Stock photo of holiday cookies on a plateSMU Forum‘s 6th annual holiday recipe roundup is here! We’ll have festive food ideas from all over campus, and the world. Make sure your favorite is among them! We’re looking for side dishes, main courses, desserts, sweets, food gifts, game-day snacks, kosher and ethnic treats, vegetarian recipes…you name it. Add yours to the mix by sending them to Kathleen Tibbetts, 214-768-7672.

Meanwhile, get started with the following classics from last year’s comments and this year’s submissions. Find them below the link.

Casbie’s Hungry-Man Nachos

1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 pkg. taco seasoning (McCormick, Taco Bell, Lawry’s – or the brand on sale!)
1/4 pkg. enchilada seasoning (optional – gives it a kick)
2 cans chili without beans (Wolf Brand or equivalent)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard
4 cups mild cheddar cheese (or a small block)
4 cups Monterey Jack or Colby cheese
1 cup green onions (less or more, depending on how much you like green onions)
1 bag corn tortilla chips (I like restaurant style, but use what you like – I have also used multigrain, and they work well)
3 cups shredded Iceberg lettuce (you can buy it pre-shredded)
8 oz. sour cream
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 bottle red tomato salsa (optional)
1 bottle green tomato salsa (optional)
1/2 cup yellow onion (optional – to cook with the ground beef or ground turkey)

Grate the cheese, chop the green onions and tomatoes, and shred the lettuce. (You can buy all of these precut at the local grocery store.) Preheat oven to 350 F.

Brown the ground meat and the onions (if desired); add taco and enchilada seasonings.

Warm the chili in a large saucepan on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, then add the ketchup and mustard. Stir in and let boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the ground meat to the chili and simmer.

Place tortilla chips in a Pyrex glass or Corningware dish; sprinkle half of your combined cheeses over the chips. Sprinkle the green onions over the cheese, then add the chili mix over the green onions. Repeat the cheese and green onions.

Slide into the oven for about 10-15 minutes to allow cheese to melt…and voilà! Casbie’s Hungry-Man Nachos are finished. You then add the lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and additional green onions to suit your taste.

Whew! Bon appétit!

Submitted by Katrina Glenn, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Spinach Soufflé

A family favorite served at all our holiday meals.

3 eggs, beaten well
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/4 lb. American cheese
3 slices Swiss cheese
16 oz. small curd cottage cheese
12 oz. pkg. of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
3 tbsp. flour

Work flour into spinach in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat three eggs; add butter and cheeses. Work in the spinach/flour mixture, mixing well.

Bake in a shallow casserole dish (approximately 9×11″) at 350 F for 45 minutes or until brown around the edges.

Submitted by Susan Sifford, Applied Physiology & Wellness, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

A whole raft of holiday recipes from the SMU Alumni Giving and Relations Team:

“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
Submitted by Stacey Paddock

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting. 10-12 servings.

“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


Nana’s Salmon Cakes
Submitted by Mindy Rowland

1 can quality salmon
1-1/2 cups cooked rice
2 eggs
3 cups Ritz crackers, crushed (reserve 1-1/2 cups to roll cakes)

Mix all ingredients except reserved cracker crumbs and shape into ovals. Press firmly to keep their shape.

Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Roll cakes in reserved cracker crumbs. Fry until done.


Submitted by Amanda Pritchard

3 medium yellow squash, sliced, boiled and drained
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mashed saltine crackers
1 cup milk
1 cup onion
1 small green bell pepper, diced
3 jalapenos, diced (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs or cracker crumbs on top. Bake uncovered at 350 F for one hour.


Mango Salsa Dip
Submitted by Holly Myers

2 cans corn
2 cans black beans
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocado, chopped
1 can chopped green chiles
2 mangos, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl, and enjoy with chips!


Oreo Snowballs
Submitted by Lyndsey Hill

8 oz. softened cream cheese or whipped cream cheese
18 oz. package Oreo cookies, crushed
2 cups white chocolate chips

Mix cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy (also works in a food processor). Add Oreos and mix until well blended. Chill for several hours. Roll the chilled mix into one-inch balls.

Melt the white chocolate using a double boiler. Dip the balls completely into the melted chocolate; place on wax paper. Cover with white, silver, or clear sprinkles. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes 3-4 dozen (depending on the size).


Holiday Pretzel Treats
Submitted by Allison Curran

Bite-size waffle-shaped pretzels
Hershey’s Hugs candy kisses
M&M’s candies (red and green!)

Heat the oven to 170 F. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey’s Hug. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M’s candy into the center of each kiss.

Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes.


Baked Potato Soup
Submitted by Shea Furlong

3-4 baking potatoes (2.5 lbs)
2/3 cup flour
6 cups 2% milk
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
Bacon (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Pierce potatoes with a fork several times; bake for one hour until tender. Cool, peel (discard skins) and coarsely mash.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Place in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8-10 minutes). Add potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Do not allow it to boil. Serve with cheese, onion and bacon sprinkled on top.


