December Monthly Mouthful
We brought back the Monthly Mouthful just in time for the holiday season! It’s been way too long since we’ve sent out a cooking/food question to our awesome bloggers! No matter what holiday you celebrate during the winter, most of us have traditions and recipes that we make each and ever year.
We wanted to hear all about these yummy dishes, so we asked our favorite food bloggers: “What is your favorite traditional holiday dish? Is there a dish you make every Christmas or Hanukah? Tell us all about it and send the recipe too!”
Even though we haven’t done the Monthly Mouthful in a year, we were still overwhelmed by the amount of bloggers who responded. Thank you to everyone who helped us bring the Monthly Mouthful back out of retirement.
Alanna from Kitchen Parade:
Like many families, we hold dear oh-so-many traditions. But the one that means the most is Birthday Cake for Jesus, an especially good way to center the celebration of Christmas for young children. And as you’ll see, there’s no baking required …
Ryan from Cajun Chef Ryan:
One of the traditional dishes I like to do around the holidays is more of an event than a dish because it is so much fun for the entire family, Ginger Bread Houses. They are so much fun to make, and you know, we will eat extra pieces of the house bread material with the icing as we are putting them together. The boys have a lot of fun as we assemble two full houses every Christmas, we started this tradition about 10 years ago, and have done it every year since.
Dan from Casual Kitchen:
That’s an easy one: Apple Pie. My wife has a true gift for making the perfect crust, and I’m perfectly happy to peel and slice up apples and then bask in her radiant talents while she puts the pie together. We always make one at Christmas and Thanksgiving, and usually in the month of December we find ourselves making up to one a WEEK for various friends, family–and of course for ourselves!
Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking:
I always make Nanaimo Bars. They’re a Canadian specialty–a three layer no-bake bar which consists of a chocolate base, buttercream custard middle layer, and chocolate topping– and they extremely fun and festive to dress up for the holidays. I have made peppermint and eggnog variations in the past and they’re always a huge hit!
Nisha from Honey, What’s Cooking?:
Growing up in an Indian household, I grew up enjoying Indian and American cuisines around Christmas and Thanksgiving. One of my favorite holiday dishes are Chicken Briyani and Penne Alla Vodka. Since these recipes are more fattening, it is something my family usually make around the holidays. Each Christmas I am in charge of baking and one of my absolute favorite desserts is Tyler Florence’s The Ultimate Cheesecake. I have tried making this a few times and I am proud to say I have mastered the recipe and lowered the fat by 20%. This is a Christmas favorite amongst my family members and here is the recipe of the Reduced Fat version.
AJ from The Disney Food Blog:
I think my December recipe would have to be Potato and Leek Soup — the recipe that’s served at Disney’s Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in Epcot. The incredibly rich soup cuts through just about any bad mood I’ve ever tried to have (butter and cream will do that for you!), and is the perfect pick-me-up during the cold winter months. Added to a holiday celebration, though, it really comes into its own! It’s the perfect start to any savory entree, and a great compliment to sweet side dishes.
Lisa from Lisa is Cooking:
As a kid, one of my favorite things about the Christmas holiday was the mix of candies and cookies my Mom always made (and still makes).
I’ve always had a few favorites, but the real excitement is having all those different goodies together on the table at one time. She does a pecan milk chocolate toffee, a chow mein noodle butterscotch candy, chocolate covered peanut clusters, and sometimes fudge, and she makes these round cookies with rice crispies and dates that are rolled in confectioners’ sugar, and more. Add to that the peanut brittle that my Aunt Janet makes, and it’s a sweet tooth’s delight. These days, I make my own versions of some of those treats, and I recently came up with a sort of combination of favorites that’s become my new must-have holiday treat. Chocolate-covered pecan brittle with sea salt:
3 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
4 1/2 cups salted, fresh roasted pecans
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 lb milk chocolate, broken into chunks
flaked sea salt
Prepare two 12-by-17-inch baking sheets by spraying with vegetable oil. In a heavy 5-quart saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Dissolve sugar by carefully swirling pot often over burner. If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pot, wash down sides of pot with a wet pastry brush. Reduce heat to medium. Insert candy thermometer, and continue to boil until temperature reaches 230 degrees (thread stage), about 1 minute.
Add pecans, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage) and is an amber brown color, 13 to 18 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, and quickly add butter, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir with a wooden spoon until butter melts; mixture will become foamy. Pour half of mixture onto each pan, spreading evenly with a silicon spatula. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour. Break brittle into pieces. Prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and set aside. Melt milk chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Remove bowl from top of the saucepan. Using two forks to turn and coat, dip each piece of brittle in the chocolate and allow excess chocolate to drain back into the bowl. Set each chocolate coated piece on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow chocolate to cool for a minute or so, and then sprinkle tops with sea salt. I usually dip a few pieces, then sprinkle with salt, then proceed with dipping a few more pieces and so on.
Ruth from Once Upon a Feast:
Chanukah is our tradition and there would definitely be a riot if I didn’t make some potato latkes. And because I love to mix things up I make some curried sweet potato latkes and some zucchini or broccoli latkes as well. They look lovely together on a platter. Guess which ones are left on the plate? I love to serve it with my BBQ Brisket.
Kait from Cooking with Kait:
My favorite traditional holiday dish is pumpkin pie. It’s the one thing that I look forward to the most when Thanksgiving rolls around.
A dish that I make every Christmas is lamb stew. It’s a great dish for the cool weather and also very comforting.
As always, thanks to everyone who participated! If you were not contacted for this month’s Monthly Mouthful and would like to be included in future Monthly Mouthfuls, please e-mail us at chewonthatblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
Post your own favorite holiday dishes and recipes in the comments section below!