Holiday Recipes: From Our Family to Yours

Food brings people together all year-round but especially during the holidays. Here at Lifestyle Magazine, we’re happy to share some of our best family recipes with you and hope that you consider sharing them with your own families this holiday season.

Contributed by Stephanie Ruwell

Also known as Puerto Rican eggnog, my grandmother (who was born in San Juan and still has a home there) made this creamy rum drink every year. I like to make it in a big batch and give it as gifts.


-2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk
-2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
-1 (15 oz.) can coconut cream, such as Coco López
-1 bottle (750ml) rum plus more to taste, such as Bacardi White Rum or Bacardi Spiced Rum (the spiced rum will give it a more powerful spiced kick)
-1/4 cup brandy (Spanish type is best)
-Ground cinnamon
-10 cinnamon sticks

Mix all ingredients, except cinnamon and cinnamon sticks with a hand whisk and chill. Serve in glasses with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Southern Cornbread Dressing
Contributed by Catie Moore

My Aunt Wylene’s southern dressing is a holiday staple that has been passed through many generations. We’ve shared so many memories over this dish through the years, and as we add chairs around the table, this traditional dressing always remains the same.


For Broth:

-Whole chicken
-Celery stalks with leaves
-2 large onions

For Stuffing:

-Yellow cornbread mix
-Celery stalks without leaves
-1 large onion
-Hardboiled eggs, chopped
-Homemade broth
-Pepperidge Farms Herb Stuffing mix
-Dried sage

For broth, place chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Add onions and several stalks of celery with the leaves. Bring to a boil then turn heat to medium low and simmer until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Strain the broth, cover it and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use, skimming fat from the top before use. While broth is cooking, bake yellow cornbread mix and boil eggs, setting each aside to cool. Then, sauté one cup each of chopped onions and celery in butter. In a large bowl, crumble the cornbread and combine with one package of Pepperidge Farms Herb Stuffing. Mix in the sautéed onions and celery and the hardboiled eggs. Add in the broth until it is your desired consistency, keeping in mind that it will dry out when you bake it. Add dried sage to taste. Pour into a 9×13 pan and bake at 325° until heated through.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Contributed by Lyndsay Fogarty

My grandmother used to make this dish for every one of our holiday spreads. Now my mom makes it. It’s almost like having dessert with your dinner and it is one of my all-time favorite holiday traditions.


For Potatoes:

-3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (approximately 3 potatoes)
-1 stick butter
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs, beaten
-1/3 cup milk

For Topping:

-1 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup butter
-1/2 cup flour
-1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (or mix both)

Mix all ingredients for the sweet potato base together and add to a greased casserole dish. Combine brown sugar, butter, flour and chopped nuts then distribute evenly along the top of the potatoes. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

Margot’s Flan
Contributed by Marisabel Wolfinger

In our house growing up, we knew the holidays were coming whenever my mom made her famous flan. To this day it’s still my family’s favorite dessert, and it is always on our holiday table.


  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 can whole milk
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Make caramel by heating sugar in the mold with a few drops of water. Move the mixture around but do not stir, and cook until the colors turns a nice golden brown. Set aside to cool. Beat eggs with cinnamon stick and slowly start adding the sugar then add the remaining ingredients. Mix and pour into the already caramelized mold. Place in a 350° oven for about 50 minutes to an hour. Note: The mold needs to be placed inside an ovenproof baking pan filled with hot water, such as a moat or double boiler. Make sure to keep an eye on the water, as it will evaporate.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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