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Easy & Affordable Holiday Dishes

December 22, 2020

Happy Holidays from the Dairy Council of Nevada! Chef McKenzie the Director of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Food Pantry is demonstrating how to make easy, affordable, and dairy nutritious holiday dishes.  Dairy is an easy way to increase the nutrition and flavor of your holiday dishes. Follow the video above or the recipes below. 

Christmas Cheese Tree


Cheese Ball

  • 2 8oz blocks cream cheese softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 16 oz pepper jack cheese shredded
  • 16 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • garlic salt and black pepper to taste


  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pimento peppers diced small
  • 1/4 cup pretzel sticks
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds


  • 1 cup crackers


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, lemon juice, shredded cheeses, and spices.
  • Use an electric mixer or clean hands to thoroughly mix everything together, then form into a ball.
  • Transfer the cheese ball to a baking sheet lined with foil to prevent it from sticking; shape the cheese ball into a cone to resemble a Christmas tree shape.
  • Wrap the cheese tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Next, press the topping ingredients to the surface of the cheese to decorate like aChristmas tree.
  • Serve with crackers or veggies to dip and enjoy!


Recipe created and prepared by Chef McKenzie
Note: You may use any kind of shredded cheese, add-ins, and spices desired, the Christmas Cheese Tree pairs well with bread, crackers, or any type of veggie; the possibilities are endless!

Creamy Corn Brûlée



  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 15oz can cream-style corn
  • 2 12oz cans evaporated milk
  • 1 cup fresh milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Sugar Topping

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  • In a medium mixing bowl, stir together cornstarch and water until a smooth slurry forms; set aside.
  • In a large pot over the stove, combine cream-style corn, evaporated milk, fresh milk, and granulated sugar; stir over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until the mixture thickens (approximately 5 minutes), then remove from the stove.
  • Separate mixture into ramekins or small serving bowls, and chill (uncovered) for at least 2 hours to firm up the custard.
  • Once firm, remove from the refrigerator and top each custard with 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar.
  • You may use a torch to “brûlée” the sugar, or you may place the custards in the oven at a broiling temperature (400F) for 4-5 minutes until the sugar topping has caramelized.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Created and prepared by Chef McKenzie
*Note: You may add vanilla and/or cinnamon spice to enhance the flavor of the custard; you may also use brown sugar for the brûléed topping. You may also add sweet corn kernels for texture.

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