Yummy Holiday Recipes

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

This is the season to prepare favorite Christmas recipes for family and friends. I enjoy exploring new recipes. If the ingredients look yummy, I’ll try it.

This year, I tried three new recipes!

This first one is Buttermilk Blueberry Puff, and the author is Joanna Gaines. This sweet treat bursts with flavor. Just the right amount of sweetness and juicy blueberries. I used the dish for a brunch gathering, but it also works as a dessert.

Buttermilk Blueberry Puff

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9 x 13 x 3-inch (deep) baking dish with the 1 tablespoon butter.


12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon for the baking dish
12 cups cubed croissants (6 to 8 large)
3 cups blueberries or blackberries
1 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarse raw (turbinado) sugar


  1. Spread the croissant cubes evenly in the dish. Top with the berries.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer), beat the 12 tablespoons butter with the granulated sugar on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the cream, buttermilk, vanilla, and salt (the mixture may appear curdled).
  3. Pour over the croissants and berries in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
  4. Bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Serve warm.
  5. The puff is best eaten warm, soon after baking, but leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

“Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering” by Joanna Gaines © William Morrow 2018. Provided courtesy of Joanna Gaines. All rights reserved.


The second recipe is Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze, and the author is Zoë François. What an amazing taste treat! I used the cake for Thanksgiving, but it would fit beautifully with a brunch.

Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze

Preheat oven to 325°F / 165°C. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup / 2.8L Bundt pan. Set aside.

Cake Ingredients

1 1/4 cups (300ml) mild-flavored oil
1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (130g) lightly packed brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract make your own
3 tbsp hard apple cider
3 eggs at room temperature
2 cups (300g) packed grated apples, plus 2 cups (300g) apple chunks about 4 medium apples
2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour, plus 1 tbsp. for tossing with apple chunks
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp kosher salt

Honey Glaze

1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp hard apple cider
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch kosher salt

In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, hard cider, and eggs with a spoon. Stir in the grated apples.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the 2 cups / 240g all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the apple mixture and mix only until it all comes together in a smooth batter.

Toss apple chunks and 1 tablespoon flour, then fold the apples into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to make sure the batter has fully settled into the nooks of the bundt.

Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate.

Honey Glaze:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to simmer for 2 minutes.

Drizzle with half of the glaze over the still warm cake. Save the remaining glaze to drizzle over the cake when it is fully cooled and ready to serve.


The third recipe is Pesto Pasta and Chicken, and it’s a DiAnn recipe. I suggest substituting cooked turkey for the chicken for a different flavor.

Pesto Pasta and Chicken

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks – cooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic
16 fluid oz low-sodium chicken broth
4 oz sun-dried tomatoes, drained
8 oz pasta bowties
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 oz baby spinach


1 clove garlic
4 oz fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons walnuts
3 oz olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

For the pesto, add garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and walnuts into the bowl of a food processor. Turn on the food processor and slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream and puree thoroughly. Add the parmesan and pulse to incorporate. Set aside.

*Purchased pesto works fine too.

Cook pasta according to directions. While pasta is cooking: sauté garlic in a deep frying pan (I use my cast iron skillet) for 1-2 minutes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chicken broth, chopped chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, salt, and red pepper flakes and mix until combined. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 minutes.

Add spinach and stir until wilted. Add drained pasta. Drizzle olive oil over pasta dish and additional grated Parmesan cheese.

There you are! Enjoy! Do you have a new or favorite recipe to recommend for this holiday season?