Last Minute Holiday Dishes

  • Holiday Dinner

Last Minute Holiday Dishes

Just in case you missed it, Thanksgiving is now less than a week away…

I know! Where has the year gone? We’ve already had blizzards and snowfall, and the stores are stocking up with trees and wrapping paper and gift guides. I’m not ready!

However, if you’re anything like my family, Thanksgiving still remains one of the most important days of the year. And the centerpiece of that celebration? Food, glorious food. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, casseroles, pies, cider, wine…I could go on.

Still planning those last minute dishes? Or any dishes? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. I’ve gathered together a few recipes which I’m going to attempt this year. Some are family favorites, others give a good spin to the classics, and all are taken from books in the library’s collection!

I’m going to see if I can get my dad and 3-year old nephew to eat these. They’re the true critics of any recipe.

Please note, some of these recipes I have edited for length. The full recipe can be found in the appropriate book. All titles are linked to library the catalog. I have also put in my own suggestions for some of the processes!

Happy eating!


(My dad’s favorite) Broiled Bacon-Wrapped Sea Scallops

From All Time Best Appetizers by America’s Test Kitchen (page 26)

Serves 6-8

All Time Best Appetizers


  • 4 slices bacon

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ⅛ tsp ground pepper

  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 1 pound large sea scallops (about 24 scallops) tendons removed

  • 2 tablespoons minced chives (optional)


  • Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat element. Line broiler-pan bottom with foil and top with slotted broiler pan (or if you’re like me, just put some foil down on a cookie sheet and call it a day).

  • Slice each piece of bacon into 2 long, thing strips, then cut each strip into 2 short pieces (total 24 bacon pieces).

  • Cook bacon until cooked through, but still pliable. Use your preferred bacon-cooking method.

  • Wrap each piece of cooked bacon around the center of each scallop, then place on cooking pan/sheet, pinning the bacon ends under each scallop.

  • Using the BROIL setting on your oven, broil until sides of scallops are firm and edges of bacon are brown. Rotate pan halfway through cooking (approximately 3-4 minutes).

  • Skewer cooked scallops with toothpicks and place on serving platter.

  • Serve immediately or while still warm.


(Not your basic) Baked Sweet Potato with Sour Cream and Mint

From The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! by Ree Drummond (page 271)

Serves as many as you’d like!


  • As many sweet potatoes as you want/need

  • Sour cream (you’ll need 1-2 tbs per potato)

  • Mint leaves (2 per potato)


  • Pierce a scrubbed sweet potato several times using a fork. Microwave until tender (6-10 minutes per potato)

  • Slice the potato lengthwise, then (be careful, it’s hot!) push on the ends of the sweet potato to force the skin open. Use a fork to loosen the filling.

  • Dollop on some sour cream, toss on some mint leaves, and you’re good to go!

Wild Rice Stuffing

From The Chew: A Year of Celebrations by Ashley Archer and Jessica Dorfman Jones (page 81)

Serves 8


  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, out of casing and crumbled (or leave out for a vegetarian-friendly option)

  • 1 large white onion, diced small

  • 1 cup carrots, diced small

  • 1 cup celery, diced small

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp thyme

  • 2 cups white bread, toasted if not stale

  • ½ cup butter, melted

  • 3 cups raw wild rice, cooked according to package instructions

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.

  • Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add olive oil and sausage. Brown, then remove to a small bowl.

  • Add onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and saute until veggies are just tender, 3-4 minutes. Add more olive oil if pan seems dry. Remove from heat and stir in thyme.

  • In a large bowl, toss bread with melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add wild rice and cooked sausage and toss to combine. Add in veggies and toss again.

  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg. Slowly add stock to the egg, and once combined, pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Toss with hands to combine thoroughly.

  • Transfer stuffing to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake 20-30 minutes or until stuffing is golden brown and crunchy on top. Serve warm.

Dessert…Putting Spins on the Classics

Pumpkin Custard with Cookie Crumb Crust

From Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson (pages 98-99)

Serves 8


  • 1 ¼ cups crushed shortbread cookies or gingersnaps

  • 2 cups half and half

  • 2 eggs

  • 4 egg yolks

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tbsp molasses

  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin (or 15 oz. canned pumpkin puree)

  • ½ tsp fine salt or sea salt

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ground ginger

  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

  • Whipped cream or chantilly cream to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.

  • Crush cookies into fine crumbs and divide among ramekins or press into the bottom of the pie pan.

  • In a small saucepan, bring half-and-half to a light simmer.

