The Mainstream's Holiday Recipes By the mainstream staff

The holidays are already a stressful time of the year, and deciding what to bring to events adds additional pressure. This is why The Mainstream is sharing some of our must have holiday recipes that we all love to enjoy with our families.


Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ready in- 40 Minutes

Serves- 10 to 12

By Molly Kay


  • Cream cheese (8 oz.)
  • Mayonnaise (1/4 cup)
  • Grated parmesan (1/4 cup)
  • Shredded mozzarella (1/4 cup)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (14 oz.)
  • Fresh spinach (to preference)
  • Minced garlic (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Cut cream cheese into cubes, add to the crockpot.
  2. Add Mayonnaise and sour cream and fold to incorporate.
  3. Add parmesan and mozzarella cheese stir again.
  4. Cut Artichokes to desired size, halves and quarters are ideal, add to the crockpot, and stir.
  5. Add Fresh spinach to the crockpot, stir. The spinach will cook down so don't be afraid to add alot.
  6. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.
  7. Let sit on medium to high heat until ingredients are incorporated. If dip starts to boil, decrease temperature of crockpot.


  • Served best with tortilla chips or sliced baguette bread.
  • Fold ingredients so the artichokes do not break down.
  • Leave adequate room at the top of the crockpot for room to expand, and minimize mess.

Melting Potatoes

Ready in- 30-45 minutes

Serves- 3-4

By Brandy Stone


  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 9 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 cups morel mushrooms or seasonal mushrooms


  1. Position rack in upper portion of oven; preheat to 500°F.
  2. Toss potatoes, butter, oil, thyme, sage, mushrooms, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Arrange in a single layer in a 9x13 inch metal baking pan. (Do not use a glass dish it could shatter.)
  4. Put baking dish with potatoes into preheated oven, stirring once, until browned (about 30 minutes.)
  5. Carefully add broth and garlic to the pan. Continue roasting until most of the broth is absorbed and the potatoes are very tender (about 15 minutes.)


  • Best served hot.
  • Provide tongs for easy serving.
  • Transfer to different container to avoid burns from pan.

Main Courses

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Ready in- 40 minutes

Serves- 4-5

By- Mason Ramirez


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package of Italian sausage (1/2 to 1 pound)
  • 8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
  • 8 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 16-oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 package of Gnocchi. (17.5 oz.)


  1. In a 10 or 12-inch fry pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Crumble Italian sausage into pan, Cook until no longer pink, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Drain oil and fat.
  4. Add mushrooms and spinach. Sauté slightly, and stir in tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.
  5. Turn to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, cook the gnocchi per package directions.
  7. Add the gnocchi to the sauce and stir until coated evenly.
  8. Top with mozzarella, and serve with bread.

Budget-Friendly Steak

By Adrien Vara

Known as “bavette”, the French word for bib, this steak cut shares the same region as the skirt and flank steak. This cost-effective cut has a medium to high-fat content making it far more flavorful and juicier than other similarly priced steaks. It is ideal for slicing into pieces and the robust flavor is perfect for a variety of seasonings. While it’s not generally common in supermarkets, our local butchers may have it available upon request.


  • Salt
  • Papper
  • Cayenne
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Butter
  • Olive oil


  1. Coat steak with a light layer of olive oil to help seasonings bind to meat.
  2. Apply desired seasonings
  3. Heat a pan with a table spoon of butter.
  4. When pan is hot add steak to pan and sear both sides, should take a minute for both sides.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and let steak cook to desired doneness.


Ready in- 40 Minutes

Serves- 2-4

By Amy Latham


  • 1 cup of precooked chicken cut into tiny strips
  • 1 cup pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bacon
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella and cheddar combined
  • Pre-made pizza dough - thawed (I use one can of pillsbury thin crust)
  • 1/2 cup alfredo Sauce
  • 1/3 cup of spinach
  • Oregano

Note: Any of the above items can be swapped out for different options.


  1. Flatten the dough out until it is half a centimeter thick and is spread out like a rectangle.
  2. Cover the dough with a very light layer of your choice of pizza sauce.
  3. Sprinkle spinach on the sauce.
  4. Cover the top of dough with light layer of choice of shredded cheese.
  5. Scatter meat across the layer of cheese.
  6. Roll dough like a cinammon roll and pinch in the edges.
  7. Bake in oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.


Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

Note: This recipe needs to be chilled for one hour before serving.

Ready in- 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves- 10

By Jazmin Ode


  • Whipped topping (12 oz.)
  • 1 package of cheesecake pudding (powder only.)
  • 3 (6 oz.) strawberry yogurts
  • 1 pound of fresh strawberries
  • 3 bananas sliced (optional)
  • Mini marshmallows


  1. Stir together whipped topping, yogurt, and pudding powder.
  2. Let set for 1 hour in the fridge.
  3. Slice strawberries and bananas. Add only strawberries to bowl.


