favorite family holiday recipes

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Holiday, Recipes | 5 comments

We are in the thick of yummy food season, so I thought I would share a round-up of some of our family’s favorite holiday recipes.  There are still a few more that I need to add to the blog like Linda’s sweet potato casserole, our Christmas cheese grits, and Rosa’s cheese spread.  It’s always such a flurry in the kitchen during the holidays that I don’t always think about taking pictures!  I just need to get things made and in the oven.

Anyway, here are some holiday recipes we enjoy making and eating through the holiday season…

pomegranate & barley salad

I will readily admit that this holiday recipe is a strange one, but this pomegranate & barley salad is surprisingly yummy and a great way to use seasonal pomegranate.  In this recipe, I also share some tips on seeding a pomegranate quickly and efficiently.  This makes a good snack or cereal during the holidays and is quick and easy to make.  I’m sure it also has lots of antioxidants and whole grains, so you can feel like you’re eating healthily.”

no-fail apple pie

This is the holiday recipe my family looks forward to most – no-fail apple pie.  After years of pie-making failure, a wonderful woman in PA taught me how to make a perfect apple pie.  She grew up on an apple orchard and so she knows a thing or two about apple pie.  This one is flavorful and perfectly textured.  It’s a very good pie and an easy one!

ruffled-edge pie plate

nuts & bolts

This holiday recipe is very nostalgic for me.  I have vivid memories of my Oma hunched over the oven, stirring nuts & bolts in a huge roasting pan and then storing them in a Charles Chips metal tin.  Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe to our tastes and omitted things like peanuts (that half of our family is allergic to), but it’s still the same basic classic recipe.  I always make a big batch around Christmas and eat it as my snack until it’s gone.  I look forward to it every year!

Rosa’s fruit salad

I can’t even remember life without Rosa’s fruit salad at our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.  It is a family staple and one of my favorites.  I’ve never seen another recipe like it, but it will definitely bring you back to the 1950s!  I love citrus, so this salad is a must.


The funny thing about gingerbread is that none of us eat it!  Marshall sometimes will eat a cookie or two, but these are ones we make for fun and to use as decor.  Here are some tips for gingerbread house success…

And here are the gingerbread house recipe & templates I use each year.  I’ll make a mix of small houses and ornaments.

holiday simmer pot

This is another one that we don’t eat, but I love putting a fall & winter simmer pot on the stove.  I’ll just throw this and that into a pot of water and let it simmer on the stove for hours.  I’ll turn it off and night and simmer it some more the next day.  It’s a great way to use orange peels, apple cores, etc.

small lodge enamel dutch oven

maple house sugar cookies

This is a new favorite family holiday recipe this year, but it will be a regular thing.  I’ve already made them twice and they just fly off the plate.  These maple sugar house cookies also make a nice gift or an easy cookie to bring to cookie swaps & events.

finding home farms maple syrup

These are just a few of our favorite new and old holiday recipes that I’ve shared on the blog over the years.  Have you tried making any of these (or something similar?)  What are some of your holiday staples?


  1. Claire

    Just love your blog and your home is incredible and so you! Wondering if you have an idea what to use in your apple pie recipe in place of the almond extract for those who have someone with a nut allergy? Thanks so much Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      Oh, just omit it. It just adds a little almond flavor, but it’s not necessary. You could play around with different extracts like maple.

  2. Bonnie Kilgore

    Just made your apple pie this morning! It’s become one of my seasonal favorites. Such a great taste!

  3. Kimberly

    Did I miss Rosa’s cheese spread recipe. I could not find it. Also, the cheesy grits recipe. Maybe you did not include those. Happy Thanksgiving! Many Blessings

    • Maria

      Hi! She states in the beginning of the article that she still needs to add those to the list.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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