Every year, we have some go-to recipes that, when they happen, really mean holiday prep is getting real. Some of these are for snacking, some are for beverages, and some are more hefty, for meals. The more unusual and tasty, the better! I thought I’d share some of these with you, because I love finding new recipes to try, and, if you’re so moved, I’d love to have you link up your favorite recipes in the comments. If we all participate, hopefully we can have a solid set of cool things to add to our sacred repository of recipes.
Hostess-Gift Friendly recipes are marked (HGF)
Beverages: the kind with alcohol
We like whiskey, and have a couple of drinks we make that are great to share:
the Final Ward is the rye version of the Last Word, which is gin-based. These require green Chartreuse, which is totally good for you because it’s made from 150+ herbs by monks. As an aside, the cocktails we make come from the book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie, 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them.
Beverages: the kind that are (mostly) kid friendly. Okay, maybe “A beverage”.
Freshly made Masala Chai. Use decaf black tea and it becomes kid friendly! You could also probably sub almond milk or coconut mill in, although I haven’t tried that, myself.
Appetizer-type things. And Sides.
Marinated olives with star anise (HGF) are a huge crowd-pleaser, and delicious.
Baked Gouda Thing: I don’t really know where this next one came from or what it’s called, but it’s pretty good! I remember my mom making this when I was growing up.
one of those bigger gouda wheels
Stone ground mustard
A can of crescent rolls (hey, hmm, maybe this belongs in the next category)
cream/milk/half and half for brushing
Set your oven to the temp required for those pop-cansiter crescent rolls, and crack that bad boy open. Unroll, and make two flat squares from the triangles provided inside by pressing together the edges. Slice the wheel of gouda in half, and place one half of each wheel, rounded side up, on each square. Spread a thin layer of stone ground mustard over that, then pull the corners up and crimp them together (this was my job!), then brush with milk and dust with sesame seeds. Bake until done, with cheese melted and outside crusty and golden, then serve with a serrated knife.
Pull Apart buttered rolls make Thanksgiving leftovers weep-worthy.
Do you know they have contests in France to see who can come up with the best version of these cheesy, garlicy mashed potatoes, aligots? I need to find this festival.
1950s style recipes from the Church Cookbook that are so bad they’re good
Corn Casserole: 1 package jiffy, 1 can cream of corn, one can shelled corn (drained), 2 eggs, a stick of butter, melted. Mix together, bake for 30 minutes at 350. If you want to add something spicy, add one of those tiny cans of green chiles. We ended up sticking ours out in the smoker to cook this year ebcause we didn’t have enough oven space at Thanksgiving and the result was So. Good.
Breakfast Bake Thing, Revised: This is actually my own recipe that I adapted from a Wonder Bread version in the aforementioned church cookbook. It’s crazy good, and easy to put together the night before. It does bake for about an hour, though, at 350, so get it started an hour before you need it the next day.
A loaf of some sort of crusty bread (anything with rosemary is a plus), cut into about 1-2″ cubes.
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage, cooked, crumbled, and cooled
2 cups (or more, if you want) shredded gruyere
8 eggs, beaten with 1 tsp ground mustard
Layer bread cubes in a 9 x 12 casserole (butter it if you feel like you must), followed by a layer of the crumbled sausage, followed by the shredded cheese. Pour the eggs over evenly, so that everything gets good and soaked (if it was a big loaf, you might need another egg or two), then cover with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. Bake it off in the morning at 350, for an hour or until the internal temp is 190 F.
These poached pears are amazing!
Emeril’s Rasberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies are one of the best reasons to have Chambord on hand.
SO, those are some of mine. Show me yours! I’d love to have some new recipes to try out over the next few weeks!