Hearty snacks, seasonal sides, flavorful main dishes and tantalizing desserts all complement one another perfectly for holiday celebrations among loved ones. This year, when planning your menu, be sure to consider recipes that keep family and friends content from the moment they hang up their coats to the goodbye hugs.
These delicious options for a satisfying bread bowl, pumpkin spice potatoes, artfully glazed lamb chops and fresh apple pie can bring your guests running to the kitchen (and keep them there) as you celebrate all the season has to offer.
Beckon holiday guests with a bread bowl
While your loved ones wait patiently for the main course to be served, hearty appetizers like bread bowls can keep appetites at bay. This Spinach-Ham Dip is the perfect combination of comforting and satisfying when served with bread cubes, crackers or tortilla chips for a warming snack ahead of the big meal.
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
¼ pound ham, cubed
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 round bread loaf (16 ounces), unsliced
■ Heat oven to 350 degrees.
■ In medium bowl, blend ricotta cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add spinach, ham, Parmesan cheese and green onions; mix until blended.
■ Cut 1-2-inch diameter circle out of top of bread loaf. Reserve top. Remove bread inside loaf, leaving about 1 inch along sides. Pour cheese mixture into bread bowl. Replace top. Cover bread loaf in aluminum foil and bake 60 minutes, or until warmed through.
■ Take bread removed from inside bread bowl and cut into dipping sized chunks.
■ Remove bread from aluminum foil and place on platter. Scatter bread chunks around bread bowl to use for dunking in cheese sauce.
A seasonal side with a tasty twist
No matter what life may look like this holiday season, you can put a smile on loved ones’ faces with classic meals and sides that memories are made of.
Use a traditional holiday ingredient, potatoes, to make easy yet delicious recipes like these pumpkin spice scalloped potatoes. Perfect for serving with your favorite main course, they’re a tasty twist on a classic sweet potato casserole.
Plus, they’re made with little potatoes that come ready to use with no washing or peeling required, perfect for busy families during bustling holiday gatherings. For a time-saving hack, use the slicer attachment in a food processor to evenly slice potatoes in minutes.
PUMPKIN SPICE SCALLOPED LITTLE POTATOES
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups milk
1 ½ pounds little potatoes, 1/8-inch sliced, kept in water until ready to use
5 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced, cooked until crisp and drained
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons water
1 cup pecans, rough chopped
■ Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
■ In pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low then slowly add milk gradually, ensuring it is incorporated before adding more. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until thickened, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and set aside.
■ In bowl, add drained potatoes, sauce, bacon, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Season with salt and pepper, to taste; mix well.
■ In greased 8-by-11-inch baking dish, line potatoes on sides in desired pattern. Stuff extra bacon between potatoes from remains left in bowl. Pour extra sauce over potatoes.
■ Bake 60 minutes.
■ In small pot over medium-high heat, add brown sugar and water. Cook to melt sugar and allow to bubble, about 5 minutes. Add pecans; stir 2 minutes. Lay on parchment-lined baking sheet and allow to cool. Once cool, chop into pieces.
■ Remove potatoes from oven and sprinkle pecans over top.
Serve up a seasonal treat
No seasonal gathering is complete without dessert, and quality baking during the holidays results in fresh favorites like Apple Pie.
Allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon add spice to this festive favorite while brown sugar adds a hint of caramel sweetness with a nutty, moist, subtle molasses flavor that’s ideal for use in desserts of all kinds.
1 prepared 9-inch double-crust pie pastry, divided
¾ cup Domino Light Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 pounds apples, cored, quartered and sliced
¼ teaspoon allspice
■ Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 9-inch pie pan with half pastry then prick bottom and sides with fork.
■ In large saucepot, combine brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add apples and toss to coat evenly. Slowly heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and apples begin to soften and cook down to about 6 cups.
■ Turn apple mixture into lined pie plate. Top with remaining pastry. Trim and flute edges with fork. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.
■ Bake 35-40 minutes, or until crust is golden.
■ Serve warm or at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.
Add color and flavor to the holiday table
When a holiday celebration calls for a truly memorable meal, it’s a perfect opportunity to serve a dish that just might become a family favorite. Combining a seasonal staple like cranberries with naturally flavorful lamb could be your ticket to a newfound tradition.
Cranberry maple glazed grass-fed lamb chops can brighten up your holiday table with an irresistible pop of red and deliciously lamb.
CRANBERRY MAPLE GLAZED LAMB CHOPS
1 cup fresh or thawed cranberries
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
cracked black pepper
8-10 Lamb rib chops
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
■ To make glaze: In small bowl, whisk cranberries, maple syrup, orange juice, orange zest, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside.
■ To make lamb chops: Pat lamb chops dry with paper towel.
■ In small bowl, whisk brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and garlic powder.
■ Sprinkle dry rub on lamb chops and press mixture into meat.
■ In large skillet, heat thin layer olive oil over medium heat until drop of water sizzles in pan. Sear rib chops 2 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 140 F. Remove chops from pan and set aside.
■ Add glaze to pan and cook 3-5 minutes, whisking constantly until reduced by half.
■ Drizzle glaze over chops before serving.