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A table with plates of food on it

Are you new to the holiday cooking arena? Yeah, cooking a holiday dinner is a bit different than your regular nightly cooking. Figuring out the timing of everything to keep the flow in the kitchen moving and the food to be warm when it’s time to eat is important.

But knowing how to cook that delicious menu is the most important thing. I’m going to help you out. Yep! I’m going to share my saving grace for holiday recipes with you.

The First Holiday Dinner I Ever Cooked

I still remember the first holiday dinner I cooked. It was 2003. DadJonz and I were married just a little over a year, and he was going to deploy right after Thanksgiving and wasn’t able to travel, so we invited our families to visit us instead.

Not sure what the heck we were thinking.


Because I wasn’t a cook. Especially not a holiday cook.

Cooking Holiday Dinner for Family

Lucky me. We only had two visitors who took us up on our invitation—my aunt who is perfectly fine with peanuts and a coke. And my mother-in-law who will tell me she enjoys whatever I serve as long as she doesn’t have to do the cooking.

It was a plan!

BUT! I’ve never cooked a holiday meal. And I didn’t know how to cook a whole turkey, ham, cornbread dressing, nor any of that good ole mac n cheese.

I searched the web and printed all of my recipes. Yeah, we didn’t have smartphones like we do today, so there was searching on my phone and propping my phone up as I danced in the kitchen. Yeah! I dance while I cook.

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Holiday Recipes Your Family Will Love

When I cooked my first holiday meal, I didn’t use any of the recipes I’m about to share with you, but over the years these are my go to holiday recipes.

I have no original recipes, but I’m going to share a few tasty holiday recipes your entire family will love. These recipes will have your family wanting 4ths. Mine LOVE when I make the following for the holidays:

Homemade cornbread dressing – Oh yes! It’s oh so yummy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some Jiffy cornbread, but leave those boxes in the store. This recipe will also tell you how to make cornbread from scratch, so keep the cornbread recipe in your pocket for a weekly dinner. Oh…go ahead and purchase a couple of boxes of Jiffy for those fast dinner evenings, but DON’T you put it in this cornbread dressing.

Easy Creamy Homemade Mac n Cheese -  This Mac n Cheese recipe is FABulous! Cooking the noodles in chicken broth adds so much to the flavor. I will admit that I never cooked noodles in chicken broth until I found this recipe; only water. You already know, I keep a few boxes of broth around now.

Moist Flavorful Turkey – Do you have a roasting pan? You NEED a roasting pan for holiday cooking. You can use a disposable or a non-stick roasting pan to cook this yummy turkey in. And omg, it’s so moist and flavorful! And don’t forget the gravy.

And it’s ok if you don’t like Turkey. Cook whatever you want instead, but if your reason for not liking turkey is because it’s too dry…you need to give this recipe a try.

Yum Yum Classic Party Punch - A simple but oh so delicious punch. Yes! It’s sweet, but it takes your holiday meal to another level. My kids call it Yum Yum Punch. lol 

Deviled Eggs – Let me leave you with one word for these Deviled Eggs. DUKES! Trust me on this! You gotta use Dukes mayonnaise when you make these deviled eggs. So, if your local grocery store doesn’t sell it, click on that Dukes mayonnaise affiliate link and add it to your Amazon cart, and checkout. You know you already have items sitting in your cart.

Collard Greens – You gotta have something green on your plate. These collards are yum, yum good! You will see those words chicken broth in this recipe just as you did with the mac n cheese. Chicken broth = flava. You want your family to fall in love with your collards this holiday season? Make sure you add that FLAVA!

Sweet Potato Pie – You gotta have a dessert to seal the meal!

These are just a few recipes I use to help me put a FABulous holiday meal together for my family. Do you have any recipes to share with us? Post them in the comments or contact us to share your holiday story and include any of your favorite recipes.

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