Some of Our Favorite Holiday Treats

Are you having a party this weekend? Or attending one? Here are a few of our favorite foodstuffs for the season.



  • Looking for a last minute food theme? Jeff and I love to feast it up New Orleans style. On the menu? I make a big pot of gumbo (here is my favorite crock-pot recipe, from Better Homes and Gardens. It saves a little time but you still have to make a roux), Jeff does the etouffee, and together we artfully construct trays of muffuletta sandwiches. We used to always order our olive salad from the place we fell in love with the sandwich—The Central Grocery in New Orleans; but they have recently stopped shipping the good stuff. Fortunately, we’ve been able to find some alternatives locally, but one year, we ventured to make our own and it was the best ever. I’m including a recipe from someone named Marie Gattuso (though I don’t know who she is, I’ve just had this recipe in my recipe box forever), if you’d like to try it.

italian olive relish

  • Need a special beverage to serve at the party? If you’re not a fan of the traditional Hurricane (and I’m not) you might try this festive White Christmas Sangria. Not only is it sweet and refreshing, it’s beautiful on your Christmas table.
  • Do you need a quick sweet treat to take to the neighbors or give to office friends? My white-chocolate M&M pretzels always please. They are quick and easy to make and the only complaints I’ve ever heard is that people can’t stop eating them. I walk you through them on this post.

more pretzels


  • Finally, the Laity Lodge Almond Bars. These easy cookies created quite a stir among The High Calling editors the first time we visited the canyon. Tim never disappoints us, but these were DIVINE. Can you say buttery goodness that melts in your mouth? Some of us have been having a conversation on voxer about the best recipe for these babies, and Charity Singleton Craig and Tina Miller Howard helped us piece together the procedure. I made some this morning and my taste buds are happy. My Christmas gift to you:


laity lodge cookies


  1. says

    This Costa Rican missionary from New Orleans is so unbelievably happy to see Central Grocery and muffalettas in your post! I love it. Also, we made those Laity Lodge cookies but with pecans every year in my house growing up. So they’re kind of New Orleans too! I might have to find a missionary kitchen adaptation since now I am craving them.

    • says

      Laissez les bon temps roulez, Colleen! I bet Christmas in New Orleans is a beautiful sight :). And I’m guessing Costa Rica ain’t too shabby either :). Hugs to you from a West Virginia girl who is in love with your city.


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