Holiday Traditions

Michigan Leek Stuffing

  • 14 oz. (12 cups) White bread, cubed (heavier bread works best)
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup butter (or more if desired)
  • 6 cups leeks, sliced
  • 2 cups celery with leaves, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dry)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dry)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups broth (chicken or turkey)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cubed bread on baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes to dry out, then set aside to cool. Sauté sausage, drain and put in a large bowl. Discard drippings. In the same pan, melt butter. Add leeks, celery, and poultry seasoning. Stir leeks over medium heat until tender, then add rosemary, parsley, and cranberries. Stir leek mixture into sausage. Add bread cubes, toss, then add salt, pepper, and eggs. Stir to combine. Add broth to moisten. Stuff part of the mixture into turkey and bake the remaining stuffing in a baking dish. Alternatively, bake the entire mixture in a baking dish for approximately 45 minutes. - Kathy Williams, Sault Ste. Marie


Cranberry Relish

  • 1 pound cranberries
  • 1 pound apples, cored but leave the peel
  • 1 seedless orange, half of peel removed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Red food coloring as needed for enhanced color


Using a food processor, grind apples, cranberries, and oranges on medium to coarse grind. Mix well, adding sugar to taste and food coloring. Refrigerate. -Susan Dentel and her husband (Cedarville) make this relish every holiday season by popular request.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash (medium size)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 cups maple syrup
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with foil. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Melt butter, then add syrup and salt. Add walnuts and mix well. Pour equal amounts in each squash. Bake for about 1 hour or until squash is tender. -Jan Reque, Mainstique

Root Beer Carrots

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 ounces root beer
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped


In large skillet, bring water, root beer, sugar, and spices to boil. Add carrots, return to boil and cover. Cook 5 minutes, then uncover. Cook for 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add thyme. Using slotted spoon, place carrots in serving bowl. -Barbara Merchand, Hessel


Chocolate Kahlua Cake

  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix with pudding in the mix
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips


Soak cherries in Kahlua for 3 minutes. Combine cake mix, sour cream, eggs, and oil. Add chocolate chips and cherries with Kahlua and mix by hand. Pour into greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes, then turn on to cake plate. -Deanna Newbert, McMillan

Sweet Potato Pie

  • 2 eggs
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed


  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 chopped pecans


Line a 9-inch pan with pie crust. Beat eggs. Add milk and vanilla. Combine spices anda dd to egg mixture. Stir in sweet potatoes, beat until smooth and pour over crust. Cover edges with foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake 30 minutes more. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over the pie. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Cool 2 hours; refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream. -Dianne Compo (Brimley) says her family prefers this pie over pumpkin pie!

Recipe Round Up!

Do you have a favorite "Valentine's Day Treats" recipe for our January/February issue? Submit your recipe by emailing Cloverland Connections or sending it to:

Cloverland Connections
725 E Portage Avenue
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Members whose recipes are printed in 2021 Connections issues have a chance to win a $100 electric bill credit in December 2021. The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2020.