Best Holiday Recipes from Influencers We Love

Team McCue is a fan of the holidays and not just because of the presents and vacation days. As self-proclaimed foodies, we now have extra excuses to get in the kitchen and crank out some delicious holiday meals for family and friends, usually accompanied by equally delicious wines. Every year we check out blogs, Instagram, Pinterest and recipe books for new inspiration. Here are some recipes we love from influencers we admire. Enjoy!

Bourbon Spiked Hot Apple Cider from Mary Cressler of @Vindulge

Bourbon Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Mary Cressler’s content is right up our alley (food + wine + travel, duh). She is a certified sommelier and wine educator, but unlike most everyone else in the wine world, her cooking specialty is BBQ. Her meat-centric recipes feature easy to follow steps to success and gorgeous photography. “Grilled Pork Chops with Wine Brown Butter Sauce and Prosecco Superiore wine pairing” is a mouthwatering example of the unique recipe and pairing ideas found on Vindulge.  

We decided to switch it up a little and feature a cocktail recipe since we always seem to have a glass of wine in our hand! This Bourbon Spiked Hot Apple Cider passes for an autumn or winter beverage and is sure to warm you up in the chillier months. Mary suggests a slow cooker to keep the entire batch warm for a party (or yourself — we don’t judge). Get started on it here.


Vegetarian Italian 7-layer Dip by Pamela Salzman (@pamelasalzman)

Vegetarian Italian 7-layer Dip
Pamela offers a no-frills approach to healthier cooking. No fad diets or crazy cabbage-lemon-cayenne-hot water concoctions — just whole, natural and non-processed  ingredients plus some time spent in the kitchen. Her holistic style of making nutritious and tasty food a part of everyday life is why we follow her, and her brand is so approachable. She practically takes you grocery shopping with her in those Instagram story farmers’ market runs. She shows you what she puts in her son’s school lunches, and you can accompany her and her recipes to family gatherings. Talk about connecting with an audience.

We picked her vegetarian Italian seven-layer dip because it is so unique and not your run of the mill layered dip you would find at the store. Mozzarella, artichoke hearts, roasted tomatoes, and fresh garlic make up this holiday dish made from whole ingredients that warm the heart but are also heart-healthy. Check out how to make it here.


Brown Butter Sugar Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction (@sallysbakeblog)

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Why do we love Sally? Because content is king. Sally’s wealth of baking knowledge and deep archive of recipes combined with stellar food photography and tutorial videos makes her baking blog one of the best around. We love how she drives engagement through her community of followers with annual challenges like “Sally’s Cookie Palooza” and “Pie Week.” She always produces fresh new recipes to try and continuously pumps out twists on classic ones.

This Brown Butter Sugar Cookie recipe takes a Christmas tradition (sugar cookies) and adds another layer of flavor to it with the brown butter element. No longer the same ol’ same ol’ regular Christmas cookies, this recipe will push you out of your comfort zone and that holiday baking rut. Get the recipe here.

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Sarah Daniel

About the Author, Sarah Daniel

Sarah Daniel is the PR Coordinator for our Wine Country Team. 

A passionate traveler, wine lover and foodie, Sarah Daniel supports our Wine County Team clients with media research, pitching, writing, social media content development and reporting. The team relies on Sarah for her responsiveness, organizational skills and grasp of brand voice in creating and delivering compelling messaging across campaigns and platforms.

Her interest in wine likewise informs her work with accounts such as the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery and others. She has passed her Level 1 WSET and is currently studying for Level 2, hoping to achieve her Level 3 WSET by the end of 2019. She is intrigued by the intersections between wine and tourism and finds that her favorite campaigns are those that focus on a brand’s sense of “place.”