Collaborative Christmas Cookbook For Sam, 2008




Dear Sam,

Merry Christmas 2008 from your devoted Jazzercise students!

This is a snapshot of 35 favorite recipes from some of your favorite Florida fitness fans as of December 24, 2008.

It is an ongoing effort that can be expanded upon and augmented, as time and taste buds permit. It is also available online at - look under Collaborative Christmas Cookbook for Sam.

Please enjoy our first collection of hand selected, culinary favorites that includes temptations such as:

Thanks for keeping us fit so we may indulge in more of our favorites!

We adore you!

Your Devoted Jazzercise Students
at the Countryside Recreation Center

Aldyth's Escovitch Red Snapper

From the Kitchen of: Aldyth

Hi Sam:

Here is one of my all time fish recipe from back home (Jamaica). It is not my original recipe but one that just about all Jamaicans know about and love. I do hope you will give it a try one of these days. Here's wishing you a happy holiday season and all the best for the new year.


Aldyth's Escovitch Red Snapper

I have not given any quantities of ingredients because you can use what ever amount of seasoning you wish to use depending on how many snappers you will be cooking (one snapper - one carrot - one small onion)


Whole Red Snapper
Lime or Lemon Juice
Allspice (pimiento)
Hot Pepper (Jalepeno, Scotch bonnett - whatever appeals to you)
Salt (to taste)
Garlic Powder
Lemon Pepper

Clean, rinse, squeeze fresh lime juice (or lemon) inside and outside of fish

Season with lemon pepper, salt (optional and to taste), garlic powder.

Refrigerate and allow fish to marinate for a couple of hours depending on how long you want seasoning to soak in.

If fish is large, cut in two. Personally, I like to leave the head on, so my half would include the head.

Heat olive oil in skillet. Allow the oil to get really hot.

Pat dry fish and fry. Fish must be fried until crisp so fry both side of fish.

Remove fish and drain on paper towel.

Slice onion, shred carrot using potato peeler, slice hot pepper and grains of allspice. If there is too much oil left in the skillet after frying fish, drain some off. Just leave enough to saute onion, carrot, hot pepper and allspice.

While this is sauteing, pour some vinegar in skillet (enough to cover the onion, carrot, etc.). Allow this to cool.

After sauteed onion, carrot, allspice and pepper have cooled off, pour on fish that has been placed in a dish.

Serving Suggestions

I usually eat this with mashed potatoes, or rice, or baked boniata (island sweet potato), along with fried ripe plantain.


Anita's Favorite Fagioli-on-Toast

Please click the link below to discover Anita's favorite Fagioli on Toast recipe from the popular web site.

It is a delicious way to put stale bread back into productive use.

Anne Mueller's Easy Southwest White Chili

From the Kitchen of: Anne Mueller

Anne Mueller's Easy Southwest White Chili


Southwest Spice Blend


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onions; cook 4-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in broth and Spice Blend; simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans. Simmer 5 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

I serve it with French bread!

Barbara's Bernie's Chicken

From the Kitchen of: Barbara Bukata

This recipe is from my Dad's ex-Wife (I got it from my 1/2 sister!). She was a great cook, better than my Mom, God rest her soul!


From the Kitchen of: Barbara Bukata

This is an old New England recipe and these can only be found in New England bakeries. My Mom made them and I made them for kids.

Buffy's Okra and Stewed Tomatoes

From the Kitchen of: Buffy Marsden

Carol's Grandmother's Apple Kuchen

From the Kitchen of: Carol Witkin

Dear Sam:

This is my Mother's recipe, passed on from my Grandmother.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy, healthy new year!

Carol Witkin

Carolyn's A Better Meatloaf

From the Kitchen of: Carolyn Farrell

Chris's Broccoli Salad

From the Kitchen of: Chris Keenan

Dear Sam:

Here is one of my favorites!
May you have a very merry Christmas and a blessed new year.


Broccoli Salad



  1. Mix together broccoli, onion, bacon, raisins and walnuts.
  2. Just before serving combine rest of ingredients and mix together.


Cindy's Seven Layer Dip

From the Kitchen of: Cindy Herald

Hi Sam,

This is a great dip for any occasion!
There's never any left over when I serve it or bring to a party!
Enjoy and have fun.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Cindy Herald

Seven Layer Dip



Dolly's Fabulous Cheesecake

From the Kitchen of: Dolly Smith





Fannie Farmer's Fried Green Tomatoes

Verbatim from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook
(serves six)

This is one of the most overlooked, good treats I know of.

