When it comes to celebrating the Christmas season, nobody does it better than the folks in southwest Missouri. The Trendsetter Homes family is no exception to that rule. In the spirit of giving, some of our employees have contributed their favorite holiday recipes below. They encourage you to share one or more of them with your loved ones this holiday season—and to take advantage of our special gift to you (see the bottom of this post).
Cranberry Jalapeno Dip (from Tracey, our Office Manager)
- 12 oz fresh, uncooked cranberries
- 1/4 cup green onion
- 1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers
- 2 Tbsp cilantro (optional)
- 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar (according to taste)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
Use knife or hand food chopper to chop cranberries. (It is best to not use a food processor to chop these as the cranberries liquify too much.)
Chop green onion, jalapeño peppers, and cilantro.
In a medium-sized bowl, add chopped cranberries, green onion, cilantro, and jalapeños. Add sugar, lemon juice, and salt on top of cranberry mixture and stir gently until blended. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.
Take cranberry mixture out of the refrigerator and stir all ingredients together. Strain out all liquid using a colander with small holes.
Whip softened cream cheese with hand mixer until smooth (about 2 minutes) and spread cream cheese over bottom of a pie plate or 9×9 dish.
Pour cranberry mixture atop cream cheese and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Use a spoon to spread over Ritz crackers and enjoy!
Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens (from our designer, Chelsee)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 4 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 cup grated orange peel
- 4 Cornish game hens (about 20 oz each)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp grated orange peel
Preheat oven to 350oF.
In a skillet, saute the onions, celery, and almonds in butter. Add rice, sugar, salt, thyme, and orange peel and mix well.
Loosely stuff into hens. Place breast side up on a rack in a shallow baking pan.
In small bowl, combine glaze ingredients; spoon some over hens.
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Cover and bake additional 40 minutes, until juices run clear, brushing often with remaining glaze. Serves 4.
(from our Marketing Coordinator, Ashlyn)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 can Campbell’s condensed Cream of Chicken soup
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning, or to taste
- 1 lb bag of frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, slightly thawed
Preheat oven to 350oF.
Prepare a 9×9 glass baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until soft but not browned. Turn heat to low and stir in the soup, cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning until well blended.
Remove skillet from heat and add the shredded potatoes, mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Turn out into prepared baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Double this for the holidays using a 9×13 baking dish.
Grandma Carol’s NO-BAKE Cookie Dough SnowBalls
(from our designer, Chelsee)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 packages melting chocolate (for candy coating)
In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour, alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm.
In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Dip balls in melted chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired, re-melt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in the refrigerator.
Berry Tiramisu Cake
(from our Superintendent, Pavel)
First, bake this easy sponge cake:
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line bottoms of two 9″ cake pans with parchment paper (do not grease the sides).
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat 6 large eggs for 1 minute on high speed. With the mixer on, gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue beating 8-10 minutes until thick and fluffy.
Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder then sift this mixture into fluffy egg mixture one third at a time. Fold with a spatula with each addition just until incorporated. Scrape spatula from the bottom to catch any pockets of flour and stop mixing when no streaks of flour remain. Do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter.
Divide evenly between prepared cake pans. Bake at 350˚F for 23-28 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Remove from pan by sliding a thin spatula around the edges, then transfer to a wire rack and remove parchment backing. Cool cakes to room temperature then slice layers equally in half with a serrated knife to create four thin layers.
How to Create the Tiramisu Cake:
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 package raspberries, 1/4 cup water, 4 Tbsp orange liqueur and 2 Tbsp sugar. Mash together with a fork and set aside.
Just before assembling your cake, make the cream: In a large bowl, use a spatula to fold together 16 oz mascarpone cheese and 2 Tbsp orange liquor until well incorporated.
In a second large mixing bowl, beat with an electric mixer 1-1/2 cups heavy cream, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla just until fluffy with soft. Use a spatula to fold half of the whipped cream into mascarpone to lighten it, then fold in remaining cream and blend until fully incorporated. It may seem loose at first, but it thickens as it sits.
Place your first cake layer on a serving platter and use a spoon to spread 1/4 of your raspberry syrup (no need for perfection). Top with 1/4 of your cream and a generous layer of sliced strawberries and whole blueberries. Repeat with remaining layers and cover the top with remaining whole strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Tip: if you spread the cream and place berries just past the cake’s edges, it will look prettier and more loaded when stacked. Cake can be served right away, but if you chill for 1 to 2 hours, it will slice easier.
Ooey-Gooey Butter Cookies
(from our Pre-Construction Coordinator, Alexis)
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
Combine butter, cream cheese, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with mixer until light and fluffy.
Stir in the dry cake mix until the dough becomes thick but smooth.
Pour powdered sugar into a separate bowl, set aside.
Scoop a spoonful of the cookie dough and roll into a ball, then dip in the powdered sugar until fully covered.
Tip: If you want easier dough to work with for rolling, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place cookie balls on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
(from our Estimator/Purchaser, Emily)
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the crusts:
Two 8 oz cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough
For the topping:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350oF.
Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside.
Unroll one can of the crescent roll dough and lay the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Using your fingers, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the dish, being sure to join any of the perforated sections. You want the result to be one completely joined sheet of crescent roll dough evenly covering the bottom of the dish.
Top the dough with the cheese mixture, spreading evenly.
Unroll the second package of crescent roll dough onto a clean countertop. Using your fingers press the dough, being sure to join any perforated sections. Once you have a completely joined sheet of crescent dough, lift the sheet of dough from the counter and place directly on top of the cream cheese mixture in the baking pan. It should completely cover the cheese mixture.
In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix thoroughly. Using a teaspoon, evenly dot this mixture over the top layer of crescent dough.
Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.
Remove from oven and drizzle with the honey. Cool completely before cutting and serving.
Meme’s Red Hot Cider
(from Ryan, the owner of Trendsetter Homes)
- 1-1/3 cup red hots
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 2 Tbsp whole cloves
- 3 46-oz cans apple juice
Place the red hots, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in the basket of a large (30-cup) electric coffee maker. Pour the juice into the coffee pot; perk full cycle. Serve hot.
We’d also love to have you visit us at Twin Lakes this holiday season, especially now while we’ve got a streetscape of homes (our gorgeous Charleston model plus several Quick Delivery homes) all decked out for Christmas! We’ve created a Winter Wonderland of colorful lights and festive touches, and these homes are dazzling and delighting visitors to the Twin Lakes community. Don’t miss it!
By the way, it’s not too late to take advantage of our Winter Wonderland Christmas Lights Package — our gift to those who sign a contract by January 31, 2020 to purchase a brand new Trendsetter home at Twin Lakes.
Our sales office and model home are open seven days a week for your convenience:
Sunday from 12 Noon to 5 PM
Monday from 1 to 5 PM
Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM
…or by appointment. We’re located at 2590 West Brook Ridge Court in Springfield. For directions or to schedule an appointment outside of regular office hours, please call us at (417) 730-1843. For more information, you can fill out a form on our website.