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The holiday season is filled with celebrations everywhere you look — from spirited holiday concerts and performances to nostalgic movies and family traditions. There’s also a festive energy in the kitchen. The season adds something special to cooking and eating with family and friends that makes us savor our dishes just a bit more. That special seasonal craving usually calls for a cinnamon spice, warm maple syrup, crunchy nuts, and - of course - something warm and cheesy.
Here are five recipes that fulfill those seasonal flavors and will please your holiday guests.
Start your holiday happy hour right with a tray of Honey Drizzled Herbed Cheese. Pair alongside a warm spiced cider or mulled wine for a cozy and welcoming appetizer and pre-dinner drink.
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons pine nuts
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 ripe but firm Bartlett pears
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
Forget the bowl of nuts and leave your Nutcracker at home, this savory recipe satisfies with crunchy pecan crusted salmon topped with the Swedish favorite: lingonberry sauce. Can’t find lingonberries at the market? Al Johnson’s sells jars of their own jam which could be substituted for the berries and brown sugar.
4 salmon filets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup Fisher Nuts Pecan Halves
1/2 cup Panko*
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups lingonberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
If you’re craving something flavorful and not too heavy, this recipe is a crowd pleaser. The combination of goat cheese and salty prosciutto is a winning combination and the balsamic and Parmesan round out the flavors for a truly tasty flatbread to share as an appetizer or savor for lunch.
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 oz dough, at room temperature
cornmeal for dusting (or flour)
6 oz crumbled goat cheese
3-4 mission figs, thinly sliced
1 oz prosciutto, torn into thin strips
1/4 cup lightly packed baby arugula
salt and pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a main entree to serve as the main attraction, this recipe is your go-to. The cinnamon and apples add that seasonal sweetness that perfectly contrasts with the pan-seared pork. Add a side of greens and potato and you’ve got a meal fit for a holiday dinner.
2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, divided
4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
For the morning after a big holiday celebration, there’ nothing that can beat homemade buttermilk pancakes and local maple syrup. This childhood favorite is worth the morning prep time and invites everyone back to the table to spend together once again.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle
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