Looking for new ideas for your holiday menu?

London resident Tim Wilson pulls a pan of ham loaf from the oven. He follows the same recipe his mother and grandmother used before him.
London resident Tim Wilson pulls a pan of ham loaf from the oven. He follows the same recipe his mother and grandmother used before him.

(Posted Dec. 21, 2015)

Looking for inspiration for your Christmas and New Year’s menus? The Madison Messenger asked area residents to share some of their favorite holiday recipes.



Shared by Carol Beachy, West Jefferson

Carol Beachy’s family and friends can’t get enough of this crunchy snack. She makes multiple batches every December. Her sons take it to college and work. She shares it with visitors to West Jefferson’s Christmas in the Park and with her employees at West Jefferson Hardware. Her daughter-in-law even takes it to her family’s game night.


1 bag Crunchy Cheetos

1 bag Chili-flavored Frito corn chips

1 medium bag twisty, miniature pretzels

1 small box Corn Chex cereal

1 small box Honey Comb cereal

1 cup butter (not margarine), melted

2 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt

2 T Worcestershire sauce

Mix the Cheetos, corn chips, pretzels, and cereals together in a large metal mixing bowl. Combine the butter, garlic salt, seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce, then pour over the chip/cereal mixture. Stir well. Bake in the bowl at 325 degrees. Stir every 5 minutes up to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool.


Shared by Nanette Willard, London

Nanette Willard remembers having her first Tom & Jerry, minus the alcohol, when she was 6 or 7 years old. The drink is a fixture on her family’s holiday menu, filling mugs from Christmas eve through New Year’s Day.

“It started with my grandfather, E.P. Speasmaker. His son, Ned, carried on the tradition. And now Ned’s great-nephew, Scott Willard, makes them with Ned’s direction,” she said.


1 dozen eggs, separated

1 lb. powdered sugar

1/2 pint whipping cream


Hot water



Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick. Beat egg whites separately until stiff. Fold egg whites into yolk/sugar mixture. Beat the whipping cream separately, then fold it into the egg/sugar mixture. To serve, put one ladle of the batter into a mug. Add one jigger of bourbon and enough hot water to fill the mug. Finish it off with a dash of rum and a sprinkle of nutmeg.



Shared by Fonda Rouse, Mount Sterling

This Pampered Chef recipe has been a Christmas tradition at the Rouse house for about five years. “My family gobbles them up, and I give them as gifts to neighbors and extended family,” Fonda said.


Tart shells

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add flour until soft dough forms. Shape dough into one-inch balls. Place in ungreased cups of mini-muffin pan. Dip tart shaper in flour; press into dough with even pressure until dough rises slightly above rim of pan.


2 T butter or margarine, melted

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Powdered sugar (optional)

Using a small scoop, fill each shell. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool three minutes in pan, then remove to a cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.



Shared by Tim Wilson, London

Tim Wilson is the third generation in his family to make this ham loaf recipe. He follows in the footsteps of his mother, Betty Wilson, and grandmother, Maxie Weimer, who made it for every major holiday throughout the year. Recipe tip: Order the ham loaf base from Clark’s Market in Urbana. “They know exactly what to do,” he said. This recipe makes 12 individual portion loaves.

3 lbs. of ham loaf base (50 percent lean, smoked ham and 50 percent lean pork, ground together)

Mix into the base:

2 eggs

1 cup crushed Ritz crackers

1 cup of milk

1 T of Lawry’s seasoned salt

1 dash onion powder


Heap 1/2 cup of mixed meat into small loaves onto your favorite sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown on top. Place enough water in the pan to cover the bottom.


2 cups of brown sugar

2 16-oz. cans of crushed pineapple

1 or 2 T liquid mustard, depending on taste desired

Bring glaze to a boil. Place over ham loaves and bake at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes.



Share by the Madison County Cattlemen’s Association

Part of the Madison County Cattlemen’s Association mission is the promotion of beef to consumers. To that end, the non-profit group recommends this brisket recipe as a great way to incorporate beef into your holiday meal. The award-winning dish by Jeanne Neer of Champaign County is part of a book of beef recipes compiled by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.


3 lbs. lean beef brisket

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. celery salt

1/2 envelope onion soup mix

1 tsp. salt plus a little pepper

Pull off a 26-inch length of foil and place in center of roasting pan. Sprinkle part of onion soup mix in bottom of foil. Place brisket in pan and sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the beef. Close, seal and bake at 325 degrees for three hours. Serve with horseradish sauce or other favorite sauces.

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