Meals & Music with the Maestro Holidays

Holiday Cooking pictures
Holiday Cooking Experience Card pt 2

The Music:

Joy to the World
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Rocket Sleigh
Concerto Grosso in G Minor
The First Noel
The Christmas Song
O Come All Ye Faithful
What Child Is This?
The Kwanzaa Song
Chanukah Glow
Santa Claus, Christmas Symphony
A Cradle in Bethlehem

Roasted Chicken

Submitted by Matthew Troy


4 pound whole chicken, at room temperature giblets and neck removed from cavity*
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup white wine, (OPTIONAL) -- use a dry wine like a Sauv blanc or
1 lemon, halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 head of garlic roughly peeled and cut in half horizontally through the middle crosswise
3 fresh whole rosemary sprigs


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray with foil, or lightly grease a roasting pan.
  2. Discard the neck from inside the cavity and remove any excess fat and leftover feathers. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Pour the olive oil, melted butter, wine (if using) and the juice of half a lemon over the chicken, under the skin and inside the cavity. Season chicken liberally on the outside and inside the cavity with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the parsley.
  4. Rub the minced garlic over the chicken, mixing all ingredients together over the chicken and under the skin.
  5. Stuff the garlic head into the chicken cavity along with the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halve. Tie legs together with kitchen string.
  6. Place breast-side up into a baking tray or roasting pan. Roast for approx. 80 minutes, basting half way through cooking time, until juices run clear when chicken thigh is pierced with a skewer. 
  7. Baste again, then broil for a further 2-3 minutes, until golden.
  8. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve, drizzled with pan juices and remaining lemon half cut into wedges or slices.

Brussel Sprouts

Submitted by Matthew Troy


3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 bacon strips, chopped and cooked to crispy
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. To make the bacon Brussels sprouts: Preheat your oven to 400ºF.  Grease a cast-iron skillet with (at least) 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and toss to combine. 
  3. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to the cast iron skillet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400ºF (200ºC) for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn the Brussels sprouts over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely browned.
  4. In the skillet, combine the roasted Brussels sprouts, crispy bacon, and chopped dried cranberries, and mix to combine. Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and toss to combine. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Cranberry Relish

Submitted by Dona Chevrette


2 small bags of fresh cranberries. 
1 large orange wedged...leave a couple of the wedges unpeeled
1 large red delicious apple...peel on
1 small packet of orange jello


You’ll need a meat grinder and large bowl.

Put the cranberries in the freezer for a couple of hours before making.

Feed everything though the meat grinder, mixing the fruits as you feed.

Once everything is ground add the orange jello powder and mix.

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Should make about a dozen jelly jars of relish.

Gingerbread People

Submitted by Helena Hoyle

1 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 tablespoons vinegar

Thoroughly cream shortening with sugar, stir in egg, molasses and vinegar - beat well.

Dry stuff: 

5 cups sifted flours
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons of ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves


Sift together dry ingredients.  Stir into molasses mixture.  Chill at least 3 hours.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough (⅛ inch or so) and cut with gingerbread shaped cookie cutters.  Place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Use red cinnamon candies for faces and buttons. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes.  Cool on rack.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.  Decorate with confectioners sugar icing. 


2 cups confectioners sugar

Enough light cream to allow mixture to go through a pastry tube.

Decorate - Enjoy!

Peppermint White Russian

Submitted by Dillon Warren


Peppermint Vodka
Peppermint Kaluha
Half and Half
Candy canes (2-3)
White chocolate syrup


  1. Dip the rim of the glass in white chocolate syrup and into crushed peppermints
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine 3 ounces of peppermint vodka, 1.5 ounces of peppermint Kaluha and 1.5 ounces of half and half. Stir to combine.
  3. Add ice to your glass; then pour in your cocktail.
  4. Garnish with a candy cane.

Mulled Wine

Submitted by Ingrid Keller


1 bottle red wine
1 cup apple cider
1 navel orange, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
8 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods or ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
2-4 tablespoons honey or sugar


Combine all ingredients into a crockpot or large saucepan. Allow to simmer, never boiling, for at least one hour. Remove spices and orange slices. Serve warm in heat-proof mugs.

Want more holiday spirit? Add some brandy or orange liqueur.

Need the family-friendly version? Substitute red wine with 2 cups apple cider, 1 cup cranberry juice

Optional: Garnish with fresh oranges slices, extra cinnamon stick or star anise

The Sharpe House Standing Rib Roast

Submitted by Keith Rhyne of the Sharpe House in Statesville, NC.

One of the most iconic cuts of beef for a feast is a roast of prime rib. The best flavor comes from roasts with the bone-in. It’s tender and juicy and is at its best when cooked to medium rare and then  rested. Below is my favorite recipe with my blend of spices and a fool proof method of cooking it to perfection.


