Why do they call deviled egg, DEVILED eggs?
Are they devilishly delicious? Yes!
But still, the name sounds a little evil.
I love a breakfast casserole on Christmas morning!
When I’m at my sister’s house for Christmas, the present-opening part of the morning tends to go on...
Finally, my brother in-law, Josh, can’t stand it anymore.
He'll declare a break for us all to fuel up so that maybe we can finish all of presents sometime before dinner!
We used to just make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.
But as much as we all love a good, old-fashioned, sugar-filled breakfast, we decided we wanted something a little more substantial—not to replace the sugary stuff, of course, just to go with it!
And that brought us to breakfast casseroles!
What’s better than making a breakfast big enough to serve your whole family and barely lifting a finger because you made that breakfast the night before?
Well, I guess there is one thing better...
Making your casserole with everything bagels!
It’s like a bagel sandwich with eggs, bacon, and veggie cream cheese—in casserole form!
And this year, it just might be the best present under your tree!
(Just to be clear, please don’t put this under your tree. Keep it refrigerated and bake at 375°. 😉)
servings: 10 to 12
I don’t think I’ve ever had a party—small or large, planned or last-minute—where I haven’t served cheese.
If I’m standing around, drinking wine and chatting, I want to be snacking on some sort of cheesy goodness.
And when it comes to Christmas, I find that my family is always in need of appetizers.
I love the part of holiday gatherings where everyone is just relaxing and munching...
So to bring some cheese to the holidays and keep things super festive at the same time, may I present you with Christmas Cheese Balls!
The ingredients are few and the time involved is minimal, but in the end you'll be walking in with a show-stopping appetizer!
You can make just the cheese ball with the green inside and enjoy a pesto-inspired ball with a red outside of tart and crunchy pomegranates.
Or you can choose the ball with the red inside made with sundried tomatoes and green-coated in pistachios and herbs.
No matter what you do, you’ve got a cheese ball!
And with that, you’ve got a party!
servings: 1 cheese ball
servings: 1 cheese ball
I love taking underrated vegetables, shining them up, and showing people just how much delicious-potential they have!
Onions don’t generally get their own place on your holiday table, although they're found as supporting players in almost every other dish.
The tick to getting them to take center stage is infusing them with flavor—in this case, balsamic, Dijon, and rosemary.
Then add some sweetness to the mix, and let them roast up to sticky perfection in the oven.
When you treat them right, they become a show-stopping side dish that will be gone before the main meal!
Okay, Mr. Onion, it’s your time to shine!
servings: 6 to 8
I love easy appetizers!
And even better than just being easy, I love appetizers that are easy and ridiculously tasty.
You know the type—they're made with just a couple of ingredients but still get oohs and aahs from your guests.
Well, look no further for your next appetizer that fits this bill!
This one's really just about assembly...
Bread, brie, honey.
Peppercorns, pistachios, more honey...
Then serve to your adoring audience!
The pinch of sharpness from the pink peppercorns cut through the sweet honey and creamy brie—for a perfectly gooey bite.
A bite that also happens to look like a Christmas ornament decorated in red and green!
servings: 8 crostini
Appetizers are an important part of the holiday season.
When you're sitting around drinking bubbles and singing Christmas carols or opening presents, it's just not the same without something warm and cheesy to nibble on.
Brie is not the most loved cheese (there are people who find it slightly stinky)...
But when you bake it into an ooey-gooey mess, you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who can resist a taste (or two, or three—or eleven).
And it only gets better when you top it with homemade blackberry and apple jam, candied pecans, and pomegranate seeds!
Because although we can all agree that melty cheese is ridiculously good, when you combine it with slightly tart jam and crunchy pecans, you will NEED a second, third—and eleventh!—helping!
And let’s be honest, it’s darn cute.
It’s a present in itself!
servings: 1 brie wheel with about 1¾ cups jam, serves 8 to 10
What’s more satisfying than stuffing?!
Bread, veggies, stock—YUM!
So it's obvious there will be stuffing on the Thanksgiving table, but now the question is...
What veggies do you put in there?
What will give you both sweet and savory flavors, along with different textures?
Butternut squash immediately popped into my head, even though I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of squash in stuffing.
After trying it out though, I know it's the right choice!
The squash is hearty and dense and sweetly contrasts the tartness of the apples and the strong, sharp onions.
Good stuffing is nothing fancy—it’s all about the right combination of ingredients to make a satisfying comfort food.
And when you strike that perfect chord, it's definitely music to your ears…and stomach!
servings: 6 to 8
Cranberries have a zingy tartness that brings all of the other foods on your Thanksgiving Day plate to life.
And although the canned stuff may be an old staple on your table, consider clearing some space for this simple--but spectacular!--homemade version.
I start with a traditional cranberry sauce and add some beets that have been put through the blender.
Then I strain out all of that vibrant juice.
The beets add a deeper, richer flavor to the sauce--while still allowing the cranberries to shine.
And if you are a hardcore beet lover, then consider the "Extra Beety" version (also below), a fun beet-forward take that uses chunks of beets instead of just the beet juice!
servings: 3 Cups
servings: 3 cups
All delicious, easy-to-make, moist and flavorful breads, thanks to the fruits and veggies they incorporate.
