By Deirdre Haggerty
The holidays are here, which means it is time to plan the menus. Beginning with Thanksgiving and culminating on New Year’s Day, the next 8 weeks are a flurry of activity. Whether you are hosting the feast or bringing a side, the following holiday recipes are simple, yet delicious. Below you will find at least one of each to be used for either Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve. Because the tastes of the season sometimes overlap, they could also be appropriate for any of these major holidays.
Side Dish: Cranberry Sauce
The following is a common recipe handed out in many kindergarten classes. For the past 7 years, it has been a staple at our Thanksgiving table. It’s also a great way to have children help prepare the Thanksgiving meal. We love it!
Sean’s Cranberry Sauce
Dessert: Dairy-Free Chocolate-Pumpkin Parfait with Cashew Cream
This Dairy-free Chocolate-Pumpkin Parfait comes from Kristin Sheehan of Kristin’s Healthy Kitchen, a New York-based personal chef specializing in healthy alternatives. It takes a little preparation, but removes all the guilt. The healthy holiday treat makes 6 parfaits and is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
First, you’ll make the cashew cream, avocado chocolate pudding, and pumpkin mousse, then layer about 1/3 cup of each concoction in an 8-ounce glass, creating six layers total in each serving. Refrigerate before serving and garnish with whipped cream and cacao nibs.
Appetizer: Potato Latkes
Potato latkes are delicious any time of year, but especially during Hanukkah. This recipe from foodnetwork.com is both simple and yummy, and requires minimal ingredients:
Follow the complete recipe here.
As a diverse family of many nationalities, this author tries to incorporate all her children’s origins during the holiday season. At Christmas, Snickerdoodles are a necessity, which celebrates our German/Austrian background. They disappear as fast as they are baked.
Topping (in a separate bowl)
Dessert: Sweet Potato Pie
The weeklong celebration of Kwanzaa is one of African heritage, culture, unity and community. What better way to celebrate than with a delectable sweet potato pie? This dish is also ideal for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Additionally, this holiday recipe from allrecipes.com provides details on where to purchase the ingredients at affordable prices.
The recipe requires sweet potatoes and pantry and refrigerator staples such as butter, eggs, milk, sugar, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon. Simplify this recipe by buying a pre-baked pie crust from the story, or bake your own!
New Year’s Eve
Coquito is a traditional Puerto Rican holiday beverage (think of it as a coconut egg nog) served up at Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This is a rich, creamy coconut and rum drink, enjoyed by all.
Blend all ingredients at high speed and refrigerate and shake well before serving. Garnish with cinnamon stick.