Celebrating The Holidays With Family and Kendal-Crosslands

family gathering

It was shortly after the Holidays in 2019 that we began worrying about the pandemic.  Things changed dramatically for all of us. Now, as we approach the holidays again in 2021, there is hope that this year, our celebrations will again be filled with gathering, joy and togetherness.

We wanted to share with you a bit of Holiday joy and togetherness from our families to yours- by sharing a recipe for every aspect of a holiday meal.  Whether you try one or try them all, we hope they help make your holidays this year more bright and joyous than ever!

Start with a Sparkling Christmas Party Punch from Maureen Thompson, our Move-in coordinator.  

Maureen helps to ensure all aspects of the move-in process and joining the community are as smooth as possible!  Her recipe for a Christmas Punch is just like her- sparkling, spicy, and full of life! 

Maureen stated: “I made this last year and it was a hit.  The recipe is from my favorite new cookbook and website for recipes, Half-Baked Harvest – check it out! “ 

Sparkling Christmas Party Punch

  • 1 (750ml) bottle dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup St. Germain (elderflower liquor)
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans ginger beer plus more for topping, if desired
  • 2 grapefruits or blood oranges, sliced
  • arils from 1 pomegranate, plus more for serving
  • cinnamon sticks
  • cinnamon sugar for the rims of your glasses (optional)

1. In a large pitcher, combine the wine, pomegranate juice, vodka, St. Germain, grapefruit or oranges, pomegranate arils, and cinnamon sticks. Stir. Transfer to the fridge and chill for up to 1 day.

2. Rim your glasses with cinnamon sugar, if desired

3. Just before serving, add the ginger beer. Fill each glass with ice and pour the punch over top. Garnish with pomegranate arils. Be Merry!!

Next up is an appetizer from Senior Sales Counselor, Nancy Regenye.

Nancy first worked with Kendal-Crosslands when she was in college, and has been part of our Sales team for many years. She knows from experience how to plan an events, and what it takes to please a crowd. For the Holidays, she recommends her favorite crowd-pleaser, Baked Brie in Puff Pastry. 

Easy Baked Brie in Puff Pastry

Baked Brie
PREP TIME 5 mins
COOK TIME 30 mins

TOTAL TIME 35 mins

SERVINGS 6 to 8 servings

You can use homemade puff pastry for this. You’ll need about 8 or 9 ounces (253g). Puff pastry from the frozen food section also works well.

To make this with an 8-ounce can of refrigerated crescent roll dough instead of puff pastry, unroll the dough and carefully tear along the perforations to form 2 rectangles. Pinch the remaining perforations together so they won’t break apart as you work with the dough. One rectangle should be enough to encase the brie, but use all or part of the second rectangle if you’d like to patch or decorate any spots. Bake at 350°F until browned, 35-40 minutes.

  • 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed according to package directions if using frozen)
  • 1 round or wedge Brie cheese (do not remove rind), about 8 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam, or other sweet jam
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  1. Preheat the oven:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  1. Slice the top off the Brie:

If you want, start with chilled Brie and use a sharp knife to carefully cut off the thin top rind of the cheese. This may help the crust stay with the cheese when served. The rind is edible so you don’t have to do this step if you don’t want to.

  1. Place the Brie on the puff pastry:

On a lined baking sheet, lay out the puff pastry or the crescent rolls flat. Place the Brie round or wedge on top of the dough.

Spread the jam on top, fold dough over brie:

  1. Spread the jam on the Brie, fold dough over top, cutting off excess dough. Drizzle maple syrup and sprinkle brown sugar on top.


Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. The pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers or apple slices.

Main Course- Prime Rib– from Helene Quinones

Helene Quinones, Director of Sales and Marketing, often makes Prime Rib for her family for Christmas. “It’s a pretty simple recipe, but because it’s a big piece of meat and can be expensive, it can be intimidating.  Wegmans even carries garlic studded prime rib near the holidays, which can be a nice addition. Start with high heat and then lower- and keep an eye on the temperature. The roast will continue to cook and the temp will rise when you take it out of the oven, so better to take it out a few minutes early than too late.   “The biggest debate in our house is whether to make gravy or use the drippings for Yorkshire Pudding.  We try to mix it up, but both options are amazing.  I just use the New York Times recipe for Yorkshire Pudding – just click here if you want to give it a go.” And don’t forget the horseradish sauce!


