NTC Staff Shares Holiday Recipes

Great partners are a key ingredient in our recipe for success! During this Thanksgiving season, we would like to express out sincere appreciation for your partnership, hard-work and loyalty. Best wishes for a Nebraska Nice Thanksgiving holiday.


Erin Lenz’s Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cup Sweet potatoes, mashed (fresh baked or canned, drained)
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ cup Butter
½ cup Milk
Topping Ingredients
1 cup Brown sugar
1 cup Chopped pecans
½ cup Flour

1. Add all main ingredients to potatoes and mix well.
2. Pour into casserole dish.
3. Add topping mix.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Serves eight. Preparation time: 15 mins


Lisa Karnatz’s Cranberry Salad

1 bag Cranberries, ground
5 Tart apples, diced
½ cup Celery, chopped
½ cup Walnuts (optional)
1 bag Mini marshmellows
1 cup Sugar
1 pkg Cool Whip

1. Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves a crowd if doubled. Preparation time: 15 mins


Micheal Collins’ Holiday Eggnog

12 Farm fresh eggs
1 ¾ cups Sugar
2 quarts Whole milk (about 8 cups)
2 cups Whipping cream
Rum or rum flavor

1. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture coats the spoon. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla and chill until cooled.
2. Optional, add two tablespoons of rum flavoring or one shot of rum or brandy into cup.
Whipped Cream:
1. Beat two cups whipping cream until peaks form. Dollop whipped cream on top of the eggnog in cup. Add nutmeg, if desired. 

Serves 24. Preparation time: 15 mins


Amanda Barker’s Buttermilk Pie

3 cups Sugar
6 Tbs Flour
1 ½ cups Buttermilk
5 Eggs (slightly beaten)
2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Butter (melted)

1. Combine sugar and flour, mixing well.
2. Add ¾ cups buttermilk, again mixing well.
3. Add eggs, beating after each addition. Add the remaining ¾ cup buttermilk.
4. Fold in the butter and the vanilla.
5. Pour into two deep dish unbaked pie shells. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes; reduce to 350 and bake 30+ minutes more (Note: the pie should not look runny in the center, although there may be a little butter floating).

Serves eight. Preparation time: 15 mins


Karen Kollar’s Easy Peach Cobbler

1 Can of peaches (large)
1 box Butter brickle cake mix (dry)
1/4 lb. Oleo
1 cup Chopped nuts

1. Grease 9” x 13” pan.
2. Spread peaches on bottom of the pan (juice and all).
3. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the peaches.
4. Shred ¼ pound oleo over the top.
5. Sprinkle nuts over the top.
6. Bake at 350 degrees about ½ hour to 45 minutes.
7. Serve with a dab of ice cream or cool whip on top.

Serves eight to 10. Preparation time: 10 mins


Kathy McKillip’s Roast Turkey

1 Turkey (14-16 pound) frozen young turkey
1 cup Kosher salt
½ cup Light brown sugar
1 gallon Vegetable stock
1 Tbs Black peppercorns
1 ½ tsps All-spice berries
1 ½ tsps Candied ginger (chopped)
1 gallon Heavily iced water
For the Aromatics:
1 Red Nebraska Apple (sliced)
½ Onion (sliced)
1 Cinnamon stick
1 cup Water
4 sprigs Rosemary
6 leaves Sage
Butter or canola oil

1. 2-3 days before roasting, begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
2. Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, all spice berries and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
3. The night before the dinner, combine the brine, water and ice in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in the brine. Weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover and refrigerate for 8-16 hours. Turn the bird once half way through brining. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from the brine and rinse with cold water. Discard brine.
4. Place turkey on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and water and microwave on high for five minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings under the bird and coat the outside and inside of the skin liberally with a stick of butter.
5. Roast the turkey on the lowest oven rack at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Set the thermometer alarm to 161 degrees. A 14-16 pound bird should require a total of 2-2 ½ hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil for 15 minutes before carving. Garnish the serving platter with Nebraska Apples, rosemary sprigs and sage leaves.


Kathy McKillip’s Stuffing

(courtsey of Grandma Davis)

16 cups Stale dry cubed white bread - about two loaves
2 Onions
2 cups Celery
Turkey giblets
1 stick Butter
2 Tbs Sage
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
3 cups Chicken broth
3 Eggs

1. Combine the turkey giblets and one sliced onion with three cups of water in a sauce pan and boil for 30 minutes.
2. Chop the other onion and celery to equal two cups.
3. Melt the butter and add the onion and celery. Saute the onions and celery until clear then add this to the cubed bread along with the turkey
stock and chicken broth.
4. When combined, stir in the sage and three wisked eggs and combine with stuffing.
5. Transfer to a buttered baking dish and bake for 30 minutes (covered) at 350 degrees, don’t be afraid to add a little butter on top of the dressing. Remove cover and bake for 20 more minutes at 350.

Serves four. Preparation time: 30 mins


Heather Hogue’s Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots

1 lb Fresh greens beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Tbs Water
2 Tbs Olive oil
1/3 cup Sliced shallots (2 medium)
¾ lb Assorted fresh mushrooms (we recommend Nebraska Mushroom in Grand Island) or you can visit your local grocer for (button, baby bella, shitake, oyster) sliced.
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Fresh ground black pepper

1. Put green beans in a microwave-safe bowl with the water. Cover tightly and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Carefully remove the cover, drain in a colander, shaking off any excess water and set aside.
2. While the beans are cooking, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened
slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water they release has evaporated and they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the green beans and stir to combine and rewarm.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Serves six. Preparation time: 15-30 minutes.


Alex Duryea’s Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread mix
2 Eggs
2/3 cup 2% milk
4 Jalapenos (chopped) (leave core for hotter muffins)
4-6 Tbs Maple syrup (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix ingredients together until batter is still lumpy and allow to sit for four minutes.
3. Prepare muffin pan(s) for batter.
4. Pour batter in pan and bake for 14-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 muffins. Preparation time: 15 mins


Best Banana Bars by Heather Hogue

½ cup butter

1 and ½ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 cups flour

2 very ripe bananas


Cream butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and mix well. Add mashed bananas. Bake in a jelly roll pan (10x15) at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. For additional sweetness, frost with cream cheese frosting once cooled. Recipe for cream cheese frosting: 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature), ¼ cup butter (room temperature), 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 16 oz powdered sugar. Mix well. Sit back and enjoy!


Corn Casserole by Amanda Barker

1 can cream style corn

1 can whole kernel corn (un-drained)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 stick butter

½ cup green pepper, diced **optional**

8 oz. sour cream

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Salt & pepper, to taste

8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Melt butter in large casserole dish; stir in corn.
  2. Add eggs, green pepper, sour cream and muffin mix. Stir well.
  3. Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese (liberally, in my case!) and return to oven for 10 minutes.   


Caramel Apple Dip by Liza Karnatz

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

½ cup of brown sugar

4 tsp. vanilla


Cut up the apples (use fruit fresh to keep them from turning brown).

Dip apples in caramel apple dip.


Cranberry Pecan Feta Salad by Angela White

Serves 12

18 cups of chopped romaine

½ cup of crumbled feta cheese

½ cup of dried cranberries

½ cup of chopped pecans

Dress to your liking with your favorite Raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

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