Williamsburg Holiday Recipes

Tis the season to be jolly! We know that the holidays can be very busy with family gatherings, travel plans, and holiday shopping so we’ve compiled a list of our Top holiday recipes to make your menu planning a little bit easier. These tasty recipes will surely please your family and friends! Our recipe collection includes main courses, side dishes, and desserts that will provide a complete meal. Try one or all of our Holiday recipes. Nothing beats gathering with family and friends … with delicious, home made food!

Have a holiday gathering that’s just the right mix of food, fun and holiday festivities!

Sweet Potatoes

3 lbs yams
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3T butter
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 1 1/2 qt casserole. Cook potates in boiling, salted water until done; peel and mash. Stir in all remaining ingredients except 2 T of brown sugar. Place mixture in prepared casserole and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Creme de Menthe Brownies

1 package brownie mix, or use your own
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons butter, separated
4 to 5 tablespoons. creme de menthe
2 squares semi sweet chocolate

Bake 1 package brownie mix according to directions. Frost with frosting made with sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, and creme de menthe. Melt semi sweet chocolate with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and pour over top. Chill and cut into squares.

Green Beans with Mushrooms and Bacon

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
8 bacon slices
3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 7 oz.)
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Cook beans in boiling salted water to cover in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and set aside.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 1/2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Discard remaining drippings. Crumble bacon.

3. Sauté mushrooms and shallots in hot drippings over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until shallots are tender. Add green beans and crushed red pepper; sauté 1 to 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in crumbled bacon, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt.

Asparagus With Mushrooms and Bacon: Substitute 2 lb. fresh asparagus for green beans. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 1 1/2- inch pieces. Proceed with recipe as directed, cooking asparagus pieces for 2 to 4 minutes.


Spirited Cranberry Sauce

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup port
4 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup orange liqueur


1. Stir together sugar, port, and 3/4 cup water in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan until blended. Add cranberries; bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until cranberry skins begin to split. Remove from heat, and let cool 15 minutes.

2. Pulse cranberry mixture in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until cranberries are almost pureed; stir in orange liqueur. Cover and chill 8 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Grand Marnier for orange liqueur.

Turkey Tenderloins With Cranberry Sauce: Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle 1 1/2 lb. turkey tenderloins with 1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground pepper. Place tenderloins in a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 170°. Brush tenderloins with Grandma Erma’s Spirited Cranberry Sauce. Garnish with fresh sage or rosemary and currants, if desired. Makes 4 servings. Prep: 10 min., Bake: 25 min.

Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes


* 3/4 cup butter
* 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
* 1 tablespoon salt, divided
* 3/4 cup buttermilk
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* Garnishes: fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme sprigs


1. Cook butter in a 2-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or just until butter begins to turn golden brown. Immediately remove pan from heat, and pour butter into a small bowl. (Butter will continue to darken if left in saucepan.) Remove and reserve 1 to 2 Tbsp. browned butter.

2. Bring potatoes, 2 tsp. salt, and water to cover to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; boil 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Reduce heat to low. Return potatoes to Dutch oven, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are dry.

3. Mash potatoes with a potato masher to desired consistency. Stir in remaining browned butter, buttermilk, milk, pepper, and remaining 1 tsp. salt, stirring just until blended.

4. Transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with reserved 1 to 2 Tbsp. browned butter. Garnish, if desired.

Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Place in a lightly greased 2 1/2-qt. ovenproof serving dish; cover and chill up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Drizzle with reserved brown butter, and garnish, if desired.

Rosemary Roasted Turkey

3/4 cup olive oil
* 3 tablespoons minced garlic
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
* 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
* salt to taste
* 1 (12 pound) whole turkey


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
2. Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin.
3. Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.
4. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees F.


Holiday Eggnog

4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups good-quality bourbon, brandy, cognac, or dark rum
3 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Freshly grated nutmeg


1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar just until well blended.
2. Place the pot over very, very low heat and cook, whisking nonstop, just until the mixture is warm, 3 to 5 minutes. Continue whisking while you slowly pour in the brandy, rum, orange liqueur, and vanilla; then, still whisking, pour in half of the cream. Raise the heat just slightly and continue cooking, stirring frequently with the whisk, until the mixture is good and hot but has not yet started to boil, about 8 minutes.
3. Remove the pot from the heat. Whisk in the rest of the cream and immediately transfer the mixture to a heatproof punch bowl.
4. Serve the eggnog warm, if you like. If you’d prefer it cold, cover the punch bowl and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.
5. To serve, ladle the eggnog into individual double wall mugs or glasses or regular punch cups, mugs, or glasses. Freshly grate a little nutmeg over each serving.