Baked Artichoke Dip
Submitted by Julie Griffith

4 oz. cream cheese
10 mixed Greek olives, pitted and chopped
10 marinated artichoke quarters, chopped
10 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
3 oz. fresh goat cheese
2 oz. grated asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 500 F or broiler to 375 F. Mix all ingredients, except asiago, together and place in a ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the asiago over the dip. Place in oven or broiler until brown on top. Serve with crostini and red wine.


Angel Hair Pasta Salad
Submitted by Julie Griffith

16 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp. Accent seasoning
1 tbsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt
3 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil

1 jar diced pimento
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can chopped ripe olives
2 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Combine cooked pasta with next 4 ingredients; marinate overnight in refrigerator. Add remaining ingredients. Let stand in refrigerator several hours before serving. Add chicken, shrimp or crab if desired.


Jennifer’s Poppyseed Chicken
Submitted by Andrew Snow

1 roast chicken, shredded
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 tbsp. poppyseeds
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
2-4 tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 F. Stir together sour cream, cream of chicken soup and poppyseeds in a large bowl. Add shredded chicken, and pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Crush Ritz crackers in sleeve, and mix with melted butter in small bowl. Sprinkle the crackers over the chicken mixture. Bake at 375 F for about 45 minutes.


Steamed Pudding with Golden Syrup
Submitted by Lindsey Graham

8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz. superfine sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
1 cup self-rising flour, sifted *
1-2 tbsp. milk
4 tbsp. golden syrup

Butter a 3/4-quart or 1-quart cake or pudding mold. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the flour and enough milk to make a loose, dropping batter.

Pour golden syrup into the bottom of the mold. Pour batter into the mold and secure the top with wax paper and foil, pleated to allow room for the sponge to rise. Steam for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Turn out onto plate and serve hot with crème anglaise.

* Make your own self-rising flour by adding 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt for each 1 cup of flour.

No-Bake Cheesecake

1 package lemon flavored gelatin (small)
1 cup boiling water
3 tbsp. lemon juice (or 1 tsp. of lemon flavor)
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 packs graham crackers
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk, chilled

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemon juice or flavor and let cool. Cream together cheese, sugar and vanilla. Add gelatin and mix well.

Whip chilled condensed milk until light and fluffy and add to gelatin/cream cheese mixture. Mix with spoon.

In a separate bowl, crush graham crackers and add melted butter. Put 2/3 of the mixture on the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2″ pan and pack firm. Add filling mixture and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 graham cracker crumb mixture on top. Chill for 2-3 hours.

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Chill time: 2-3 hours. Feeds 12. 1/12 cake = 379 calories.

Submitted by Misty Solt, director of the Center for Family Counseling, SMU-in-Plano

Sausage Ryes

1 lb. breakfast sausage (hot or mild)
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Velveeta cheese (cut into cubes)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (or approximately 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 small cans chopped mushrooms, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 loaves of party rye bread

Use a large skillet or Dutch oven to brown the sausage and ground beef; drain. Return meats to pan. With heat on medium low, add cheese, seasonings and mushrooms. Heat thoroughly until well mixed and cheese is melted. Turn off heat. Preheat broiler. Spread mixture onto rye slices and place on a baking sheet. Heat briefly under broiler until bubbly and bread is slightly crisped around the edge. Be careful not to burn.

Notes: These can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Simply prepare the recipe as instructed, but don’t broil. To serve, remove filled slices from freezer and let sit at room temperature for approximately one hour, then heat under the broiler until warmed.

Fresh mushrooms can be used, but may need to be cooked slightly before adding to meat mixture.

If party rye can’t be found, use a regular rye loaf and cut each bread slice in half.

Submitted by Cherri Gann, News and Communications

Choux sauté aux marrons et saumon fumé (Cabbage Simmered with Chestnuts and Smoked Salmon)

I adapted this from an Alsatian winter dish and have brought it to several holiday dinners with a lot of success. It’s extremely simple and wonderful to have as a side dish in a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. It can also be a main dish, maybe with noodles or just a good baguette. In the original version the cabbage is hollowed out, stuffed and cooked for about five hours in a very slow oven. This stove top version is easier.


a large white cabbage
a bag of chestnuts (ideally fresh, and available from Whole Foods, but bottled will do)
a chunk of smoked salmon (the drier kind that comes prewrapped, not thin sheets or lox – available from Kroger)
chicken stock

Remove the coarse outer leaves of the cabbage. Quarter it and cut out the stalk. Chop what’s left to medium coarseness. Rinse well in a colander.

Peel the chestnuts by puncturing them with a sharp knife and boiling them till the skin can be pulled back, probably with some help from the knife. They shouldn’t get too cold after boiling, so doing five or six at a time is about right. After the outer skin comes off, some may need re-immersing to loosen the inner skin. Getting the right balance between the heat of the chestnuts and the ability of your fingertips to stand it can be delicate. I wouldn’t think it’s a job to do with carefully tended nails, either.

