Christmas Cooking Traditions

by Marina Adair

Our family is big on Christmas and big on baking, and what better time of the year to blend the two? Unlike most families, who spend Christmas Day celebrating, the Adairs have a whopping 48 hours of Christmas cheer, starting with Christmas Eve Dessert Buffett, where every person is encouraged to bring their favorite dessert. Now, I didn’t get the Adair legendary baking genes, but I always found something homemade to add to the family offering, with my favorite being Wine Cake. So, from my family to yours, I hope this unique and foul-proof dessert makes an appearance with Santa himself.

Pat Adair’s Wine Cake


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 box vanilla pudding
  • 5 eggs (room temperature)
  • ¾ cup cream sherry
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg


  1. Preheat to 350*  
  2. Mix all ingredients into a large bowl until combined and pour into greased bunt pan.
  3. Cool upside down, balanced on the neck of a wine bottle, with neck of bottle sticking through the hole in the middle of the pan.
  4. When cool remove cake from pan and dust lightly with flour.

For one lonesome cowboy, an icy cold Christmas back at the ranch brings the coziest kind of trouble . . .

To claim his slice of the family ranch, Texas Ranger Noah is forced back to Tucker’s Crossing. All he expects to find is a tractor load of painful memories—until a holiday storm, a power outage—and perhaps the magic of Christmas—deliver him to rescue an intriguing woman named Faith. But just who’s rescuing whom?