COLAtoday’s holiday cookbook

Image via 6AM City

Last week, we asked y’all to send in your favorite holiday recipes so that we could compile a COLAtoday cookbook. From cocktails to sides, desserts and turkey recipes, we’re getting a taste of your favorite traditions.  

So, whether you’re looking for inspiration for your Thanksgiving Day meal, just need a dinner idea for tonight, or want to indulge in a neighbor’s concoction, check out these holiday recipes from our local master and at-home chefs in Cola. ⬇️

🧀 Appetizers

Cranberry Brie Bites 

Submitted by Jessica B. 


  • 1 tube of biscuit dough
  • 1 wheel of Brie cheese
  • 1 can of cranberry sauce / jam 
  • Butter 
  • 1 tbs rosemary 
  • 1 tbs thyme 
  • Sea salt 


  1. Preheat oven to 375 line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Cut the wheel of Brie into cubes ~1 inch each 
  3. Slice your biscuit dough in half to create two rounds
  4. Add a spoonful of cranberry sauce or jam to the center and top with a cube of brie cheese
  5. Pinch the dough together until all is sealed inside 
  6. Assemble the dough balls on the cookie sheet (they can touch + be arranged in a fun shape like a wreath or a tree)  
  7. In a mixing bowl combine butter, rosemary, thyme and salt, and brush on top of the dough balls 
  8. Bake for ~20 minutes or until golden brown 
  9. Serve warm 

Creole Shrimp Deviled Eggs 

Submitted by Alicia U. 


For the Creole Shrimp

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 24 small shrimp – peeled and deveined 
  • 1 tsp of creole seasoning of choice 

For the Deviled Eggs 

  • 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs 
  • 6 Tbsp mayonnaise (Best with Dukes) 
  • 2 tbs white vinegar 
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
  • ½ tsp horseradish 
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion 
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce 
  • 4 strips of bacon cooked  
  • ½ tsp creole seasoning of choice 
  • 2 dashes of hot sauce (optional) 


  1. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan
  2. Toss the shrimp in the Creole seasoning 
  3. Cook shrimp and remove from heat 
  4. Remove eggs from shells and split in half lengthwise 
  5. Remove yolks and place in separate mixing bowl 
  6. Add remaining ingredients (except the bacon) to egg yolks and mix well using a fork or hand mixer
  7. Top each egg half with the deviled egg mixture
  8. Add a shrimp to each egg and sprinkle with crumbled bacon + creole seasoning 

Shrimp Ball

Submitted by Chris M.


  • 8 oz. miniature shrimp
  • 2 pkgs. (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp. minced (diced) onion


  1. Save 20 shrimp for top of the ball; chop the rest.
  2. Mix all ingredients; form into balls.
  3. Refrigerate.
  4. Serve with crackers.

*Best if made the day before serving. Great appetizer for party or before dinner.

🌽 Side dishes

Bourbon mashed sweet potatoes

Submitted by Gwen D.


  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 3 oz bourbon
  • 8 oz half & half or heavy cream
  • 2 ½  tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 ½ tsp pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp thyme


  1. Cook sweet potatoes with skin on until soft (roast in the oven for best flavor or microwave if you’re in a time crunch)
  2. Remove skin from cooked sweet potatoes; put sweet potatoes in large enough bowl for mixing
  3. Cut butter into several slices; add butter and mix into the potatoes with a fork until completely melted. Add bourbon, half & half, salt, pepper, brown sugar and thyme. Mix with fork until desired consistency is achieved.

*Can be made ahead and reheated.

If you prefer a sweeter dish, top with the below crumb mix


  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp softened butter
  • ⅔+ cup flour
  • add a small amount of cinnamon if desired


  1. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar and butter until well mixed; add the flour and mix until crumbly
  2. Put sweet potato mixture in ovenproof dish; sprinkle crumb mixture over the top of the potatoes
  3. Bake at 350 until top is brown

*If you are making the dish ahead, leave the crumb topping off until you are ready to reheat.

Broccoli Casserole

Submitted Peggy M.


  • 1 large package of frozen, chopped broccoli
  • ¾ cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook broccoli until crisp and tender. Drain well.
  2. Mix all ingredients together, folding in broccoli last.
  3. Put in a pammed casserole dish and top with crushed Ritz crackers mixed with a little butter.
  4. Bake at 325º for 1 hour. Enjoy!

Corn Casserole

Submitted by Christa S.


