ValleyCentral Holiday Recipe Book

By | November 21, 2023

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – One of the best things about the holiday season is spending time with loved ones, making memories and eating delicious food.

ValleyCentral is excited to share holiday recipes personalized by our team for our viewers.

From our newsroom to your home, here are eight quick and easy recipes for you and your loved ones to try this holiday season.

Jeremiah Marshall’s Sweet Potato Casserole

ValleyCentral’s Jeremiah Marshall shares a family recipe that reminds him of his childhood, great memories and a loved one.

“There’s a great Southern comfort food that brings the family together. That, my friends, is sweet potato casserole!”


  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 bag of giant marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Splash of vanilla
  • 1/2 stick butter at room temperature
  • Pecans (optional)
  • Cinnamon
  • nutmeg


1: Peel your sweet potatoes and cook them in a pot over medium-high heat for 30 minutes.

2: Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them and then add the sugar, brown sugar and the room temperature butter. Mix all ingredients together.

3: Add cinnamon, nutmeg and a splash of vanilla. (Pecans can optionally be added to the mix) Then stir everything together.

4: Pour the mixture into a baking pan and then place marshmallows on top of the sweet potato mixture.

5: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let the sweet potato mixture bake for about 25 minutes or until your marshmallows are the desired shade of brown.

6: Enjoy and create new memories for your loved ones!

“As a child, I remember this casserole always making me happy when I saw it on the dinner table. Without the hands that perfected this dish, I couldn’t have made it. This was a dish that my godmother Gloria made several times, from Sunday dinner to Thanksgiving to Christmas. She sadly passed away and every time I make this casserole I think of her. I love you, Gloria, always and forever.”

Sydney’s green spaghetti recipe

CBS 4’s Sydney Hernandez shares her take on classic holiday dishes that are sure to bring a smile to the kitchen table.

“I make this green spaghetti recipe all year round for every special occasion! But it will always be on the table at Thanksgiving and Christmas!”


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • 1 teaspoon garlic cloves
  • 2 cups sour cream (16-ounce container)
  • 1 pack of cream cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Heat a grill pan and heat all 4 poblano peppers over high heat. Turn the peppers over until they are all black and bursting (approx. 25 minutes).
  2. Bring water to a boil in a pot and add 1 pound spaghetti. Allow the pasta to cook for 10-15 minutes until fully cooked. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and leave the cooked pasta in the pot.
  3. Once the poblano peppers are well roasted, place them in a disposable bag to sweat for 10 minutes to make them easier to peel. (I use a HEB plastic bag). Allow the peppers to cool before peeling to avoid burning yourself.
  4. After the peppers have cooled, cut each pepper open and remove the stem and seeds. Be sure to remove the seeds, otherwise the dish will be particularly spicy!
  5. Cut the coriander into smaller pieces. I use a traditional knife and chop the leaves for a few minutes.
  6. In a blender or food processor, add the 4 peeled peppers (no seeds or stems), chopped coriander, sour cream, water, Knorr cubes, cream cheese, pepper and garlic until the consistency becomes a thick liquid. The consistency should resemble Alfredo sauce and the color should be light green.
  7. Pour the sauce from the blender into the original pot with the pasta in it and blend over low heat for 1 minute until the pasta sauce is warm.
  8. Enjoy!

Frank McCaffrey’s famous turkey meatloaf

ValleyCentral’s Frank McCaffrey prepares his famous dish that combines comfort, nutrition and simple yet delicious flavors.

I discovered this when I was a bachelor in my 20s and looking for great shape. It always worked!


  • One package of ground turkey (1 pound)
  • Two eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup diced onions


  1. Mix all ingredients together except the ketchup in a mixing bowl.
  2. Once the ingredients are mixed, form a rectangular shape on a baking sheet. Make the shape of a rectangle about an inch and a half high.
  3. Pour the ketchup in a line up and down over the formed meatloaf.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the meatloaf for about 25 minutes or until completely browned.
  5. Enjoy!

“For 3-4 or 1 hungry bachelor!”

Sydney Hernandez’s Extra Easy Cornbread Casserole:

“This is the perfect twist on traditional cornbread and so easy. You can also add your own toppings to customize it, e.g. B. Jalapenos or cheese on top!”


