Tag: Christmas

My Christmas Menu

My Christmas Menu

This Christmas, I’ve curated a menu that features six recipes that promise to add a touch of nostalgia to your festive table. I have developed, loved and leant on these recipes for so many years – some being adapted from my mom and precious childhood memories, and others having been discovered and adapted in more recent years.

Festive Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake (One Bowl & SO Moist)

Festive Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake (One Bowl & SO Moist)

This is the perfect Christmas, holiday season cake – my festive Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake is made in one bowl, can be made ahead of time and just so happens to be gluten and dairy free. Itā€™s incredibly moist, dramatically high and even better the next day!

3 IngredientĀ Miso-Maple Glazed PecansĀ (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

3 IngredientĀ Miso-Maple Glazed PecansĀ (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

My uncle and mother were over for dinner and about halfway through the dish of these pecans, my uncle turned to me and said they were the best nuts he’d ever had. So, I asked him to guess the secret ingredient.. when he finally declared he was stumped, I finally told him it was Miso! Miso paste is a fermented soy bean paste that’s used a lot in Japanese cooking. It’s made by fermenting steamed soy beans with salt, grains such as rice or barley, and koji which is a type of fungus (the good kind, I promise!). Here it brings the perfect umami balance to the sweetness of maple syrup.
These nuts are the perfect edible holiday gift, or a quick and easy snack or appetizer to pair with cocktails for parties! 

How To Make My 3 Ingredient Miso-Maple Glazed Pecans

Step 1. Preheat oven to 275 Degrees F.

Step 2. Place pecans evenly on a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or silpat).  Bake 15-20 minutes.

Step 3. In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup and miso with 2 tablespoons of warm water.  

Step 4. Pour the mixture onto the pecans and toss to coat evenly.  Spread back out onto the cookie sheet and return to oven for 10-15 minutes. Don’t worry if they are sticky when they come out, they will harden further as they cool.

Step 5. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before putting in a jar to gift or store, or serve!

Step 6. Enjoy!

WHAT I USE TO MAKE THIS: 

What Else Can I Use?

  • Feel free to use walnuts or almonds in this recipe instead of pecans, just adjust the cooking time if needed.
  • Use the best quality maple syrup you can afford for these.  You can find great Grade A, B, or C, maple syrup at any supermarket these days.  Just please don’t use pancake syrup!
  • Miso is at the heart of this recipe, so I really suggest seeking it out.  It’s available at most markets in the refrigerated section, or even on amazon.  
  • White miso is my preference for its mellow flavor and sweetness, if you want a bit more punch you can use red miso as well.

This 3 Ingredient Miso-Maple Glazed Pecans is special because:

They’re simple and easy to make with just 3 ingredients!
They are an absolute crowd-favorite – everyone will want to know your secret!
They’re perfect for snacking on, or gifting to that holiday host you love!

Even More Holiday Appetizers

Holiday Charcuterie Wreath
Feta Stuffed Marinated Olives (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian)
Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
Pear and Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese

If you make my 3 Ingredient Miso-Maple Glazed Pecans, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment and rate the recipe below. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!

If you like full recipe videos, you’ll want to follow me on Facebook and Youtube as I publish new videos daily!

3 Ingredient Miso-Maple Glazed Pecans (Gluten-free, Refined-sugar Free)

Kat Ashmore
The quickest, easiest appetizer for all your holiday events, to snack on while you work, or to gift to your favorite dinner party host!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 214 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz. raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons Sweet White Miso

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 275 Degrees F.
  • Place pecans evenly on a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or silpat).
  • Bake 15-20 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup and miso with 2 tablespoons of warm water.
  • Pour the mixture onto the pecans and toss to coat evenly. Spread back out onto the cookie sheet and return to oven for 10-15 minutes. Don’t worry if they are sticky when they come out, they will harden further as they cool.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before putting in a jar to store, to gift, or to serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1ozCalories: 214kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 3gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gSodium: 80mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 18IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
Keyword appetizers, Christmas, Maple, miso, Pecans
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Gluten-Free Vanilla Almond Biscotti (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Gluten-Free Vanilla Almond Biscotti (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

This gluten-free Vanilla Almond biscotti recipe creates the perfect dry, crisp cookie that’s just sweet enough, and perfect for nibbling on with tea at night, or dunking into my coffee in the morning or afternoon.

Pillowy Vegan Snickerdoodles (Gluten Free and Vegan!)

