HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — One of the greatest things about the holiday season is spending time with loved ones, creating memories and eating delicious foods.

ValleyCentral is excited to share holiday recipes personalized by our team, for our viewers.

From our newsroom to your home, here are eight quick and easy recipes for you and your loved ones to try this holiday season.

Jeremiah Marshall’s Sweet Potato Casserole

ValleyCentral’s Jeremiah Marshall is sharing a family recipe that reminds him of his childhood, great memories and a loved one.

“There’s a great southern comfort food that will bring the family together. That my friends is a sweet potato casserole!”


  • 3 sweet potatoes 
  • 1 bag of giant marshmallows 
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Splash of vanilla 
  • 1/2 stick of butter room temperature 
  • Pecans (optional)
  • Cinnamon 
  • Nutmeg 


1: Shave your sweet potatoes and boil them in a pot on medium-to-high heat for 30 minutes.

2: Once the potatoes are boiled, mash them up then add sugar, brown sugar and the room temperature butter. Mix all ingredients together.

3: Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and splash of vanilla into the mix. (Pecans are optional to add into the mix) Afterwards, stir all together.

4: Place mixture into a baking pan then place marshmallows on top of the sweet potato mixture.

5: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let the sweet potato mixture bake for about 25 minutes or until however shade of brown you like your marshmallows.

6: Enjoy and create new memories for your loved ones!

“I remember when I was a child this casserole always made me happy when I saw it on the dinner table. I couldn’t have made this without the hands that have perfected this meal. This was a dish that I saw my Godmother Gloria make on several occasions from Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving to Christmas. She unfortunately passed away, and now every time I make this casserole, I think of her. Love you Gloria, always and forever.”

Sydney’s Green Spaghetti Recipe

CBS 4’s Sydney Hernandez is sharing her version of classic holiday dishes that are guaranteed to bring smiles to the kitchen table.

“I make this green spaghetti recipe for every special occasion all year long! But it will always be on the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas!”


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 cilantro bunch
  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic cloves 
  • 2 cups sour cream (16 oz. tub)
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 Knorr Chicken Bouillon Cubes
  • ¼ cup of water


  1. Heat a griddle pan and place all 4 poblano peppers on high heat. Flip the peppers until they all are black and popping (approximately 25 minutes).
  2. Bring water to a boil in a pot and add the 1 pound of spaghetti. Let the pasta boil for 10-15 minute until fully cooked. Once the pasta is done boiling, drain the water and leave the cooked pasta in the pot. 
  3. Once the poblano peppers are well toasted, place them in a toss away bag for 10 minutes to sweat, making it easier to peel. (I use an H-E-B plastic bag). Allow the peppers to cool before peeling so you don’t burn yourself. 
  4. After the peppers have cooled, cut open each pepper and remove the stem and seeds. Make sure to remove seeds or the dish will be extra spicy!  
  5. Chop up cilantro bunch into smaller pieces. I use a traditional knife and chop the leaves for a few minutes.
  6. In a blender or a food processer, throw in the 4 peeled peppers (no seeds or stems), chopped cilantro, sour cream, water, Knorr cubes, cream cheese, pepper, and garlic until consistency turns into a thick liquid. The consistency should be similar to an alfredo sauce and color should be a light green. 
  7. Pour the sauce from the blender into the original pot with pasta inside and mix for 1 minute on low heat until the pasta sauce has warmed up.
  8. Enjoy! 

Frank McCaffrey’s Famous Turkey Meatloaf

ValleyCentral’s Frank McCaffrey is making his famous dish that combines comfort, nutrition and simple, yet, delicious flavors.

I discovered this when I was a bachelor in my 20s and looking to get into great shape. It always worked!


  • One package of ground turkey meat (1 lb.)
  • Two eggs
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of cubed onions 


  1. Mix together all ingredients except the ketchup in a mixing bowl.
  2. Once the ingredients are mixed, form a rectangle shape on a baking sheet. Make the rectangle shape about an inch and a half high.
  3. Pour the ketchup in a line up and down the top of the formed meatloaf.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the meatloaf for approximately 25 minutes or until browned all the way through.
  5. Enjoy!

“Serves 3-4 or 1 hungry bachelor!”

Sydney Hernandez’s Extra Easy Cornbread Casserole:

“This is the perfect spin on traditional cornbread and it’s so simple. You can also add in your own toppings to customize like jalapenos or cheese on top!”


