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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

4 Easy Cooking Recipes for the Holidays

Cooking a holiday feast is one thing, but there’s more to the season of eating than just the grand finale. When you’ve got friends and family in town, the whole month of December is basically one long crossover episode between Hell’s Kitchen and the Great British Baking Show (minus the yelling and judging… sometimes).

Plan ahead and use these four simple recipes to impress your loved ones from far and wide without losing your actual mind.

#1 Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These are not your grandma’s overcooked, under-seasoned Brussels sprouts—not in the slightest. These green nuggets are pure gold, and incredibly easy to prepare:

  • Cut your Brussels sprouts in half
  • Toss them in a mixture of olive, salt, and pepper
  • Spread them out on a sheet pan
  • Roast for 35-40 minutes, shaking slightly every 10 minutes for an even crisp
  • Sprinkle a little extra salt and pepper before serving warm

For a little extra flavor (and protein, technically), add in some pre-chopped bacon bits. Alternatively, you could drizzle your final product with a homemade balsamic glaze immediately after taking them out of the oven. These scrumptious sprouts can easily be tailored to your personal tastes, so feel free to get creative this Christmas.

#2 Mulled White Wine

What’s a holiday celebration without a refreshing festive beverage? Don’t risk being the hostess with the least-ess when you can easily whip together this seasonal mulled wine recipe:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan – Add in dry white wine, orange slices, cognac or brandy, honey or sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and any optional garnishes you desire.
  • Bring to a simmer – Simmer (don’t boil) on medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat – Bring to a medium-low for 15 minutes to three hours.
  • Strain and serve – Strain the liquid, then add your favorite garnishes like citrus slices, extra cinnamon sticks, or star anise before serving warm.

Keep the mulled wine flowing and you can distract your partygoers from virtually anything else going on—whether there’s not enough food, the house is now a mess, or your husband has hijacked the playlist to play dad rock instead of Christmas tunes.

#3 Snickerdoodle Cookies

You truly can’t go wrong with this classic Christmas cookie. The steps are simple, and the results are delectable:

  • Cream the butter and sugar until smooth
  • Add in cream of tartar and a bit of baking soda for leavening
  • Roll the cookies in a mix of cinnamon and sugar for an even coat
  • Slightly flatten the balls of dough onto a baking mat placed atop a cookie sheet
  • Cook until golden brown

Eat, rinse, repeat! Plus, with non-stick baking mats, rinsing will be a cake (or cookie) walk. The faster the clean-up, the faster you move on to your next delicious recipe.

#4 Gingerbread Waffles

Waffles make a perfectly fine breakfast food, but when the holidays roll around, that’s when you pull out all the stops. Take your waffles from yum to bomb with a few extra seasonal ingredients:

  • Canned pumpkin puree
  • Molasses
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

For a simpler alternative, you can start out with a pre-made pancake mix and add in the necessary gingerbread-making ingredients. The basics never change, but they can always be improved upon for a little extra holiday fun (and a great way to impress the in-laws who just “popped in” for a “quick visit”).

‘Tis the Season to Indulge

It’s so easy to let ourselves go during the holiday season, and that’s okay!

Wash down the stress of the year with a tasty glass of mulled wine, eat your cares away with Christmas cookies and baking galore, and make your favorite waffles four days in a row if that’s what makes you happy. With recipes this easy, treating yourself should be standard practice.

It’s time to unwind—and more often than not, unbutton, too!

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