This tabletop display sparkles with decorations you can eat: doughnut holes!
How to: poke the bottom portion of an S-shaped ornament hook into a plain doughnut hole; repeat with additional hooks and holes. Melt one package of chocolate chips or mini Candy Melts according to directions, then roll doughnut holes in the melted candy and coat in sanding sugar. Let dry on parchment until hard, about 15 minutes, then thread a Life Savers candy onto the hook to rest flat on top. Hang ornaments on a tabletop tree and, when dinner’s done, let guests help themselves to dessert!
In the January/February issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray, our editor-in-chief Lauren Purcell dishes about all things dinner parties. “I’m deeply fond of theme parties,” she says, “But somehow, my theme-mania never translated to dinner parties. Until now!”
As the Queen of Cocktail Parties (she did write her own cookbook on the subject, in fact), it only makes sense that the first party Lauren wants to throw in the new year is an hors d’Oeuvres party: a small (and seated) group so everyone can be in on the same conversations, plus the festive feel you get from having a bite of this, a taste of that. Check out her three recipe picks below!
Goat Cheese and Leek Croustades
For the croustade cups
36 slices high-quality white sandwich bread
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
For the filling
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup finely chopped leeks, white and pale green parts (about 2 medium leeks)
8 ounces soft mild goat cheese
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
Prepare the cups
Preheat oven to 350°F.
With a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out a round of bread from each slice. Brush one side of each round with the melted butter. Press the bread, butter side down, into the cup of a mini muffin tin. The bread will not reach the top of the cups.
Bake until the top edges are browned, 11 to 13 minutes. Remove the croustades to a wire rack to cool.
Prepare the filling
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. If the leeks begin to brown, lower the heat.
In a food processor, blend the goat cheese, olive oil, yogurt, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in leeks. Set aside.
Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat, shaking frequently, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
Return the croustade cups to the muffin tins and fill each cup with goat cheese mixture. Top with 3 to 4 pine nuts. Bake for about 5 minutes.
Makes 36 croustades.
Shrimp with Spicy Lime Dip
For the shrimp
1 pound medium shrimp
2 garlic cloves, crushed
For the spicy lime dip
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 small chipotle chiles in adobo, minced to a paste, plus 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice (1 lime)
Prepare the shrimp
Peel the shrimp and devein them, if desired. Put the garlic in a pot of generously salted water and bring water to a boil. Put shrimp in and cook until they’re pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. (The water may not return to a boil in that time.) Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Prepare the dip
Prepare the dip: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes 40 to 50 shrimp and 1 1/2 cups of dip
Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Dill Sauce
For the meatballs
1/3 cup minced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (about 2 slices white bread, ground in food processor)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
For the sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
ground white pepper to taste
Prepare the sauce
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
Prepare the meatballs
Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a small, nonstick skillet, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a big bowl. Stir in the salt, mint, allspice, and cinnamon. Add the lamb, bread crumbs, egg, cranberries, and sesame seeds and combine thoroughly (the easiest way is to use your hands).
Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls. (Guests will be spearing them with toothpicks, so they should be no bigger than two bites’ worth.) Line up the meatballs on an ungreased baking sheet as you go (they can be close, just not touching). Bake just until no longer pink in the middle, 8 to 10 minutes.
Serve with the dill sauce alongside.
Makes about 32 meatballs and 1 1/4 cups sauce.
For more of Lauren’s recipes, visit her website here.
Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, and to keep your holiday extra sweet and delicious throughout the next eight days, we’ve collected some of our favorite Jewish recipes with a twist. So let bubbe know her workload is lightened this year, grab your biggest frying pan and get to work. There are candles to be lit!
Coffee-Braised Brisket is sweet and smoky, with a caffeinated kick!
The official holiday countdown has begun: 2 days until Chanukah, 11 days until Christmas and 17 days until New Year’s Eve. But you still gotta eat—and latkes, candy canes and champagne do not a meal make. In honor of the season, we have a special Weeknight Meal Planner just for you. Flavorful, festive and fancy only begin to describe this week’s recipes, and the best part is they’ll be on your table in minutes, leaving you plenty of time for last-minute shopping.
Monday, December 15
Our idea of a holiday meal winner? A delicious and hearty recipe that feeds a crowd but requires little effort. Stop slaving over your stove–your slow cooker is here to help! We’ve chosen the best recipes for any occasion (game day! Christmas eve!) that go from your fridge to your slow cooker to your plate. Now how easy is that?
John Cusimano is the lead singer of one our favorite bands, The Cringe. (He’s also married to our favorite food guru, Rach!) This holiday season, we asked John to help us channel our inner rock stars with his top musical picks to keep feet tappin’ and spirits bright.
1. Happy Xmas (War is Over) — John Lennon
2. Christmas Wrapping — The Waitresses
3. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town — Bruce Springsteen
4. Step Into Christmas — Elton John
5. Father Christmas — The Kinks
6. 2000 Miles — Pretenders
7. Feliz Navidad — José Feliciano
8. I Believe in Father Christmas — U2
9. Wonderful Christmastime — Paul McCartney
10. The Chanukah Song — Adam Sandler
11. Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time) — Pearl Jam
12. Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) — Elvis Presley
13. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm — Billie Holiday
14. Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth — David Bowie/Bing Crosby
15. Ave Maria — Chris Cornell
Download the entire playlist here.
From John, Rachael and the entire Every Day with Rachael Ray staff, happy holidays!
‘Tis the season for gifting, baking and, above all, eating! But why keep the three separate when you can make delicious gifts from scratch? They say the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, and the holidays are the perfect time to show your loved ones just how much you care. From the candy lover to the bacon aficionado, cross every taste off your list with these 6 festive treats.
For the animal lover: Ginger Pigs
The holidays are all about luxury and indulgence, and the same should go for the cocktails you serve. This Coffee Mate is the quintessential cocktail to serve at a late night gathering around a fire. Your guests will think you’re a master mixologist when you tell them the secret ingredient: brown-sugar simple syrup!
2 oz. unsweetened plain almond milk
1 oz. cognac
1/2 oz. coffee liqueur
1/4 oz. brown-sugar simple syrup
To make the brown-sugar simple syrup, combine equal parts dark brown sugar and water in pot; heat until sugar dissolves. Cool. (Can be used in oatmeal, coffee and other fun holiday cocktails!)
To make the Coffee Mate, shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice until cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Makes 1.
More Holiday Cocktail Recipes
Happy December! We hope you can find room among your post-Thanksgiving food coma for a little bit of sugar and spice. No holiday season would be complete without a baking session or two, and there’s no better way to combine the holiday spirit with delicious baked goods than by hosting or attending a cookie swap. These 10 recipes will appeal to any cookie recipient, regardless of age or palate. Plus, they’re all made to travel well, so you won’t show up with any smushed snowflakes or melted snowmen (okay, maybe one)!
If you’re looking for some post-Black Friday fuel but can’t imagine fitting one more thing in your fridge, we’ve got a solution for you: Transform your Turkey Day leftovers into something extraordinary! From sweet potato casserole, to leftover turkey and green beans–to even the pumpkin pie!– there’s always a solution to remaking Thanksgiving dinner without repeating it. Try out some of these delicious recipes this weekend!
For a late breakfast or brunch: Sweet Potato Waffles with Turkey and Spicy Maple Syrup