Good Living Recipes

Holiday Traditions and Recipes from Good Life Family to You!

Temperatures are cooling down, the days are starting to get shorter, and the holiday season is just around the corner. The best part of the year is finally upon us! 

Besides the school break, delicious food, and gift-giving, what is it that makes this time of year so special? Why is it that our fondest family memories can be traced back to this time of year? The answer is simple: Traditions. Elf on the shelf? Christmas cookies left out for Santa? Potato pancakes and the dreidel game? The festive rituals we carry out year after year surrounded by our loved ones bring us together and create ever-lasting memories. 

With the holidays approaching once again, it’s the perfect time to acknowledge and appreciate these special moments.

Our staff has put together some of our favorite recipe traditions and will be sharing them with you in the weeks to come.

And, we’d love to hear from you, too! Send your traditions and recipes to: Tricia White, Managing Editor atTricia@goodlifefamilymag.com.

Recipe #1: The Donahue Family

“Holidays would not be complete in our home without Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake.”
– Beth Donahue, Creative Director, Good Life Family Magazine 


Adapted by the Donahues 

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature 

2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon 

Stir together crust ingredients until combined well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill crust 1 hour. 

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla and bourbon until combined. In a separate bowl, stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth. 

Pour the filling into crust, smoothing the top. Place the springform pan into a shallow baking pan and bake at 350°F until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool 5 minutes. 

Whisk together topping ingredients. Spread on top of cheesecake and bake for 5 more minutes. Cool completely in springform pan on a rack. 

Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving. Garnish with pecan halves. 

Watch for more holiday traditions recipes in the weeks to come!

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