Let’s face it- no one is up early enough on New Year’s Day to havebreakfast. It’s a day of rest and relaxation. A time to reflect on the year that’s passed and create goals for the yearthat’s in front of you. This is a day filled with minimal stress, and lots offootball, and your brunch recipes should reflect that. Here is a brunchspread that is easy, quick and painless, but sure to please a crowd. On thisagenda: Sausage Casserole, French Toast Casserole, and Fruit Salad (Savory,Sweet, Fruit) but for more brunch options, click here.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190
degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch square baking dish. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly
brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. In the prepared baking dish, stir together the shredded potatoes and butter.
Line the bottom and sides of the baking dish with the mixture. In a bowl, mix
the sausage, Cheddar cheese, onion, cottage cheese, and eggs. Pour over the
potato mixture. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into center of
the casserole comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
French Toast Casserole
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, cut into 1-inch
cubes 8 eggs, lightly beaten 3 cups 2% milk 4 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon salt
Place bread cubes in a greased 13×9-in.
baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt.
Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Dot with butter. Combine
sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top. Cover and bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the
center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup if
10 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained 11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained 1 medium apple, cored and chopped 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 cup grapes, halved 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut 1 cup mini marshmallows
Add apple to a large bowl and toss in
lemon juice to keep from browning. Add the pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes, coconut, and marshmallows and toss
to combine. Stir in Greek yogurt, gently tossing to coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld
together. Serve chilled.
Holiday desserts are my worst vice so I’m thankful that they are in abundance only once a year. When else do you find the glorious holiday flavors of gingerbread, eggnog or peppermint? It’s rare. Holiday desserts almost seem to take on the magic of the season. These desserts with their festive flavors and familiar aromas remind us of our childhood and we can’t help but recall making gingerbread cookies with grandma, sipping on some eggnog while adorning the tree with your favorite ornaments, helping mom make fudge for the neighbors. Holiday desserts are an experience, not just a treat, and they should be created with that kept in mind. Below, we have compiled a list of our top 3 holiday faves but you can click here for tons more. Which is your fave?
This minty chocolate deliciousness won our number one spot because of its ease, deliciousness and rarity. Surprisingly, we don’t see a lot of people making this dish even though it’s a completely logical mix. Boxed brownies- is there anything easier or more classic? The answer is a hard No. Mix in peppermint candies to give it that Winter Wonderland feel, and all your coworkers will think you are Martha Stewart and begin pressing you for your “homemade peppermint brownie recipe.” Tell them it’s your grandma’s secret, from-scratch recipe. Your secret is safe with us.
DIRECTIONS Line a 9×9 inch metal baking pan with parchment paper and grease lightly with non-stick spray. Mix up brownie mix according to package directions. Pour half of the brownie mix into the pan and top with peppermint bark candies. Drop remaining brownie mix in spoonfuls over the top of the peppermint bark candies and spread gently. Bake according to the package directions (about 45 minutes) but be sure to not over bake. Allow to cool, cut and enjoy!
Red Velvet Cake
Our #2 winner is also a unique take on a classic recipe. RED- The official holiday color. So it makes total sense to whip up something with red velvet to fit in with the holiday theme. Fancy it up with sugared cranberries and you’ve won Christmas dinner with your fam.
Ingredients 1 2-layer size package German chocolate cake mix 1 8 – ounce container dairy sour cream 3/4 cup water 1/3 cup cooking oil 3 eggs 1 1 – ounce bottle red food coloring (2 tablespoons) White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting 1 1/2 cups coconut shards, purchased coconut chips or flaked coconut, toasted Sugared cranberries (optional)
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9×1-1/2-inch round cake pans or two 8x8x2-inch square baking pans or coat with nonstick spray for baking; set aside. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, eggs, and food coloring with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Beat mixture on medium speed for beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake cakes for 25 to 30 minutes for 9-inch pans or 30 to 35 minutes for square pans or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. Spread White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and over sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Cover and chill cake to store. If you like, garnish with sugared cranberries. Makes 12 to 16 servings.
Roasted Pears with Lemon Cream and Roasted Pine Nuts
Our #3 winner is the show stopper. Complex enough to be served at a 5 star restaurant and embodying that old school holiday feel, this roasted pear dessert will be the talk of the Christmas celebration. It makes for an amazing presentation so be prepared to wow…. As long as you are up for the challenge. It takes about 45 min of prep time.
