Holiday dinner ideas

I associate the Christmas season with good food, heartwarming music and the warmth of friends and family. I can help you out with the food part but I leave the rest for you. Please check out holiday dishes from my earlier blogs: festive salad, mouth-watering meat, fabulous vegetarian and tasty vegan dishes. Enjoy!

RECIPES

Traditional Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

Vegan Russian Sour Kraut Soup (Shi) Recipe

Pork with prunes Recipe

Kale Salad with cranberries. Recipe

Festive Strudel with Lentils, cabbage & mushroom Recipe

Happy Holidays!

Creamy Celeriac Soup with croutons

This delicious dish uses this forgotten vegetable, celeriac. The sweet and bitter celeriac is the perfect vegetable to eat as we enter the colder months. It can also nicely offset the heavier dishes that we eat during the holidays. The celeriac along with the potatoes are cooked in a stock and are infused with thyme and bay leaves. Serve with cream and some croutons or hazelnuts on the top. Enjoy!

RECIPE

Ingredients

oil

1 medium onion

2 large garlic cloves

1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 lbs celeriac, peeled and cut into 1/2 ” chunks

1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks

1 slice of bacon, cut into small pieces (optional)

4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock or more

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup hazelnuts or croutons

chopped parsley

crushed red hot pepper to taste

Preperation

Cook bacon on medium high heat, in a little for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Sautee onion in a little oil for about 5-10 minutes, stir often. Gently fry the garlic for a short time, do not burn. Add the thyme, bay leaf, celery, the potato chunks, bacon pieces and the stock. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low heat. Cook for about 40 minutes or until all the vegetables are nice and tender.

Remove the bay leaf and let the soup cool off to room temperature. Pour in the cream. Puree the soup. You can use an immersion blender or a regular blender.

Return the soup to the pot and start warming it up. Add salt, pepper and red hot pepper.

Serve with croutons or hazelnuts and parsley.

If using hazelnuts, heat up a pan and lightly roast the hazelnuts for 6-8 minutes. Make sure they are toasted on all sides. Chop the cool hazelnuts.

Enjoy!

Receipe, photo and text by twincitiesherbs.com.

Gin cocktail with cucumber and basil

This is a savory, refreshing summer drink made with gin, basil and cucumbers.

Serves 1 drink

Ingredients

  • 1 shotglass of gin (I used Prairy organic gin)
  • 1/2 – 1 shotglass of simple syrup (Please see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup spritzer water
  • 5 basil leaves or more to garnish
  • 8 thin cucumber slices
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lime or more to garnish
  • pinch of salt
  • ice, optional

Methods

  • Make the simple syrup. It is very easy. Slowly cook 1 cup of water with a 1 cup of sugar in a small pot. Be careful not to boil it. When you see a nice thick syrup, it is done. Take off heat and let it cool. You can refrigerate what you don’t use for later use – if not used up in a few days.
  • Preapre the drink in a jar big enough to hold 1 cup of liquid. Add the gin, the simple syrup, spritzer water, lime juice, basil leaves, cucmber slices and salt. I also like to put in the lime peel. Put the top on and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove the plant material before serving.
  • Add ice if you wish.
  • If you don’t have time to put the drink in the refrigerator, you can use a muddler to gently bruise the vegetables with the simple sugar to get the juice out for a few minutes and then procede with the rest of the recipe from above.
  • You can garnish with fresh basil, cucumber slice and lime slice if you wish.

enjoy!

Shakshuka with pitta bread

This is a tasty vegetarian dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is made with simple ingredients that you most likely have in your kitchen. The eggs are poached in a delicious sauce made of tomatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic and the warming spices of North Africa. I served this dish with home-made pita bread, Hummus and Eggplant parmesan.

Shakshuka is made thoughout Middle Eastern countries today and there are numerous recipes around; however, it originated in Northern Africa. This recipe uses the lovely spices of Northern Africa, the special trio of cumin, coriander and paprika. Enjoy!

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander powder
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • hot pepper flakes to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves

Methods

  • On medium high heat, sauté the onion in olive oil for 5 minutes.
  • Add the green peppers and continue sautéing while stirring frequently for another 5 minutes. Add the spices (cumin, coriander, paprika), stir for 1 minte and add the garlic.
  • Quicly add the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce, stir. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes covered.
  • Uncover and let the dish cook for another 5 minutes or so until the sauce thickens.
  • Using a wooden spoon, clear some space in the sauce or make a ‘well’ and drop 1 egg in. Do this three more times with the other eggs. Cover and let the eggs poach in this lovely, well seasoned sauce until the whites are set and are not runny.
  • Uncover. Add salt, pepper, parsley, mint leaves and hot pepper flakes.
  • Serve it warm with pita bread (recipe).
  • I also served it with Hummus (recipe) and Eggplant parmesan (recipe).

Source

  • Photos: twincitiesherbs.com

Dutch baby with berries

Berries are ready! An easy way to use up these delicious berries for breakfast is to make dutch baby. Dutch baby is made with three basic ingredients: milk, eggs and flour. Watch it puff up in the oven and wow your friends and family with this delicious breakfast. Make sure your guests are seated at the table when you bring it out because it settles pretty fast.