  • ¼ pound of melted butter
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn  (15 oz.)
  • 1 can of creamed corn (15 oz.)
  • 1 packet of Jiffy corn muffin mix (8.5 oz.) 
  • 1 oz. sour cream


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are meshed well. 
  3. Pour the ingredients into any casserole dish.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.
  5. Enjoy!

Elette Garza’s Cranberry Sauce

ValleyCentral’s Elette Garza is sharing her mom’s recipe for a traditional twist on cranberry sauce.


  • 1 12oz bag of whole cranberries
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar 
  • 1 spring of rosemary 


  1. Combine all ingredients into a pot
  2. Bring combination to boil until it turns into a jelly-like texture
  3. Remove rosemary spring and place the sauce into a container
  4. Enjoy!

Mia Morales’ No-Bake Cheesecake

ValleyCentral’s Mia Morales is keeping it sweet and simple by serving up a dessert that’s delicious and fun to make for all ages.

“This is the first pastry my Abuelita ever taught me to make. It’s super creamy and good!”


  • 2 packets of Galletas Marias 
  • 2 blocks of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 can of lechera/sweetened condensed milk 
  • 1 lime (freshly squeezed juice)
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks of melted butter


  1. Blend the two packets of Galletas Marias into a blender or food processor until they are a fine powder.
  2. Put the blended powdered cookie into a pie dish and mix with the 1 ½ sticks of melted butter (with a spoon) until it holds its pie crust shape. Make sure to “squish” the crust into shape.
  3. Bake the homemade pie crust at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 minutes or until golden brown and let crust cool down.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, put the two blocks of cream cheese and slowly add one can of sweetened condensed milk (lechera) then blend.
  5. Add the two tablespoons of sugar to the mix and blend again.
  6. Add the juice of a freshly squeezed lime to the mix and blend.
  7. Add a splash of vanilla extract and blend again.
  8. Pour the entire mix into the cooled homemade pie crust and place it in the refrigerator for minimum of two hours.
  9. Feel free to top with berries or toppings of your choice!

10. Enjoy!

Sydney’s Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

“These are so simple to make and kids love helping with this one! Be prepared to eat more than just one!”


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks of softened butter (this makes it easier to mix)
  • ½ cup sugar or a sweetener of your choice (I use ½ cup of Splenda and it came out great. Up to you! 
  • ½ cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix flour, butter, sugar and pecan pieces together by hand in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Roll the dough into small pieces around the size of a finger and form into a small ball.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-18 minutes (they will look pale, that’s okay! these don’t get very golden brown
  5. After completely cooled, coat each cookie with the powdered sugar!
  6. Enjoy! 

Bryan Hale’s Three-Layer Christmas Bark

CBS 4 Chief Meteorologist Bryan Hale’s multi-layered holiday recipe is “mint” to be at your dessert table!

“If you like it pepper-minty, just add a splash of extra extract when called for!”


  • 12 oz white chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Regular candy canes


The bottom layer:

  1. Place 6 oz (half) of white chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of oil in a microwave bowl. (You will need the other half of the white chocolate for the top layer.)
  2. Melt chocolate in 20-second increments and stir the chocolate between each increment.
  3. Repeat until chocolate is smooth and hot.
  4. Once the chocolate is melted, add a 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour chocolate into a lined baking sheet. This layer of chocolate will be thin.
  6. Put pan in refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool a bit. (You don’t want it to get cold, just warm to the touch.)

Middle layer:

  1. Put semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of oil in a microwave bowl.
  2. Repeat the incremental melting process exactly like the previous layer.
  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract into the chocolate once it’s melted.
  4. Pour the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate layer and spread it out smooth and thin.
  5. Place the pan in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes.

Top layer:

  1. Place the rest of the white chocolate in your cleaned microwave bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil and repeat the melting process. (Important note: You WILL NOT add peppermint to this batch.)
  3. Spread this third and final layer into the pan.
  4. Sprinkle final layer, while hot, with crushed candy cane pieces.

Tip: “To crush the candy cane, put them in a ziplock bag, seal the bag, and beat them like they owe you money. Beat them with a rubber hammer or rolling pin.


  1. Place the three-layer bark in its pan in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  2. Once it is hard, take your fingers and break it into the size pieces you like.
  3. Put the size pieces in a covered container.
  4. Enjoy!