Lemon-Cream 1/2 cup lemon curd 1/2 cup sour cream 3/4 cup whipping cream, chilled 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Roasted Pears 1/2 of a lemon 8 medium Bosc pears 3/4 cup apple juice 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 6 whole cloves Pinch salt
Directions Candied Pine Nuts
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a dry, medium heavy skillet, toast pine nuts over medium-low heat, shaking frequently, until golden and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a dish; set aside. In the same skillet, cook sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt. Shake pan occasionally, but do not stir. Once the sugar begins to melt, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until fully melted and golden brown. Stir in pine nuts. Pour onto prepared baking sheet. Cool completely. Break or chop into small pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Lemon-Cream
In a chilled medium bowl, beat lemon curd and sour cream with an electric mixer until just combined. Add whipping cream and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and mounds. Chill, covered, for up to 8 hours. Roasted Pears
Preheat oven to 400 degrees . Squeeze lemon into a large bowl half full of cool water. Peel pears, leaving stems, and cut a thin slice off bottoms. (Submerge pears upright in water as you work.) In a saucepan, combine apple juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until butter melts and sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Pat pears dry and arrange upright in a 3-quart baking dish. Pour syrup over pears. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown, basting with syrup occasionally. (If syrup thickens too much, add water to pan.) If not serving immediately, pears can sit at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 hours. Rewarm slightly before serving. To serve, arrange pears on dessert plates or a platter. Drizzle with some of the syrup. Dollop Lemon Cream around pears. (Gently stir first if necessary.) Sprinkle with Candied Pine Nuts. If desired, pass remaining syrup, cream and nuts.
Is there a more delicious, savory meat than chorizo? No matter the recipe, it’s delicious in everything. It’s pretty hard to screw up a recipe that calls for chorizo. Fresh homemade Mexican chorizo is cooked until charred and crisp along with onions, poblano peppers, and smoky chipotles. The mixture gets stuffed into soft warm corn tortillas and topped with salsa verde, cilantro, and a slew of other garnishes. It’s one of the simplest and most delicious tacos you can make and, lucky for you, here is the recipe!
A quick, homemade chorizo needs barely any seasoning to form a delicious taco filling, but the addition of cooked down onions and poblano peppers, along with some chopped chipotle chilies will add another dimension of flavor that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Note: Store-bought fresh Mexican chorizo and salsa verde can be used in place of the homemade.
1 lb ground lean pork, ground turkey can be substituted 1⁄4 cup cider vinegar 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon table salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS Combine chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, red pepper flakes, ground cloves and black pepper in mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add cider vinegar and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Add ground meat and knead until spice mixture is well incorporated into the meat. You can use the chorizo immediately, but for best flavor development, place chorizo mixture in an airtight container and store overnight in fridge. Form chorizo meat into small patties or just scramble and fry the meat in a skillet until done.
Salsa Verde Recipe:
INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks and stems removed 1 to 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stem and seeds removed 1 small white onion, skin removed, split in half 1 bunch fresh picked cilantro leaves and tender stems Kosher salt
DIRECTIONS: 1.Combine tomatillos, serranos, and onion in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are completely softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all sides are softened.
2.Drain vegetables then transfer to a blender. Add cilantro and a large pinch of salt. Blend on medium speed until a chunky puree is formed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste with more salt or lime juice if necessary, and serve. Cooled salsa can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 large white onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups), divided 1 poblano pepper, finely diced (about 1 cup) 1 1/2 pounds fresh Mexican chorizo (see note) 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
TO SERVE: 24 warm corn tortillas 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems 1 recipe salsa verde 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream 2 limes, cut into 12 wedges each 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco 12 radishes, scrubbed clean 1 avocado, sliced
DIRECTIONS 1.Heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of onions and all of poblano and cook, stirring, until softened and starting to color, about 6 minutes. Add chorizo and cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon, until completely cooked through and starting to crisp and char in bits, about 15 minutes total. Stir in chipotle chilies and remove from heat.
2.Transfer chorizo to a warm serving bowl, draining excess oil if desired. Combine remaining onion with cilantro. Serve chorizo immediately with warm tortillas, salsa, cilantro and onions, crema, queso fresco, radishes, avocado, and lime wedges.
Thanksgiving has come and gone but one thing that is still here for everyone is lots of leftovers. Whether you are looking for delicious salads, soups, or appetizers to compliment your Thanksgiving meal, this beet side-dish smorgasbord, which was originally posted on this article, is perfect for helping celebrate the holidays. Move over traditional green bean casseroles, canned cranberries, and mashed potatoes. There are some new dishes in town that will rock Thanksgiving festivities! Prefer simple roasted beets? Try a Roasted Pumpkin and Beet Salad or Roasted Beets with Crumbled Gorgonzola. Looking to include some of the classics but with a twist? Maple Ginger Cranberry Beet Sauce or Balsamic Green Beans and Beets with Pecans are sure to be a hit. How about utilizing the beetroot’s greens or stems? The beet is edible from root to leaf and offers an array of side-dish opportunities!
