Every family has their own holiday traditions, but I’d be lying if I said my family’s weren’t the best. OK, sure, maybe everyone feels that way about their own family Christmases — but they haven’t been to mine. In addition to a pretty intense game of white elephant, our Christmas holiday is full of traditional family recipes straight from the old country.
You see, in 1992, my family put together a cookbook of family recipes titled “Guten Appetit.” In addition to then-modern casserole dishes and a few joke recipes for chicken wings and boxed brownies, this recipe collection preserved classic family dishes, passed on from generation to generation. And because I’m a woman who loves sharing her family’s traditions with others, I present these eight recipes straight from that book.
Because my family is of German descent, you’ll notice these eight dishes are heavily eastern European despite the fact that I grew up in Akron, Ohio. Yes, that means there is plenty of sauerkraut, potatoes and baked goods with names so long you can’t even begin to try and spell them. And there’s no shortage of butter, meat, cheese or sugar in these recipes. And a few fun cocktails, because no holiday is complete without a shot in the Menyes family book. Literally.
If you’re feeling a little under the weather this holiday season, just make you and yours a batch of glühwein. After a few glasses of this spiced wine cocktail, you will you forget all about whatever ails you.
No holiday in my family’s household is complete without a shot of kümmel schnapps, a sweet spin on vodka flavored with sugar and caraway.
My grandma’s lasagna has been a family favorite since forever, and no celebration is complete without it. The key? More meat and cheese than you could ever imagine.
Think of this recipe as a German lasagna of sort. With pork, sauerkraut and plenty of sour cream, this is not a light holiday recipe.
These twice-baked potatoes take a lot of time and effort, but the end result is beyond worth it. My family only makes these for the holidays, and they’re worth waiting for all year long.
No Menyes family gathering is complete without these Hungarian potatoes. With just salt, pepper, paprika and onion, they’re simple and simply delicious.
Also called nusskolacha, this festive nut roll has been on my family’s dessert tables through every holiday and wedding celebration.
This cookie recipe actually comes from the other side of my family, but they’ve become a must-have at Menyes family holidays. They’re the standout cookie on any holiday platter, and just one of many scrumptious holiday treats from around the world.
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