A full menu for fun-filled holiday festivities

AmNews Staff Reports | 10/17/2019, 12:39 p.m.
When holiday gatherings turn into all-day events, having meals ready from morning to night becomes an important part of seasonal ...
Black Forest Cake Contributed

When holiday gatherings turn into all-day events, having meals ready from morning to night becomes an important part of seasonal hosting. Starting with breakfast through the main course followed by a savory dessert, a full day of celebration calls for a variety of dishes.

To help keep your crowd fueled for a wide range of activities, consider these recipes for Hot Cocoa Pancakes to get your morning started, Browned Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash to pair with a holiday ham and Black Forest cake to end the festivities on a high note.

Begin the holiday with a family breakfast

With so many activities scheduled and places to be during the holidays, starting the morning with a filling breakfast can help set your family on the path to enjoyable moments with loved ones.

These Hot Cocoa Pancakes require little time in the kitchen, leaving you more time to spend with the family before hitting the road or working on decorations for seasonal gatherings. Made with Aunt Jemima pancake mix, containing no artificial coloring or flavors, this recipe makes it simple to put breakfast on the table quickly while still achieving a meal full of flavor.

Hot Cocoa Pancakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: Two minutes per pancake

Yield: 12 pancakes (3 per serving)

2 tablespoons unsweetened

cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup 2% or non-fat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2cups Aunt Jemima Original Complete or Buttermilk Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix

1/4 cup water

marshmallow spread (optional)

chocolate syrup (optional)

Aunt Jemima Syrup (optional)

Heat skillet over medium-low heat or electric griddle to 375 F.

In microwave-safe bowl, mix cocoa powder, sugar, milk and vanilla until well combined. Heat in microwave 30 seconds, or until warm. Stir again to ensure mixture is combined.

Combine cocoa mixture, pancake mix and water. Stir until large lumps disappear (do not beat or overmix). If batter is too thick, add additional 1-2 tablespoons water.

Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter onto lightly greased skillet or griddle. Cook 90 seconds, or until bubbles appear on surface. Turn and cook additional 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter.

Top pancakes with marshmallow spread and drizzle chocolate syrup, or top with syrup.

Party-perfect potatoes

Almost every holiday meal calls for side dishes to complement the main course, and as one of the most versatile base ingredients available, potatoes often provide home chefs with a multitude of options.

Served mashed, fried, scalloped, sliced, diced, boiled, roasted or just about any style in-between, potatoes are ideal for matching with the centerpiece of your family meal. These Browned Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash call for Wisconsin yellow-flesh potatoes to achieve a dense, creamy texture with their just-buttered appearance.

Browned Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

1 pound (3 medium) Wisconsin yellow-flesh potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks

1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks


1teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided