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#GiveBACKTuesday 2021

November 29, 2021

This #GivingTuesday, we’re giving thanks to our nearest and dearest supporters – you— who steadfastly anchored us during such a challenging time. 

In the spirit of the season, we want to share a few of our staff members’ favorite holiday recipes with you. These recipes bring us joy, and this holiday season, we hope they bring the same to you.

Overnight Egg Bake

Submitted by Donor Relations Manager, Hillary Bray

Every year my mother would make an Egg and Sausage Casserole for Christmas morning. We would assemble all the ingredients as a family the day before and throw it in the oven before we started opening gifts on Christmas morning. It is really easy to put together and customize to your liking. Now that I make it for my own family, I can add more veggies and gluten free bread to make it just a little healthier than my mother used to make!


  • 1 lb. ground pork sausage or maple sausage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup milk or non-dairy alternative
  • 6 slices bread or gluten free alternative toasted and cut into cubes
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese or non-dairy alternative shredded
  • Any veggies you like. I recommend garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach
  • 1 green onion for garnish on top


  1. Grease a 9x13 baking dish, set aside.
  2. In a skillet cook the sausage over medium heat until browned, set aside.
  3. In sausage fat, sauté any veggies you are adding over medium heat. Drain remaining fat.
  4. In a medium bowl mix the salt, eggs and milk. Then add the cooled sausage and veggies, bread cubes, and cheese. Stir together until evenly coated.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Cover with foil and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the casserole covered for 50-60 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to 325°F. Uncover the casserole and bake for 20-30 additional minutes or until casserole has set.
  8. Top with green onion, plate, and enjoy!

Roast Duck with Carrots

Submitted by Conservatory Manager, Charlotte Brockman

I took over as cook for my family’s Holiday Dinner over a decade ago. In the early years there was some experimentation with the menu, but over time certain dishes became standard. One of those dishes is this roast duck. While I love flavor, I’m also a bit of a lazy cook, so this recipe was a perfect addition to the family dinner table. It’s succulent, juicy, delicious, and super easy to make!


  • Whole fresh duck (about 5 lbs.); take out the neck and set aside
  • 1 orange, pierced all around with a fork but not pealed
  • A small bunch of thyme
  • Few garlic cloves
  • 5 carrots, whole, skin on, ends trimmed (you can use more than 5 if you love carrots — they will be deliciously and decadently roasted in duck fat)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Kettle of water, boiled


  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Put the duck in a roasting pan. With a knife, poke holes all over the skin.
  3. Set the pan in the sink. Bring a kettle of water to boil and pour the water all over the duck. Turn over the duck, breast side down, and let it bathe in the hot water for about 5 minutes. The hot water will shrink the skin.
  4. Take the duck out of the water and pat dry. In the cavity of the duck, place the whole garlic cloves, thyme, and orange.
  5. Salt and pepper the duck liberally, all over. In a dry roasting pan, place the carrots and then put the duck on top of the carrots. Place the duck neck in the pan also.
  6. Roast the duck, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  7. After 45 minutes, baste the duck with its fat and turn down the oven temperature to 375F. Roast at this temperature, basting a couple of times, until the inside temperature taken at the thickest part of its thigh reaches 150F (about 25 minutes).
  8. Take the duck out of the oven and transfer to a platter. Let the duck rest for at least 10 minutes. Throw away the neck and take out the carrots. Strain the fat into a glass container.
  9. After resting, carve the duck and enjoy!

Pecan Pie

Submitted by Deputy Director of Development, Tiffany Redmon

My husband comes from a blended family and every year, we spend Thanksgiving together in Connecticut. The week is full of traditions that have evolved over the years including a secret hidden turkey that comes out on Friday night. On the eve of Thanksgiving my husband and his sister assist my Mother in law in making 6-8 pies. This tradition has grown to involve our children. 2020 was the first year in more than a decade that we could not be together at Thanksgiving. To cheer up my Mother in law, we got the kids matching aprons and had a Zoom baking session which spanned three cities and time zones. It certainly wasn’t the same but we learned to adapt and carry on our tradition the best way we knew how.


Pie Crust

  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup ice water

Pie Filling

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 3 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup pecan halves


Pie Crust

  1. Combine all ingredients in Mixer.
  2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and place in pie shell.

Pie Filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Combine and beat together the first five ingredients.
  3. Add next 4 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour into pastry pie shell.
  5. Bake in oven for 60 minutes or until just set.
  6. Cool, top with whipped cream if desired.

Fall Sangria

Submitted by Interim Director of Marketing, Syche Phillips

A friend sent me this recipe last year and it was perfect for any holiday. Or New Year’s Eve party. Or a casual Wednesday night. This makes enough Sangria for a party or lots of leftovers!


  • Apples and pears
  • 750ml Fireball whiskey
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 bottle Trader Joe’s Spiced Apple Cider
  • (optional) Your choice of amount of Sparkling Water, depending on how boozy you want the sangria to be


  1. Chop the apples and pears and put them in a bowl.
  2. Pour the Fireball over the chopped fruit and let them soak for 1-2 hours.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and enjoy!
    1. (Optional) Rather than adding the sparkling water to the main sangria, one option is to serve it on the side so everyone can make their individual cup as boozy as they want.