One bone-in standing rib roast (a boneless Prime Rib will work as well)  Know the weight of your roast.  Take the roast out of the refrigerator and let stand for 3 hours to get it to room temperature. Having the roast at room temperature will allow for more even cooking.

Adjust your oven racks to accommodate the roast.
Preheat Oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit


     2 Tablespoons Sea Salt
     1 Tablespoon Coarse Black Pepper
     1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic (I love squeeze bottles of already prepared!)
     2 teaspoons of crushed Rosemary
     1 teaspoon of rubbed sage
     1 teaspoon of thyme

     Mix all the seasonings together to create a rub for the roast.

1 cup softened salted butter 

 Mix the seasonings into the butter creating a compound butter. Apply the butter liberally all over the roast. Place into the 500 degree oven and cook for 5 minutes per pound. An 8 pound roast will cook for 40 minutes. (Round ounces up to the next pound).  

 When the roast has cooked the required time for its weight, turn the oven OFF. Do not open the oven for TWO Hours. At the end of the 2 hours, you will have a perfect roast ready for slicing away from the bone and savoring!

Crown Sauce 

A delicious horseradish sauce on the side.

    1 Jar of grated horseradish
    1 Block Cream Cheese, softened
    ¼  cup sour cream
    2 Tablespoons Dill Weed Fresh or Dried

  Mix all of the ingredients well until you have a thick rich dipping sauce. This recipe can be doubled for more servings, as well as adding more horseradish to taste.

Au Jus! The finishing touch. 

 I make this in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of drippings from the roasting pan, 3 cups of boiling water and 4 heaping tablespoons of  beef base bouillon. I also add 1 heaping tablespoon of onion powder. Bring to a boil and then simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

This meal is usually served at the Historic Sharpe House with traditional mashed potatoes, Sugar Dill Glazed Baby Carrots, Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts and a yeast Roll. 

Prime Rib

Submitted by Luke Benton


A few days in advance, call the butcher in your favorite local grocery store. I’ve used Ingles—they often have a sale around Christmas—and Lowe’s Food with great success. Ask the butcher for the size rib roast you want and request it trimmed and tied, which means they take the bone off for you but tie it in place. You’ll cook the meat with the bone attached, which adds flavor. Take a picture of the weight of your prime rib. 

Approximately 18- 24 hours before cooking, unwrap the meat and put it in the refrigerator. This is a good time to figure out the timing of the cooking process. To figure out how much time to roast the prime rib, multiply the weight by 5 minutes. (I roast my 8 lb. prime rib for 40 minutes.)   

It helps me on busy days like Christmas to write out the process and set timers in my phone to keep me on schedule.  

Day-Of Timing  

3 hours before cooking: take the meat out of the refrigerator and put in on the roasting pan to get room temp 

1.5 hours before cooking: preheat your oven to 500º and season very generously with salt and pepper all over 

Cook time: put your prime rib in the oven fat side up for the designated length of time (weight times 5 minutes) 

At the end of the cook time: turn the oven off and do not open the oven for two hours. 

Two hours later: at a perfect medium rare, the prime rib is ready to carve and enjoy.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Submitted by Chris Coffey

Baby potatoes
Olive oil
Maple syrup

Note: You can make this dish pop visually by purchasing unusual variations on these vegetables. For example, a mix of purple, yellow, and orange carrots.


  1. Chop vegetables - Get creative with how you chop each type of vegetable. The differences in size will create a variety of charred, soft, and crispy textures.
  2. Blanch the carrots, potatoes, and rutabaga (boil for five minutes then transfer to a strainer to dry)
  3. Move vegetables to a tray (or more likely, multiple trays). Add salt, pepper, oil, rosemary, and thyme.
  4. Cook at 450 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes. Drizzle maple syrup (sparingly!) then return to the oven for ten more minutes.
  5. Plate on a serving dish and enjoy!

Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling

Submitted by Dona Chevrette



5 lbs of mashed  potatoes
Up to 2 cups of warm milk
Up to 1 stick of salted butter


4 sticks of butter

The leaves from one head of celery

1 medium onion

1 loaf of toasted white bread


Cut the toasted bread into cubes

Chop the onion and celery leaves

In a large skillet...melt 4 sticks of butter on medium-high heat

Add onion and celery leaves

Cook until onion is clearing

Add the toast cubes and stir until all the cubes have touched the butter mixture.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is browned...ok, fried.  

The filling can be made ahead of time. 

This recipe is best served right away and to serve it warm reheat the filling [not in the microwave] and heat the milk before making the mashed potatoes.

Once you have made the mashed potatoes just fold in the bread mixture and serve

Shortcut: you can use packaged stuffing cubes but they do not absorb the butter mixture as well

Or you can make fake potato filling and just make mashed potatoes and make stove top stuffing and mix them together.  This is a quick week day fix.  The full recipe is the best though, but because of the process I only do it at holidays. 

Best way to reheat: put a pad of butter on a serving and reheat in the microwave.  That’s right...more butter!

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