A taste of some culinary students' favorite holiday recipes.

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Joey O'Kelly

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LHS’s cooking class students are celebrating the holiday season the only way they know how to: by perfecting all their favorite recipes, of course! We whipped up their perfected recipes to test them out for ourselves.

Cranberry Sauce

I can-berry easily make this recipe. It took me about 30 minutes to make but 10 of those were me pausing to take pictures. Let’s be real, isn’t taking pictures for your Instagram the best part of cooking? If you’re looking for some coloring-popping, semi-healthy looking and looks-difficult-to-make-but-is-actually-very-easy food, then this is the way to go. I’m going to be honest – this cranberry sauce is an acquired taste. There’s a sweet start in your mouth but once you bite into them you are hit with the tartness of the berries. Normally this wouldn’t bother me but it was a little too tart. To fix it, I sprinkled a small amount of sugar on top of the berries in order to help balance out the sweetness and tartness – this worked like a charm. After eating, I was left longing for some Thanksgiving turkey to pair with it: a true match made in heaven. With this recipe, I am thankful for how easy it was to make something so vibrant and bold, yet classic and simple.

Sweet Potato Casserole

   While I do enjoy the traditional mashed potatoes, this sweet potato casserole is a festive and creative alternative. This was not very difficult to make but in comparison to the other three recipes it was the most technically difficult and detail-oriented. This dish took the longest to make out of all of the recipes; most of this was waiting for the sweet potatoes to cook. Once they were ready, the rest was a piece of cake – well, piece of casserole. My personal favorite part of the process was chopping of pecans. Something about swiftly cutting through them made me feel like the iron chef I desire to be. It was very satisfying. While the raw and mushy sweet potatoes may not have been the most visually appealing, the taste was incredible. The most defining quality of dish was the contrast in textures. The smooth and creamy sweet potato base put together with the hearty crunch of the pecan topping was a sheer delight.


These snickerdoodles were out there looking like a snack on my counter and I loved it. I found myself popping these cookies like chips. They truly were incredible and fun to make. Who doesn’t enjoy playing with dough and rolling it until you get the perfectly sized sphere? I sure do. This sweet treat is perfect for any time of year but will definitely be a hit for the entire family at Thanksgiving dinner. The recipe made a large amount of cookie dough causing me to have to make two batches. In order to get a variety of cookie types, I made one batch crunchier by leaving it in the oven longer and the other batch chewier by taking it out sooner. Turns out I don’t have a preference, I just like cookies. The texture was quite similar to that of sugar cookies, just with some cinnamon and sugar sprinkled within. You can never go wrong with cinnamon and sugar. Be careful with these, you might accidentally eat 12 before you even realize it.

Pumpkin Pie

It came as no sur-pies to me that this was my favorite dish out of all of them. The pumpkin flavor is a staple to the fall season and Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the complete without pumpkin pie. Baking this made me feel like I was in an episode of the Great British Baking Show and in any minute the judges would come out to tell me how good my bake was. Baking pies truly gives you a sense of sophistication, class and elegance. Similar to the sweet potato casserole, raw pumpkin isn’t exactly the best-looking ingredient. However, when combined with ground cloves and ginger, it sure did smell good. The hardest part of baking this was rolling out the pie crust. Be very careful and go slowly as to not puncture the crust. After that, it was smooth sailing for an hour in the oven. After taking the pie out of the oven and letting it set for about an hour, I finally got to try it; it was worth the wait. Partnered with my good friend whipped cream, this pumpkin pie swept me off my feet – literally. I ate so much and had to lie down and nap shortly after. Enjoy this pumpkin pie but be sure to schedule a free hour after you’re done baking it – you’re going to need a nap.

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