Holiday Recipe Collection Extras
The process of creating, testing and writing recipes isn’t easy. In my kitchen cookbooks are primarily for ideas and recipes are hardly ever followed. I have a hard time sticking to the list of ingredients in front of me when I don’t have quite the right amount of one thing and too much of another. In the spirit of never letting good food go to waste, ingredients that are not called for inevitably end up in my creations.
Diligently writing down what goes into a dish, sticking to it and testing it again and again was a challenge, but proved worthwhile as I thumb through the final collection of recipes that make up the Holidays 2011 eBook. I came to love these recipes after working so hard to perfect each one, and even brought my computer to the kitchen last night so I could re-create the “Best Baked Spinach”. Between four of us, the entire dish was polished off in one sitting – must be a sign that, in some cases, sticking to the recipe produces fairly tasty results.
However, one of the drawbacks to creating these recipe collections is the need to whittle down all the creative ideas. Especially around the holiday season it’s hard to stop adding “just one more recipe” to the stack that make the cut. There are so many types and styles of food and celebrations this time of year, it was tempting to include many, many more recipes than we did. Thankfully, there are more editions to come where the recipe ideas I have brewing in the back of my head will come in handy. Until then, I thought I would share a few of them here so you too can add to your collection of festive, delicious and wholesome recipes for every celebration this winter.
Spinach Salad with Pomegranate, Fresh Figs and Crumbled Blue Cheese
4 cups fresh spinach, washed and stems removed
1 cup fresh figs, sliced thin
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup apple cider
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
For the salad:
Lay the spinach in a large bowl or deep platter. Arrange the fig slices, pomegranate seeds and blue cheese crumbles on top. Drizzle dressing overtop and lightly toss until incorporated.
For the dressing:
Combine the cider, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate. Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to whisk so the mixture emulsifies.
Fresh stuffed figs
8-10 fresh figs, washed
½ cup cream cheese, softened
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep the figs by slicing off ¼ inch of their tops, just below the stem. You should be able to see their pink interior. With a toothpick or the tip of a knife, carve out a little hole into the pink area to make room for the stuffing. You should not need to remove any flesh, this part of the fruit is soft enough to give way and combine with the filling and will add to the flavor of the final product.
In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, blue cheese and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a small tip or a plastic sandwich bag with a one of the corner trimmed to create a small opening. Insert the bag or piping tip into the hole you created in the fig and squeeze a small amount of the filling into each fig. Garnish with extra herbs if desired and enjoy!
> These are a great bite sized food that doesn’t require your guests to hold a plate and fork along with their drink. Make a few hours ahead of time and have an easy cocktail party snack or starter ready for your holiday party!