  • Add bananas and marshmallows before serving.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Note: This recipe requires chilling the dough for an hour before baking.

Ready in- 2 hours

Makes 3 Dozen

By Melinda Benton


  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon floor into your measuring cup so that the cup is overflowing, then use the back side of a knife to level off the cup to the exact amount)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (all natural brands may make the cookies a bit fluffier)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (non-iodized salt has a very slightly cleaner taste but ionzed salt is also OK)
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed brown sugar (either light or dark works)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large room temperature egg
  • 3/4 cup (about 185g) creamy, fresh peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (vanilla flavoring will give less depth of flavor but will work)
  • 24 chocolate kiss candies, unwrapped

Note: Alternatively, you can use mini Reese’s peanut butter cups instead of the chocolate kiss candies if you want a stronger peanut flavor, but the cups are harder to stay connected to the cookies.


  1. Add the 1 and ¼ cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a medium sized bowl and combine by running a hand whisk through the ingredients a couple of times.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces to help warm it up if the butter isn’t at room temperature. Then, drop the butter pieces into a large bowl for a stand mixer and beat for a minute on medium high. If you have a paddle beater, use it to prevent the butter from sticking to the beaters so much. If you use regular beaters, use a spatula to pull the butter off of the beaters after it has mixed a minute.
  3. Add the sugars into the bowl ( ½ packed cup of brown sugar and ¼ of granulated sugar) then beat the sugar into the butter on medium high until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the egg and beat until the egg is complete combined into the butter-sugar mix. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl as needed to get all ingredients combined.
  5. Add the ¾ cup of creamy, fresh peanut butter and the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract into the mixture and beat until just combined.
  6. Slowly add the flour-baking soda-salt mixture in, about a half cup at a time and beat until just combined so that the dough is soft.
  7. Wrap the doug in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour so that it will form the cookie shapes correctly.
  8. While the dough is chilling, unwrap your 24 chocolate kisses into a small bowl that you can immediately access as soon as the cookies come out of the oven.
  9. While the dough is chilling, also line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat to help reduce sticking of the cookies to the cookie sheet.
  10. After the hour of chilling is up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Then, use a tablespoon to scoop up dough into your hand. Roll the dough into a ball, then flatten the ball into a disc. Set the disc onto your prepared cookie sheet and criss cross it with a fork. For some reason, the criss crossing seems to impact the flavor of the cookie and makes it slightly more crunchy.
  12. Repeat until you have used all of your dough, then put the first sheet of cookies into the oven and bake for 11 to 13 minutes. You can put the second sheet into the refrigerator to keep cool.
  13. As soon as you take a cookie sheet out of the oven, immediately press one chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. You can do this while the cookies are on the cookie sheet so that the heat will fuse the chocolate into the cookie.
  14. Carefully remove the cookies from the cookie sheet so that the chocolate doesn’t slide off. Place on a cooling rack or counter until cooled.
  15. Store the cookies in a tall seal-able container.

Gingerbread Bread Recipe

Ready in- 1.5 hours

Serves- 8

By Laurel Younis


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 9" x 5" loaf pan with butter, and dust with flour.
  3. Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and cloves in a large bowl. Whisk and break up any lumps; set aside.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, stir together buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
  5. Combine butter and brown sugar in the bowl of whisk together until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Beat in molasses until well combined then add eggs, one at a time.
  7. Take all of the ingredients and mix them together slowly until the batter is completely smooth.
  8. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and cake is pulling away from sides of pan, about 45 minutes.
  9. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

The Best Buttermilk Waffles

Ready in- 30 minutes

Serves- 4

By Mason Amos


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil (for best taste, use bacon grease from cooking bacon beforehand.)

Note: To make buttermilk, add two tsp lemon juice in a measuring cup and fill up the rest with milk to two cups, then let sit for 5 minutes.


  1. Mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder/soda, salt). Stir to incorporate.
  2. Add wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, and oil) then mix.
  3. Put about 3/4 cups of batter into a waffle iron and cook until both sides are golden brown.
  4. Add desired toppings.

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

By Gerardo Lopez


Sugar Cookie

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbl milk
  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1/3 cup soft butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp milk


  1. Cream together butter, vanilla ,milk, eggs and sugar.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Let sit for 15-20 minutes in the fridge.
  4. After resting the dough, roll and cut out cookies.
  5. Bake at 325˙F for 9-10 minutes.
  6. After cookies are cooled, frost cookies.

Frosting Instructions

  1. Blend together the butter and sugar.
  2. Once well mixed, add in vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth.


  • This is a soft cookie if you want a crisper version, roll thinner or bake longer.