Holiday Recipes That Promise a Tasty Treat

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Tweetable: Holiday Recipes That Promise a Tasty Treat

Before I tell you about my holiday dilemma to find something new to serve my guests, I wanted to give you the winners and their prizes from Tyndale Publishing’s Crazy 4 Fiction giveaway with a focus on Deadlock.

Congratulations to:

  • Kathy who received an FBI T-shirt, FBI ball cap, and a gift basket of goodies from Harry and David.
  • JoAnn who received a stuffed African Gray Parrot, that I almost kept for myself.
  • Phyllis who received an Expect an Adventure mug and Starbucks gift card.
  • Denise who received personalized copies of Firewall, Double Cross, and Deadlock.

Are you tired of the same recipes and looking for a wow flavor to treat your guests? I’m right there with you. I search through

Christmas menu

Southern Living and Martha Stewart magazines while subscribing to and  to find every type of food item that might appeal to family and guests.

Over the years, I’ve collected several that always please. These are my old-faithful standbys, and most of the ingredients and directions are memorized. My favorite recipes are stored in a software application called Paprika.

I wanted to share with you three that I prepare year after year.


My friend Donna gave me this recipe years ago.

2 quarts apple cider
2 cups orange juice
1 ½ cups pineapple juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 stock whole cinnamon
1 tsp. whole cloves
¼ – ½ cup sugar

Simmer 20 minutes. I use a large coffee maker to make wassail, and it keeps the drink piping hot.

Tuscan Tomato Salad

My friend Stella who owned a tearoom is the originator of this recipe. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to serve it!


40 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 cup green olives, sliced
1 cup black olives, sliced 2 green onions, diced
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish Feta cheese

Combine cherry tomatoes, green olives, black olives, walnuts, and green onions in a big bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, basil, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and gently stir to coat. Chill and marinate for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese.


Chocolate Applesauce Bundt Cake

I found this amazing cake in Southern Living. Definitely a yummy treat.

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ ground cloves
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 ½ cups packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups applesauce
½ cup strongly brewed hot coffee
1 ½ cups black raisins
¾ cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup strongly brewed hot coffee
2 cups powdered sugar

Make the batter: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a 6-cup Bundt pan. Whisk the flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together in a large bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy in a large bowl using a mixer set at medium-high speed. Add 1 egg, beating just until incorporated. Repeat with remaining egg. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the applesauce. Scrape down sides of bowl and increase mixer speed to medium. Quickly add ½ cup hot coffee, beating until thoroughly combined—about 30 seconds. Fold in the raisins and walnuts.

Bake the cake: Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake on middle rack of oven until tester inserted in the center come out clean—40-50 minutes. Place cake in pan on a wire rack and cool until slightly warm. Gently run a knife around the edge of the pan, remove the cake, and cool completely.

Make the glaze: Sift powdered sugar and remaining cocoa powder together. Make a well in the center and quickly pour in remaining ¼ cup hot coffee. Whisk until well blended and smooth. Pour over top of cake, allowing it to soak in. Serve immediately. Especially good with ice cream.


Where do you find remarkable recipes?




Tweetable: Holiday Recipes That Promise a Tasty Treat


DEADLOCK by DiAnn Mills - FBI: Houston Book 3