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Nebraska Furniture Mart | December 12, 2018

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Taste Testing 5 Easy Holiday Recipes

Taste Testing 5 Easy Holiday Recipes
Jordan Masten

As you read in part one of our blogger night recap, we hosted a holiday meet and greet for our bloggers and the first portion was a holiday tablescaping done by our Design Gallery experts. During the second portion of our evening together we had chef Lorrie Orman cook up some delicious recipes for our bloggers to taste test.

Holiday Tasting Sign    Crowd & Chef


They also had the opportunity to hear her speak on small appliances, kitchen gadgets, food prepping, convection ovens and more. Below are the recipes Lorrie cooked up and oh boy were they delicious! The Spicy Cajun Shrimp and Jalapeno Popper Dip are quick and easy appetizers to whip up for your next holiday party, the dip seemed to be a fan favorite! For the main courses, she prepared a Honey-Butter Baked Chicken and a Sweet Potato Casserole, which was my personal favorite. Lastly, Lorrie served her favorite dessert – the Hawaiian Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Overall, the bloggers left full and with a handful of great decorating ideas and some new recipe cards for their cookbooks!

Crowd Only

Spicy Cajun Shrimp


1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon Cajun or creole seasoning

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley, minced

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Pinch of cayenne

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Whisk together the first seven ingredients in a 9 by 13 baking dish.

Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Transfer to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are just cooked


Creole Seasoning

Makes 1 Cup

1/3 cup paprika

2 tablespoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons ground black pepper 2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons kosher sal,t 1tablespoons cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon granulated onion

4 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons granulated garlic


In a medium bowl combine paprika, dried oregano, ground black pepper, dried basil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme, and granulated garlic. Stir to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.

Jalapeno Popper Dip


1 Cup Real Bacon Bits

2 8-oz Packages of cream cheese, soft 1cup of mayonnaise

2 Cups of Sliced Jalapeno, chopped fine 1cup of cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 Cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded 1/4 cup diced green onion


1 Cup of crushed Ritz crackers 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 Stick of butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir well.

Transfer to an oven proof dish. The size of the dish depends on how thick the dip is. The thicker the dip the longer it may need to warm up. I used this stoneware dish that is round and measures 12 inches across. My dip is usually about an inch thick.

Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle all over the top of the dip. Bake the dip for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Honey-Butter Baked Chicken


4 Chicken Breasts, rinsed and patted dry

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 Teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

6 Tablespoons honey

1 Lemon, zested

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon room temperature unsalted butter 1tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Mashed Sweet Potatoes (recipe follows directions)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange a rack inside a large roasting pan and set aside.

Season the chicken both inside and out with the kosher salt and black pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the honey, lemon zest and juice and butter. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan breast side up and roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Using a pastry brush, brush half of the honey mixture over the chicken, as well as sprinkling half the thyme over the chicken and return the chicken to the oven. Continue to cook another 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the oven and brush the remaining honey blend and sprinkle the remainder of the thyme over the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a platter or cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Drizzle the chicken with any remaining pan juices and serve immediately with the sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole


Potato Mixture:

3 Cups drained canned sweet potatoes

2 eggs

1stick butter 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Topping Mixture: 1cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup soft butter 1cup pecans or walnuts


Mix potato mixture together with an electric mixer. Spread into buttered 9×13 pan or individual baking dishes.  Crumble mixture topping evenly over the top.  Bake at 350 F in the oven for 35-45 minutes.

This can be made ahead and baked when you are ready to use.

Hawaiian Banana Cake



2 Cups Sugar

1 Cup Walnuts

3 Eggs Beaten

1 Cup Oil

1 tsp. Vanilla

1(8 oz) Can Crushed Pineapple (drained)

1/2 Cup Coconut

1 Cup Ripe Bananas


1 Cup Flour

1 tsp. backing soda

1 tsp. salt


Combine:  sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, pineapple, coconut and bananas. Add:  Flour, soda, salt, and nuts

Bake at 350 degrees F in an oven for 45-50 minutes in a 9 x 13 greased & floured pan.

Top with Caramel Sauce and a scoop of Ice Cream.

Caramel Sauce


1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Whipping Cream

1/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup

3 Tablespoons Butter

1 Cup chopped walnuts


Bring first four ingredients to a rolling boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and add chopped nuts.

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