All posts filed under: Holiday Cooking

Holiday Series: Gathering Up The Week Long Celebration Menu

I’m hosting many guests over the holiday week, and finding just the right recipe is probably the funnest task I embark on, because you see, I love a good dinner party, and a conversations, and even followed by a board game. So, here are some of the dishes I intend to make this week: What are your favorite recipes? Here’s a fun article about how to feed your hungriest house guests 

Holiday Series: Best of Christmas List

Over the weekend, I played a private tour guide to friends visiting from out-of-town, driving them around past Union Square to get a glimpse of the city as I know it. Which got me thinking, I don’t mind doing this as a side job – touring folks and getting to know them on a different level and actually having fun. So it got me thinking about today’s post, sharing some of the best of Christmas lists – such as… {featured image source} What are your plans for the holidays?What is your favorite destination during the holidays?Do you host a holiday party or attend one? Are you done with your holiday shopping? Have you seen the movie Klaus on Netflix? If not, do so  What are you reading currently?

Holiday Cookies – For A Little Pick Me Up

It’s been raining continuous in the bay area, with a heavy fog to boot and unusually warm weather. I don’t recall this ever happening in all the years I’ve lived in San Francisco.  So, not feeling inspired to leave the house, I decided to bake – again, this time these tasty vanilla cookies, but I am using a snowflake cutter instead. INGREDIENTS 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature 1/4 cup granulated sugar ¼ cup light brown sugar 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom VANILLA GLAZE 2 cups powdered sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract sugared rosemary, for decorating (more) On Another note – if you happen to be a movie buff like myself, then you’d want to see this list of the best 2019 films – have you seen any of them and which do you recommend?

Holiday Series: In The Baking Mode

I am partly hosting a holiday-ish party next weekend and although most of the catering has been established, and deposits made, the snowflake cookies we envisioned isn’t going to happen – from a bakery. So, I volunteered to bake – for the first time – the said cookies and decorate them in time for the Saturday event. Then of course, I stumbled upon this list of 12 simple and delicious baking recipes for this holiday season to gift all the wonderful beings in your life past the immediate family.  Check out some of my favorites and for the rest go here: And since I usually tweak whatever recipe I want to try, I had to add my take on each one below: Whatcha ye baking?

Food: Mashed Potatoes 101

For the most part, I’ve taken off the side dish from my everyday life – staying true to eating less starch and more plant based  – but of course, the holidays are upon us, and one staple for a Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes. But as I have learned over the years, there is a trick to making the best mashed potatoes and then there are mistakes to creating a lumpy goo easily mistaken for a mixture of cement or grout for that tile work you plan to install. So on to the perfect mashed potato from this wonderful site I turn to learning all the tricks of the trade. and the winner or the traditional mashed potatoes in my household is combo hand and fork mashed, with heavy cream, garlic, grass-fed butter, light sea salt, ground peppercorn and chives to taste. Simple, easy and the best tasting of all mashed potatoes I have ever had. How do you make your mashed potatoes?

Holiday Series: Thanksgiving Appetizers

Normally my appetizer set-up trumps the actual ‘non-turkey’ oh alright, a sliver of turkey dinner.  The reason for that is, most folks arrive at my doorstep very hungry, and very thirsty for a cocktail, so the ritual begins, munching away at appetizers while cocktailing.  So by the time dinner rolls around, folks are too full to indulge. I haven’t yet figured out how best to settle this matter except perhaps try an array of light appetizers. But that doesn’t mean I won’t share some of the appetizers that are making their way to my list for this year’s dinner gathering. For the rest of of the 123 recipes which by the way are great suggestions for any parties, including Christmas, or New Years, go here   And how to host Thanksgiving or any party without the stress – although I welcome the stress – it is invigorating I think

Holiday Series: Thanksgiving Preliminary Prep

I start out with one menu – and then shift it throughout the week leading to Thanksgiving, so with that mindset, here’s what I am considering for the holiday, perhaps even leading to smaller dinner parties up to New Year’s eve. {featured source and inspiration for this blog post}

Food: Holiday Series – Thanksgiving Main Course

I am not a fan of Turkey, never have been and I doubt I’ll ever be. So this year, while searching for a main dish recipe I can live with, I stumbled upon this one, while reading an article on ‘how to have a sustainable Thanksgiving.’  And guess what? We are having A butternut Squash Vegducken! INGREDIENTS 1 cup pecans 1 (7 1/2″-long) zucchini 1 (9 1/2″-long) globe eggplant 1 (11 1/2″-long) butternut squash 2 scallions 2 garlic cloves, divided 1 shallot, coarsely chopped 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil 9 sprigs thyme, divided 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 2 large eggs 1 cup finely grated Parmesan 1/2 cup fine plain breadcrumbs 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley, divided Kosher salt 2 tablespoons mint, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Special equipment: Kitchen twine  {follow recipe here} And in case you are curious about the sustainable Thanksgiving suggestions, I have included the article here.    {featured image credit}

Holiday Series: Vegan Pumpkin Mousse

I am not a fan of pumpkin pie, or cake but I am a fan of pudding or mousse alternative, so I feel like this year, we are going to have this vegan pumpkin mousse on our dessert table for thanksgiving.  So easy to make and naturally spoon right out of the blender. Okay, no I’ll do my best to scoop the masterpiece into serving bowls for a more civilized way of indulging. Ingredients 1 cup (225g) full fat coconut yogurt or coconut cream* 1/2 cup (125g) pumpkin puree  1/4 cup (80g) maple syrup 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp salt  {more} On another healthier alternative to desserts – here’s a banana Chia pudding recipe – although this one I’m considering for breakfast come Sunday morning.  {featured image source and inspiration for this post}

Food: Holiday Series – What To Bring for Potluck

I was over the moon when I found this recipe online. A reminder of my childhood days, during the holidays when my mother and aunts got together to bake and make holiday desserts for a family gathering. I always helped in the kitchen, but only because I wanted to taste all the goodies being whipped together across the kitchen counters all the way to the dinning table – where the women gathered to share secrets to their version of the same old recipe, and laugh out loud at all the fun being poked about this and that. I loved every minute of it. So, since potluck is the sharing of the responsibilities of the hostess – here’s a great recipe for a unique dessert – chocolate salame – that’s been tried and tested by our extended families, eons ago, somewhere in a Mediterranean kitchen: Ingredients 100 g di biscuits like digestives or similar 100 g of butter at room temperature 150 g of sugar 100 g of good quality unsweetened cocoa powder 2 eggs Icing sugar Butcher’s twine Instructions Break the biscuits coarsely with your hands: do …