The holidays are official! The holidays are official on Thanksgivings Eve when people are really beginning to rush around getting everything ready for Thanksgiving day. For most people, this means food. How much food? That is the question. I know in my home, there was 5 different types of stuffing, 2 types of turkey, roast beef, and 3 slightly different green bean casseroles sitting right next to the freshly picked green beans.

Main dishes, side dishes, appetizers, and snacks galore. One of the most stressful part of the season is finding new and exciting holiday recipes to share with your friends and family. It is understandable, your family is coming over, and every year the family is served the same old dishes, sometimes you just want to shake things up and give people something new to try. So here begins the search, and the staff of MD Resort wants to try to help you by sharing some of our favorite holiday recipes with you.

This is going to be a 3 part blog series, each blog is going to share 2 recipes. Enjoy, and good cooking!!!

Homemade cranberry sauce

1 C. whiskey
1/4 C. minced shallot
½ orange zest and ½ lemon zest (You can go with one or the other if you do not have both.)
12 oz. fresh cranberries, washed
1 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat whiskey, shallots, and zest in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer around 10 minutes. Whiskey reduces to a thin glaze, and the alcohol cooks out after around 5 minutes leaving pure flavor!

3. Stir in cranberries and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until most of the berries have burst and the sauce has thickened. Stir often.

4. It takes 10 to 20 minutes for sauce to cook down and thicken.

5. Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold in a pretty bowl!!

Side Note – the whiskey can be replaced with bourbon depending on what is in your cabinet. The alcohol does cook out after about 5 minutes of being cooked, and you can use just lemon, or orange zest depending on personal tastes and what is in the fridge. The two together create a great slight contrast of flavors.

Mashed Potato Bake

Side Note – This recipe is a 2 part process. Each part is simple, and if you give it a little bit of time, then it is an easy recipe to follow,

Go ahead and preheat oven to 375°F. 1st thing you need to do is roast your garlic, while your garlic is roasting, (takes about 45 minutes) you can start the mashed potato bake.

How to roast your garlic


6 heads of garlic

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves.
  3. Lightly rub back and forth to remove paper and peel any excess paper off.
  4. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves and let soak for 10 minutes.
  5. Cover with foil and roast in a baking dish for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Let cool, then squeeze from the bottom of the garlic head to remove caramelized cloves.

Note – Roasting your garlic makes it sweet and savory, sooo good, Kicks your mashed potato bake into the holiday recipe that legends are made of. People will be begging for your recipe, and dreaming about this year round till the holiday seasons roll back around!!! Best part? You can eat what you do not use in the recipe.

Mashed Potato Bake Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 lbs. peeled and diced russet potatoes

10-12 cloves roasted garlic (Roasting the garlic makes this dish)

¾ heavy cream

1 ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan

5 ounces cream cheese


Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Grease a 3-quart ovenproof dish with 1 tablespoon melted butter
  2. .In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water and add salt. Bring to boil and cook over medium heat until tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Drain and return potatoes to pot.

10. While potatoes are cooking…

Bring cream, 1 ounce cream cheese (cubed), grated Parmesan and 2 Tbsp. butter to simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring until Parmesan and cream cheese melts. Remove mixture from heat and set aside.

11. Mash potatoes and add your roasted garlic. I like to chop garlic into little pieces.

12. Mix in remaining (4 ounces) cream cheese until smooth. Add cream mixture to potato mixture and stir well to combine.

13. Stir in chives, season with salt and pepper and spoon potato mixture into prepared baking dish.

14. Dot potatoes with remaining 1 Tbsp. butter and bake until potatoes are heated through and golden brown on top. This takes about 45 minutes depending on oven. Serve immediately.