LIST: Staff-picked holiday dishes + recipes

The holidays are a time for sharing, giving, and eating good meals and it's really the only time of the year you get to cheat as much as you please. The Signal staff has compiled a list with their favorite holiday recipes of all times.

Broccoli Rice Casserole by Editor-in-Chief Brandon Peña

"For my family, broccoli rice casserole is a tradition. It is personally my favorite dish to have during the holidays, ever since I was a kid. Luckily, my dad makes a bit extra just for me to have once the family served platter is gone!"   																											- Brandon Peña  Ingredients: - 6 cups fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces- 2 cups cooked white rice For the sauce: - 3 tablespoons butter- 3/4 cup onion  diced (about 1 small) - 3 tablespoons flour- 2 cups milk- 1/4 teaspoon each garlic & black pepper- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder- 1/2 teaspoon paprikasalt to taste- 3 tablespoons cream cheese- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese  divided  Cooking Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.2. Cook onion and butter on medium-low heat until softened and translucent. Stir in flour, garlic powder and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.3. Gradually pour in milk while whisking. Continue whisking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add dry mustard, paprika, cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.4. Place broccoli in boiling water for about 2 minutes. You still want it slightly crisp as it cooks more in the oven.5. Stir together rice, broccoli and cheese sauce. Place in a greased 2 qt casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake 35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese lightly browned.View this recipe  here. Getty Images

"For my family, broccoli rice casserole is a tradition. It is personally my favorite dish to have during the holidays, ever since I was a kid. Luckily, my dad makes a bit extra just for me to have once the family served platter is gone!" 
- Brandon Peña

Ingredients:
- 6 cups fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 cups cooked white rice
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup onion diced (about 1 small)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon each garlic & black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided

Cooking Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cook onion and butter on medium-low heat until softened and translucent. Stir in flour, garlic powder and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
3. Gradually pour in milk while whisking. Continue whisking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add dry mustard, paprika, cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.
4. Place broccoli in boiling water for about 2 minutes. You still want it slightly crisp as it cooks more in the oven.
5. Stir together rice, broccoli and cheese sauce. Place in a greased 2 qt casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake 35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese lightly browned.

View this recipe here.

Venezuelan Chicken Potato Salad by Audience Engagement Editor Katherine Rodriguez

"This is the single one dish I never skip during the holidays. It's the perfect combination of protein, veggies and deliciousness. It's so easy too."   																											- Katherine Rodriguez  Ingredients:  For Cooking The Chicken: – 1½ lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts– 1 Lemon (Juice)– Enough Water to Boil Chicken Breasts– ¼ Onion– 1Cilantro Stems– 1 Green Onion Stems– 1 Celery Stick– 1 Chopped Garlic Clove– 1 Leek Stick– 1 Ají Dulce Venezolano (without seeds or veins)– 1 Tablespoon Salt For the Salad: – 2 Small To Medium Potatoes– 2 Medium To Large Carrot Sticks– 1 Red, Green or Yellow Apple (Peeled)– ¼ Cup Canned Green/Sweet Peas (No Salt Added)– ½ Onion (Optional)– 1 Red Bell Pepper (Optional)– 2 Celery Sticks (Optional)– 2 Cilantro Stems For The Sauce: – 1 Cup Mayo– 2 Tablespoons Mustard– 3 Tablespoons White Vinegar– ½ Tablespoon White Pepper– ½ Teaspoon Salt– ½ Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce (Optional) Cooking Instructions: 1. Clean the chicken breasts using the juice of one lemon and rinse thoroughly with water. Rinse thoroughly with water.2. In a large enough pot, add the chicken, onion, cilantro, green onion, celery, leek, ají dulce Venezolano, and the salt. You don’t have to worry about chopping these ingredients, they are being used to add flavor to the chicken. Use enough water to cover all the ingredients and cook everything at medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is done.3. Remove the chicken from the pot, drain and set aside to cool down. 4. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cook the potatoes with enough water and a little bit of salt. Boil for about 10 minutes. You want them to be done, but still firm so they don’t get mushy while making the salad. 5. Wash and peel the carrots. Cook the carrots separately with enough water and a little bit of salt. Boil for about 20 minutes.6. Once the potatoes and carrots are done, cool them down in a big bowl with some cold water and ice.7. Your chicken should be cooled down by now. Shred the chicken breasts using your hands or two forks.8. Begin to cut the potatoes, carrots, apple, celery, and bell pepper in small cubes. Finely chop the onion using a food processor. Chop the cilantro as well.9. In a large enough bowl, combine the chicken with the finely chopped onion. Then add this to all the other ingredients chopped and cubed in the previous step, plus the green peas.10. Add the mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix all the ingredients together. Adjust the salt and mayo if necessary to taste. Mix well, but carefully11. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating. Serve cold. View this recipe  here.

