Festive ways to spice up your kitchen this holiday season

Here are a few fun recipes to brighten up your holidays!

Couple+enjoys+holiday+cooking.

Couple enjoys holiday cooking.

Through the upcoming holiday season, COVID-19 will continue to rage, rendering it nearly impossible to enjoy it as we usually would. It’s hard to grasp onto a dwindling sense of reality, and there are few things to find relief in, but one sentiment remains the same: spending time in the kitchen will always prove cathartic. Here are a few fun recipes to try this season and to share, albeit from a distance, with loved ones. 

 

Listen to holiday music while you bake here:

 

  1. Hanukkah Star Challah
    1. Step One: Place 1 cup of water, eggs, salt, sugar, bread flour, and yeast into a bread maker in order of recommendation by the manufacturer. 
    2. Step Two: When the bread cycle is complete, place dough on a powdered surface and let it sit for 15 minutes. Make sure to cover it with a towel or a large bowl.
    3. Step Three: Now, knead the dough several times and then cut it into six equal pieces, rolling them so they are about ten inches in length and one inch in diameter.
    4. Step Four: Make sure to prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay three of the six ropes onto the sheet, and pinch the ends together so they form a triangle. Weave the three leftover pieces under each point, repeating the process to form another triangle. Pinch it firmly so it forms a star, and then place it in a warm place and let it rise until it has doubled in size, which should take between 30-40 minutes. 
    5. Step Five: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, then whisk egg yolk with water and brush it over the loaf before sprinkling it with sesame seeds. 
    6. Step Six: Bake in the preheated oven until the loaf is golden, shiny, and sounds hollow when tapped. This should take about 35 minutes. 
      1. Ingredients needed:
        1. 1 cup of water
        2. 2 eggs
        3. 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt
        4. 3 tablespoons of white sugar
        5. 3 ⅔ cups of bread flour
        6. 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
        7. 1 egg yolk
        8. 1 tablespoon of water
        9. 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds (or more)

 

  1. Pizza Candy Cane Crescent 
    1. Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, unroll the crescent dough and separate the triangles on the perforated lines. Then, cut the triangles in half lengthwise so there are sixteen.
    2. Step Two: Grab two pieces of parchment and overlap them so you have one 24-inch long piece. Arrange the triangles lengthwise so the pointy ends are facing down and the sides are overlapping, just slightly. This should be as long as the piece of parchment. Press the overlapping pieces of dough together to seal them together. 
    3. Step Three: Spread pizza sauce over the thickest part of the dough, and then sprinkle the shredded cheese over that. Make sure to add a layer of pepperoni. 
    4. Step Four: Take the pointy end of triangles and carefully fold them over the pepperoni and tuck the end under the dough. After, gently fold the dough to make a candy cane shape. Transfer the parchment onto the back of a baking sheet and sprinkle the sesame seeds over top. Bake until the dough is a golden brown and the cheese has melted. This should take 8 to 10 minutes. Tuck basil leaves into the dough to make a bow, and serve with more sauce for dipping. 
      1. Ingredients needed: 
        1. One 8-ounce tube of refrigerated rolled crescent dough
        2. ⅓ cup of pizza sauce, in addition to more for dip
        3. ½ cup of shredded mozzarella 
        4. 24 slices of pepperoni
        5. 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
        6. 2 large basil leaves

 

  1. Snowman Banana Nog 
    1. Step One: Heat up the hot glue gun.
    2. Step Two: Glue 3 buttons down the center of the mason jar, and cut four strips of either red or green felt that are about 1 ¼ inches by 18 inches. Snip fringe into each side of the strip and tie it around the lid of the mason jar. 
    3.  Step Three: Put the milk, sugar, vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, and banana into a blender on high until the liquid is creamy. Pour the drink into the mason jars, using whipped cream, confectioners’ sugar, and nutmeg as a garnish. Feel free to use a decorative straw as well.
      1. Ingredients:
        1. 5 cups of whole milk or oat milk
        2. ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, and some more for sprinkling 
        3. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
        4. 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and some more for sprinkling
        5. ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice
        6.  4 bananas that are sliced and frozen
        7. Whipped cream

 

  1. Buche de Noel
    1. Step One: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment. In a large bowl, whip cream, ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup of cocoa, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until it is thick and stiff. Then, refrigerate. 
    2. Step Two: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with ½ cup sugar until it is thick and pale. Blend in ⅓ cup of cocoa, 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla, and salt. In a large glass bowl, using clean beaters, of course, whip egg white to soft peaks. Then, gradually add ¼ cup of sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Finally, spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. 
    3. Step Three: Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners’ sugar, and run a knife around the edge of the pan/ Then, turn the cake out and onto the towel. Remove and discard the parchment. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel and let cool for 30 minutes.
    4. Step Four: Unroll the cake and spread the filling to within an inch of the edge of the cake. After, roll the cake back up with the filling inside. Place the seam side down onto a serving plate, and refrigerate until serving. Dust it with the confectioners’ sugar before serving. 
      1. Ingredients:
        1. 2 cups of heavy cream
        2. ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar
        3. ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
        4. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
        5. 6 egg yolks
        6. ½ cup of white sugar
        7. ⅓ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
        8. 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
        9. ⅛ teaspoon salt
        10. 6 egg whites
        11. ¼ cp of white sugar
        12. Confectioners’ sugar for dusting 

 

  1. Lentil Veggie “Meatballs”
    1. Step One: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
    2. Step Two: Combine the lentils and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, lower the heat, cover it, and let it simmer for 30-35 minutes or until after all water is absorbed
    3. Step Three: Set lentils aside to cool once they are cooked. Then, place the cooked lentils, carrots, onions, garlic, Parmesan, bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, oregano, basil, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well with a large spoon or spatula.
    4. Step Four: Roll the lentil mixture into balls (make sure they are a little bit bigger than a golf ball). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or cover it with olive oil. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet a few inches apart, and drizzle each meatball with olive oil. 
    5. Step Five: Place the meatballs in the oven and then cook on one side for 10-12 minutes. Then, turn each ball and cook for another 10-12 minutes. Each should be golden brown.
      1. Ingredients: 
        1. 1 cup of brown dry lentils
        2. 2 cups of water
        3. 1 peeled carrot, minced
        4. ½ white onion, diced
        5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
        6. 1.3 cup of grated Parmesan
        7. 2 large eggs
        8. 1 teaspoon dried parsley
        9. 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
        10. 1 teaspoon of fresh basil, chopped
        11. 1 teaspoon of salt