🦃 Mark’s Coquito, other Thanksgiving recipes from News 6 anchors

Try out some of the traditional recipes shared by our News 6 family

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thinking of some new recipes to try this holiday season?

Well, our News 6 team is here to help by sharing their favorite recipes with our Insiders.

Lisa Bell’s Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Courtesy of Joy of Cooking.

6 to 8 servings

Bring 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Boil the syrup for five minutes. Then add: 4 cups cranberries (1 pound), picked over.

Simmer the berries in the syrup very gently, uncovered, without stirring, until the berries are translucent, about five minutes.

Skim off any foam.

If desired, add finely grated zest of one orange.

Pour the berries into a serving dish. Chill until firm.

Mark Lehman’s Coquito

Mark Lehman says Coquito, or Puerto Rican eggnog as some might call it, is really a holiday drink. “It has those holiday spices in it but with those tropical flavors of the island,” Mark said.

Mark says his wife’s family is from Puerto Rico and that’s how he came to know the adult beverage. He wanted to start making the drink himself, so he took bits and pieces from her family’s recipe and made it his own.

What you’ll need:

2 cans evaporated milk

1 can cream of coconut

1 tbsp cinnamon

Couple tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 cup anisette liqueur

1 cup rum

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix for 30 seconds or so, Mark says.

This drink should be refrigerated. It will then thicken up.

Mark said his kids love a children’s version which you can make by leaving out the alcohol. Watch Mark make the beverage in the video at the top of the story.

Ginger Gadsden’s Cornbread Stuffing

Ginger Gadsden's Cornbread Stuffing (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“I got this recipe from my sister and I love it,” said Ginger Gadsden.

What you’ll need:

2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix

2 eggs

2/3 cup of milk

1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage

1 cup of chopped celery

1 cup red pepper

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 tbsp minced garlic

Olive oil

Chicken broth

How it’s made:

Preheat oven to 350 for stuffing.

This can be done in two parts. The night before you can make the Jiffy corn muffin mix so it will be room temperature when you need it.

Prepare Jiffy corn muffin mix as instructed.

You will use the eggs and milk here.

For more sweetness, you can add sugar or honey and butter.

Heat skillet on medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or enough to evenly coat bottom of skillet.

Add all the chopped veggies and stir for two minutes or until tender.

Break up sausage and add to the veggies over medium heat.

Cook together on low heat for about five minutes.

Take the cornbread and crumble it into a mixing bowl.

Once it’s broken up add the ingredients from the skillet.

Mix well and add some chicken broth to moisten it up a bit.

Put mixture in a greased baking dish.

Put in oven for 50 minutes.

Julie Broughton’s Dumplings

“Prepare for a MESS when channeling Mamaw Broughton for your holiday dinner. Flour tends to get everywhere, which may be one reason this has always been a favorite dish of Isla’s to make. She always has been a big help rolling and cutting the dough, not so much on the extensive clean-up required after,” said Julie Broughton.

Julie's daughter, Isla, when she was younger helping prepare Thanksgiving dinner. (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)
Julie's dumplings (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Looking to add a little southern comfort to your Thanksgiving? Julie Broughton’s Mamaw’s dumplings may be the perfect thing to add to your spread.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • A few dashes of pepper
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 2 cans water
  • 1 heaping round tablespoon of Crisco
  • Optional: 2 chicken breasts

How it’s made:

Place flour, baking powder and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix lightly with a fork.

Create a hole in the center of the flour in which to place Crisco.

Slowly mix in milk, creating a dough.

After the dough is mixed, roll into a flat sheet on a floured surface.

Use a pizza cutter to cut dough into squares.

Drop into boiling chicken water.

Continue to stir so the mixture doesn’t get too thick.

When dumplings are opaque, they’re finished.

Option: Can also mix shredded or baked chicken breasts.

Amanda Castro’s Spicy Honey Corn Pudding

“Here is my mom’s recipe for spicy honey corn pudding. It’s a new one that’s been added to our Thanksgiving menu, but it’s a good one! My son Andrew is not a fan of the spicy honey,” said Amanda Castro.

Anchor Amanda Castro, her husband and son, Andrew. (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Corn Pudding - from an unknown BBQ joint in Memphis, TN


1/2 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1 (8.5 oz) pkg of cornbread mix

1 cup whole kernel corn, drained

1 cup cream-style corn

1 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix ingredients together.

Pour into 8X8 pan.

Bake 45 minutes.

Serve with spicy honey.

Spicy Honey - from Southern Living


2 red Fresno chilis, halved and seeded

2 dry chilis crushed

1 cup light honey (such as clover)


Combine peppers and honey in a small saucepan.

Bring to simmer over medium/high heat.

Simmer for four to five minutes.

Remove from heat.

Cool 10 minutes.

Strain honey into a bowl and discard chilis.

Divide honey into jars.

Good for two weeks in the pantry or four weeks in the fridge.

Check out the Florida Foodie podcast. You can find every episode in the media player below:

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.