In need of new holiday recipes? Give these 4 unique versions a try.

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Christmas is all about tradition, and we all have tried-and-true recipes we trot out every holiday. Each is delicious and much-loved. But how about starting a new tradition this season?

We couldn’t resist the jelly doughnuts in “The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who operates Modern Love here in Omaha. What a lovely treat for the kids on a holiday morning!

We turned to the “Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook” for a fresh take on green bean casserole. It’s a dish you can make ahead.

Bookworm manager Betsy Von Kerens helped us find several cookbooks with holiday flair. When we asked for her favorite, she opted for the tried-and-true and shared with us her recipes for oyster stuffing and sweet potato casserole with a streusel topping.

“Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be the same without them at the table,’’ she said.

Jelly Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)


2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (one 0.75-ounce packet)

1 cup lukewarm unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)

6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

3½ cups white bread flour, plus extra for kneading

2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for coating

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

1 cup seedless raspberry jam


In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast and milk and set aside. In a blender, blend up the water and flaxseed for about a minute until frothy and viscous. Set aside.

In a very large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt, then make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture, the flax mixture and the coconut oil, then mix to form a dough. Add more flour one tablespoon at a time until the dough no longer is sticky, then turn it out onto a floured counter to kneed until the dough is smooth.

Wash out the mixing bowl, lightly coat it with nonstick cooking spray and add the dough ball. Toss the dough ball to coat with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl somewhere warm and let the dough rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Lightly flour the counter and a baking sheet. Turn out the dough onto the floured counter, knead it a couple of times, then roll it out until it’s about one-half inch thick. Using a floured 3-inch cookie cutter (or a drinking glass), stamp out your doughnuts and place them on the floured baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Squish the dough scraps back together and roll them out again to make more doughnuts, place them on the sheet, then cover the sheet with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let the doughnuts rise for about 20 minutes.

While the doughnuts are rising, prepare the fryer at 350 degrees. Have ready a layer of paper towels or brown paper bags to drain. Pour some sugar into a shallow dish for coating the hot doughnuts.

Using a metal slotted spoon, lower the doughnuts into the oil, a few at a time so you don’t crowd the fryer, and fry until golden brown, turning several times to keep the cooking even. Use the slotted spoon to transfer them to the paper towels or bags until cool enough to handle, then roll each one in sugar until competely covered.

Once all the doughnuts are fried and sugared, it’s time to fill them. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill it with the jam. Poke the tip into the side of each doughnut, then squeeze a couple of teaspoons of jam inside. If you overdo it, the jam will leak out, but that’s OK. Serves 16.

Green Bean and Leek Casserole


2 bags (12 ounces each) steam-in-the-bag fresh green beans

¼ cup butter

1 large leek (1 pound), cut lengthwise in half, thinly sliced (about 2½ cups)

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ cup milk

½ cup chicken broth

1½ cups shredded fontina cheese (6 ounces)

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

½ cup diced red bell pepper

¾ cup Italian-style panko crispy breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave bags of beans on high for 3 minutes, 30 seconds. Remove beans from bags to large bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat. Cook leeks in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.

Sprinkle flour, salt and pepper over leeks, cook and stir until well blended. Gradually stir in milk and broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil one minute. Stir in cheeses, cook about one minute, stirring constantly until melted. Pour over green beans in bowl, stir to combine. Stir in bell pepper.

Spoon onto ungreased 2-quart casserole. In small bowl, mix breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole.

Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and topping is golden brown.

Serves 12.

You can prepare this casserole up to four hours before baking, refrigerate and then bake as directed. Just increase baking time to 45 to 50 minutes.

Oyster Stuffing


12 cups of dry bread cubes or coarse breadcrumbs

½ cup melted butter

1+ quart milk

2 teaspoons salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced onion

4 eggs, beaten

1 pint oysters, roughly chopped


Pour cold milk over bread cubes and let stand for a few minutes to allow bread to absorb milk. Saute onion and celery until onion is translucent. Stir in rest of ingredients, mixing lightly with a fork. Stuff cavity of turkey, being sure to leave enough room for stuffing to expand while roasting. Extra stuffing can be baked in a greased casserole at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole


6-8 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup hot milk or half and half

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg and/or cinnamon

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate

½ cup dark brown sugar

pinch allspice

1 to 1½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

Streusel topping (see below)


For sweet potatoes: Combine all ingredients except nuts. Beat until light and fluffy. Fold in nuts and pour into greased 2 quart casserole or 9-by-13-inch pan. Top sweet potatoes with streusel mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes until sweet potatoes are heated through and topping is golden brown.

Streusel topping:

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup flour

6 tablespoons soft butter

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Combine brown sugar and flour. Work in softened butter, then stir in pecans.


This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of the Momaha Magazine.

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