Holiday Influencer Recipe Exchange

After the crazy year 2020 has been, we are so ready for some holiday cheer and inspiration. With such a tough year almost behind us, let’s celebrate the holiday season and a new year with some new and fresh holiday recipes with our Holiday Recipe Exchange!

We teamed up, once again, with some of our favorite local influencers on Instagram to bring you a festive Holiday Influencer Recipe Exchange. Below you’ll find the recipes each of the influencers shared with Midwest Kitchens to try. Special thanks to Shilene Aaron, La’Shonda W, Lacey Spallitta, Niki French, Megan with Shadylane Blog, Kallie Flexman, and Karlie Stroup for participating! We are so ready to celebrate the holidays in the kitchen this year and with these delicious recipes!

Ethel’s Chocolate Cake

2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. milk & 1 T. vinegar
1 c. hot strong coffee

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Make a well & add remaining ingredients in order, hand stir don’t beat.
Bake in 9×13 pan at 350 for 35-40 min.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese room temp
1/2 stick butter room temp
3 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together until smooth. Make sure cake is fully cooled before frosting it.

Serve and enjoy!

Raspberry Shortbread Almond Cookies – Megan with Shadylaneblog


1 cup softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
Raspberry Jam

Icing Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp water
1.5 tsp almond extract

Directions: Combine, refrigerate for an hour and make into 1 inch balls. Use tsp to make a “hole” in the center – fill with raspberry jam. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10ish minutes at 350, until Golden around the edges. Drizzle with icing once cooled

Mac and Cheese with bacon and cream –   Shilene Aaron The Mama Mogul

1 lb elbow roni or your fave pasta
1 (8 Oz) pkg cream cheese (cut into small pieces)
2 cups of Parmesan cheese
5 tbs butter
6 tbs flour
1 cups half/half
2 cup milk
1 lb cooked, crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 350
Melt 5tbs of butter in large saucepan over medium heat, whisk in 6 tbsp flour and half/half and milk, reduce heat to low; cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese & pkg of cream cheese. Stir until melted.

Cook pasta then pour cheese mixture over pasta and mix well. Add 3/4 lb bacon. Pour into casserole dish top with 1/4 cup bacon, bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!

SQUASH SOUP – Lacey Spallitta

1-2-lb Butternut squash (cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed)
1 medium sized apple (cut off core)
2 tbsp Avocado oil (divided)
Sea salt
Black pepper
6 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 tbsp Fresh thyme
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
4 cup Chicken bone broth (or any broth of choice)
1 13.5-oz can Coconut milk (full fat)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
3. Place the butternut squash halves open side up onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with a tablespoon of avocado oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Flip over, face down. Add apple next to the squash on baking sheet
4. Roast the butternut squash in the oven for about 40-55 minutes, until a knife goes in easily. Roast the apple for about 20min then take out and let the squash finish.
5. When the squash is about 30 minutes into roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of avocado oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, Onion, cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme. Saute for about a minute, until fragrant.
6. Add the broth and coconut milk. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is done.
7. Scoop the squash out of the shells into the soup. Add apple pieces the use an immersion blender(or blender) to puree until smooth.
8. Let simmer together for 30min.

Jingle Juice – Niki French

1 750ml bottle of Whipped Cream Vodka
2 liters of cherry 7-Up
1 bottle of sparkling Rosé
Frozen cranberries
Rosemary or mint for garnish

Directions: Chill the 7-Up and vodka in the fridge the day before you intend to make your punch. In a large pitcher or punch bowl filled with ice, combine all of the ingredients and stir gently. ENJOY!

Christmas Crack – Karley Stroup

1 Box Chex Cereal
1 16oz bag Christmas M&Ms
1 bag Thin Pretzel sticks
1 bag White Chocolate Chips
Wax paper

Directions: Throw some wax paper down and mix everything together while you heat the white chocolate chips
Lightly coat the mixture with white chocolate


1983 Creamy Potato Bacon Soup – Karley Stroup

3 Tablespoons Butter
¼ of onions chopped
2 cups celery chopped
6 carrots sliced
3 cups of chicken stock
Seasoning salt
½ cup of half-and-half
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1 cup of real bacon bits
Scallions to top

Directions: In a pot on the stove
Simmer butter onions and celery and then add potatoes and carrots
Cover with chicken stock
Add seasons and let simmer
When the vegetables are tender you can mash them to make it a little creamy
Add your half-and-half, cheese and back and cook for about 15 minutes on the stove top.

Serve and Enjoy!

General Tso’s Chicken – Kallie Flexman

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses or raw honey
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp crushed red pepper more or less to suit spice preference
1 tsp sesame oil

1.5 lbs chicken thighs or breasts cut into 2” pieces
1/3 cup arrowroot starch or tapioca
1 egg whisked
2 Tbsp coconut oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1.5 inches ginger minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup chicken bone broth
Thinly sliced scallions for garnish
Additional sesame seeds for garnish
2 tsp arrowroot + 2 Tbsp broth to thicken sauce after chicken cooks

Whisk together all sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Coat chicken pieces in whisked egg lightly, then toss in arrowroot starch, shaking off excess.
Turn on “sauté” wait until Instant Pot reads “hot”, then add coconut oil.
Add dredged chicken pieces in 2 batches to sear on both sides – about 1 minute per side, set chicken aside on a plate.
If any of the chicken/batter stuck, clean out the pot to remove. Now, add sesame oil and sauté sesame seeds, garlic and ginger in sesame oil.
Add chicken broth and sauce mixture and whisk to combine, continue to cook on saute for 1 minute until simmering, then press cancel.
Add browned chicken back to pot, give the sauce a whisk, and coat chicken with sauce. Cover and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
Quick release the pressure, open instant pot and with tongs, carefully remove just the chicken to a plate.

Boeuf Bourguignon – Lashonda with Fashionplatekc

1 tbsp olive oil
8 ounces applewood smoked bacon or pancetta, diced
2.5 pounds beef chuck, diced into 1 ½ inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1-pound carrots, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks or rounds
2 small yellow onions, small dice
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup Cognac
1 bottle dry red wine
2 cups beef or chicken stock
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp neutral cooking oil
1-pound button mushrooms, halved or quartered
8-ounce frozen pearl onions
2 tsp Dijon mustard
French baguette

In a large, thick-bottomed pot, render the fat from the bacon or pancetta in the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Just as it starts to get brown and crispy, remove from the pot and set aside. Working in batches, brown the beef on each side, adding a little oil if necessary. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot or the meat will steam instead of sear. Once all the meat has been seared, set aside. Increase heat to medium-high heat. If pan seems dry, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic. Season lightly with salt then add tomato paste. Stir to combine. Remove pan from the flame, add the Cognac. Return to the heat and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown pieces from the bottom of the pan. Add the beef and bacon back to the pan, followed by the wine, stock, bay leaves, and thyme and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 3 hours and check often by stirring the pot. (Alternatively, you can place the pot in a 300 degree oven, covered.)

While stew is simmering, cook the mushrooms and pearl onions. Heat a skillet over high heat and add the mushrooms in a single layer and don’t stir for approximately 8 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, stir to distribute oil then let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onions, let cook for another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until slightly browned and caramelized.

When the meat is tender, but not falling apart, finish the dish by adjusting the seasoning and adding the mushrooms and pearl onions and stirring through the Dijon mustard. Serve with warm French baguette.

Posted Under: Entertaining, Foodie, Holidays, Lifestyle, Recipes

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