Recipes :

Quick, easy, and delicious holiday recipes

We want to fill you in on the launch of the magazine and the various activities that have surrounded it for those who have not been able to participate. Tomorrow we’ll show you the goings on at the Chelsea Market signing, but for now, do you think you can handle more holiday recipes? Yes? Yay!

We were delighted with invitations to do a couple of news segments to make some holiday goodies and talk about the launch of Where Women Cook in the last few weeks. The segments are short and so I did a handful of my easiest, quickest and most successful and tasty recipes that I use during the holiday season and I thought I would share.

*Disclaimer: I am a blogger, not a chef. But, hey… bloggers need to eat and take goodies to holiday parties, too!

First up was a segment with “Chef Bryan” on Utah’s KUTV News at Noon.

(And because we love nothing more than sharing great links, products and recipes here at Amuse Bouche, if you are looking for a great gift for the cook in your life, I love wearing aprons from “Saucey Frocks”. There are so many different varieties, they’re well-made, wash easily, and at $35 you cannot get more affordable. They are also adorable, which is always a plus in my book.)

Cooking with Bryan was a blast. (The segment is on KUTV’s website and if you so desire, you can watch it here.)

First up is my recipe for Baked Brie. This is my favorite holiday recipe to take to parties and gatherings. It is easy peasy and is so delicious and impressive to serve to your guests. There are so many variations on it you simply can’t go wrong with it.

Baked Brie

Ingredients:

1 roll of puffed pastry or phyllo dough

1 wheel of Brie (about 8 oz)

Jam or preserves (I love raspberry or raspberry jalapeño)

Chopped nuts (I prefer pecans, but you can use any you prefer)

Melted butter (if using phyllo dough)

1 Egg (If using puff pastry)

Bakers twine (if you are using puff pastry)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

On a stick-free cookie sheet, lay out the puff pastry or phyllo dough flat. (If you are using phylo dough, take melted butter and brush on liberally before adding another layer. Repeat until you have 6-or 7 layers stacked together. ; place brie round on in the center of the dough.

Spoon jam liberally on top of the Brie, add chopped nuts, bring the dough up like a package. IF you are using puffed pastry, tie with bakers twine and arrange the top to look like the “bow” on a present. If you are using phyllo dough, fold over, using melted butter to help it stick in place. You can also take an additional sheet of dough and put it on top of the brie like a blanket and tuck it around the bottom for a more finished look. Brush the top of the dough with butter for phyllo dough and an egg wash for puff pastry.

Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve warm with crackers and apple slices.

Next up is a recipe for cocktail nuts that are so tasty and addictive I almost fear making it because I could eat the entire bowl in a sitting, it’s THAT yummy. I took an existing recipe, tweaked it and added an killer secret ingredient to it .

Sweet n’ Spicy Mixed Nuts

Ingredients:

1 large can (16-18 oz) lightly salted mixed nuts

2 generous tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 generous tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2-3 pieces of bacon-cooked and finely chopped (I said one piece on the news. I usually add more, though. It’s up to you and your level of Orthadoxy regarding the worship of crispy pork goodness.)

Directions

Melt butter in a microwaveable bowl. Add and toss the nuts until they are coated. Add rosemary, cayenne, sugar, and bacon. Thoroughly toss and serve warm.

Yummy, no? They liked the magazine so much, they invited us back on after we returned from New York for the launch party to have a longer segment. (This clip is not available online, but I got to talk about the magazine a lot more and they showed some of the gorgeous photography that we used up on the screen.)

Once again, I made two recipes. One of my own invention and another one that I love but that is not my own.

Hot Chocolate
(Recipe by Nigella Lawson)

Ingredients

2 cups milk
3 1/2 ounces best-quality dark chocolate, bittersweet or semisweet, as preferred
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla
2 tablespoons dark rum, or to taste (Optional)

Directions

Put the milk into a saucepan and break the chocolate into pieces and add to the milk along with a cinnamon stick, honey, and sugar and heat gently until the chocolate is melted.

Add the vanilla and mix with a small hand whisk and still whisking, add a spoonful of the rum first and taste to see if you want more. Add more sugar if you want this sweeter, too. Take out the cinnamon stick and pour into 2 cappuccino or caffe latte cups.

Holiday S’mores

It seems to be the week for S’mores! Which is fine with me since I can personally never get enough of those marshmallowy bites of heaven. I love marshmallows. In fact, I came up with this recipe when trying to figure out how to inhale even MORE of the homemade marshmallows my friend, Kim, taught me to make. (If you have never tried them, you really should. They revolutionized my holiday world.) I got the idea when I was roasting them over my gas range last winter with my boys. We love making S’mores in the summer, so why not make them with a holiday twist in the winter? This recipe can be made very quickly and easily by using pre-made ingredients, toiled over a little longer by homemaking the primary ingredients or, as in this case, a combination of both. (ALL three options are DELICIOUS.)

Ingredients (per serving)

1 Marshmallow (You can use store bought for this but I SWEAR by homemade marshmallows. Well worth the trouble, peeps.)

2 Gingerbread cookies (These s’mores are best when the cookie is firm but chewy and not overly thick. I made these s’mores with homemade molasses gingersnaps and about died of happy. However, I used storebought little gingerbread men for my appearence and they worked just fine.)

Nutella (You can also use hot fudge here, but man…Nutella is DIVINE.)

Directions

1. Spread a gingerbread cookie with Nutella. If so desired, you can spread BOTH cookies with this magical chocolate spread. I don’t judge. :)

2. Roast a marshmallow over a flame with a fork. (We use our gas range, but I’ve been known to resort to a candle when our power was out!)

3. Carefully slide roasted marshmallow off your fork and onto the cookie and top with a second cookie, making a sandwich.

4. Gobble up with glee, lick your fingers, wash your hands and make another one or five.

Now that I’ve shared my favorite ‘go-to’ recipes for the holidays I’d LOVE to hear some of yours in the comments!

xo,

Loralee

(Make sure you enter this week’s “Blue Plate Special” : A $400 giveaway of a Kitchen Aid Mixer and goodies from “The Farm Chicks!” You have until TUESDAY, DEC 21 at 11:59 MST to enter!)

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