Cut the smoked salmon chunk into smallish pieces, about half an inch long. They can be rough.

Put it all in a large pot and stir all around to mix. Season the mix on top with fresh ground black pepper (I like to crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle), salt, and fresh scraped nutmeg, all to taste. For a large dish I’m generous with all three, perhaps two teaspoons of salt, a tablespoon or even more of pepper, and a whole nutmeg scraped. But this can vary, and there will be salt in the chicken stock, too.

Dump the combined seasonings on top of the cabbage, chestnut and smoked salmon mixture. Then pour on about a pint of chicken stock and stir all around.

Cover and cook it on a very low flame for two to two and a half hours. As it cooks, the rising smell is delicious. Serve hot.

Bon appétit, joyeux Noël, et bonne Année Nouvelle!

Submitted by Ed Countryman, University Distinguished Professor of History, Dedman College

Nine-Layer Dip

4 strips bacon (I like Smithfields, but it doesn’t matter)
1 16-oz. can black beans
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup guacamole (I use the packaged Wholly Guacamole)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (about 1 Roma tomato)
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped finely
4 tbsp. sliced black olives
4 tbsp. finely sliced green onions

Dice bacon and fry until done; add beans and cook slowly, stirring frequently until the bacon and bacon drippings are mixed through (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat. Mix taco seasoning with sour cream and set aside.

To build the 9-layer dip, place ingredients in a 9×13″ casserole dish in this order:

Refried beans, spread about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 cup prepared sour cream
1 cup guacamole
diced tomatoes
diced cilantro
black olives
sliced green onion

Use remaining cheese for garnish. Serve with tortilla chips.


Eva’s Sparkling (Not Spiked) Holiday Punch

1 64-oz. container white cranberry and strawberry juice drink
1 64-oz. container pineapple juice
1 2-liter bottle 7-Up soda
1 large can pineapple tidbits
1 large jar maraschino cherries (no stems)
Punch bowl half-filled with cubed ice

Add and mix all ingredients in your punch bowl (except 7-Up and ice). Add 7-Up and ice within 15 minutes of serving.

Submitted by Eva Parks, News and Communications

Sally’s Holiday Sausage Delights

1 roll of breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
8 oz. grated Swiss cheese
Juice of 1 lemon (use a real lemon, not bottled)
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 cup mayonnaise (use real, not light)
2 loaves Pepperidge Farm thinly sliced white bread

Combine first six ingredients, stir well (can be made a day ahead). Using holiday-shaped cookie cutters, cut shapes out of each slice of bread. For Christmas, I use stars or bells and for Valentine’s Day, I use hearts, etc. Lightly toast one side of bread cutouts under broiler until lightly toasted.

Turn cutouts over and place heaping tablespoon of sausage mixture on each cutout. Sprinkle with paprika. Broil 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts and bubbles slightly.

I am not a huge fan of Swiss cheese, but every time I make these, they are a HUGE hit and everyone wants the recipe. Enjoy!

Submitted by Sally Garber, Program Services/Tate Distinguished Lecture Series

Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Crust

Ginger Pastry (recipe below)
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1-1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 tbsp. honey
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Streusel Topping (recipe below)
Whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F. On a floured surface, roll the Ginger Pastry into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the pastry to 1 inch beyond the pie plate. Fold edges under crust. Crimp decoratively, forming high-standing crust (about 1/2 inch above rim of dish). Freeze for 15 minutes.

Line the crust with foil and then fill with pie weights (dried beans work well). Bake 10 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake another 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, cream, sugar, eggs, honey, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and salt until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prebaked piecrust.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until the filling begins to set. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes to set slightly. Meanwhile, make the Streusel Topping. Sprinkle the topping over the pie. Return to hot oven. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes more or until pie is set and streusel is golden brown. Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream. Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.

Ginger Pastry

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. ice-cold water, plus more as needed

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, gingerroot, allspice, and salt. Using a pasty blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons water. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and toss with a fork until the mixture forms moist clumps. (Add additional cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too dry.)

Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 to 24 hours. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature about 10 minutes before rolling into a piecrust. Makes 1 (9-inch) piecrust

Streusel Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and ground ginger. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped pecans and crystallized ginger. Sprinkle the topping over the pie before baking. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Submitted by Denise Gee, News and Communications

Russian Tea Cakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or other nuts
Powdered sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix the butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl. Mix together the flour and salt; gradually blend them into the butter mixture until the dough holds together. Stir in the nuts until well combined.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown.

Remove the cookies from the sheet and cool them for about 15 minutes on a wire rack. Roll the slightly warm cookies in powdered sugar and return them to the wire rack; allow them to cool completely. Roll in powdered sugar again. Makes about 4 dozen.

Notes: These cookies go by many names, including Mexican wedding cookies, among others. They travel extremely well. If you’re giving them as gifts, add a little extra powdered sugar to the bottom of the container to keep them from sticking.

Submitted by Kathleen Tibbetts, News and Communications