ROASTED PUMPKIN AND BEET SALAD WITH ARUGULA AND FETA
Fall’s arrival cues vibrant red, orange, and yellow-colored leaves, crisp temperatures that motivate us to sweater-up, and every pumpkin lover’s dream comes true. Pumpkin lattes rule coffee shops. Pumpkin breads and muffins replace blueberry scones and bran muffins, and pumpkin pies and cheesecakes become dessert staples at every restaurant. Every Fall, the beautiful stealthy pumpkin secures my affections. Although I may be one cup of pumpkin soup away from looking like an orange Oompa Loompa, there is more to the pumpkin’s famed lattes and pies that inspires my fondness and respect for Fall’s favorite squash. Besides its sweet delicious flavor, the pumpkin is extremely nutritious providing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The beautiful orange pigment of the pumpkin is produced by carotene, which converts into Vitamin A (retinol). 1 cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of our recommended daily intake of Vitamin A (converted beta-carotene). This key vitamin helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, and soft tissue. Vitamin A also promotes good vision, especially in low light, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine. Combine the pumpkin’s health benefits with the beetroot’s vast vitamins and minerals, such as Manganese, Vitamin C, and Folate (vital for pregnant and nursing moms), and we have an even bigger reason to eat more pumpkin and beets this Fall!
INGREDIENTS 4-5 medium beetroots 1 small sugar (pie) pumpkin 1 red onion 1 large bunch of arugula 1 tsp cumin powder 1 tsp dried oregano salt and pepper 1 C reduced-fat feta (flavor to taste) 1 tbsp sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds 1/3 C olive oil 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
DIRECTIONS 1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. 2. Slice pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Remove pumpkin skin with a vegetable peeler. Save the seeds if you wish to roast them. This video provides tips on roasting pumpkin seeds. 3. After removing the outer layer, cut the red onion into small wedges or quarters. 4. Gently wash and peel beetroots. Use gloves to avoid stained pink fingers or leave skins attached (beet skins ARE edible just not aesthetically pleasing to most). Avoid using porous cutting boards as red beets will stain. 5. Place beetroot, pumpkin, and onion on roasting tray lined with parchment paper and coat (drizzle or brush) with half the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. 6. Place roasting tray with vegetables* in the oven and cook for approximately 28-30 minutes, turning the pumpkin, beetroot, and onion after 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then assemble the salad. 7. In a small bowl, mix remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar and dried oregano. Gently toss (or drizzle) with roasted vegetables. 8. Place roasted vegetables on bed of arugula or combine arugula in the mix. Sprinkle with feta cheese and sunflower seeds. Toss if preferred. Serve immediately or keep roasted vegetables and dressing separate from greens and chill in the refrigerator. Dressing and vegetables will keep for several days. Enjoy!
This vegan pizza is a perfect weeknight fix and is quite the crowd-pleaser. It’s an easy base to add to as well, in case you’re one of those people who eat pineapple on pizza and want to see how it goes with veggie meatballs.
Why go vegan? Several reasons:
For Your Health
Well-planned vegan diets follow healthy eating guidelines, and contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. Both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognise that they are suitable for every age and stage of life. Some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Going vegan is a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking, and improve your diet. Getting your nutrients from plant foods allows more room in your diet for health-promoting options like whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables, which are packed full of beneficial fibre, vitamins and minerals.
For The Animals Preventing the exploitation of animals is not the only reason for becoming vegan, but for many it remains the key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Having emotional attachments with animals may form part of that reason, while many believe that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom. Specifics aside, avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere. A more detailed overview on why being vegan demonstrates true compassion for animals can be found here.
For The Environment
The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment – from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. In Brazil alone, the equivalent of 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soya beans for animals in Europe. This land contributes to developing world malnutrition by driving impoverished populations to grow cash crops for animal feed, rather than food for themselves. On the other hand, considerably lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain a vegan diet, making the switch to veganism one of the easiest, most enjoyable and most effective ways to reduce our impact on the environment. For more on how veganism is the way forward for the environment, click here.
Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human family. A plant-based diet requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. With rising global food and water insecurity due to a myriad of environmental and socio-economic problems, there’s never been a better time to adopt a more sustainable way of living. Avoiding animal products is not just one of the simplest ways an individual can reduce the strain on food as well as other resources, it’s the simplest way to take a stand against inefficient food systems which disproportionately affects the poorest people all over the world. Read more here on how vegan diets can help people.
Technique tip: For the “mozzarella” sauce, if you are not using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak cashews overnight or boil for 10 minutes and drain. This will soften them and ensure a silky smooth cream. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to one month and thawed before using.
MEATBALL PIZZA 1 tablespoon cornmeal 1 pound pizza dough 1 cup tomato sauce 3/4 cup mozzarella sauce 1 cup Vegetarian Meatballs Optional toppings: Caramelized onions, fresh basil, sliced tomato, crushed red pepper
“MOZZARELLA” SAUCE 1½ cup raw cashews 1 cup 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1½ teaspoons sea salt 1 clove garlic 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly brush a large baking sheet (approximately 9- x 13-inch) with olive oil.