"This is the single one dish I never skip during the holidays. It's the perfect combination of protein, veggies and deliciousness. It's so easy too."
- Katherine Rodriguez

Ingredients:
For Cooking The Chicken:
– 1½ lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
– 1 Lemon (Juice)
– Enough Water to Boil Chicken Breasts
– ¼ Onion
– 1Cilantro Stems
– 1 Green Onion Stems
– 1 Celery Stick
– 1 Chopped Garlic Clove
– 1 Leek Stick
– 1 Ají Dulce Venezolano (without seeds or veins)
– 1 Tablespoon Salt
For the Salad:
– 2 Small To Medium Potatoes
– 2 Medium To Large Carrot Sticks
– 1 Red, Green or Yellow Apple (Peeled)
– ¼ Cup Canned Green/Sweet Peas (No Salt Added)
– ½ Onion (Optional)
– 1 Red Bell Pepper (Optional)
– 2 Celery Sticks (Optional)
– 2 Cilantro Stems
For The Sauce:
– 1 Cup Mayo
– 2 Tablespoons Mustard
– 3 Tablespoons White Vinegar
– ½ Tablespoon White Pepper
– ½ Teaspoon Salt
– ½ Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce (Optional)

Cooking Instructions:
1. Clean the chicken breasts using the juice of one lemon and rinse thoroughly with water. Rinse thoroughly with water.
2. In a large enough pot, add the chicken, onion, cilantro, green onion, celery, leek, ají dulce Venezolano, and the salt. You don’t have to worry about chopping these ingredients, they are being used to add flavor to the chicken. Use enough water to cover all the ingredients and cook everything at medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is done.
3. Remove the chicken from the pot, drain and set aside to cool down.
4. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cook the potatoes with enough water and a little bit of salt. Boil for about 10 minutes. You want them to be done, but still firm so they don’t get mushy while making the salad.
5. Wash and peel the carrots. Cook the carrots separately with enough water and a little bit of salt. Boil for about 20 minutes.
6. Once the potatoes and carrots are done, cool them down in a big bowl with some cold water and ice.
7. Your chicken should be cooled down by now. Shred the chicken breasts using your hands or two forks.
8. Begin to cut the potatoes, carrots, apple, celery, and bell pepper in small cubes. Finely chop the onion using a food processor. Chop the cilantro as well.
9. In a large enough bowl, combine the chicken with the finely chopped onion. Then add this to all the other ingredients chopped and cubed in the previous step, plus the green peas.
10. Add the mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix all the ingredients together. Adjust the salt and mayo if necessary to taste. Mix well, but carefully
11. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating. Serve cold.

View this recipe here.

Memphis Corn Pudding by Co-Managing Editor Justin Murphy

"Memphis Corn Pudding, otherwise known as corn casserole, is my absolute FAVORITE holiday dish that my family makes. I love it because it tastes JUST like cornbread, which reminds me of my childhood times with my granny. I always threaten people not to touch my Memphis Corn Pudding!!!"  																											- Justin Murphy  Ingredients: - 1(8 1/2 ounce) box Jiffy corn muffin mix- 1(14 1/2 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with juice- 1(14 1/2 ounce) can cream-style corn- 1⁄2cup butter or 1⁄2 cup margarine, melted- 1cup sour cream- 2 eggs Cooking Instructions:  1. Mix all ingredients until blended.2. Pour into 8 X 8 baking dish.3. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until browned on top and firm in the middle.View this recipe  here .

"Memphis Corn Pudding, otherwise known as corn casserole, is my absolute FAVORITE holiday dish that my family makes. I love it because it tastes JUST like cornbread, which reminds me of my childhood times with my granny. I always threaten people not to touch my Memphis Corn Pudding!!!"
- Justin Murphy

Ingredients:
- 1(8 1/2 ounce) box Jiffy corn muffin mix
- 1(14 1/2 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with juice
- 1(14 1/2 ounce) can cream-style corn
- 1⁄2cup butter or 1⁄2 cup margarine, melted
- 1cup sour cream
- 2 eggs

Cooking Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients until blended.
2. Pour into 8 X 8 baking dish.
3. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until browned on top and firm in the middle.