So let’s keep the Veggie Bread Train in business!
It's time to talk about Acorn Squash Bread!
Prepared similarly to pumpkin bread, acorn squash bread uses the delicacy and sweetness of squash--along with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg--to make for a savory, but slightly sugary bread.
This bread is perfect for your Thanksgiving Day table or a cozy treat for the next morning when you're sitting around the kitchen with out-of-town relatives over cups of coffee.
Just bake halves of acorns squash, scoop out the sweet flesh, mix with some pantry staples, and you’ve got an extremely addictive quick bread!
And to take it one step further, I drizzle mine with a little cider vanilla glaze--yummm.
Then sprinkle it with some granola for a sticky sweet and delightfully crunchy topping, and you've got a recipe your relatives won't stop asking you for!
servings: 1 9 X 5-inch pan of bread (about 8 slices)
I love that Brussels sprouts have made a powerful comeback in recent days.
People are excited to learn that a deeply browned, roasted Brussels sprout is much different--and tastier!--than a steamed one.
And now that we've all figured out just how heavenly a sprout can be with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, I’d like to bring us to a whole new level--adding honey for sweetness, sriracha for heat, and pumpkin seeds for crunch!
The result is a Brussels sprout that is sure to make you sing in delight.
Because you sing when eating delicious food, right?
I’m not the only one, am I?!
servings: 1 pound of Brussels sprouts; serves 2-4
My “Meat On The Side” philosophy, at its simplest, is about eating less meat and more veggies.
But if you want to get a little more complex, it's also about infusing vegetables into your meals--not just to make those meals more nutritious, but to elevate those dishes--to make them better.
For this mushroom gravy, I’m creating a super-rich, bold mushroom stock that will heighten your traditional turkey pan gravy to a gravy that tastes like it was made by a master chef!
And if you'd like to make a vegan version--which will still taste better than almost any gravy you've ever tasted--you can thicken it up without adding the turkey drippings.
Oh, and yes, you heard me right…VEGAN!
Your vegan or vegetarian guests will love this seemingly magic gravy they can pour over everything!
And you can still make a separate version with your pan drippings for the rest of the group.
Just sauté up some Portobello mushrooms with browned onions, garlic, thyme and, rosemary.
Add some rehydrated dried porcini mushrooms…
...And thicken with an oil and flour roux (vegan version), or add some flour to your turkey pan to create a traditional turkey dripping roux.
Then the only thing left to do is to prepare yourself (and your guests!) to lick this gravy straight off the plate!
servings: 2 1/2 cups gravy
I think we can all agree that a good Thanksgiving Day table includes a plethora of side dishes.
I love Thanksgiving because millions of people end up eating a “Meat On The Side” meal without really thinking about it.
As much as turkey is considered the star of the meal, most of our plates end up with just a little slab or two of it--the rest of the plate is filled up with vegetable side after vegetable side.
And even though I love the way our plates automatically become veggie-focused, many of these Thanksgiving Day sides can start to taste a little repetitive.
They all seem to be on the softer, mushier side and they all seem to be doused in cinnamon and nutmeg.
So I propose bringing some spicy, chewy, vibrant roasted parsnips to the party!
They have a delightful texture and are perfectly seasoned with rosemary, garlic, and paprika.
And if your main meal menu is already full, consider serving them as an appetizer.
There is nothing like a parsnip chip and a warm cocktail!
servings: 1 ½ cups of parsnips; serves 2-3
Sometimes--like for Thanksgiving--you want to take things up a notch!
You want to put a little extra time and love into some special dishes that are sure to get "oohs" and "aahs" at your table.
If this is what you are looking to do, I suggest you start by simmering down some pomegranate juice into a thick molasses-type sauce.
Then make it into a honey, orange zest, and vinegar dressing that will coat your perfectly roasted carrots in a glaze of goodness.
And finally take the time to top those glistening, sticky sweet carrots with pecans, a touch of yogurt, pomegranate seeds, and parsley...
In the end you will be rewarded with a side dish that definitely takes things to the next level--offering all the flavors of a home cooked holiday meal, but with enough elegance for a sophisticated restaurant service.
servings: 2 -3 servings
A sweet potato casserole is a good thing.
The sweet potatoes take on an extra sweetness, complemented by all of those warm fall spices.
Top that goodness with marshmallows, and you have a comforting side that’s always welcome on my Thanksgiving table.
But as much as I like a good sweet potato casserole, they always seem to be missing something.
I've noticed that there's usually no texture--just a lot of mush.
And as much as the sweetness is nice, it gets a little too sweet after a couple bites.
So let’s make a better sweet potato casserole!
One with cinnamon spiced apples to give it a little bite and a slightly sour relief from all that sweet!
Mix that in with the usual suspect and a couple of eggs for a fluffy yet firm dish.
Finally, top it all with a simple (but simply tasty!) cranberry sauce and some crunchy granola and you have a mouthwatering side dish that tastes like your traditional holiday staple--just better!
It's balanced, textured, and so completely addicting.
I like a classic Thanksgiving Day sweet potato casserole as much as the next person, but this sweet potato casserole will make you fall deeply, madly, in LOVE!
servings: 6 ; makes three cups of cranberry sauce