  • 1 (8 ounce) box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn (not drained)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup melted butter


  1. Mix all ingredients and pour into (greased or sprayed with cooking spray) 8×8” casserole dish
  2. Cook uncovered for 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees

Creamed Collards

Submitted by Executive Chef Howard Stephens of Market on Main


  • 2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 4 cups cream
  • Bay leaf
  • 4 T flour
  • 4 T butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 1 cup pickled red onions, minced
  • 5lbs collard greens, cleaned chopped and big stems removed
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese


  1. In a saucepan, sweat onion and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add in the cream, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and reduce slightly for about an hour.
  3. Strain cream mixture and reserve.
  4. In another saucepan, melt butter and flour together and allow to cook for 5 min over medium heat.
  5. Slowly whisk in the strained cream until slightly thickened.
  6. Season to taste and add minced pickled red onions.
  7. Blanch chopped collards in salted water for about a minute, then shock in ice water. Drain thoroughly.
  8. Thoroughly combine cream sauce and collards and place in a buttered baking dish.
  9. Top with your favorite cheese and breadcrumbs and bake at 350 until hot and bubbly. Approximately 15 minutes.

Jowl bacon Brussels sprouts

Submitted by Chef Wes Fulmer of Motor Supply Company

Jowl bacon Brussels sprouts | Photo by Forrest Clonts, image provided


  • 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts cleaned, washed and halved
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, chopped
  • ½ pound cured pork jowl, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
  • Salt + pepper to taste


  1. Bring 2 gallons of salted water to a boil. Add in Brussels sprouts and cook about 1 ½ to 2 minutes until a little soft and bright green. Immediately transfer to an ice bath to cool completely and pat dry.
  2. Render the pork jowl in a sauté pan on low heat, stirring often until just under crispy.
  3. Strain the jowl, reserving the fat.
  4. In a large sauté pan, sweat out the red onion until translucent.
  5. Turning up the heat to medium, add the jowl fat and Brussels sprouts, then the jowl and chili flakes.
  6. Season to taste before serving.

Nana’s Applesauce

Submitted by Chef Christopher Holme of Hampton Street Vineyard


  • 4 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 red hot candies
  • Pinch salt


  1. Peel and core apples.
  2. Large dice the apples and throw them in a sauce pot. Add pinch of salt and water until just barely covered. Bring to a boil.
  3. As apples start to soften, add sugar.
  4. Turn down heat and simmer until apples are completely mashed. 
  5. Add red hots and stir until completely melted. Will turn applesauce pink! Cool completely and enjoy!

Pear Chutney

Submitted by Executive Chef Javier Uriarte of Ratio

Use this recipe for an alternative to cranberry sauce this thanksgiving, to sweeten up your pork dishes or even on top of a gelato.


  • 3-4 pounds of pears (peeled, cored and diced)
  • ½ pound of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 lemons (juiced and zested)
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ ground star anise
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped thyme
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large size pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook until pears are tender and until you can drag a spatula across the bottom of the pot without the chutney filling up the trail too fast. Remember to keep on stirring the chutney while cooking.
  3. Once done, transfer to a pan to let cook and then store in fridge.

Spiced Cranberries

Submitted by Henriette H. 

These make especially pretty gifts if put in an airtight glass container and ribboned with cinnamon stick.


  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • ¼ tea. cinnamon
  • ¼ tea. ground ginger
  • ⅛ tea. clove
  • ½ tea. vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Put everything in a saucepan except the cinnamon stick and turn to low, stirring until sugars are dissolved and spices are incorporated.
  2. Once the berries “pop” cut off, add cinnamon stick and allow to cool completely.
  3. Put in air-tight container and keep in fridge until ready to use (1-3 weeks)

*This recipe can easily be doubled.

Spotted Salamander’s Sweet Potato Grits

Submitted by Executive Chef and Owner of Spotted Salamander, Jessica Shillato

“It’s very important to use good fresh, coarse stone ground grits. We use Congaree Milling Company Grits. Perfect side with fried turkey.”

Serves 4-6


  • 3 cups water or chicken stock
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cup stone-ground grits
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Bring milk and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in grits.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring frequently, 30-45 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Stir in sweet potatoes, butter and any extra salt to taste.

Steamed Boston Brown Bread

Submitted by Ace M.


  • 1 cup (138g) yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup (106g) pumpernickel flour
  • 1 cup (113g) King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (149g) raisins, optional, but good
  • 2 cups (454g) buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (255g) molasses


  1. Mix the cornmeal, flours, baking soda, salt and raisins together. Combine the buttermilk and molasses and stir them into the dry ingredients.
  2. Place the mixture in an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pan, or 2-quart pudding mold. Cover loosely with foil that has been greased on the inside (to prevent sticking) and secure with a rubber band. Or grease the inside lid of the pudding mold.
  3. Place the pan, or mold, in a kettle or saucepan on top of something (crinkled aluminum foil or a stainless steel vegetable steaming insert will do nicely) to keep the pan off the bottom of the kettle. The kettle should be deep enough so its lid can cover the pudding container.
  4. Fill the kettle with boiling water two-thirds of the way up the pan. Cover, bring the water back to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Steam for about 2 hours, adding water if necessary. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  5. Remove the bread from the kettle, and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan to cool on a rack.

*Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a day or so. Refrigerate up to several days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Winter greens with marinated mushrooms + walnuts

Submitted by Ann E.


  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-5 button mushrooms, brushed clean and quartered
  • 3-4 tablespoons walnut pieces
  • 1 bunch hearty greens (kale, collards, broccoli rapini) with large stems removed


  1. Whisk together vinegar, salt, garlic and olive oil in a bowl. Add mushrooms and stir to coat. Allow to marinate 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly pan-toast the walnuts over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Finely mince and set aside to cool.
  3. Leaving the greens whole, quickly steam them until they are a dark, rich green, about 5 minutes.
  4. Slice the greens into bite-size pieces.
  5. Just before serving, toss the greens, walnuts, mushrooms and remaining marinade together. Serve immediately.

🍗 Entrees

Pumpkin Mole Enchiladas

Submitted by Chef David Grillo of Cantina 76

Pumpkin Mole Enchiladas | Photo provided

Pumpkin Mole Sauce


  • 1 15oz can of Libby’s Pure Pumpkin Puree (make sure the only ingredient is pumpkin!)
  • 1 cup of Swanson’s Chicken Broth (set a ½ cup aside for adjusting the texture when pureeing)
  • 2 whole Embasa brand Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce plus 1 tsp of adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Hershey’s Special Dark 100% Cocoa powder (or unsweetened dark cocoa)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 pinch cinnamon


  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree until it is smooth and pourable. You may need to adjust the thickness of the sauce with the extra chicken broth while pureeing. Be careful to not add too much.



  • La Banderita/Ole Mexican Foods soft white table corn tortillas
  • Crumbled Cotija cheese or shredded white Cheddar
  • Prepped pumpkin mole sauce
  • Filling of your choice: Cheese, beans, grilled steak, pulled chicken or pork, ground beef or chorizo


  1. Warm the corn tortilla and place 2-3 tbs. of filling down the center of the tortilla.
  2. Roll it tightly without tearing the tortilla, and be sure to tuck the seam on the bottom when you place it on the plate.
  3. Coat entire presentation with warm mole sauce, add some cheese and enjoy.

Williamsburg Ham and Oyster Pie

Submitted by Linda O.

Williamsburg Ham and Oyster Pie | Photo submitted by Linda O.


  • 16 oz oysters drained – reserve liquid
  • 2 cups chopped country ham
  • ½ cup green onions
  • 2 T chopped parsley
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T flour
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • Chicken broth if needed for liquid


  1. Melt 1 T butter in heavy frying pan
  2. Sauté chopped country ham and remove
  3. Sauté oysters till edges curl – remove reserving liquid in cup
  4. Melt butter, add flour and cook on low for 2 minutes
  5. Add green onions and parsley along with white pepper and Worcestershire sauce
  6. Add milk, reserved liquid from sautéed oysters, lemon juice and reserved oyster juice and or chicken broth to make a medium white sauce.
  7. Add ham and oysters back to sauce
  8. Put in 8” greased pan
  9. Freeze at this point or top with pie crust with slits for vents and bake at 350 for 30 minutes till brown and bubbly.

🥧 Desserts

Granny’s Coconut Pie

Submitted by Maggie S.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Self-rising flour
  • ¼ cup butter or oleo
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Combine eggs, sugar, flour and butter. Mix with electric or stand mixer.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (coconut, vanilla and milk).
  3. Combine entire mixture in with mixer for approximately five minutes. 
  4. Pour filling in a 9-inch pie shell and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. 

Million Dollar Pie

Submitted by Criston D.

Million Dollar Pie | Photo submitted by Criston D.


  • 1 – 8oz. Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 small box frozen strawberries in juice, unthawed
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 – 9in Graham cracker pie crusts


  1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into Graham cracker pie crusts. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  2. Can be made the day before and refrigerated over night.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Submitted by Lauren D.


  • ¾ cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • ⅛ cup melted butter
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon


  1. Combine crushed graham crackers, brown sugar and melted butter. Form the pie crust in a pie pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Then, mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour ¾ of the cream cheese mixture into the pie crust. 
  4. Mix the remaining cream cheese mixture with pumpkin puree and cinnamon until smooth.
  5. Smooth pumpkin mixture over the cheesecake layer.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 325º. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
  7. If desired, top with cool whip.