View this recipe here.

Kick #$% Marconi and Cheese by Online Editor Alyssa Shotwell

"This is my favorite dish other than the turkey or ham to eat around the holidays. I always take some "to-go" so that I can eat it for another day or two at home. Other than the heavy ingredient list, this is best if you only eat it 1-2 times a year because it is not healthy at all."  																												- Alyssa Shotwell  Ingredients: - 1 lb of macaroni- 6 cups of shredded cheese ( I prefer Colby, but you can do have Colby and half mild cheddar)- 1 block of Velveeta cheese (16 oz)- 1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)- Milk (optional) Cooking Instructions: 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. 2. Pour the macaroni noodles in and stir occasionally for 8 mins. Check every 2 mins for tender noodles.3. Drain the noodles4. Pour the noodles back into the pot and slowly mix in 6 cups of shredded cheese, the Velveeta and the cream cheese.NOTE: Cut the Velveeta into cubes before mixing into the pot. If it is too dry, add 1/8 cup of milk and stir it in.

"This is my favorite dish other than the turkey or ham to eat around the holidays. I always take some "to-go" so that I can eat it for another day or two at home. Other than the heavy ingredient list, this is best if you only eat it 1-2 times a year because it is not healthy at all."
- Alyssa Shotwell

Ingredients:
- 1 lb of macaroni
- 6 cups of shredded cheese ( I prefer Colby, but you can do have Colby and half mild cheddar)
- 1 block of Velveeta cheese (16 oz)
- 1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)
- Milk (optional)

Cooking Instructions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. 
2. Pour the macaroni noodles in and stir occasionally for 8 mins. Check every 2 mins for tender noodles.
3. Drain the noodles
4. Pour the noodles back into the pot and slowly mix in 6 cups of shredded cheese, the Velveeta and the cream cheese.

NOTE: Cut the Velveeta into cubes before mixing into the pot. If it is too dry, add 1/8 cup of milk and stir it in.

Nigerian Suya by Reporter Izuh Ikpeama

"It's a family tradition that we do every Christmas no matter what so it's become something to look forward to!"  										  																	- Izuh Ikpeama  Ingredients:   - 250g flank, sirloin or topside (sliced against the grain into thin wide pieces (about 5mm thick and 4-5 cm wide), slightly thicker than carpaccio- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, skinned- 1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable oil- 1 teaspoon chili/cayenne pepper (or less, adjust to taste)- 1 teaspoon sea salt- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or less, adjust to taste)- 1 teaspoon onion powder- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika- 1 -2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice- Salt, to taste- Thinly sliced cabbage, fresh red onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves, to serve Cooking Instructions:  1. Make a peanut paste: In a food processor or blender, grind the peanuts till they are crushed. The ground nuts will stick to the sides of the mixing container, so using a spatula, loosen bits from the bottom and round the sides. Then add the oil, drizzling in along with a pinch of salt, blending till you get a 'thick cream' consistency. Add the spices and lime juice to the peanut paste, stirring well. Adjust as required.2. Place beef slices in a large bowl. Pour the peanut sauce over it. Using your hands, mix well ensuring the pieces of beef are coated with the sauce. Refrigerate covered and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.3. When ready to cook, thread the beef strips onto (soaked wooden) skewers, accordion style so the meat is stretched out, not bunched up.4. You can cook them on a grill pan or the BBQ. Obviously, the smoky BBQ's ones taste much better. Prepare your BBQ - it is ready when the coals are red hot and have a layer of grey ash. Carefully place the skewers on an oiled grill rack.5. Let cook for a few minutes and then turn over and cook the other side. The sticks should be cooked in about 10 minutes or less, depending on how thick your slices of meat are.6. If they aren’t ready after 10 minutes, and you should notice a change in colour, take them off direct heat and let them cook slowly, till done. The meat will be soft and tender7. Then take off the heat and allow to rest for an hour or two. Warm gently and serve with thinly sliced cabbage, red onions and tomatoes. View this recipe  HERE.            

