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Family Holiday Recipes from The Wharf

December 6, 2019

Ever wonder why the holiday season makes everyone so jolly? Being around family and friends is wonderful, but we think it might be all the delicious food that we get to share together.

Maybe you have that one recipe that is your go-to for the holidays, but maybe you’re looking for a recipe to begin a new holiday tradition. We’ve gathered some of our personal family favorites from the staff here at The Wharf, and we’d love to share them with you and your family!

Start the holiday off right with the best pecan cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing recipe from Kayla, our graphic designer. This gooey goodness makes for an incredible breakfast!


Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing (Makes 12 Rolls)


• 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
• 1 c warm water (slightly warmer than lukewarm, around 110º-115º degrees)
• 2 tbs granulated sugar
• 3 c all-purpose flour, plus a little more for rolling out the dough
• 2 tbs butter, melted, plus a little more for buttering bowl and baking dish
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 1/2 tsp salt

• 2 c pecans, roughly chopped
• 3/4 c packed dark brown sugar
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

• 4 oz cream cheese, softened
• 2 c powdered sugar
• 1/4 c milk
• 1/2 tsp vanilla


Starting with the dough: combine yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the yeast "bloom" – let it get slightly foamy. If the yeast doesn't bloom, the water might be too warm or the yeast could be bad. Place the dough hook on the mixer and add the rest of the dough ingredients – flour, melted butter, egg and salt. Knead on medium-low speed for about four minutes or until the dough forms a ball and easily releases from the sides of the bowl.

Butter a large bowl and transfer the dough into the bowl. Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.

Preheat oven to 375ºF and butter a 9"x13" baking dish.

For the filling, combine pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and melted butter in a medium bowl. Set aside.

When the dough is ready, punch down to release the air and roll it into a 12"x16" rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread out the filling onto the dough, leaving about a 1/2" border.

Starting at one of the short sides, roll the dough from one end to the other and then slice into 12 rolls. Place the rolls cut-side up in three rows of four in the prepared baking dish. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise one more time for about 45 minutes. Once doubled in size, uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top.

For the cream cheese icing blend the softened cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (it's important that the cream cheese is completely softened or the icing will be lumpy). Then add the milk and mix until smooth. Spread icing on warm cinnamon rolls and serve!


Lauren, our social media gal, brings us her family’s go-to recipe for the holidays: a snowman cheese ball! How cute is that?

Snowman Cheeseball


2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese (sit out to soften)
1 1-ounce packet of dry ranch seasoning mix
1-2 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese (this is on your preference of cheesy-ness – my family are cheese fans)
Cut up deli honey ham (optional)
3-4 stalks of green onions chopped (optional)
9 peppercorns
1 small carrot


Mix the cut up honey ham, green onions, dry ranch mix, ½ cup of mozzarella into the cream cheese.

Roll cream cheese into two balls, one smaller than the other. Roll each ball in the finely shredded mozzarella cheese, then build your snowman: Add peppercorns for eyes, mouth, and buttons, then a little shred of carrot for the nose.

Arrange on a plate with crackers, bagel chips, etc. (My sister says this would be great with a jar of pepper jelly! You can grab some at Pepper Palace.)

Main Meal

Cindy, our manager of sponsorship & premium seating, is a big fan of her family recipe for jambalaya!

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (Serves 10)


1 lb smoked sausage, thinly sliced
2 tbs olive oil
2/3 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup chopped fresh parley
1 cup chopped celery
2 16 oz cans tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped green onion
1 ½ tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tsp oregano
1tbl creole seasoning*
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup raw long grain converted rice, washed
3 lbs medium raw shrimp, peeled and washed

*A mixture of salt, red pepper, black pepper, chili powder and garlic powder.


Preheat oven to 350.

In a 4-quart heavy pot, sauté until firm and remove with slotted spoon. Add olive oil to drippings and sauté green pepper, garlic, parsley and celery for 5 minutes.

Chop tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Add tomatoes, tomato liquid, chicken broth and green onion to the pot.

Stir in all the spices. Add the rice (which has been washed and rinsed three times). Add the sausage and cook for 30 minutes, covered on low heat. Stir occasionally so that the rice doesn’t stick.

After most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink. Transfer mixture to an oblong casserole dish and bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes.

Side Dish

And don’t forget, it’s not a holiday without the casseroles! Jade, our event coordinator, was kind enough to share her family’s Cranberry Casserole!

Cranberry Casserole


1 bag of cranberries
1 to 2 fuji apples chopped in bites
2/3 cup of flour
¾ cup sugar
1 stick of butter melted
½ cup brown sugar
3 packs of apple cinnamon oatmeal


Combine cranberries, apples and sugar in a bowl, pour into a 9x13 casserole dish. In a separate bowl, make the topping by mixing the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon oatmeal packs. Then top the fruit mixture.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.


You can’t have a holiday gathering without pie, of course. This recipe also comes from Lauren, our social media gal.

Old Fashioned Cream Pie


1-pint heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1 pie crust


Mix all the ingredients into a pot. Cook all ingredients on the stove top until it coats a wooden spoon. It is extremely important to stay and stir this mix while it is cooking, don’t let it burn!

Let cool and pour into the unbacked pie shell. Bake at 250 for 1 hour, then serve.

We hope you enjoy all these fantastic family recipes from our staff here at The Wharf! May all your Christmas meals turn out to be amazing!

Family Holiday Recipes from The Wharf

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