fbpx Score high on the ACT - Join our December Express ACT Boot Camp!

Holiday Happiness with Insight: Our Favorite Recipes

For many of us, one of our favorite parts of the holidays is the FOOD! We are very blessed to be able to enjoy special meals with our families, and every family has a different recipe that reminds them of the happy holiday time. 

Team Insight is excited to share some of our traditional family recipes with you! If you try any of these, tag us @insight_eddy on Instagram and @Insighteduc on Facebook and Twitter!

Casey: “Kathy’s Dessert” 

We have a family dish that is just known as “Kathy’s Dessert,” after a close family friend. It’s essentially a walnut/chocolate/cream cheese/whipped cream trifle: 

Ingredients: 2 C finely ground walnuts, 2 C sifted flour, 1 C softened butter, 16 oz softened cream cheese, 16 oz Cool Whip, 1 Lg-box instant chocolate/fudge pudding, 1 Sm-box instant chocolate/fudge pudding, Cold milk per pudding instructions, 1/2 C chopped walnuts for topping


1) Mix flour, ground walnuts, and butter, press into bottom of 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish & bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown

2) Beat cream cheese and Cool Whip mixture until evenly blended. Divide in half.

3) Prepare pudding per box instructions.

4) When crust has completely cooled, layer cream cheese/Cool Whip mixture and pudding

5) Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top and serve chilled.

Amy: Latkes and Apple Sauce 

A great simple recipe found HERE

Helena: Ponche de Frutas. 

It’s a kind of cider but with sugarcane (yes – an actual cane of sugar) and tons of seasonal fruit! 


1) Simmer for 30min sugar cane, piloncillo, pears, apples, cranberries, guavas, prunes, raisins, orange, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.

2) Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves.

3) Serve in a mug and drink/eat the cider! 

Holly: Carrot and Pineapple Jelly (Jell-o) Salad

I grew up in Australia, so Christmas time was in the middle of a very hot summer for me. My favorite holiday recipe was passed down from my Scottish grandma: Pineapple Carrot Jelly (jell-o) salad. Also known to some as “sunshine salad” 


1) Peel 3 large carrots. Discard outer layer. Peel the rest of the carrots into a bowl and set aside

2) Drain a large tin of pineapple chunks and put chunks in the same bowl as the carrot strips.

3) Get a packet of orange and lemon Jelly

4) Make jelly according to instructions on the packet and mix in a large glass bowl

5) Let jelly cool slightly (about 5- 10 minutes)

6) Add carrot and pineapple mixture to jelly and stir, place and leave in the fridge overnight to set!

7) Serve by itself as a salad (just as the Spence family intended!) or use it as a jelly to go with your mains. 

Ally: Candy Cane Cookies 

Ingredients: 1 C sugar, 1 C butter softened, 1/2 C milk, 1 Teaspoon vanilla, 1 Teaspoon peppermint extract, 1 egg, 3 1/2 C all-purpose flour, 1 Teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 Teaspoon salt, 1/2 Teaspoon red food color, 2 Tablespoons crushed peppermint candies, 2 Tablespoons sugar. 

1) Stir together 1 cup sugar, the butter, milk, vanilla, peppermint extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Divide dough in half. Stir food color into 1 half. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

2) Heat oven to 375F 

3) Stir together peppermint candy and 2 tablespoon sugar; set aside.

4) For each candy cane, shape 1 rounded teaspoon dough from each half into 4-inch rope by rolling back and forth on a floured surface. Place 1 red and white rope side by side; press together lightly and twist. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; curve top of cookie down to form the handle of cane.

5) Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until set and very light brown. Immediately sprinkle candy mixture over cookies. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Sarah: Eggnog French Toast Casserole with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream & Fresh Berries 

Learn how to make a baked Eggnog French Toast HERE! 

Jenny: Holiday Sugar Cookies

The perfect baking fun to try with your kids! See a great and easy recipe to try HERE!

Zach: Chicken Croustades 

Zach’s wife Tarah makes an appetizer called Chicken croustades, which is grilled chicken, bacon, sprinkled parmesan and chopped tomatoes in filo cups after heating in the oven for about 45 min.

According to Zach – they are awesome! You can find another version of the recipe HERE!

Blog Post

What Are Insight Students & Parents saying?
  • I took an Insight SAT Boot Camp, and afterward I got 1570 on the SAT! 800 in MATH!

  • It was the best experience ever! Purvi is so friendly and she really knows her stuff. She helped me to edit my personal statements for UCs.

  • My counselor paid attention to every detail & she made me feel more relaxed & confident. The result was good, I got into UC Berkeley!

  • Purvi’s expertise & guidance  helped our daughter get accepted to schools of her choice, one actually offered a full scholarship!

  • We had a wonderful experience. Purvi helped our son structure his thoughts that helped him write stellar college application essays.   

  • My daughter’s Insight counselor was extremely helpful not only in devising the overall College Plan for her but also helped in educating us – the parents – on the process.

  • We were extremely happy throughout the process – got much more than what we invested in Insight counseling.

  • For my college application process, I enrolled in Virtual Insight Counseling from Texas. I spoke with my counselor regularly and without any trouble; I was obtaining the best college coaching I could have possibly asked for. Not only did Insight assist me in transforming my essays but also assisted me in finding the college which fit me best.

  • From their knowledge of all the colleges and resources, professionalism and the hands on coaching, Insight Education has raised the bar for any college admissions counseling company.

  • Were it not for them, I don’t think that I would have chosen a school that matches my needs and goals.

Contact Us