Thanksgiving: From our family to yours this holiday season

Staff from CT Publishing share traditional recipes from their holiday tables


Easy, “Almost” Consomme Madrilene

From Reflector editor
Jessica Keller

While traditional recipes for Consomme Madrilene are much fancier, this is easy to make and hard to mess up, probably because it only requires four ingredients: tomato juice, beef consomme, beef bouillon cubes and lemons. My family has eaten the broth for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter brunch my entire life. The ratio of the main ingredients are 1:1:1, and you can decide how much you want.

Instructions: For every 10 ounces or so of tomato juice, add one can of beef consomme and one beef bullion cube. Pour the tomato juice in a consomme can to measure it if you wish. If the amount isn’t exactly 10.5 ounces, nobody will notice.

Pour all the ingredients except for the lemon into a pot and heat, stirring occasionally, or just dump the juice, consomme and bouillon into a slow cooker and heat until warm or you are ready to eat. Stir before pouring your broth into a cup or mug and then add a piece of sliced lemon before drinking. 

• Note: This is not a low-sodium recipe, so if that is a concern, you can either drink it in moderation or use low-sodium ingredients on the market. 

Lime Jell-o salad

From Chronicle reporter
Emily Fitzgerald

Every holiday meal going back as far as I can remember has had one staple: grandpa’s green Jell-o. Neon green with suspicious chunks suspended inside, this Jell-o salad recipe was one of many developed in the ’50s and ’60s when my grandparents grew up. They loved it enough to keep making it long after jello salads fell out of fashion, and as much as I love watching people’s faces crumple in confusion when I describe the dish, me and the other younger members of the family has been eating it long enough that we’ve grown to love it, too.

• 1 package (3oz) lime Jell-o 

• 1 package (3oz) lemon Jell-o 

• 2 cups boiling water

• 1 cup mayo

• 1 can (14oz) condensed milk

• 1 pint cottage cheese

• 1 can (20oz) crushed pineapple, drained

Mix the lemon and lime Jell-o  with the boiling water and let it cool to room temperature. Then combine all other ingredients (mayo, condensed milk, cottage cheese and pineapple) to the Jell-o  mixture, transfer to a dish of your choice, and let it set in the fridge overnight.

Texas Sparkle Drink

From Reflector office manager/page designer David Boehmke

• Brew 4 tea bags with 4 cups boiling water. 

• Steep for 6 minutes. 

• Add 3/4 cup sugar

• 1/3 cup lemon juice

• 1 1/2 cups orange juice

• Mix tea with the remaining ingredients. Chill. Add 1 quart ginger ale. 

Sweet Potato Souffle

From Chronicle Media Sales representative Austin DeBolt

While this recipe originated at La Comedia Restaurant & Theater in Springfield, Ohio, Austin’s grandmother cuts the amount of sugar in half.

• 1 large can of (18 oz.) sweet potatoes

• 1 cup of sugar

• 2 eggs

• 1/2 cup milk

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1/3 stick of butter of margarine, melted

• 1 tsp. vanilla

• Mix well and pour into a buttered pan


• 1 cup of brown sugar

• 1/2 cup flour

• 1/3 cup butter or margarine

• 1 cup pecans

• Crumble topping over potato mixture. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake & Frosting

From Chronicle page
designer Kayla Craig


• 1 cup water

• 2 cubes butter

• 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Dry ingredients (set aside in bowl for ease):

• 2 cups flour

• 2 cups sugar

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Remaining ingredients:

• 2 eggs

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

• 1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400º F. In a sauce pan, on medium heat, bring the water, butter and unsweetened cocoa to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove pan from the stove and stir in your bowl of dry ingredients. Then mix in the eggs, vanilla, walnuts and buttermilk. Pour the mixture into an 11x18 inch shallow pan (a cookie sheet pan) and bake for 15 minutes. Let the cake cool before frosting it.


• 1 cube butter

• 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

• 1 lb. box powdered sugar

• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

• Milk

In a sauce pan on medium heat, bring the butter and unsweetened cocoa to a boil; stir frequently. Once boiling, turn down to low heat and add the powdered sugar and walnuts. Add milk a little at a time until it reaches a frosting-like consistency. Spread frosting quickly onto the cake while it’s warm and before it cools and firms.


From Reflector
reporter Cade Barker

• 4 1/2 cups water

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 1/4 cups quick grits

• 1 cup butter

• 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese - grated

• 2 cloves chopped garlic

• egg - beaten

• 1 teaspoon seasoning salt

• 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

Bring water to a boil. Add salt and grits. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, cheese and garlic. Stir until butter and cheese are melted. Add beaten egg and Tabasco and mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour 15 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika for the last 10 minutes of baking time if desired.

Orange Marshmallow Salad

From Reflector Media Sales Representative Billy Armstrong

Billy said he found this recipe as a youth in a pro-wrestling cookbook, and his mom still makes it every year.


• 8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

• 3 oz. package orange gelatin mix, just the powder 16 oz of 4% fat cottage cheese, small or large curd will work

• 14 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained

• 1 cup mini marshmallows


Combine the thawed whipped topping and orange gelatin powder together in a large bowl and stir until combined.

Add in the cottage cheese, mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows and gently fold in until mixture is combined.

Chill covered in the fridge until ready to serve. The flavors tend to blend better after it’s been chilled for at least 1 hour.

Pecan Toffee Tassies

From Chronicle page designer Kayla Craig

• 1 15-ounce package refrigerated pie crusts (2 pie crusts)

• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

• 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 cup finely chopped pecans

• 1 8-ounce package of Heath Bits o’ Brickle English
Toffee Bits

• Preheat oven to 350º F.

Unroll the pie crusts onto a lightly floured surface. Roll them flat into 2 15-inch circles. Cut out 48 smaller circles using a 1 ¾-inch fluted or round cookie cutter, re-rolling the dough as needed until it’s all used. Press the cut circles into the cups of a small muffin/tart pan.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Stir in the pecans and brickle bits. Spoon the pecan filling evenly into the small tart cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until filling is set and the crust is lightly browned. Place the pans on wire racks to cool (the tarts will pop out easily).