• Family Focus holiday recipes


    Happy holidays! Here are some recipes from WSOC-TV that will have you craving a second helping.

    Scott Wickersham – Mom’s Chocolate chip cookies


    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • One 12 ounce package chocolate chips, semi-sweet
    • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional


    Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.  

    In large bowl, combine oil, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.  

    Beat until creamy, beat in eggs.  Gradually add flour mixture, stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Drop by level teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets.  Bake: at 375°, 9–11 minutes.  Makes about 5 dozen 2 1/4 inch cookies.

    Steve Udelson – Sue’s Sweet Potato Latkes


    • 1 lb. sweet potatoes
    • 2 scallion
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • Vegetable oil


    Combine ingredients and drop in hot skillet with oil

    Keith Monday – Monday Cheese Ball


    • 1 brick of cream cheese
    • 3 jars of Kraft cheese (Old English, Pimento and Roca Blue)
    • 1.5 packages of pecans (crushed)
    • Garlic powder


    Simply mix all the cheese together with a hand blender until smooth, add garlic powder to taste. Add a third of the crushed pecans to the cheese mix and blend together.

    Pour mixture onto a plate and form into a mound (it’s really a cheese mound, not a ball.) Use the remaining pecans to coat the outside of the cheese. Place the cheese ball in the refrigerator for an hour. Serve with your favorite crackers.

    Allison Latos - Latos Family Homemade Pierogies

    This basic recipe makes about 1 dozen pierogies


    • 2 cups sifted flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp oil
    • dash salt
    • 1/2 cup water
    • Work together into smooth dough


    • 1 heaping cup mashed potatoes
    • about 4 oz. add shredded cheddar cheese
    • margarine
    • diced onion
    • salt and pepper

    Sauté diced onions in margarine until tender.

    Cook potatoes, drain, mash.

    Add sautéed onions/ margarine and cheddar cheese to potatoes, also salt/pepper to taste.  Cool.

    Roll out fist-sized amount of dough onto well-floured surface.

    Cut 3-inch size circles of dough (can use the top of a glass or coffee cup to make the circles), place circles of dough onto floured waxed paper, cover so they don't dry out.

    Roll out the remainder of dough until all circles are cut.

    Place approx. 1 tsp of potato/cheese mixture onto the dough circle.  Moisten 1/2 of inside edge of dough with your finger dipped in water (not soaked but just damp-this helps the dough edges stick together.  Fold the dough in half, and crimp edges together tightly with your fingers to seal.  Make sure the edges are sealed otherwise they will break open when boiled and you will lose the pierogi. 

    Place filled pierogies onto floured wax paper and cover.  When finished making all pierogies, drop them into a large pot of boiling salted water.  I would put about 6-8 in the pot at a time.

    When the pierogies float to the top of the pot, remove them with a slotted spoon into a colander, then place them on a well-padded surface covered with foil.  Spray the foil with cooking spray to keep the pierogies from sticking to the foil and let them cool. 

    Once cool, you can freeze them with waxed paper in between layers.

     To serve, sauté diced onions in margarine with pierogies in a skillet until lightly brown on either side.

    Phil Orban -- Orban family Christmas Day blintz brunch

    A note from Mama Orban:

    Many years ago I found a recipe for blintzes in a breakfast and brunch cookbook which is now long out of print. This has since become a dish we enjoy only on Christmas morning - our holiday tradition.

    Over the years I have tweaked the recipe to suit our family’s tastes. In the interest of full disclosure, the blintz wrappers can be filled with fried apples instead of cheese and is, I think, equally delicious.

    The rest of my family strongly disagrees, so the cheese filling reigns. This recipe makes a LOT of blintzes! You may want to begin by halving the recipe.

    Filling for cheese blintzes

    • 2 lbs. ricotta cheese
    • 3 - 4 egg yolks
    • 1 tsp. lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 or 2 tbs. sugar

    Mix all ingredients together, making sure that egg yolks are thoroughly combined with cheese.

    Set aside while making wrappers.

    Blintz wrappers

    • 2 cups flour
    • 8 eggs
    • 1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 1/2 cups milk
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted

    Mix eggs, milk, and butter together. Beat in salt and flour. Batter should be smooth. Let batter rest 20 minutes or so in the refrigerator. Heat a six or eight-inch skillet to medium heat.

    Coat skillet with a light coating of vegetable or canola oil. To prevent sticking, you will need to continue to oil skillet as you fry each blintz wrapper.

    Using about two tablespoons of batter, cover bottom of pan with a quick wrist action, as for a crepe. The wrapper will be fairly thin.

    Cook until top is set and before bottom is brown. Do not turn, cook only one side.

