Cullmanites share their favorite recipes for the holidays


CULLMAN, Ala. – For many, the meals shared with their friends and families are the highlight of the holidays. Everyone wants to bring something everyone will enjoy. Taking home an empty dish can be very satisfying while taking home a full dish, well, that can certainly put a damper on your holiday spirit.  

If you are someone who struggles to bring that highly sought-after dish or you want to bring something new to this year’s holiday spread, here are a few tried and true recipes from some folks you may know.  

Photo contributed 

James Fields’ famous “Bama-Licious Nanner Puddin’” 

10 servings 

3 pounds of bananas 

4 packages of Uncle Buds Vanilla Wafers 

Three 14-ounce cans condensed milk  

Two 8-ounce tubs Cool Whip 

One 1-pound tub of sour cream 

Two 3.4-ounce boxes of Jell-O banana creme 

In a large bowl, mix sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, Jell-O mix. Stir in half of the whipped topping.To layer: place one-third of the vanilla wafers in a layer on the bottom of a trifle dish, large bowl or baking dish. Add a layer of bananas.Then pour one-third of the pudding mixture on top (enough to cover all the bananas). Continue with two more layers. Top with remaining whipped topping and wafers.

Photo contributed 

Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry’s “Slaw” 


4-5 cups of cabbage 

1 onion sliced 

1/3 cup vegetable oil  

3 tablespoons white vinegar 

2 tablespoons sugar 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon pepper 

1 season packet from ramen noodle (chicken) 

Toast sliced almonds 


Slice the cabbage and onions and place them in a non-scent bag.  

Then, mix all the other ingredients in a jar/bowl. Once the almonds are toasted, mix all the ingredients in the bag.  

Close and shake the bag mixing the ingredients.  

Pour into dish and serve.  

Photo contributed 

Ashley Wilson’s “Dirty Corn Dip”  


2 cans white shoepeg corn 

3/4 cup salsa 

1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies 

1 bag, or 2 cups, shredded cheese 

1/2 cup mayonnaise 

16 ounces whipped cream cheese 

1 or 2 cans black-eyed peas 

1 can, or to taste, black olives 

1 medium, or to taste, onion 


Mix all ingredients, chill and serve with tortilla chips 

Photo contributed 

Mayor Woody Jacobs’ “Fresh Coconut Cake”  


1 box yellow cake mix 

4 eggs 

1/2 cup Crisco Oil 

1 cup water 

1 box vanilla instant pudding 

Sift dry ingredients together; add oil, eggs and water and mix. Bake at 350 °F in 2 9-inch pans for 25-30 minutes. 



12 ounces frozen coconut 

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

8 ounces sour cream 


Combine Cool Whip (large bowl) and 1 1/2 cups of coconut. Spread on top and sides of cake.  

Photo contributed 

Councilperson Patty Dean’s “Microwave Peanut Brittle”  

(8-9 minutes in 1,000-watt microwave) 


1 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 cup light syrup 

1 cup peanuts (I use seasalt) 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 tablespoon butter 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1 large microwave bowl (sprayed)  

Jellyroll pan lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray 

* A warm pan makes it much easier to spread peanut brittle. 


Add the first three ingredients, stir and place into the microwave for 3 minutes.  

Take out and stir (be very careful)  

Place back into microwave for 3 minutes 

Take out and stir  

Place back into microwave for 2-3 minutes 

*  Keep a close watch, microwaves make a great difference depending on wattage 

You want this to be a gold color. Put vanilla and stir. Butter and baking soda, stir.  

Pour onto warmed foil and spread to thickness of brittle you desire.  

Photo contributed 

National Mullet Championship Runner-Up Ezra Cramer’s “Pepperoni Pizza Rolls”  


• 2 pounds store-bought pizza dough  

• 1/2 cup marinara sauce some for the rolls, some for dipping 

• 1/2 cup light sour cream also some for the rolls, some for dipping 

• 2 tablespoons Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing and Seasoning Mix or 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch 

• 8 ounces turkey pepperoni slices – save out 30 slices to use on the bottoms of the rolls chop the rest into small pieces (or you can use regular pepperoni for 4 points each) 

• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 

• 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 


• Preheat oven to 425° F. 