Pillowy Vegan Snickerdoodles (Gluten Free and Vegan!)

I think of my Nana when I make Snickerdoodles. Perhaps I’m biased but she really did make the best ones. They are nostalgic and comforting, and bring me right back to my childhood. If you’re like me and prefer vanilla to chocolate then they are heaven.

Holiday Charcuterie Wreath

Holiday Charcuterie Wreath

This is always one of my favorite times of year, and as a staunch ‘delicious but not filling‘ appetizer supporter, I considered this the perfect opportunity to combine two of the holiday season’s best features: charcuterie and Christmas.

There’s something about a wreath that just screams Christmas, and what better way to add a little festive cheer to your holiday table than with this Holiday Charcuterie Wreath. It’s a great centrepiece for the holiday table, and it’s vegetarian/vegan friendly (and delicious) to boot. Kids can even make their own!

Simple, impressive and festive. Who’s making this?

Watch Me Make My Holiday Charcuterie Wreath

If you’re in need of some more merry and bright recipes, be sure to follow me on Facebook, or see all of my favorites (and so many other delicious recipes!) over on Pinterest.

How To Make My Holiday Charcuterie Wreath

Step 1. Drain the olives, cornichons, and peppadew peppers if using and pat dry. This will ensure the skewers stay fresh.

Step 2. Take a toothpick skewer and begin to add your ingredients, starting with the olives, then meat, cornichons, cheese, and peppers or tomatoes. I use half a slice of cheese for each skewer and a whole slice of meat, folding it over on itself before sliding on for decoration. Do this for all 16 skewers or as many as you have on hand.

Step 3. Arrange the skewers onto a large round plate, lining them up in a round wreath shape.

Step 4. Add a sprig or two of rosemary in between each one.

Step 5. Serve, or refrigerate for a few hours until ready to serve, bringing it to room temperature before you do.

Step 6. Enjoy!

What Else Can I Use?

  • Use any olives you like – I use kalamata and green olives (I like Castlevetrano)
  • Use any cheese you like, cubed cheese and mozzarella balls can be threaded right onto the toothpicks
  • Jarred artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, and roasted red peppers are a nice addition
  • Use pepperoni, proscuitto, or another cured meat – I suggest Boar’s Head, found at most grocery store delis
  • I use cornichons here, but you can also cut pieces of larger pickles if that’s what you have
  • Leave the meat off and double up on veggies and cheese for a vegetarian wreath

This Holiday Charcuterie Wreath is special because:

It’s easy, impressive and festive!

It can be customised to your hearts content to satisfy yourself, your family or your holiday guests!

Appetizers that are merry and bright:

Feta Stuffed Marinated Olives (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian)

Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Pear and Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese

If you like full recipe videos, you’ll want to follow me on Facebook and Youtube as I publish new videos daily!

Holiday Charcuterie Wreath

Simple, impressive and festive, this Holiday Charcuterie Wreath is a great centrepiece for the holiday table, and it's vegetarian friendly!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Skewers

Ingredients
  

  • Large bamboo toothpicks
  • 16 Large pitted olives green, black, or mix of both
  • 1/2 pound Cured meat such as salami or pepperoni, sliced thin 16 cornichons
  • 1/2 pound Provolone cheese sliced thin
  • 16 Peppadew peppers cherry tomatoes, or mix of both
  • Mini Bocconcini cheese
  • 2 cups of fresh rosemary sprigs for decorating

Instructions
 

  • Drain the olives, cornichons, and peppadew peppers if using and pat dry. This will ensure the skewers stay fresh for hours at room temperature.
  • Take a toothpick skewer and begin to add your ingredients, starting with the olives, then meat, cornichons, cheese, and peppers or tomatoes. I use half a slice of cheese for each skewer and a whole slice of meat, folding it over on itself before sliding on for decoration. Do this for all 16 skewers or as many as you have on hand.
  • Arrange the skewers onto a large round plate, lining them up in a round wreath shape. Add a sprig or two of rosemary in between each one.
  • Serve, or refrigerate for a few hours until ready to serve, bringing it to room temperature before you do.
Keyword Charcuterie, Christmas, Cured Meats, olives
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you make my Holiday Charcuterie Wreath, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and rate the recipe. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!