    The wrapper should stay fairly flexible. Don’t worry about ruining the first few - the others will be better. Slide cooked wrapper out of skillet, keeping the top side up. Cooked wrappers may be stacked on a plate or dishtowel.

    Fill wrappers

    You will be putting the filling on the COOKED side of the blintz wrapper.

    Put 2 - 3 tablespoons (amount will depend on the size of the wrapper - if you roll it up and the filling is leaking out, then use less filling) of filling on the lower part of the blintz, about one inch from the edge. Fold the lower edge of the blintz up over the filling.

    Then fold the sides of the blintz inward, as though you’re folding an envelope. Roll the blintz up and over the filling like a burrito, tucking the edges in as you roll.

    When the blintzes are stuffed and rolled, you are ready to fry them. Depending on the number of blintzes you prepare, you can choose to fry them a few at a time in butter in a skillet, or for a larger number (I cook a LOT of these for Christmas morning!) generously butter a 13x9 inch baking pan (or two) and place blintzes close together.

    Put a pat of butter on top of each blintz or melt butter and brush generously on top of each blintz, allowing butter to run down sides of blintzes. I know what you’re thinking - but this is not the time to worry about using too much butter! Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. Whether frying or baking, your object is to have both the top and bottom of each blintz nicely browned.

    Blintz toppings

    Phil’s mom serves warmed cherry pie filling and sour cream to top the cheese blintzes. You can also use blueberry or strawberry topping.

    Preparation tip from Phil’s Mom:

    Although preparation can be time-consuming, these are definitely worth it! I do not prepare these on Christmas morning. Uncooked blintzes will keep in the refrigerator for only a couple of days, so I prepare up to a week ahead and place in pans, top with butter, cover well, and freeze.

    On Christmas morning I remove from freezer. The blintzes will begin to thaw as we are opening gifts. Then they only need to be baked, although if they are still a bit frozen or cold, baking will take a bit longer.

    Blaine Tolison – Tolison Family Prime Rib Roast & Twice-Baked Potatoes



    • 5 lb. beef rib roast, boned and tied
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • Aluminum foil


    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Season roast with remaining ingredients on all sides; wrap in foil and place in roasting pan. Bake 2 hours.
    2. Remove foil; bake 30–45 more minutes and until roast is 125°F (for medium rare; warm red center), 130°F (medium; warm pink center), or up to 170°F (well done). Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness. Transfer roast to cutting board; let stand 10–15 minutes before slicing. Temperature will rise 5–10°F during this time.

    Twice-baked potatoes


    • 5 large baking potatoes
    • 1 stick of butter
    • 1 16oz container of sour cream or 8 oz. package of cream cheese
    • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
    • garlic salt and pepper to taste

    Directions: Bake the potatoes in advance and let cool. 

    Cut potatoes in half and scoop the potato out of the skin into a bowl. 

    Put the potato skins on a pan for twice baking.  In the bowl where the potatoes have been put add the rest of the ingredients and then return to the potato skins. Return to the oven for 30 minutes at 350.

    Liz Foster – Grandma’s ‘To die for’ pound cake


    • ½ lb. butter (2 sticks), softened
    • 3 c. sugar
    • 3 c. all-purpose flour
    • 6 eggs
    • 2 lemons, zested & juiced
    • ¼ tsp baking soda
    • 8 oz. sour cream


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

    Mix all ingredients well.

    Grease tube pan with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable shortening.

    Place cake mix in pan.

    Bake for 1.5 hours.

    Do NOT open oven while baking.

    After removing from oven, place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

    Remove pound cake from pan to wire rack and let cool completely.


    John Paul – Christmas wreath cookies


    • 1/3 cup butter
    • 1 (10 oz.) package of regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
    • 1 tsp green food coloring
    • 6 cups corn flakes
    • Red cinnamon candies


    1. In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
    2. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring.
    3. Add corn flakes cereal. Stir until well coated
    4. Using 1/4 cup dry measure coated with cooking spray, evenly portion warm cereal mixture. Using buttered fingers, quickly shape into individual wreaths. Dot with cinnamon candies (or sneak a couple like John Does)

    Brittney Johnson - Grandma Polly’s Zucchini Bread


    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 3 eggs slightly beaten 
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 cups raw grated zucchini 
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 3 tsp ground cinnamon 
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1/2 tsp allspice
    • 1 cup chopped nuts  


    Combine oil eggs sugar zucchini and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Blend well.

    Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and raisins. Do not beat. Stir in nuts. 

    Spoon batter into two well-greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 5/8 loaf pans and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes.

    Erica Bryant - "It’s all up here.”

    Coming from a family of southern cooks means great food without a recipe!  We’ll see if we can follow mom around the kitchen to make some notes for next year.

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