2. Sprinkle the bottom of the baking sheet with cornmeal. On a lightly floured surface, roll or stretch the dough into a large rectangle. Fit it into the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Spread enough tomato sauce to generously cover the dough, leaving about a ¾-inch border. Top with meatballs and any optional toppings. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until edges are golden.
3. For the “mozzarella” sauce, in a high powered blender, combine cashews and water. Blend on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, garlic, onion powder, and cornstarch and blend until smooth.
4. Remove pizza from oven, lightly drizzle with Mozzarella Sauce, then bake for 1 minute more. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing. If desired, season with crushed red pepper before eating.
Click Here for more vegan recipes. Click Here for more general recipes.
There are no two ways about it, the first time you make ravioli, it will be a little difficult. The beauty of it is, after only a little practice of handling the pasta dough, you will enjoy it so much you may even become obsessed.
The best way to make your homemade ravioli is using the popular Kitchenaid Stand Up Mixer. It has a pasta attachment that works beautifully. The trick is getting to know your dough. Good pasta dough is firm and leathery to touch, but also pliable. It should not stick to your fingers or crumble and fall apart. Many factors, such as humidity, brand of flour used, and size of eggs, may affect dough consistency.
To test for correct dough consistency, pinch a small amount of dough together after mixing with the flat beater. If the dough stays together without sticking to your fingers,it should work well. • If dough seems too dry, add a small amount of water to reach the correct dough consistency. Repeat the folding and kneading processes. • If dough seems too wet, add a small amount of flour to reach the correct dough consistency. Repeat the folding, and kneading processes.
Preparing pasta sheets with the roller attachment For best results, the Pasta Roller attachment should be used for preparing pasta sheets. A roller setting of 4 or 5 on the Pasta Roller is recommended. If rolled thinner, the Ravioli pockets may tear when filled.
Width: Pasta sheets should be the full width of the Ravioli maker (also full width of Pasta Roller) ( 5-3/4 “) to assure that outside rows of pockets seal.
Square ends: It is helpful to cut the ends of the pasta sheets “square” before folding the sheets in half to begin making the ravioli. This is because if one or both ends are “slanted,” all of the ravioli pockets at the end will not have both sides of pasta to seal.
Texture: Make sure that the dough is firm and leathery to touch. Dough that is too sticky may tear when processing through the ravioli maker. Dough that is too dry will not seal the ravioli and the sides may get caught on the sides of the ravioli maker and rip. Patting the dough with flour on the outside before running it through the Ravioli Maker helps to make the pasta come through much easier.
Size of Ravioli: The KRAV produces three ravioli at a time (across). There is a small perforated piece of dough that needs to be removed between each ravioli in order to separate them. They are square in shape, so they are approximately 1-1/2″ squares.
Preparing pasta sheets by hand If you do not own a KitchenAid Pasta Sheet Roller, pasta sheets can be prepared by hand. Pasta sheets should be rolled out to a thickness of 1/16″ (0.156 cm) and a width of 5-1/2″ (13.75 cm) in order to pass through the Ravioli Maker. See additional tips in section above.
Cooking and storing ravioli Separated ravioli can be cooked right away. Boil in 6 qt (5.7 L) salted water until al dente or slightly firm to the bite, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Separated ravioli can be stored in the refrigerator overnight. For longer storage, individually freeze ravioli on a baking sheet. Then store in the freezer in a sealed container
Ravioli Filling: 11 ounces pumpkin puree 2 tablespoons olive oil 7 ounces 1/2-inch cubes peeled sugar pie pumpkin 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese Salt and freshly ground black pepper Pasta Dough: 1 1/3 pounds all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting 6 large egg yolks 4 large eggs 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sauce: 8 1/2 tablespoons butter 25 fresh sage leaves Juice of 2 lemons 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan shavings
To make the pumpkin puree: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until soft, but not colored. Add the pumpkin and some freshly grated nutmeg then cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove the lid and continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a blender and process until smooth.
To make the ravioli filling: Place the pumpkin puree in a small saucepan and leave over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly and making sure it doesn’t catch. Leave to cool.
In a small non-stick frying pan, heat a little olive oil and cook the diced pumpkin for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until it turns golden brown. Leave to cool.
Mix the cooled puree, diced pumpkin, tarragon, and Parmesan together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
To make the sauce and serve: Drop the ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they rise to the surface.
Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and stir until melted and a light brown color. Add the sage leaves and lemon juice and remove the pan from the heat.
Drain the ravioli with a slotted spoon and place 3 on each serving plate. Spoon the butter and sage mixture over and around the ravioli and garnish with pine nuts and Parmesan shavings.