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DIY Dried Oranges

DIY Dried Oranges

You’ve surely seen dried oranges in potpourri, holiday garlands and all kinds of decorations, but did you know they are SO easy to make at home for just pennies on the dollar? Sweet little bags of these dried oranges sell for $10 a bag close…

Chili Caramel Brussels Sprouts (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar Free)

Chili Caramel Brussels Sprouts (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar Free)

My Chili Caramel Brussels Sprouts are an adventure in flavor, featuring a stunning umami glaze and picture perfect caramelization that makes me want to stand over the stovetop and finish them all by myself.

Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese

Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese

When it comes to entertaining, I like to use a variety of recipes for appetizers:  some that will be brand new to my guests and some that are “safe” dishes. This one checks both boxes,.

It’s “safe” because crostini of all types tend to be popular, and are one of the first things guests reach for.   It’s unique because many people haven’t had pear and proscuitto together, but like them separately, and the tangy, lemony goat cheese spread is a unique base for the toppings.  

I make a version of this appetizer  year round.  In summer, I use peaches in place of the pear.  It is always a hit.

This Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese is a perfect appetizer for a party of all sizes because:

  1. You can double the recipe easily, use two baguettes and twice the amount of all other ingredients if you’re feeding a large crowd.
  2. It can be mostly made ahead.  The crostini and whipped goat cheese can be made up to a day before serving and assembled when you need it.
  3. I always opt for finger food appetizers, and this is that… no utensils required and easy for guests to eat.
crostini
crostini

what else can i use?

  • I like to use a quality sourdough baguette for this, but any baguette you like will do.
  • You can use any unsweetened plain yogurt for the goat cheese spread, even coconut.  You won’t taste any coconut flavor.
  • Blue cheese is a nice alternative to the goat cheese and pairs well with the pear.
  • Bosc or Bartlett pears work well, just be sure they are ripe and sweet.

Two important things to remember:

If you are whipping the goat cheese spread by hand, your goat cheese must be room temperature or it’ll be too hard to mix.  If you forget and have cold cheese, use a small food processor or blender to whip.

We are seasoning every layer here, so don’t skimp on the salt and pepper!  It really builds flavor in this simple dish.

crostini

If you make this Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese, and I hope you do, please leave it a rating and comment here or post to Instagram and tag me.  I love to hear your feedback and share your creations!

crostini

Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese

Cruncy, sweet, salty, and creamy, this is the perfect, easy appetizer for a crowd.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snacks
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 16 servings
Calories 121 kcal

Equipment

  • large baking sheet

Ingredients
  

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/4 inch slices sourdough, if available
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ripe pear, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 4 ounces proscuitto
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Zest from 1/2 a lemon

Whipped Goat Cheese

  • 4 ounces goat cheese log, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Lay sliced baguette in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper and brush with the olive oil. If there is any left, reserve it for drizzling on top before serving.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until toasted.
  • While the crostini bakes, make the goat cheese spread.
  • Add room temperature goat cheese to a bowl along with the yogurt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Whisk until well combined, adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed to get it going. Note: If the goat cheese is too hard to do this by hand (either because of the brand, or temperature), use a mini food processor.
  • When the crostini is toasted, spread each slice with the whipped goat cheese.
  • Wrap one slice of pear at a time with 1/2 a piece of proscuitto and lay on top of the goat cheese.
  • Top with any reserved olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and lemon zest.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 170mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 79IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
Keyword appetizers, crostini, Holiday, party food, snacks
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole                     (Gluten-Free)

Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole (Gluten-Free)

My mom has been making baked stuffed shrimp for Christmas Eve for decades. Growing up, it was the one time of year we ate that dish, and I always looked forward to it.  It felt like the open door to the Christmas holiday, I have…

Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Oh, this jelly.  I’ve been making this Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly for about a decade, every Christmas, and it’s my absolute favorite thing to give as a homemade gift.    Cookies are fabulous, obviously, as a holiday treat, but it’s the most common food to…

Easy Vegan Eggnog

Easy Vegan Eggnog

This recipe was a last minute add, I didn’t plan to post it this week but when I made it again this morning and so many people messaged me on Instagram about it, I knew I had to give it to you before Christmas.   I make this well into February, kicking it off for the season for the holidays.

I have always loved the taste of eggnog, there’s really nothing like that luscious, rich goodness.  (Martha is known for serving her classic eggnog in a giant silver bowl every year for Christmas entertaining). However, I can usually only have it once or twice a season because of that.  I wanted something that would be a nod to my favorite festive drink, without the heaviness.  Does it taste exactly like classic eggnog?  No.  Does it fit the bill?  Yes, at least it definitely does for me.  

