‘Tis the Season for Creating Great Memories with Good Food
LeeRoy shares holiday favorites from the upcoming TU Women’s Club Cookbook
Friday, December 18, 2020
a festive LeeRoy the Tiger holds a platter of Tamales

Imagine the taste of your grandma’s tamales or the smell of your mother’s just-baked cupcakes filling the family kitchen. What about toasting the new year with a brightly-colored holiday punch? Nothing brings a community closer together the way food does, especially during the holiday season. 

The Trinity University Women’s Club (TUWC) will be launching their new cookbook, Cooking TUgether, in the spring. As a preview of tasty things to come, they share four of LeeRoy’s favorite recipes from the book’s holiday section. Relive the holiday flavors of Oakmont Court through the decades, or create great memories of your own with these Trinity favorites.

Some dishes are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. 


close up shot of serving of tamale enchilada casserole on plate


from Marc Raney, Vice President of University Advancement, 1980-2010

Gluten Free



10 oz mild enchilada sauce

10 oz water

10 oz chicken broth

1 tsp chili powder 

1/4 tsp poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 medium onion, quartered

1/2 clove garlic, sliced

Turkey liver, gizzard, and neck (if available)



12 beef, chicken, or pork tamales

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend     

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup Cotija cheese


For the Gravy, combine all ingredients (enchilada sauce through turkey parts) and simmer for 3–4 hours, adding more water if necessary. Strain before serving.

Best if made a day ahead. Unused gravy can be frozen.

For the Casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove husks from tamales. Line tamales in a baking dish. Cover with 2 cups of the Gravy and top with cilantro, Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese, and green onions.

Bake for 35–40 minutes until the cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Cotija cheese.

6–8 servings

four large bowls of red salsa and green peppers


from Judy White, TUWC President, 2005-2007

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free


5 medium Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 large white or red onion

2 medium serrano chiles

2 cloves garlic 

4 quarts water

1/2 bunch cilantro (approximately 12 stalks)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp salt, or to taste


Cut tomatoes in half. Cut onion into quarters. Cut stems off chiles; the seeds and veins do not need to be removed from chiles. Peel garlic.

Add all ingredients, except cilantro, oil, and salt to pot. Add water to almost cover ingredients, approximately 4 cups. Bring water to boil and then reduce to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add cilantro to cooked ingredients. Blend using an immersion blender and remove to a large bowl. (To use a blender, blend in 2 batches).

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Pour blended salsa into hot oil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt.

Note: With two serrano chiles, the salsa is medium-hot. Reduce quantity of chiles to one if mild salsa is preferred or increase the quantity to three for very hot salsa. This salsa freezes very well.

16 servings

a gingerbread cupcake topped with pecans and caramel


from Trinity University Conferences and Special Programs




5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

11/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp Dutch process cocoa powder


1 1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup hot milk

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 oz cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted     

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1/4 cup chopped pecans, for garnish


For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add molasses, egg, and egg yolk. Mix well.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Dissolve baking soda in hot milk.

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and stir until combined. Stir in hot milk mixture.

Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly springy to the touch.

Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan and remove to a rack to cool.

For the cream cheese frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, sugar, and lemon extract. Place a dollop on each cupcake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

12 cupcakes

a glass of punch with fresh cranberries, raspberries and an orange on top


from Eric Maloof, Vice President for Enrollment Management, 2017-

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free


6 cups lemon-lime soda

6 cups cranberry-raspberry juice

1 pint raspberry sorbet

11/2 cups frozen whole raspberries


Chill lemon-lime soda and cranberry-raspberry juice in the refrigerator.

Just before serving, mix chilled soda and juice in a punch bowl. Add spoonfuls of sorbet and frozen raspberries.

36 servings

three rows of chocolate crinkle cookies topped with peppermint
Holiday Traditions 

Cooking TUgether also shares some of Trinity’s holiday traditions, especially those you can smell wafting through the Oakmont homes.

Each year, as the holiday season begins, students complete their exams and final papers and prepare to head home for winter break, and members of the Trinity community gather for a weekend of holiday celebrations.

In early December, Trinity University presents an evening of seasonal music in Laurie Auditorium as its gift to the campus and the San Antonio community. It includes the combined Trinity choirs, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Handbell Ensemble, and Jazz Band, which together provide an evening of holiday music and sing-alongs. Trinity’s Department of Music held its first annual Christmas concert in 1994. Admission was free and open to the public, as it remains today.

The Sunday following the Christmas Concert, many members of the Trinity community gather in Parker Chapel for the Christmas Vespers service. Trinity’s first such service was held as early as 1925, and it is one of Trinity’s oldest traditions. A particularly memorable part of the service comes when candlelight illuminates Parker Chapel as the choir sings “Silent Night.”

Immediately following Vespers, the Trinity community proceeds to the beautiful houses lining Oakmont Court, where the University president and senior administrators open their homes to students, alumni, faculty, and staff. It is a festive evening of treats, music, and friendship.

Cooking TUgether


The Trinity University Women’s Club maintains a scholarship fund for worthy female Trinity students and provides an opportunity for forming enduring friendships among members. Membership is open to all University female faculty and staff, female spouses of faculty and staff, and the University’s female alumnae. For more information on this worthwhile organization, visit the TUWC website.


  • Reserve your copy of Cooking TUgether!
    hardcover book shows Cooking TUgether book cover

    The TUWC cookbook is filled with delicious recipes and the beauty of Trinity on each page. There are more recipes from Oakmont Court, including Coleen Grissom's Popcorn and Champagne. You can view a 1945 recipe from the first TUWC President, explore recipes from some of your favorite professors, and more!

    From now until April 1, reserve your cookbook for $32.50 (includes tax) each. Shipping is $5.00. All proceeds benefit the TUWC scholarship fund. 

    To reserve your cookbooks, email recipes@trinity.edu with COOKBOOK in the subject line.

Carla Sierra is the public relations manager for Trinity University Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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