Happy Holidays


Happy Holidays!

All of us here at Ireland Stapleton wish you and yours the very best of the holiday season. Below are a few of our favorite family recipes for the holidays, we hope you enjoy them!

The Rudolph

‘Tis the season, to be jolly and enjoy a delicious treat with friends.

Jeffrey S. Hurd, Business, Energy, and Regulatory Attorney


1 shot, Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 shot, coconut rum

1 shot vodka

1 shot half ‘n half


Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until mixed.

Pour equally into 4 frozen glasses and garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

Haynes’ Family Chili

I first learned how to make Tex-Mex chili from a buddy when I was in the Army in the 70s. I’ve been perfecting the recipe ever since.

Mark Haynes, Litigation Attorney


1 ½ lbs ground chuck/sirloin

1 ½ lbs sirloin, trimmed and cubed (or another 1 ½  pounds ground chuck/sirloin)

3 medium onions, chopped

1 Anaheim chili pepper or 1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp chopped jalapeño or Hatch chilies

6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

1 can kidney beans

1 can tomato puree

6 tbsp mixed chili powders (mild, medium, hot)

2 tbsp cumin

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp red cayenne pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp paprika

1 tbsp salt

Pinch cinnamon (optional)

Beef stock


Sauté the onions and green pepper in olive or canola oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and green chilies and cook briefly.  Add the sirloin and ground chuck and brown.  Drain fat.  Add spice mix and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Add the tomato puree.  Add enough beef stock to desired thickness.  Add tomatoes.  Simmer one to two hours.  If using sirloin steak braise long enough to become tender.  Add kidney beans about 15 minutes before serving.

Note:  Proportion of chili powders, the heat of the green chilies, and the amount of cumin can be varied depending on the desired level of heat.  I like 2-2-2 on the chili powders and medium on the green chilies, but my family prefers a little less spice. 

Additional note:  We usually serve with a smorgasbord of cheese, sour cream, crackers, Fritos or tortilla chips, bread, and/or tortillas.

Fergie’s Family Fudge

I have such fond memories of making this fudge with my grandma!

Michelle B. Ferguson, Employment Law Attorney


4 cups sugar

1 large can (13 oz) evaporated milk

1 cup butter

1 pint marshmallow crème

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups chocolate chips

¼ tsp salt

4 cups nuts (optional)


Butter sides of a heavy 3-quart pan. Combine sugar, milk, and butter. Cook over medium heat to 236 degrees. This typically takes 12 – 15 minutes. After boiling starts, stir frequently.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, marshmallow crème, nuts, vanilla, and salt.

Stir until chocolate is melted and blended in. Pour over buttered 9×9 pan for thick squares (or 12×9 pan for thinner squares). Score into squares while still warm.  Cut when firm. 

Mundy’s Winter Warmer

This is the tastiest chocolate drink you’ll ever have.

Tanya Mundy, Paralegal

The difference between the French and the Italian version of the below recipe is that the French use milk, while Italians use a blend of milk and cream to make a thicker almost drinkable ganache drink.  In both cases, it is rich enough that you should serve in espresso cups, not hot chocolate mugs.

The trick to delicious hot chocolate is to use quality chocolate.  Pick up some Guittard chips (the chocolate that coats Rocky Mountain Chocolate’s chocolates) or Ghirardelli chips.  Look for chocolate in the 60% to 80% range; the darker the chocolate, the richer the flavor.


For 4 servings:

2 cups whole milk, or for the Italian version 1-½ cups milk and ½ cup cream

6 to 8 oz dark chocolate, either as chips or finely chopped. 

A small dash of coarse salt.


Try adding ½ teaspoon of instant coffee.  This does NOT make it taste like coffee, it actually makes it taste more like chocolate.

Try a dash of ground red pepper flakes.

Add a teaspoon of quality butter.  It’s the holidays after all.  Mix the butter in just before serving.


Heat milk gently in a saucepan, just until the first bubbles appear.  Any longer and you’ll get scalded milk and a film may form on your chocolate.

Remove from heat for a moment and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Add salt, and if you want, instant coffee or ground chili pepper) Return to heat and bring back to the point of a few small bubbles.  Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. 

Sweeten to taste with sugar or try brown sugar or honey for a more complex flavor.

Serve in espresso cups and enjoy!

Groves’ World-Famous Gumbo

This is one of my family’s favorite holiday recipes.

K.C. Groves, Litigation Attorney


1 lb andouille sausage cut into ¼ inch rounds

1 lb diced ham steak (diced chicken or deveined shrimp can be used instead of or in addition to sausage and ham)

1 large yellow onion diced

1 bunch of celery diced

1 green pepper diced

1 red (or yellow or orange) pepper diced

28 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice

2 tablespoons gumbo file

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (± to taste)

1½ quarts chicken stock (± to taste)

1 cup of steamed jasmine rice

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce (± to taste)

2 dashes Tabasco sauce (± to taste)


In a large pot (ideally an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven), sauté sausage and ham (and/or chicken and/or shrimp) in 2 tablespoons of canola oil on medium-high heat until lightly browned about 3 or 4 minutes.

Next, add diced onions, celery, peppers, tomatoes, gumbo file, and cayenne pepper. Sauté for another 6 or 7 minutes.

Add chicken stock, Worcestershire, and Tobasco. Let simmer for 35 minutes.

Serve in soup bowls over steamed rice. Pairs well with adult beverages.

Montrose Bourbon Punch

For this punch recipe, rye whiskey is my preference, but this is a great way to use up odds and ends in your liquor cabinet, too!

Sarah H. Abbott, Business, Regulatory, Real Estate, and Special Districts Attorney


4 lemons

1 cup sugar

750 ml bourbon, whiskey, or rye whiskey

Angostura bitters

750 ml water


First, make the oleosaccharum. This requires the peel of 4 lemons (avoid the white parts as much as possible!) mixed with a cup of sugar. Stir together and let sit, covered, until the sugar has melted (about 4-6 hours).

Next, add the oleosaccharum to your punch bowl with 750 ml of your choice of bourbon, whiskey, or rye whiskey. Stir this together, then add 12 shakes of Angostura bitters and 750 ml of water. Stir again and then serve over a large ice cube, and enjoy! 

I like to serve this with an ice ring. Freeze lemon slices in water in a bundt pan overnight. Float in the punch bowl for a fun and easy presentation!