Happy Holidays, friends! I don’t know what perfume you should regift to your third aunt twice removed, but I do know what you should make for dinner. I made Thanksgiving dinner all by myself this year and it was EPIC. My kitchen skills are on point, to say the least. I can’t say I love cooking (it’s a lot of work), but I do have an eye for good recipes and would like to think that Naomi Campbell would be thrilled to pose next to a meal executed by moi. Throw out your canned cranberry sauce and boxed stuffing and get ready for some new traditions. I’ve rounded up my favorite holiday recipes and a few more that I’ll be testing out for Christmas. Yes, Grown Up Hot Chocolate will be on the menu. Enjoy!
This Herb Roasted Turkey Breast recipe from Tasty Yummies is amazing. You can use a full turkey, turkey breast with the skin on, or chicken depending on how many people you’ll be celebrating with. I add chopped onions, garlic, green onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder and let it marinate in the fridge overnight – a few extra days would make it even more flavorful.
This Spiralized Apple and Arugula Slaw is a piece of cake. No one wants to spend lots of time making a salad – especially during the holidays. The recipe is actually part of a larger Smoky Pulled Pork Sandwich recipe, but I think the slaw is perfect for any meal.
I think I’ll test this recipe for Blueberry Cheddar Dip out a few times before Christmas. I might try out a few variations with cranberry, raspberry & rosemary, and mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese and I think I’ll get some gluten-free bagel chips just to make things a little easier.
No cornbread, no problem. Make these DELICIOUS Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes instead. I swapped breadcrumbs with cornmeal for a gluten-free version, and subbed strawberries and white onions in the blackberry salsa. Feel free to nix the jalapenos and add a little agave for some sweetness.
Who doesn’t love Mashed Sweet Potatoes? Especially Mashed Sweet Potatoes made by culinary queen, Martha Stewart. This recipe is super easy and a must have on an holiday plate.
Cauliflower Stuffing might sound weird, but it’s actually insanely delicious. My Jamaican family members are very hard to please and decided that this was the winning dish. No meat, no bread, just veggie goodness and a lot of love!
Canned cranberry sauce is a crime. Say it with me. My school made this every year at their Thanksgiving lunch and I could never have enough. I’d always get a little turkey, some mashed sweet potatoes, two slices of apple pie and at least three bowls of Cranberry Pear Chutney. It’s that good and also another Jamaican crowd pleaser. I usually make it a little thicker than it is in the picture by letting the mixture cook on low for bit after I’ve added all of the ingredients.
Do I need to say more? Check out the full recipe for this Brussels Sprout Casserole here and subb pancetta or gluten-free veggie bacon crumbs for the thick cut bacon.
I saw this recipe for Avocado Mac & Cheese and didn’t have the exact ingredients so I whipped up my own stove-top version with heavy cream, garlic, onion, mozzarella, white cheddar, gruyere, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder, but I still want to try out the original.
Cranberry Chai Sangria for those that want something light and refreshing.
And Grown Up Hot Chocolate with Homemade Bailey’s Marshmallows to round out your holiday experience.
Pro tip: START EARLY! I make the sangria two days before and marinate the turkey. I’ll make the cauliflower stuffing and the cranberry pear chutney on Christmas Eve and prep the Brussels Sprouts (cut them in half, grate the cheese, make the bacon crumbs, etc). Then, on the day of all I have to do is toss the turkey in the oven put the brussels sprouts together, make the mashed sweet potatoes, and spiralize a few apples. Skip breakfast and serve the Grown Up Hot Chocolate, Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes, and the Blueberry Cheddar Dip throughout the day.