The 2014 Minced Recipe Guide for the Holidays

Last year, I compiled a list of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving in a post and shared them with my FOOD LOVE email subscribers and readers of Minced.  It was one of my most popular posts to date and with Thanksgiving exactly one week away I thought an updated list might be appreciated by all.

In addition to Thanksgiving recipes, I’ve expanded my recipe list to encompass the entire holiday season.  You’ll find favorites like apple pie with a cheddar cheese crust and easy dinner ideas for when company is in town.  I even include my family’s favorite Christmas sugar cookie recipe!

While I hope this list inspires you to get in the kitchen, don’t forget that this time of year is not so much about the spread on your table, but the people gathered around it.  Happy cooking!

For more holiday inspiration, follow me on Pinterest and check out my boards on tabletops, Thanksgiving, and all things holiday.

The 2014 Minced Recipe Guide to the Holidays
Here’s a list of some of my favorite recipes from my food blog, Minced, that I think would make a mouth-watering addition to your table this holiday season.  Those with an asterisk (*) can be made in advance and frozen.

Pickled Shrimp








Blue Cheese Gougeres*
Byssara: Dried Fava Bean Puree
Gruyere and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
Caramelized Onion Dip
Pickled Shrimp
Ricotta Herb Dip
Sweet Potato Biscuits with Country Ham and Honey Mustard

French Soup (aka Mashed Potato Soup)
Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup
Moroccan Harira
Potato and Leek Soup
Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

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Corn and Cranberry Muffins

Corn & Cranberry Muffins

In what is clearly evidence of a strong tendency to eat with my eyes, I have a weakness for fresh cranberries. I never have a plan when I impulsively add them to my cart, but their vibrant ruby hues and glistening skin make them hard to resist.

Fresh Cranberries 2

Once home, my superficial love affair begins to get a little rocky.  Yes, they are beautiful, but their sharp tartness and bracingly bitter bite make them high-maintenance in the kitchen.  Over the years, cranberries in my cart have meant cranberry orange bread, cranberry chutney, and pork chops with a cranberry-orange pan sauce on my table.  Last year, I toasted my purchase with cranberry margaritas.

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Turkey Meatloaf for Now and Later

Turkey Meatloaf for Two

In the spring, when our hands and lives were full with caring for a new baby, my mother came to visit for a couple of days.  She was a huge help in so many ways. She helped me tackle some tasks that I just couldn’t find the time to do and also spent one whole day filling our freezer with meals.

She made her famous spaghetti sauce, what seemed like gallons of Country Captain Chicken, and several meatloaves, perfectly portioned for 2 people.  When she left, we had close to twenty meals in our freezer that could easily become dinner when the day hadn’t gone as planned or we simply needed a break from that daily task.  It was a gift that offered both nourishment and time and I was more than a little sad when we baked off the last meal, a lone meatloaf, early this fall.

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On TV: Snacks for Kids

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Embarrassed by how much Halloween candy your children have been eating?  Get them back on track with these delicious snacks for kids! Click on the image above for the segment.

The fruit kebabs are so simple a recipe isn’t needed although knowledge of the colors of the rainbow is a plus.  For the granola bars, find the recipe for this personal favorite of mine here.

No Tricks, Just Treats: Caramel & Chocolate Apples

Drizzle close-up

In addition to cooking classes, I also offer in-home catering services through my business FOOD LOVE.  From intimate private dinners to large parties of 100 plus, I love this aspect of the business.  Instead of focusing on the intricacies of technique or rehashing the basics as I do in a cooking class, I get to test my skills and creativity as I develop a menu that is unique to the client and the event he or she is planning.

Granny Smith Apples

A couple of weeks ago, I had a party that I especially enjoyed catering.   There was no special occasion, just a desire to break-in a new home, celebrate fall, and watch football with friends.  While I loved putting a more sophisticated spin on tailgating favorites such as nachos, hot wings, and pulled pork sliders it was the desserts that really got me excited.

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On TV: Pork Shoulder with Root Vegetable Stew

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I posted this recipe on Minced about a year ago, but enjoyed digging it out again for a spot on Charlotte Today this morning.  Made from humble ingredients, a long cooking time transforms this stew into something that is anything but ordinary.  Enjoy!

Pan-Seared Black Bass over Black Lentils

Pan-Seared Black Sea Bass over Black Lentils

I grew up grouper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.  In search of the big one, we inevitably pulled up a lot of Rock Bass.   Members of the grouper family, these smaller fish, also known as Black Sea Bass, share a love of deep water and rocky habitats with the Red and Black Grouper we were seeking for our table.   After reeling up 80 feet of line, the sight of a Rock Bass and no bait meant this fish endured a lot of angry muttering as I slipped it off the hook and tossed it back into the sea.   Catching sometimes a dozen in one morning, we never kept a single one.

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