  • 1 3-to-4-rib roast of beef, approximately 8 to 10 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp dried mustard, like Coleman’s
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


  1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator 2 or 3 hours before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 450.
  3. Rub butter on the cut ends of the roast.
  4. Combine flour, salt and pepper together in a small bowl, and then massage the mixture all over the meat.
  5. Set the roast, rib side down, in a shallow roasting pan (the ribs act as a natural rack), and place in the oven. Roast for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, or until the roast is nicely darkened. Reduce oven to 350 and continue to roast, basting every 15 or 20 minutes, until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees (for medium-rare) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving into either huge slabs or off the bone entirely and then thin slices. 

Side Dish with Heart- Julia Drake  

Sometimes the best part of any holiday meal are the side dishes- savory, sweet or a combination of both, they help make any meal feel more complete. Julia Drake is just like that in our office-  She is always trying to make sure everyone finds the perfect home for them-  and like her side dish, she can make everything feel just right.

Roasted Carrots- Using different varieties adds color!

Rosemary Roasted Carrots

  • 2 lbs Carrots
  • 1/2 tsp of chopped fresh rosemary 
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Diamond Cut Salt 
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper 
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees F
  • Finely chop fresh rosemary (1-2 springs) 
  • Wash & peel carrots, cut off ends 
  • Add carrots to bowl, in a small bowl add spices & olive oil, mix
  • Add oil & spice mixture to carrots, toss
  • Lay coated carrots on roasting pan or cookie sheet, I use a non stick oven mat on my cookie sheets (less clean up!) 
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until soft & golden brown, half way through the baking give carrots a turn 
  • Serve on flat plate or serving dish

A Special Dessert for Holiday Celebrations- Kelley Metcalf- Hollinger  

Kelley has an incredible way of bringing everything together and making it look perfect- and you can see this is her recipe for Peppermint Brownie trifle- a perfect ending to any holiday celebration!

Peppermint Brownie Trifle


For the Brownie Layer
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Cheesecake Layer
  • 2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 1/3 cups Andes Peppermint Crunch Chips, divided
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • 16 ounces Cool Whip, thawed and divided
  • Andes Peppermint Crunch candy bars, cut into triangles
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Let cool slightly.
  • Beat the eggs until light colored. Add the sugar and extracts and beat again.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of butter/cocoa mixture quickly. Add the rest of the butter mixture and beat again.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly beat into the wet mixture in the bowl.
  • Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Do not over bake. Remove and let cool.
  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and extracts until light and creamy. Set aside.
  • Place 1 1/2 cups Andes peppermint chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir and heat again if needed until creamy. Pour into cream cheese mixture and beat until mixed in.
  • Fold in half of the Cool Whip and 1/2 cup Andes chips.
  • Cut the brownies into 1 inch squares. Place half the brownies in the bottom of a trifle bowl.
  • Top with half of the peppermint cheesecake. Repeat layers.
  • Cover the top with the 2 1/2 cups Cool Whip and Andes chips.
  • Swirl the last 1/2 cup Cool Whip around the edges with a piping bag and icing tip 21.
  • Top each swirl with candy bar triangles. Keep refrigerated and covered until serving.

Let’s not leave out our Furry Friends!

Cat & Dog Treats from Ellen Evans

Ellen Evans, our Sales & Marketing Coordinator, helps keep the office humming all year long.  She loves animals, and we wanted to share her favorite treats to help make the holidays special for the furry members of your family.

“I have a calico cat named Daisy. My husband rescued her as a kitten. She was brought home as a surprise for the boys at Christmas when they were very little. The boys decided to name her  “Daisy” after the flower, and she has been with us ever since. 

Below is a recipe I have found for cats. There are lots of dog biscuit recipes (see below, peanut butter and pumpkin treats) out there but not many for cats. My Daisy only eats hard cat food but loves Salmon. For all those cats out there enjoy the treats and make sure to get your veterinarian’s approval first.  “- Ellen Evans

Salmon Treats for Cats

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 10 oz. of Canned Salmon
  • Gently beat the egg.
  • Without draining, put salmon into food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour all ingredients into a bowl. Mix until dough is smooth. 
  • Roll out dough to about ¼ thickness on cutting board
  • Use a small cookie cutter or knife to cut out small shapes for treats
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Treats for Dogs

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F
  • In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and pumpkin
  • Slowly stir in the flour to the peanut butter and pumpkin to form a dough
  • Roll out the dough onto a floured surface
  • Cut the dough with cookie cutter into shapes 
  • Place treats apart on an ungreased cookie sheet
  • Bake for 12 minutes

Remember to Check with your veterinarian for approval first.