  • While waiting for simmer, whisk eggs and yolks together in a separate bowl, then whisk in both sugars and molasses with eggs.

  • Slowly add hot half-and-half into the egg mixture while whisking continuously to avoid lumps and scrambled eggs. Whisk until thoroughly incorporated and cooled.

  • Stir in pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Slowly add egg mixture, whisking just enough to combine ingredients.

    DO NOT OVERWHISK. Whisking too much will add too many air bubbles and will result in a non-creamy custard. You’ll get mousse instead!

  • Distribute custard evenly into ramekins, filling almost to top. OR pour evenly into pie pan.

  • If using ramekins: Place ramekins into a roasting pan and place in heated oven. Add enough water to the roasting pan that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  • If using a pie pan: Place pie pan in roasting pan and add an inch of water to the pan.

  • Bake 50-60 minutes or until custard is almost set. The custard will be slightly puffed up on the sides and jiggle just slightly when nudged.

  • Remove baking vessel from roasting pan and place on a wire rack. Cool completely.

  • If making in advance, make sure custard is completely cooled before covering with plastic wrap and and refrigerating between 5 hours and two days.

  • Serve with a dollop of cream.

Apple Cobbler with Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

From Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson (pages 126-127)

Serves 8-10


For Fruit Filling

  • Butter to grease the baking dish

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • ½ tsp salt/sea salt

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 8 large apples (3 ½ pounds when prepped), peeled, cored, and sliced

  • Juice of one lemon

  • ¼ cup (2oz) unsalted butter

For Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp fine sea salt/salt

  • 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 ⅓ cups cold buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 375°F and butter a 3-quart baking dish.

  • Start by preparing the fruit filling. Rub brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add prepped apples and toss evenly to coast. Gently stir in lemon juice.

  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes then mix again before pouring into prepared baking dish.

  • Cut remaining butter into cubes and scatter over apples.

  • Cover with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes.

  • Start preparing the biscuits. Whisk flour, 1 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Add in cheese and toss until evenly coated.

  • Make a well in the center and add buttermilk. Sit until dry ingredients become wet. If dough seems too dry, add buttermilk 1 tbsp at a time until dough is shaggy and moist.

  • Now it’s time to assemble the cobbler. Take baking pan with apples out of the oven and remove the foil.

  • In ¼ cup portions, place biscuit dough atop the fruit, distributing evenly.

  • Sprinkle remaining 1 tbsp sugar over biscuits.

  • Return dish to oven without foil, and bake for 30-40 minutes. Apples will appear tender, juices will be bubbling, and biscuits are golden brown. Serve warm.

Cocktails & Mocktails

Cider Sangria

From The Chew: A Year of Celebrations by Ashley Archer and Jessica Dorfman Jones (page 73)

Serves 4-6


  • 2 apples, cored, quartered, and slices

  • 1 orange, quartered and sliced crosswise

  • 1 cup apple juice or cider

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • ¼ cup apple brandy

  • 22 oz hard apple cider

  • Ice


  • In a pitcher combine apples, orange, juice/cider, lemon juice, and brandy

  • Before serving add hard cider.

  • Serve in glasses with ice as desired.

Roasted Apple Toddy

From The Chew: A Year of Celebrations by Ashley Archer and Jessica Dorfman Jones (page 216)

Serves 1


  • 2 oz (60 ml) apple brandy (or regular brandy)

  • ½ small apple, cored

  • ½ tbs butter

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

  • Nutmeg, for garnish

  • Boiling water


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Once heated, place apple face up in small baking dish and top with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until fork tender

  • Place apple half into coffee mug along with any drippings. Top with brandy and boiling water. Sprinkle nutmeg over the top. Serve with a spoon.

Mary Popp-ins (aka, Shirley Temples)

From The Chew: A Year of Celebrations by Ashley Archer and Jessica Dorfman Jones (page 235)

Serves 1

Mary Popp-ins (aka, Shirley Temples)

From The Chew: A Year of Celebrations by Ashley Archer and Jessica Dorfman Jones (page 235)

Serves 1


  • 1 oz grenadine

  • 3-4 oz soda water

  • Lime wedge and cherry for garnish


  • Pour grenadine into shot glass.

  • Add ice to highball glass and nearly top off with soda. Garnish with cherry and lime wedge. Pour shot of grenadine over the top of the soda mixture when ready to drink.

2019-11-22T13:25:08-05:00Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

About the Author:

Jackie Hoyt
When she's not baking or riding horses, Jackie moonlights as North Syracuse's Adult Services Librarian. She can usually be found in a comfy chair drinking coffee and reading romance novels.