  • ¼ pound melted butter
  • 1 can whole grain corn (15 oz.)
  • 1 can creamed corn (15 oz.)
  • 1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix (8.5 oz.)
  • 1 oz. sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are well blended.
  3. Put the ingredients in any baking dish.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes or until the outside is golden brown.
  5. Enjoy!

Cranberry Sauce by Elette Garza

ValleyCentral’s Elette Garza shares her mother’s recipe for a traditional twist on cranberry sauce.


  • 1 12-ounce bag of whole cranberries
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 sprig of rosemary


  1. Put all ingredients in a pot
  2. Bring the mixture to the boil until it forms a jelly-like consistency
  3. Remove the rosemary sprig and pour the sauce into a container
  4. Enjoy!

Mia Morales’ no-bake cheesecake

ValleyCentral’s Mia Morales keeps it sweet and simple, serving up a delicious dessert that’s fun for all ages.

“This is the first pastry my abuelita ever taught me to make. It’s super creamy and good!”


  • 2 packets of Galletas Marias
  • 2 blocks Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 can of Lechera/sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 lime (freshly squeezed juice)
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks melted butter


  1. Blend the two packets of Galletas Marias in a blender or food processor until a fine powder is formed.
  2. Place the mixed cookie powder in a pie pan and mix it with the 1 ½ sticks of melted butter (with a spoon) until it holds its pie crust shape. Be sure to “squash” the crust into shape.
  3. Bake the homemade pie crust for 6 minutes or until golden brown and allow to cool.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, place the two blocks of cream cheese, slowly add a can of sweetened condensed milk (Lechera) and stir.
  5. Add the two tablespoons of sugar and mix again.
  6. Add the juice of a freshly squeezed lime and mix.
  7. Add a splash of vanilla extract and mix again.
  8. Pour the entire mixture into the cooled homemade pie crust and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  9. Feel free to top with berries or toppings of your choice!

10. Have fun!

Sydney’s Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

“These are so easy to make and kids love helping! Be prepared to eat more than just one!”


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks soft butter (This makes mixing easier)
  • ½ cup sugar or sweetener of your choice (I use ½ cup of Splenda and it turns out great. As you wish! )
  • ½ cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the flour, butter, sugar and pecan pieces by hand in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Roll the dough into finger-sized pieces and shape into a small ball.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-18 minutes (She will look pale, that’s okay! these don’t turn very golden brown)
  5. Once completely cooled, brush each cookie with powdered sugar!
  6. Enjoy!

Bryan Hale’s three-layer Christmas bark

CBS 4 Chief Meteorologist Bryan Hale’s multi-layered holiday recipe is a real showstopper on your dessert table!

“If you like it peppermint, just add a splash of extract if needed!”


  • 12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Regular candy canes


The bottom layer:

  1. Place 6 ounces (half) Place white chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a microwave bowl. (For the top layer you will need the other half of the white chocolate.)
  2. Melt chocolate in 20 second increments, stirring between each step.
  3. Repeat until the chocolate is smooth and hot.
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, add a quarter teaspoon of peppermint extract. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour the chocolate onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. This chocolate layer will be thin.
  6. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool slightly. (It shouldn’t be cold, just warm.)

Middle class:

  1. Place semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a microwave bowl.
  2. Repeat the gradual melting process exactly as with the previous layer.
  3. Once the chocolate has melted, add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.
  4. Pour the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate layer and spread it evenly and thinly.
  5. Place the pan in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes.

Top layer:

  1. Add the rest of the white chocolate to your cleaned microwave bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon oil and repeat the melting process. (Important note: You will NOT add peppermint to this batch.)
  3. Spread this third and final layer into the pan.
  4. While the last layer is still hot, sprinkle it with crushed pieces of candy cane.

Tip: “To crush the candy canes, put them in a ziplock bag, seal the bag, and hit them as if they owed you money.” Hit them with a rubber mallet or rolling pin.


  1. Place the three-layered bark in its shell in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  2. Once hard, take it with your fingers and break it into pieces of the desired size.
  3. Place the size pieces in a covered container.
  4. Enjoy!

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