From one kitchen to another: Readers share family recipes


With the holiday season in full swing, The Pagosa Springs SUN is asking readers to share special family recipes.

Please submit your recipes to no later than Dec. 10.

Fruit Dinner Salad

From the kitchen of Linda Lawrie.

One of our favorites.

8 ounce cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup half and half

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 can crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups grapes, halved (red is prettier)

2 cups apples (4-6 apples), peeled and sliced

Cream cream cheese with half and half, adding enough mayonnaise to make smooth. Add crushed pineapple and mix together. If not creamy enough, add more mayonnaise.

Add grapes and apples and mix together. Creamed pineapple mixture should cover grapes and apples. If too much, add more grapes and apples, as desired.

Chill and serve.

Note: you can also add 1/4 pound marshmallows, quartered. And just before serving, add two diced bananas.

Another variation: Omit cream cheese, half and half, and mayonnaise; Substitute 1 cup whipped cream — this becomes a delicious dessert. Nut meats may be added if desired.


From the kitchen of Diane Levison.

When I was young, I remember my dad making Norwegian Glögg, a hot, strong, mulled wine-type drink around the holidays. I grew up on the Fox River in Illinois and just before Christmas, my mom and dad would go out in this little Viking ship they made out of a fishing boat, cut through the ice in the river to get to the middle where there was open water, and ride up and down the river, handing out candy canes to the kids and glögg to their parents. Oh yeah, one more thing — they were dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus! Needless to say, this was embarrassing to me as a teen, but now I can embrace my parents’ spirit, uniqueness and ode to our Norwegian heritage traditions. 

The glögg recipe I used of my dad’s was much more complicated than what I currently make, and it used a lot more liquor. It called for burgundy and port wine, brandy, 151 rum and Everclear (grain alcohol) in various parts of the recipe. Let’s just say it was incredibly good and very dangerous. My version is easier and tastes like dad’s. Enjoy!

2 bottles (750 ml each) of red wine. (I like darker ones like burgundy, cabernet sauvignon or port.) They don’t have to be pricey; boxed wine is fine. 

10-15 cloves

20 green cardamom pods (cracked)

4 inches of fresh ginger or equivalent amount of frozen shaved ginger or ginger paste

1/2 cup raisins (you can substitute Craisins, dried apricots or prunes)

1/2 cup blanched almonds (the skin is bitter; you don’t want the skins on) 

1 orange peel or 2 teaspoons dried orange peel

3 large cinnamon sticks

1 cup honey (or 1 1/3 cups of cane sugar) 

The following ingredients are added closer to the end of cooking, not at the beginning:

1 cup vodka (or brandy)

1/2 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec or similar orange liqueur

Put all the ingredients except the vodka/brandy and Cointreau/Triple Sec in a large crock pot. It’s best to put the small spices in a cheesecloth or tea strainer balls so they are easy to take out of the glögg. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or so. Do not let it come to a boil as that will cause the alcohol to evaporate and Christmas won’t be as merry.

The longer you cook the glögg, the more flavor will come out of the spices. Towards the end, add the last two liquors. Turn to “warm” and serve immediately or put into glass bottles or containers along with the fruit and almonds and refrigerate to serve later. You can garnish with orange slices, additional dried fruit and cinnamon sticks if you like. Serve with a spoon so your guests can eat the fruit and nuts in the glögg.

Note: If you don’t have one of the ingredients, but have something similar, feel free to use an alternate that’s on hand that you like. That’s why I’ve noted the alternates in the recipe. I rarely use precise recipes in the drinks I make. Taste, and add or modify to fit your taste. 

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

From the kitchen of Kristi Smith.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, combine and cream:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter 

Add and mix well:

3 eggs

Add and mix:

1 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)

1 tablespoon vanilla

4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add and mix in the following, one cup at a time:

4 1/2 cup quick oats

Stir in:

1 cup M&Ms

1 cup chocolate chips 

Using ice cream scoop (to make monster-sized cookies), scoop out mixture onto cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes. 



Recipe by Lorinda Holst, Odell, Neb. Submitted by Kristi Smith, Pagosa Springs.

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water

1 cup molasses

2 teaspoon anise extract

1 teaspoon ground clove

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Up to 4 cups flour

Cream sugar and butter until fluffy. 

Mix in all the ingredients, except flour. 

Mix in flour one cup at a time until incorporated and the dough is stiff. 

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to make dough easier to handle. 

Roll into ropes and cut the ropes into small pieces (the size of nuts) and then roll the pieces into small balls. 

Place pieces on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 10-14 minutes. They will be soft when warm and then crisp up after they cool. 

They can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.

Kruidige Rodekool: Spiced Red Cabbage

From the kitchen of Maxine Everaert.

This is a family favorite which was always served either at my husband’s home or later at our home. Our three girls also use it.

4 servings

1/4 cup butter

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1 small red cabbage, finely shredded

2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

3 cloves

1 tablespoon sugar

Dash of vinegar

In a saucepan, place 1 tablespoon butter, the water and salt. Add red cabbage, apples and cloves and simmer 45 minutes.

Add remaining butter, sugar and vinegar and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove cloves before serving.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

From the Everett family kitchens.

2 cans crescent rolls or crescent roll sheets

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


2 packages cream cheese

1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Mix cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla. Spread crescent rolls in 9×13 baking dish. Put filling on top of layer of rolls, then top with the other can of rolls. Melt butter and pour over top. Sprinkle with rest of sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Family-favorite variations: Use any kind of pie filling on top of the cream cheese layer, or mix 1 can crushed pineapple in with cream cheese mixture.

Tamale Dressing

From the kitchen of TJ Roseth.

A new twist on southern cornbread dressing.

Mix together:

Masa from 6-8 tamales, crumbled into small pieces

3 slices toasted white or wheat bread, torn into small pieces

4 boiled eggs, chopped

1 bunch of celery, chopped

3 green onions, chopped (just the chives if you don’t like onion)

Pinch of sage

2 teaspoons of salt

Place in a 9×12 baking dish. If you are having turkey with your meal, about an hour before the turkey is ready, take it out and pour drippings in with the dressing ingredients, otherwise use chicken or turkey broth. You will need at least 1 cup of drippings or broth to ensure that the dressing is quite moist before cooking. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and cook at least an hour at 350 F (or whatever temperature you are cooking the turkey). Uncover and cook another 30 minutes so that the dressing will get a little crispy on top. 

One of the great things about this recipe is you can mix together all the ingredients a day or two prior and refrigerate in zip-lock bag until needed.