“What else can I use?”

  • If you don’t have unsweetened vanilla almond milk, you can use sweetened vanilla or plain almond milk.
  • Feel free to use light coconut milk instead of the full fat.
  • Want to make it boozy?  Add some bourbon and/or rum to the eggnog when blending.

I hope you love this recipe, and that it brings you joy and cozies this holiday season.   

Easy Vegan Eggnog

This vegan eggnog is not only easy to make, but it's creamy, filled with warm spices, and absolutely delicious.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people

Equipment

  • High speed blender

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (13-14 oz.)
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • coconut or regular whipped cream (for topping) optional

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a high speed blender.
  • Blend for 1-2 minutes until frothy.
  • Pour into small glasses and garnish with whipped cream and a pinch of ground nutmeg, if using.
  • This makes a large batch and keeps for a week in the refrigerator.
Keyword Christmas, eggnog, Holiday, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate (Whole 30, Paleo)

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate (Whole 30, Paleo)

If you want a festive side dish for Christmas Eve dinner and green bean Christmas trees aren’t your thing, this is the dish for you. I like holiday meals to feel celebratory and seasonal, but not overly gimmicky.  Maybe it’s because I’m not terribly crafty,…

DIY Holidays:  Christmas Simmer Pot Home Fragrance

DIY Holidays: Christmas Simmer Pot Home Fragrance

We are in full on Christmas mode over here, and that means all the sounds, tastes, and smells we can get.  This Christmas simmer pot is like a potpourri made on your stovetop, covered with water and slowly releasing all of those festive smells into…

Frosted Gingerbread Blondies (Grain-Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Frosted Gingerbread Blondies (Grain-Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

gingerbread blondies

I held off long enough, we are now in full Christmas mode over here and I’m not mad about it!  We bought our tree from our local Stew Leonard’s Christmas Tree Shop, who always makes it so easy.  As much as I love the idea of going to one of the nearby Christmas Tree farms, sometimes you gotta make things easy and 2020 is one of those times.

When it comes to Christmas cookies, I tend to reach for my family’s old recipes and keep it classic, things like Coconut Macaroons, Snickerdoodles, and Russian Tea Cakes.

I have a few modern recipes I pepper in, but not much changes year to year.

Where I like to experiment most during the holidays are with cakes, tarts, bars, and appetizers.

In come these Frosted Gingerbread Blondies.

These blondies are rich, gooey, and have almost a fudge-like texture despite there being no chocolate.  They have a good amount of ginger spice from the ground ginger and the candied ginger, and a sweet glaze to make them just a little more dressed up.  

“What Else Can I Use?”

  • Coconut sugar can be replaced with brown sugar
  • If you don’t have almond and coconut flour, or just have one, I imagine that all purpose can sub in for them but I have not tested it. If you make them this way, please let us know!
  • Coconut oil can be swapped for olive oil or melted butter
  • If ginger isn’t your thing, but you love blondies, definitely check out The Ultimate Paleo Salted Blondies, which are amazing any time of year.

These Frosted Gingerbread Blondies would make a beautiful addition to any Christmas Eve table, or a sweet treat left out for Santa if he happens to be watching his waistline this year!

gingerbread blondies

Frosted Gingerbread Blondies (Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

These healthier ginger-flecked, gooey blondies are topped with a sweet glaze to make a perfect holiday party treat or festive night time snack.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar can sub brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses blackstrap is preferred
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk can sub milk or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger optional, for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Grease a 8x8 inch square pan an d line with parchment paper so you have an overhang on both sides. This isn't necessary, but makes lifting the blondies out easier.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the vanilla, coconut oil, almond butter, and eggs.
  • Add in the coconut sugar and molasses and whisk to combine.
  • Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, add in the flours, ginger, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine.
  • Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 18-24 minutes or until the center is slightly soft and edges have started to brown. You want these to be a bit underdone.
  • Let cool on the rack for 30 minutes, then lift out of the pan to allow to cool completely.
  • While the blondies cool, make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar with the milk or water, starting with 2 Tablespoons and adding more to get the consistency you desire.
  • Drizzle the glaze onto the cooled blondies and top with the chopped candied ginger if using.
  • Serve!
Keyword bars, blondies, Christmas, gingerbread, Holiday, sweets
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!