2018 ByWater Staff Holiday Recipes and Traditions

Happy Holidays from ByWater Solutions Staff!

As the holiday season is just around the corner, ByWater Staff reminisce about the holiday traditions they share with their families and friends. Enjoy some wonderful stories, traditions, and recipes from your favorite ByWater Staff!

Melissa Lefebvre, Operations Manager

  • Going to see the holiday light display at Hubbard Park in CT.
  • Making and then later consuming homemade pierogis on Christmas Eve with family using my Great Grandmother's recipe from Poland. Yum!
  • Making fruitcake for my dad using Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake recipe
  • There is also the assembly of the annual gingerbread house that just never quite ends up looking like the photo on the box, but we try.

Andrew Fuerste-Henry, Educator

One must watch holiday episodes from a number of one's favorite television programs. Possibly chief among these is "Comfort and Joy" from the early-2000s Justice League cartoon.

Dani Elder, Systems Integration Librarian

I listen to (audio) "Holidays on Ice" every year by David Sedaris.

Nick Clemens, Sonic Screwdriver

  • We put up Two trees! Seems normal to me!
  • We listen to 'Holly Jolly Christmas' while we decorate
  • I also make a goose and a figgy pudding for our Xmas dinner
  • Watch traditional movies: "Rare exports' and 'Die hard'
  • We also go see Polar Express with some friends at a movie theater that shows it every year

We love Christmas!

Cindy Norman, Business Manager

  • We have Fondue every Xmas eve!
  • It is one of my very favorite nights of the year.

Kelly McElligott, Educator

  • We make a selection of homemade cookies and share them with friends and businesses around town (like the library and post office).
  • Years ago, we made placemats out of the Christmas cards (not the photo cards) that we had received. Each year, these holiday placemats come out and it is so fun to revisit what we had created. My parents still have the placemats my siblings and I made as kids.
  • We string popcorn and cranberries while watching Home Alone our favorite Christmas movie.
  • On Christmas Eve, everyone gets one present to open and it is always a book.

Rocio Belen Dressler, Data Migration Librarian

  • On Christmas morning we eat chipa (Argentinean cheese bread) and mate cocido quemado.
  • Mate cocido is a tea made with yerba mate, but when it's "quemado" (burned) it's made by toasting the yerba mate and then caramelizing the sugar into it! You then boiling water to that mixture to brew it.
  • I don't have my family's recipe with me, but this one seems closest to the chipa that we make:

Brendan Gallagher, CEO

We always go for a walk or a drive around town on Christmas eve looking at Christmas lights. Living in Portland now it's always Peacock Lane.

Sarah Maseto, Assistant Business Manager

We have "Breakfast Surprise" every Christmas morning. Very similar to this recipe. And we take the train to NYC every year to see the tree!

Joy Nelson, Vice President of Implementations

When setting out the Christmas decorations, we take bets on which ones the cats will destroy first.

Margaret Hade, Support Lead

Skiing on Christmas or new years is a bit of a tradition for us.

Jessica Zairo, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator

  • Watching Hallmark Christmas movies
  • Doing a holiday-themed 5K with the family
  • Going to the beach and relaxing on Christmas!


Scallops Wrapped with Bacon - Nate Curulla

  • Wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around each scallop with a toothpick
  • Season with pepper (white pepper if you have it)
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees/broil
  • Cook 8 mins then flip for an additional 1-2 minutes

Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Appetizer - Cindy Norman


  • Trader Joe's silver 12 oz goat cheese4-5 ounces of cream cheese
  • Trader Joe's Sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • Jar of Trader Joe's Kalamata Olives (pitted)
  • 10-12 basil leaves (I use more)
  • A large splash of balsamic vinegar


  1. Thoroughly mix the goat and cream cheese together and place on the center of a serving platter, flatten the cheese mixture in a bowl.
  2. Mix: Chopped sundried tomatoes with their oil, Chopped Olives, and Balsamic vinegar
  3. Roll the basil leaves and chop.
  4. Place the tomato/olive/vinegar mixture on top of the cheese and then top with the chopped basil.
  5. Serve with pita chips.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies, Jessica Zairo


  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips (10-oz. pkg.)
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips.
  3. Use a scooper and roll dough in hands to form a ball and place on cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. Cool and move from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Read more by Jessie Zairo

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