Enjoy a host of delectable desert recipes and even a few of the season’s favorite comfort foods. You’ll be the hit at your Christmas gathering, or cook up a quiet night at home with a new recipe and a movie.

Ginger Bread Man  

2 cups Hemp milk  hrpaulrissegingerbredmansmoothie

2 ½ frozen bananas

2” piece of ginger (juiced or blended)

2 big spoonfuls of almond butter

1 squirt of honey

Cinnamon to taste

Blend ingredients until creamy and smooth, and then top with cinnamon and honey.

—Submitted by Paul Risse, owner of the Barefoot Market in Stephenville, Texas. Enjoy this one often, because Paul’s guiltless smoothie happens to be one of the only health-conscious recipes in our collection this time around. That’s what New Year’s resolutions are for, right? This delightful treat tastes like a cross between Christmas and your Grandma’s gingerbread cookies. The ginger is anti-inflammatory; almond butter has an excellent amino acid profile, and the cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar. Mmmm!

Raenelle’s Cherry “Thing”

1 cup flour

2 tbsp. sugar

1 stick plus 2 tbsp. butter

1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups powdered sugar

1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese

2 envelopes Dream Whip

1 can cherry pie fillin

Blend together the flour, sugar, butter and chopped pecans. Press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes—don’t let it get too brown. Cool. hrdscn3183

Combine the powdered sugar and cream cheese and blend well. Prepare the two envelopes of Dream Whip according to directions and fold into cream mixture. Spread on cooled crust. Now, top with the pie filling. This dessert is better if it sets overnight in the refrigerator. You can also substitute any flavor of pie filling.

—Submitted by Barrel Horse news editorial assistant Raenelle Pipps, this colorful desert is simple to make and the perfect dish for a holiday potluck. 

Reindeer Food

6 cups rice Chex

12 oz. white chocolate baking squares

1/3 cup crushed peppermints

Line a cookie sheet with foil or wax paper. Melt the white chocolate for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Once chocolate is melted completely, stir in half of the peppermint. hr121004_bhnfood_16

Pour chocolate/peppermint mixture over rice Chex, and toss to coat. Spread evenly over the aluminum foil. Sprinkle remaining peppermint evenly over Chex. Place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, or until hardened. Remove from refrigerator, and break into pieces.

—Submitted by Quarter Horse News and Barrel Horse News associate publisher Savannah Magoteaux, this Christmas-inspired trail mix is a delightful treat. You’ll probably run out pretty quickly, but it’s quick and easy to make more. 

Reindeer Noses

1 bag Hershey’s Kisses

1 bag of small square pretzels (with a grid pattern)

1 bag of M&Ms

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. Next, spread the pretzels on a cookie sheet so that they lie flat. Fill it up. hr121004_bhnfood_07

Unwrap about a million kisses, one for each pretzel. Place one kiss on each pretzel. Now place the cookie sheet into your oven to melt the kisses. Don’t leave the room – this really takes only 6 minutes, depending on your oven. Take out as soon as the kisses are melted, but still hold their shape. If you leave them in too long, they will dry out and become hard.

Now, press one M&M into each kiss. Push them around a little so that chocolate touches all of the edges of the pretzels.

Allow the chocolate to set and enjoy. They will set up fine at room temperature, but we usually end up sticking them in the fridge to encourage the process.

—These treats are addictive,and you’ll wish you made more! There are many variations of this quick and easy finger food —you can substitute the Hershey’s with a Rolo and replace the M&M with a pecan half.

Gram’s Clam Chowder

1 chopped onion

6 celery stalks, diced

¼ cup butter

4 potatoes, peeled and diced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

1-2 cans of minced clams

1 can evaporated milk (half-and-half may be substituted)

salt and pepper to taste


¼ cup butter

1/3 cup flour

Sauté the chopped onion and diced celery in ¼ cup butter.

Add the sautéed onion and celery to potatoes and carrots in a large pot, cover with water, boil until tender. Add 1-2 cans of minced clams and 1 can of evaporated milk.

Make a roux by mixing ¼ cup butter and 1/3 cup flour – warm and stir until the roux thickens and then add the roux to the chowder mix. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chopped pimentos (optional).

—Serve with fresh mixed greens for the perfect Christmas Eve meal that is simple and tasty to boot.

Artichoke Green Chili Dip

2 (6 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts

2 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles

1 cup real mayonnaise

½ cup Parmesan cheese

½ cup Jack cheese

Chop artichoke hearts and mix all ingredients. Place mix in a 9 x 13 oven safe casserole dish. Top with grated Jack cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite chips or crackers.

—This is cold-weather comfort food at its all-time best. Serve this one up during Monday Night Football or better yet, at your Wrangler NFR 10th round party. Guests won’t quit eating! 

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