This is one of those recipes that comes together when you A) need to clean out your fridge and B) are exhausted and can’t stand the idea of making some fancy pants dinner. Especially after you’ve just done the holiday marathon of hosting an ugly sweater party, attending an ugly sweater party, attending your office party, attending your significant others’ office party, and making the rounds to all of your relatives on Christmas day. We know. You need a break.
Change in to your comfiest sweats and start throwing it together.
1/2 box of angel hair pasta
1 small container of cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 chopped zucchini
2-3 oz of goat cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
Dash of salt and pepper (or Adobo)
Boil a pot of water for the pasta, and while that’s heating up, heat the olive oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add in the tomatoes, zucchini, and onion. Cook until soft and the zucchini is slightly browned. While that’s cooking, boil your pasta. Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Add in the pan of vegetables and toss with the goat cheese, salt, and pepper.
For a couple of years now, it’s been a tradition to go to Beardsley Cider Mill and get their hot-out-of-the-oven, mouth-watering, earth-shattering apple cider donuts. But I couldn’t stand the thought of eating them only once a year. I need them in my life like I need another pair of shoes – and I always need another pair of shoes. So I bought a donut pan (shout out to HomeGoods – $9.99!) and tried to recreate them myself. I’m now sharing them with you because trust me, you need them your life too.
And I’m sure Santa wouldn’t mind these with milk instead of cookies this year either.
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease your donut pan. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt. Once blended mix in the apple cider, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and butter. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake them for roughly 15 minutes or until golden brown. Just like a cake or cupcakes, when they feel spongy, they’re done.
While the donuts are baking, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon for the coating. Once the donuts are done and have had a chance to cool, very lightly brush on the butter and toss the donut in the coating. (Warning: do not use a ton of butter for the coating. It will make the donuts soggy.)
Recently, our good friend Tara had a birthday, and you know how much we LOVE birthdays. She also happens to be fan of all things “spice”, particularly cardamom. So for a gift, I thought I’d be clever and make her something with cardamom in it! The problem? Other than our cardamom iced tea I had no idea how else to use it. Turns out, you can “spice” up just about any old cookie recipe to taste exotic. Enter in – cardamom! Not to mention, these little puppies make your house smell ah-mazing.
*Disclaimer, this recipe isn’t instant. You need time to chill the dough. (Just thought I’d point this out. I find it so annoying when I start making something and find out I have to wait! #impatientmuch?)
1 egg yolk
1 cup butter
1 tsp ground cardamom (feel free to add more if you’re really in to the flavor)
2 cups flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
Whisk the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add in the sugar until fully blended. Finally add in the egg yolk, cardamom, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, add in the flour. The whisking will get tough and eventually turn in to one big ball of dough. Chill the dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
When ready to shape the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough in to small 1 inch balls and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Hot out of the oven, sprinkle the cookies with sugar. And remember – pinkies up!
Ok so as much as I adore my freaking garlic and chive mashed potatoes and I mean freaking LOVE. How many years in a row can I make them for Thanksgiving without seeming played out? Well this year my aunt made some mashed tators that will blow your mind. Kids, these things were BANGIN. I just HAD to recreate them and figure out how she got those flavors in my belly. So because I’m such a giver, see below. You will be thanking me at your next holiday meal.
6 Sweet potatoes or about 4 lbs.
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
3/4 cup Coconut milk (before you freak the eff out, yes I said coconut milk…this will take place of the half and half or heavy cream or buttermilk all y’all use in your basic bitch mashed potatoes, so hear me out and let go of the panic button)
3 tsp. Red Thai Curry paste (didn’t I say pipe down and trust the food blogger)
3 tbsp. Maple Syrup
Lil buttah (that’s Butter for those of you that don’t speak New Yawk & by lil I mean eye ball it but Id say no more than 1-2 tbsp.)
Bake the potatoes at 375 degrees for 1 hr. Peel once cool (the skin will literally just melt off with a light tug, no peeler needed) and mash with the curry paste, coconut milk, salt, & 1 tbsp. of syrup (which I mixed and heated in a saucepan while peeling potatoes). Then place in a baking dish while topping with butter and remaining syrup. Broil in oven for 3-5 min.
Ok so still not convinced? A) make it before you hate and B) I have logic: the sugars from the coconut milk and sweet potatoes need to counteracted and balanced with some bold spice & flavor.
Plusssss, these things are amazeballs 2014 with a dollop of cranberry relish/sauce/chutney.
In the spirit of traditions, every Thanksgiving I make a new “signature” cocktail to kick off the meal. I don’t have an ounce of “mixology” in my body, so I take to Pinterest for inspiration. Last year I made Lauren Conrad’s Pilgram Punch (which was dangerously good). This year I made an apple spice recipe from Love and Lemons and it was delicious! I made a few tweaks based on ingredients I already had (waste not, want not) and let me tell you, it went down nice and easy. This is an easy drink to make for all of those upcoming holiday parties.
*Disclaimer – the “base” for this drink needs time to steep and chill, so be sure to make it the night before.
1 red apple, sliced for garnish (they are sooo good to eat after you’ve finished the drink)
In a small saucepan simmer the apple juice with the cinnamon sticks and star anise. When it barely comes to a boil, remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes, then chill for a couple of hours (or overnight).
When your’e ready to start making cocktails, remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise and set aside for garnish.In a cocktail shaker, shake the spiced apple juice, vodka, lemon, and ice together (work in batches if you need to).
Pour into glasses, add a splash of sparking water, and garnish with apple slices, cinnamon sticks and star anise pods.