"It's a family tradition that we do every Christmas no matter what so it's become something to look forward to!"
- Izuh Ikpeama

Ingredients:
- 250g flank, sirloin or topside (sliced against the grain into thin wide pieces (about 5mm thick and 4-5 cm wide), slightly thicker than carpaccio
- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, skinned
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon chili/cayenne pepper (or less, adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or less, adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 -2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- Salt, to taste
- Thinly sliced cabbage, fresh red onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves, to serve

Cooking Instructions:

1. Make a peanut paste: In a food processor or blender, grind the peanuts till they are crushed. The ground nuts will stick to the sides of the mixing container, so using a spatula, loosen bits from the bottom and round the sides. Then add the oil, drizzling in along with a pinch of salt, blending till you get a 'thick cream' consistency. Add the spices and lime juice to the peanut paste, stirring well. Adjust as required.
2. Place beef slices in a large bowl. Pour the peanut sauce over it. Using your hands, mix well ensuring the pieces of beef are coated with the sauce. Refrigerate covered and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
3. When ready to cook, thread the beef strips onto (soaked wooden) skewers, accordion style so the meat is stretched out, not bunched up.
4. You can cook them on a grill pan or the BBQ. Obviously, the smoky BBQ's ones taste much better. Prepare your BBQ - it is ready when the coals are red hot and have a layer of grey ash. Carefully place the skewers on an oiled grill rack.
5. Let cook for a few minutes and then turn over and cook the other side. The sticks should be cooked in about 10 minutes or less, depending on how thick your slices of meat are.
6. If they aren’t ready after 10 minutes, and you should notice a change in colour, take them off direct heat and let them cook slowly, till done. The meat will be soft and tender
7. Then take off the heat and allow to rest for an hour or two. Warm gently and serve with thinly sliced cabbage, red onions and tomatoes.

View this recipe HERE.          

Peppermint Bark Brownies by Reporter Miles Shellshear

"Peppermint Bark Brownies are my favorite because they combine warm chocolate with the crisp and cool refreshing flavor of mint! They’re ideal with a nice glass of milk near a toasty fire over the holidays!"  																											- Miles Shellshear  Ingredients:  - 1 1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips -1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)- 3 large eggs, at room temperature- 1 cup sugar- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract- 1/4 teaspoon salt- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder- 8 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark SQUARES™ chocolates, chopped into large chunks (for the brownies)- 18 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark SQUARES™ chocolates, broken in to large chunks (about 8 pieces per square) (for the finishing Cooking Instructions:  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.2. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil and grease with pan spray.3. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a gentle simmer.4. Put the 60% Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over (but not touching) the simmering water.5. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until the better is melted and both ingredients are completely combined.6. Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the warm water.7. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.8. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla.9. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk together gently.10. With a spatula, fold in the flour. Immediately pour ½ the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly.11. Next, sprinkle the chopped peppermint bark over the batter and then pour the remaining batter over this. Spread evenly.12. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The center should be fudge-like but not dry.13. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.14. Place Peppermint Bark chunks on top of warm brownies and allow them to soften for 1 minute.15. Using a spatula, gently swirl the melting Peppermint Bark to create swirls of melted chocolate.16. Refrigerate for 1 hour.17. Trim the 4 edges of the brownies by 1/4 inch. Cut into 18 squares.View this recipe  here.

"Peppermint Bark Brownies are my favorite because they combine warm chocolate with the crisp and cool refreshing flavor of mint! They’re ideal with a nice glass of milk near a toasty fire over the holidays!"
- Miles Shellshear

Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips 
-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 8 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark SQUARES™ chocolates, chopped into large chunks (for the brownies)
- 18 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark SQUARES™ chocolates, broken in to large chunks (about 8 pieces per square) (for the finishing

Cooking Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil and grease with pan spray.
3. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a gentle simmer.
4. Put the 60% Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over (but not touching) the simmering water.
5. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until the better is melted and both ingredients are completely combined.
6. Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the warm water.
7. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
8. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla.
9. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk together gently.
10. With a spatula, fold in the flour. Immediately pour ½ the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly.
11. Next, sprinkle the chopped peppermint bark over the batter and then pour the remaining batter over this. Spread evenly.
12. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The center should be fudge-like but not dry.
13. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
14. Place Peppermint Bark chunks on top of warm brownies and allow them to soften for 1 minute.
15. Using a spatula, gently swirl the melting Peppermint Bark to create swirls of melted chocolate.
16. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
17. Trim the 4 edges of the brownies by 1/4 inch. Cut into 18 squares.

View this recipe here.