• Mix together light sour cream and ranch dressing mix. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. 

• Divide dough into 2 equal balls (about 1 pound each). Roll each one out into a rectangle about 12 x 15 inches. 

• On each rectangle, spread about 2 tablespoons ranch dressing – all the way to the edges. Top and spread with 2 tablespoons marinara sauce. (You might be tempted to use more sauce, but don’t, it makes a mess when cutting the slices). Sprinkle with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. 

• Roll up each rectangle so that it forms a long roll (like rolling cinnamon roll dough). Pinch the edge of dough together to form a seam. 

• Carefully cut each roll into 15 slices. Place each slice on a pepperoni piece (the roll will be bigger than the pepperoni, that’s OK). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

• Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 12-15 minutes or until done. 

Photo contributed 

Good Hope Mayor Jerry Bartlett’s “Sweet Potato Casserole” 


3 cups sweet potatoes 

1/2 cup butter 

2 eggs 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup sugar 

1/3 cup milk 

1/4 teaspoon salt 


Combine all ingredients in casserole dish and top with: 

1/3 cup butter  

1 cup brown sugar 

1 cup coconut  

1/2 cup flour 

Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes 

Good Hope Mayor Jerry Bartlett’s “Apple Goodie”  

2 cups cooked apples  

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1/2 cup sugar 

Place in casserole dish  


3/4 cup oatmeal 

3/4 cup self-rising flour 

3/4 cup brown sugar 

1/2 cup melted butter 

Cook until golden brown at 375°F 

Photo contributed 

State Representative Corey Harbison’s “Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings”  


3 cups of sifted all-purpose flour 

3 teaspoons baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

5 tablespoons shortening 

1 cup milk  

Sift dry ingredients together, then cut in shortening with a pastry blender. Add milk and stir with a fork until soft dough. Knead three or four times to mix well.  

Roll out on a floured board to 1/4 inch thickness, about an 18-inch square. Spread dough lightly with soft butter or margarine.  

Mix together: 

4 cups apples, diced fine 

1 cup light brown sugar 

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

Spread over dough, and roll up like a jellyroll. Do not bring the apple mixture all the way to the edge of dough. Slice roll 1 1/2 inches thick and place in a buttered pan (13X9) with cut side down.  


2 cups light brown sugar 

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon  

1 stick butter  

2 cups boiling water 

Boil syrup until slightly thickened, then pour boiling syrup over dumplings in pan. Bake in preheated oven at 400°F for 30-35 minutes. Makes 12 dumplings. 

Photo contributed 

Josh Speakman’s (Candidate for Cullman County Commission) “Memama’s Banana Pudding” 


4 eggs, separated 

1 1/2 cups sugar 

3-4 tablespoons flour 

3 cups milk  

Vanilla wafers 

3-4 ripe bananas 


Beat egg yolks. Mix yolks, sugar and flour in double boiler until flour is thoroughly dissolved. Stir in milk. Cook in top of double boiler, stirring often, until mixture thickens to pudding consistency. Line casserole dish with vanilla wafers. Top with sliced bananas and pudding. Repeat layers until all pudding is used. Beat egg whites with a little sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pudding. Brown in 350°F oven. 

Photo contributed 

Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette’s “Favorite Chicken ‘N Dumplings” 


1 pack chicken tenderloins 

One 16 ounce can chicken broth 

4 cans cream of chicken soup 

1 can Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Layers Biscuits 


Boil chicken tenderloins and shred them up. Mix chicken broth and the cream of chicken soup as you heat the mixture. Add the shredded chicken to the mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add torn-apart pieces of the biscuits. Stir well and season to taste. (We like to add cayenne pepper to ours. Then as you serve the dumplings have shredded cheese and hot sauce available also). 

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