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of white flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 5 eggs
  • handfull of berries (1 cup), sliced
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

Methods

  • You will need a 10″ (2″ deep) oven proof skillet
  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Mix milk, flour, eggs, salt, melted 2 Tbsp butter, vanilla extract untill no lumps remain. You can use an electric mixer on high speed for 1 minute if you wish.
  • Let it rest for 1 hour. You can make it the night before too.
  • Meanwhile gently warm up the remaing butter in the oven proof skillet and poor in the batter. Make sure it is at room temperature.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is nice and golden brown.
  • Let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm.
  • I served it with maple syrup.

enjoy!


Recipe, photo and text by twinctiesherbs.com.

Rhubarb muffins

If you are like me and just can’t get enough of rhubarb right now, try these delicious muffins. The tangy rhubarb works nicely with the whole wheat dough that will make them tasty and filling. They were gone fast in our house …

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour (you can replace 1 cup with 1 cup of white flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 cups of rhubarb stalks, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp fresh or 1 tsp dried ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts nuts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • In a large bowl, combine butter and the sugar. Cream them with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. You could do this with an electric mixer.
  • Beat in 1 egg until combined, then whisk in 1 cup buttermilk.
  • With a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just barely combined, then add 2 cups fresh rhubarb and fold until evenly distributed.
  • Bake in the preheated oven at 375F for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick poked into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around each muffin to release from the tin and turn out onto the rack.

Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Recipe, photo and text by twincitiesherbs.com.

Mushroom tempeh stroganoff

This new spring energy is as vibrant as it can be. Yes, spring is here but the usual spring energy is coupled with the new awakening energy of the Earth. It is so powerful! Simple vegetarian dishes would be very nice to eat during the next weeks for sure … I would like to share my recipe that I have been cherishing for years and making in the spring. This is a vegetarian take on the classic beef stroganoff dish. I used the nutty tempeh to replace the meat and added mushrooms to create this delicious dish. Enjoy!

RECIPE

Serves 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg tempeh (500gr)
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of shallots, finally chopped
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 4 oz mushrooms (crimini, portabello, white button)
  • 8 oz green vegetable (I used spinach, broccoli)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup wine
  • 1/3 cup stock (mushroom or meat)
  • salt
  • red hot pepper flakes, optional
  • few springs of thyme
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • black pepper
  • parsley
  • pasta
  • cheese (Parmegane)

Method

  • Sautee the tempeh in a little oil for 10 minutes or until the sides are nice and brown.
  • Make the pasta according to its directions.
  • In a large pan, heat some oil. Sautee the shallots for 5 minutes on medium low heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue sauteeing for another 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir. When wilted, sprinkle in 1 Tbsp flour, stir. Add the paprika and stir for 1 minute and add the garlic, stir.
  • Add the vine and the stock making sure there are no knots left from the flour. Add the thyme, tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes covered.
  • Take out larger thyme pieces.
  • Take off heat and add salt, pepper, parsley, red hot pepper flakes and cream to taste.
  • Add the tempeh cubes so it can soak up some of the liquid.
  • Serve over pasta with graded cheese.

enjoy!

Recipe, photo and text by twincitiesherbs.com.

Lemon meringue cake

The lemon yellow color can bring sunshine into our homes! This delicious dessert could become the center piece of your Easter celebration instantly. The tart and tangy lemon filled cake is topped with the fluffy sweet meringue. I like using lemon in baking because it offsets the sweetness of a dessert and gives it an interesting flavor … and it is packed with the important theme of Easter, eggs of course. It is super easy to make and delicious at the same time. In our house, my daughter will be making it for Easter.

RECIPE

Ingredients

Crust

  • 12 Tbsp (165gr) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla concentrate
  • 1 1/2 all purpose flour, cut and sifted

Lemon filling

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice + the zest (2-3 fresh lemons)
  • 1/4 flour

Merengue

  • 3 egg white, room temperature
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 325F (170C). Set the rack in the middle of the oven. Grease and line a 9″ baking dish with parchment paper.

Seperate the 3 eggs for the meringue now as it is easier to do when eggs are cold. Make sure they are at room temperature when you beat them.

Make the crust. Cream the sugar, vanilla extract and the butter. Gradually add the flour with salt mixing by hand just until a crumbly ball forms.

Place the prepared dough in the pan. Using your hands press against the bottom and about 1 inch (2cm) up the sides. Poke the dough with a fork about 6-8 times. Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough has a nice golden brown color.

Make the lemon filling. In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest and the flour together. Make sure you grade the lemons before you can them up. (It is almost impossible to zest a cut lemon).

When the crust is done baking, remove it from the oven. Pour the lemon filling over the crust and return it to the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the filling no longer jiggles and the center is mostly set.

Make the meringue in the last 5 minutes. In a clean, dry medium bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add about half of the sugar and the cream of tartar, whip for 30 seconds, then add the rest of the sugar and whip until combined. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip or zip-lock bag with a corner snipped off.

I piped the meringue on the top covering the entire surface making large peaks each time. (Make sure you put the meringue on the top of the cake right away so it stays fluffy and does not deflate. You can wait until the pie is baked and then start beating the eggs once you are sure that the cake is ready).

Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the meringues are lightly browned.

Let cool completely, then refrigerate for 1 hours.

Serve at room temperature.

enjoy!

Text, recipe and photos by twincitiesherbs.com.