Sprinkle cornmeal on a piece of wax paper or a large flat plate.

Dip each tomato slice into cornmeal and pat gently until cornmeal covers the surface; turn slice over and coat the other side.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add tomato slices, and fry in one layer, without crowding, for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot, garnished with springs of cilantro.

Judie's Breakfast Casserole

From the Kitchen of: Judie Warner

This recipe was shared with me when we first moved to Florida in 1973 by a lovely friend from Texas. It has become a mandatory brunch dish, and when I attempt to substitute something different my entire family rebels.

Note: make this Breakfast Casserole a day ahead as it needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator.



Julie's Awesome "Trust Me" Margaritas

From the Kitchen of: Julie Levesque

Kara's Kentucky Pie

From the Kitchen of: Kara Brenzel

Merry Christmas Sam!

Thank you so much for welcoming me into you class when I am in Clearwater pet sitting or house sitting!

As you can see from my favorite Tampa Bay client, Bella, she has enjoyed a few too many pieces of this awesome pie that can serve as a dessert with an embedded aperitif!

Just kidding - she's not really looped - Bella's tongue just likes to hang out when she's relaxing!

Jave a wonderful holiday and see you in January! All the best for 2009!

Kara Brenzel

Kentucky Pie

This recipe is essentially the Kentucky Pie recipe right off the Louisville stoneware pie plate bottom. Being from Louisville myself, I always add an extra nip or two of real Kentucky bourbon, of course, plus more chocolate chips than what is listed below.

Cream together 1/4 cup butter and 1 cup sugar.


Mix well.

Pour into 8 inch pie shell.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes on 375 degrees oven.

Cool and serve.

Linda's Cousin's Key West Hot Sausage Dip

From the Kitchen of: Linda Cowart

Linda's Gorgonzola-Tomato Tart

From the Kitchen of: Linda Cowart

Lori's White Bean Chicken Chili

From the Kitchen of: Lori Pickens

White Bean Chicken Chili
Cook's Time Saver Note: Use a rotisserie chicken instead of the chicken breasts and simply follow the directions when returning chicken to the pan.



Serving Suggestions

Serve in bowls and squeeze lime on top. This is the MOST IMPORTANT as the lime adds lots of flavor as well as the cilantro!

Top with the garnishes of your choice: red onion, grated cheese, cilantro, avocado, sour cream.

Michelle's Brisket

From the Kitchen of: Michelle

Pam's Blueberry Jello

From the Kitchen of: Pam W

Pat Ehler's Fruit Pizza

From the Kitchen of: Pat Ehlers



Mix together and pat into pizza pan.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes .cool

Mix Together:

Arrange fruit on top of cream cheese layer. Do not add fruit until just before putting on the glaze.

Types of fruit you can use: cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, kiwi, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries,etc.


Cook to boiling boil one minute.
Cool before spreading on top of fruit.


Pat McKittrick's Nacho Dip

From the Kitchen of: Pat McKittrick

Paula's Beer Bread

From the Kitchen of: Paula Shur



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients and bake in bread pan for one hour.

Paula's Cheese Soup

From the Kitchen of: Paula Shur



(If impatient, cook on high for 2 hours, stirring more frequently.)

Paula's Kickass Coleslaw (aka championship coleslaw)

From the Kitchen of: Paula Shur



  1. Mix the first three ingredients and the flavor packets from the two Ramen noodle packages.
  2. Mix the four final ingredients.
  3. Pour the liquid over the dry and stir.
  4. Chill.

Shari's Wild Rice Soup

From the Kitchen of Shari Schumacher

Merry Christmas, if it cools off again in Florida, make this soup it will keep you warm and toasty. If you can look for Minnesota grown wild rice. It is our favorite soup on cold winter days.
Love, Shari Schumacher 12/08

Shari's Wild Rice Soup


Option: Add ham chopped small instead of chicken.


Sharon's Favorite Garlic and Herb Tomatoes

From the Kitchen of: Sharon Basham

This is a fairly new recipe I discovered on the food network, but it is already one of our family favorites!

Click on this link to go to the food network to obtain the recipe:

It is best to use fresh herbs, especially the basil, but if you have to substitute dried herbs, simply cut the amount in half.

These burst with flavor!

Sharon's Mandarin Orange Salad

From the Kitchen of: Sharon Basham

I have been making this salad for more than 20 years and it is truly great. This past Thanksgiving, I substituted dried cranberries and walnuts for the mandarin oranges and almonds. This salad is versatile - you can use a variety of fruit/nut combos and it's always delicious.

Mandarin Orange Salad

Salad Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients



Sharon's Roasted Artichoke Salad

From the Kitchen of: Sharon Basham



Serving Suggestions
Makes about 4 side servings. Can be doubled, of course, and can also be used on an antipasto tray with Italian meats and bread sticks, etc. for an appetizer.

Sharon's Shaker Pinapple Cake

From the Kitchen of: Sharon Basham

This is a cake recipe I have been making for more than 20 years! Whenever I bring a dessert to a function or gathering, it is always this one - Shaker Pineapple Cake. It is easy to make, easy to transport, and it ALWAYS gets rave reviews.

It is also very rich - a little goes a long way!

Sharon's Shaker Pineapple Cake


Cake Ingredients:

Frosting Ingredients:

For the cake:

For the frosting:

Terrie Pfeiffer's Baked Four Cheese Spaghetti

From the Kitchen of: Terrie Pfeiffer

Dear Sam:

This is great for a buffet dinner. Always a hit. Enjoy.

Happy Holidays,

Baked Four Cheese Spaghetti (Gourmet Mac & Cheese)



Note: Can be made earlier in the day and covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until baking.

Terry's Bourbon Steak

From the Kitchen of: Terry Balsamo

Terry's Orange Glazed Salmon

From the Kitchen of: Terry Balsamo

Trina's Grandpa's Crumbly Fudge

From the Kitchen of: Trina Clickner

About this Recipe

My Grandfather's restaurant in downtown Rochester, NY stands no longer but it was a busy place that served a basic, American fare - there was nothing fancy about it.

It seems that my Grandfather saved his best Greek heritage cooking and his spectacular sweet-tooth specialties for our own family. This is his fudge recipe and it has been a family, Sunday night favorite for as long as I can remember.

This fudge is similar in consistency to maple sugar candy - it is not a gooey, soft fudge. My Grandpa's Crumbly Fudge is unusually creamy yet crumbly and extremely sweet - and very delicious. Once it's made, we can can't stop eating it until it's gone. Maybe you will have more willpower than we do!



    Cooling the fudge by submerging the pan bottom 1/2" to 1" in cold water and stirring while it cools is key. Be careful not to get the water in the fudge.

    A candy thermometer is helpful but you can also determine when the fudge is ready to come off the heat by dropping a spoonful into a glass of cold water.

  1. Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a heavy sauce pan.
  2. Stir in milk.
  3. Heat on high until mixture begins to boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add butter.
  5. Stir until butter melts.
  6. Cook the bubbling mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Fill sink with 1" cold water.
  8. Heat to 220 degrees or until the soft ball mark on a candy thermometer - the mixture will start to turn darker brown.
  9. Remove from heat and submerge bottom of pan in water.
  10. Stir until mixture begins to thicken to an ice-cream sundae sauce texture.
  11. Add vanilla.
  12. Stir until mixture becomes dull and begins to harden.
  13. Spoon into a buttered pie plate.
  14. Cool slightly and cut into squares with a knife.

Serving, Prep Suggestions

Makes a great, thoughtful, and personal gift for the sweet-tooth on your list!

Vivienne's Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread

From the Kitchen of: Vivienne

Vivienne's Firecracker Salmon

From the Kitchen of: Vivienne

Yolanda's Casa Corteo Pancakes

From the Kitchen of: Yolanda's Casa Corteo

Dear Sam:

I asked my kids what their favorite foods are that I make for them and here is one of their two favorites.

The Corteos
Neil and Yolanda, Miguel - 12, Orlando - 9, Salvatore - 7, Cecilia - 5

¡Feliz Navidad!

Yolanda's Casa Corteo Tuna Salad

From the Kitchen of: Yolanda's Casa Corteo

Dear Sam:

I asked my kids what their favorite foods are that I make for them and here is one of their two favorites.

The Corteos
Neil and Yolanda, Miguel - 12, Orlando - 9, Salvatore - 7, Cecilia - 5

¡Feliz Navidad!