The yummiest holiday recipes from BU Community Members!

Let’s face it. 2020 was quite the challenging year. To celebrate holiday season, we asked faculty, staff and students to share some of their most cherished recipes. We hope these recipes and the short stories that accompany them will give you something to smile about. We wish you and your loved ones all the best during your in person or virtual holiday celebrations.


Submitted by Dr. Jack Eby, Music Department

It was the night before Christmas, and among other things you should have had visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, but unfortunately you didn’t know what they were. Here is a solution to that problem. There are any number of old-fashioned recipes, but almost all of them include dates (the “plums” of the name), dried fruit and nuts, and lots of spices. So they’re delicious and nutritious too!


  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 cups finely chopped roasted almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup finely chopped dates
  • ½ tsp nutmeg fine fruit sugar, for rolling
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1-2 tbsp of Grand Marnier or Cointreau or Brandy (optional). This depends on whether you want to keep them away from the kids.


1- The trickiest bit for this recipe is chopping the dates and apricots finely. It’s a bit of a chore, but well worth the result. It helps to have a sharp knife. For roasting the almonds, I get the chopped variety, and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. A blender reduces them to the right consistency.
2- Mix in the honey, spices, and orange zest until well blended. If you have a problem with zesting, a Lee Valley fine rasp is what you want Santa to bring you for Christmas. Even they put it in the kitchen section of their catalogue.
3- (I add a tbsp of Grand Marnier at this point.)
4- Add the almonds, apricots and dates, and continue to stir. Swoon with the fragrant odour.
5- Roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in sugar.
6- Store in an airtight container. They improve with a few days rest.

Yields about 40 sugarplums – now you can safely dream!

No Bake Rocky Road Bars

Submitted by Stephanie Forgues, Conference and Residence Services

This is a classic I have been making with my mom for many years.
It is the perfect all year-long treat, even though we make it mainly at Christmas. The recipes is SO easy to make and can easily be frozen for a future treat (if there are any left)!

Ingredients and directions:

  1. Place 1/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup peanut butter, and 2 cups chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Melt in the microwave. Microwave for 1 minute intervals on medium power (not high or regular power), stirring in between each.
  3. Allow to cool slightly so you don’t melt the marshmallows.
  4. Then stir in 1 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies cereals and 3 cups of mini marshmallows.
  5. Pour the mouthwatering mixture into a lined pan, and chill in the fridge.

Pro Tip: Line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum and make sure to leave an overhang around the edges of the pan. This way, after the bars have set you can easily lift them out of the pan and cut into bars.

Haudenosaunee (Iroqouis) Corn Soup

Submitted by Kailey Nicholas, first-year student in Biodiversity and Ecology

I’m from Kanehsatake and we don’t have a holiday during this time of the year, only death feasts, but this is a popular soup eaten on many different occasions. It’s also known as the Three Sisters soup because it contains corn, beans, and squash which was the basis of the Haudenosaunee diet. Often made with pork nowadays, it was traditionally  made with any wild game meat available (deer, moose, bear). 

It’s a really forgiving recipe and it can always be modified slightly. The ratio of carrots, rutabaga, and turnip can be adjusted to your liking, as long as you have approximately 5 cups of root veggies in total. You could also make it vegetarian by omitting the meat and using veggie stock to replace the pork stock. 


  • 1 pork shoulder
  • 1 1/2 cups rutabaga
  • 1 1/2 cups turnip
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots
  • 1/2 a medium sized cabbage
  • 2 (15.5 oz) cans canned white hominy corn
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans
  • 6 cups water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


1- Place pork shoulder in a large pot and cover with water by at least an inch. Boil over medium heat for at least 1 1/2 hours with a lid covering half the top. Skim off the scum as it forms.
2- While the meat is cooking, prep your vegetables. Cut the root vegetables into cubes of uniform size. Roughly chop the cabbage into small bits. 
3- Once the meat is cooked (it should fall off the bone relatively easily), remove it from the pot and set aside to cool off slightly. 
4- With the heat still on, add the chopped vegetables to the pork broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. 
5- While the vegetables are cooking, shred the cooled pork into bite size pieces. 
6- Add the shredded pork back into the pot with vegetables. Bring everything to a boil and bring simmer for about 10 minutes.
7- Add two cans of undrained white hominy corn and one can of undrained red kidney beans. Simmer everything for another 10 minutes.
8- Add salt and pepper to taste.

Oliebollen (Dutch Doughnuts)

Submitted by Anne Marie Ropelman, Stewardship & Stakeholder Relations, Advancement Office

This is one of my favourite Dutch traditions! We eat Oliebollen all evening up to midnight at New Year’s Eve. My grandmother excelled at baking them, so that’s where the best memories come from.


