups cold milk
  1. Mix well until smooth.
  2. Spread evenly over second layer.

Fourth layer:

  • Cool Whip, to taste
  • Chopped nuts, to taste
  • Shredded coconut, to taste
  • Maraschino cherries, drained
  1. Spread Cool Whip evenly over third layer.
  2. Sprinkle with nuts and shredded coconut and add Maraschino cherry.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 8-10.

Ham and Swiss Strata

This tasty breakfast dish is a good way to use leftovers from the holiday ham, writes Amy Kiene, of Clarington, Ohio.

  • 8 slices bread, cubed
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup ham, fully cooked and cubed
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1∕8 tsp. salt
  • 1∕8 tsp. pepper
  • 1∕8 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  1. Mix bread cubes, parsley, onion, mushrooms, ham, and cheese and place in an 11x7x2 baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, beat eggs and add milk, mustard, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
  3. Pour over top of ham mixture.
  4. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Serves 6.