  • 1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup dried currants
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1- Break up the compressed yeast, and stir into the warm milk. Let stand for a few minutes to dissolve. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir the yeast mixture and egg into the flour and mix into a smooth batter. Stir in the currants, raisins and apple. Cover the bowl, and leave the batter in a warm place to rise until double in size. This will take about 1 hour.
2- Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, or heavy deep pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Use 2 metal spoons to shape scoops of dough into balls, and drop them carefully into the hot oil.
3- Fry the balls until golden brown, about 8 minutes. The doughnuts should be soft and not greasy. If the oil is not hot enough, the outside will be tough and the insides greasy. Drain finished doughnuts on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve them piled on a dish with more confectioners’ sugar dusted over them. Eat them hot if possible.

Green Tea with Mint

Submitted by Dr. Samia Mihoub, Research Grant Officer, Research Office

Green tea with mint is my favourite hot drink of all time. During the holidays, I prepare it every day and serve it after meals. I prepare tea exactly as my parents used to do it, in the North-African way, using the traditional teapot, with green tea leaves and dried Mediterranean mint. Pouring tea in the glass is a special ritual: the more foam in your glass, the better is your tea. Tea ritual reminds me of my native desert and night gatherings around the fire in the oasis when I was a child. This recipe is worth a try as it is also excellent for your health.


  • 1 tablespoon of Green tea leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of Mint (dried or fresh)
  • Boiling water (500 ml)


Put the tea leaves and the dried mint in the teapot. Pour boiling water. Bring it to a boil for 5 seconds. Add more mint. Add sugar if you want. Serve.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Pecans

Submitted by Stephanie Chicoine, Social Media Officer

This recipe came from an extensive Pinterest search, as I was trying to find the perfect gift for my loved ones. Turned out to be a huge smash in our household and became an instant holiday gift classic each year for our sons’ teachers and daycare workers.


  • 4 cups Diamond of California® Pecan Halves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons water

1- In a large bowl whisk together egg whites and vanilla until foamy. In another bowl combine sugars, cinnamon, and salt and stir until all ingredients are mixed well.
2- Add pecans to the egg mixture and toss to coat. Next, add cinnamon sugar mixture to the bowl of pecans and toss to coat. Transfer coated nuts to a greased slow cooker.
3- Cook nuts on low for 3 1/2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes. After they’re done cooking, add water and stir. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet and allow to cool completely (It could take up to an hour or two for all of the sugar to crystalize – don’t be afraid to sneak a few!)
4- Store in airtight container or in Mason jars for gifts.

Potato Croquettes

Submitted by Enzo Envangelisti, President of the Bishop’s Student Representative Council (SRC)

Every year, my mom would make Potato Croquettes as a way of keeping my family busy until dinner time. It has become a household favourite and a holiday tradition. 


  • 6-8 Russet Potatoes
  • 5 egg
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Grated mozzarella

1- Peel the potatoes.
2- Chop them up into small cubes and boil them until you can stick a fork through it without any resistance.
3- Drain the pot, add milk, butter, salt and pepper, 1 egg, breadcrumbs and the grated mozzarella, mask and mix well.
4- Put it in the fridge for about an hour and then roll the mixture into several small-medium sized balls.
5- Get two bowls. One bowl will have 4 eggs in it and the other bowl will have breadcrumbs.
6- Take each croquette and roll them in the eggs, then roll them in the breadcrumbs until fully covered.
7- Once you have rolled them all through these mixtures, fry the croquettes in a pan of oil. You can also use the oven or a fryer if preferred. 

Ensalada de manzana (apple salad)

Submitted by Berenice Rodriguez, Assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs

Ever since I remember, we have had this dessert for Christmas Eve. In Mexico, we simply call it ensalada de manzana. I have continued with this tradition ever since my arrival in Canada in 2005. This recipe might not be exclusive to Mexican traditions, but it is a tradition in my family and many other Mexican families; and I will surely pass it on to my daughter, Becky. Christmas holidays in Mexico start Dec 16th with ‘posadas’ for 9 days until Dec 24th. Some other classic and delicious dishes are pozole, tamales, ponche de Navidad, etc. And of course, we also have turkey on Christmas Eve!

Ingredients (makes 10 servings):

  • 8 golden apples, shelled
  • 500ml of cream
  • 1/2 can of pineapple in syrup
  • 10 walnuts, finely ground
  • Raisins
  • 1 can of condensed milk (roughly 300ml)

1- Dice all the apples, then cut the pineapple into triangles and mix them in a large bowl.
2- Add the ground walnut and raisins.
3- Add the cream, the pineapple syrup can and the condensed milk so that it is not too liquid.
4- Stir everything until you reach a uniform mixture.

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