Beautiful, Easy Holiday Recipes

Asian Glazed Salmon Salad with Maple Ginger Dressing For the dressing: ¼ cup rice vinegar 3 tablespoons maple syrup 1 small clove garlic, finely minced 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger 6 tablespoons canola oil 1 teaspoons toasted sesame oil ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper For the glaze: 2 tablespoons dressing 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon sriracha chili sauce* For the salmon: salmon filets, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in bite-size pieces 2 teaspoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon corn starch 4 4-6-ounce salmon filets, with or without skin 2 teaspoons vegetable oii glaze For the salad: 6-8 cups arugula 1 cup red grapes, halved ½ cup golden raisins* ½ cup pomegranate arils or seeds 1 large or 2 medium red or yellow pear, cored and sliced (leave peel on) 1. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and shake, shake, shake. Set aside. 2. For the glaze, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a steady simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes until thickened and syrupy. 3. For the salmon, preheat oven to 300˚F. (150˚C). 4. Combine brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch in small bowl. Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season with a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over top of flesh side of salmon, rubbing to distribute. (If you’re using skinless fillets, rub brown sugar mixture over the nicest looking side of the salmon.) 5. Heat oil in a large, oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot and just starting to smoke. Place salmon, seasoned side down, in skillet and cook until well browned, about 1-2 minutes. Using tongs, carefully flip salmon and cook on opposite side for 1 minute. 6. Remove skillet from heat and spread a teaspoon of glaze evenly over each salmon fillet. Transfer skillet to oven and cook 7-10 minutes, until center of thickest part of fillets registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer. Keep warm while you prepare the salads. 7. For salads, divide arugula between 4 dinner plates. Add salmon fillets over to one side of plate and drizzle each with another teaspoon or two of the glaze. Scatter salad with grapes, golden raisins and pomegranate arils. Arrange pear slices attractively on one side of salad. Drizzle with dressing and pass extra at the table.

A collection of our favorite holiday recipes to help you entertain with delicious ease!

I used to get all fancy-schmancy with holiday food, but I’ve learned to keep things a little simpler. Another important part of my holiday meal planning is to choose recipes that can be made, or at least prepped, in advance

We have lots of little ones running around these days and “fancy schmancy” just doesn’t work anymore. Plus I want to enjoy family and friends at this time of year and not spend a zillion hours in the kitchen. Thought some of you might be in the same spot, so I’m sharing our favorite (and prettiest) holiday recipes with an emphasis on simple, easy and/or make-ahead. There’s everything from appetizers, main dishes and sides to desserts and sweet treats. Click on the picture or the title to take you to the recipe. Have fun and happy holidays!

Appetizers

Winter Market Bruschetta - a fabulous, fresh appetizer , perfect anytime of year but especially wonderful in the off season when "fresh" seems like a distant memory.

Winter Market Bruschetta – a fabulous, fresh appetizer , perfect anytime of year but especially wonderful in the off season when “fresh” seems like a distant memory.

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Rosemary Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles – super fun, easy, make ahead! A delicious appetizer that will wow the socks off of everyone!

Pomegranate, Parsley and Pecan Cheeseball - light, fresh and fun - with a smidgen of garlic, a bit of fine lemon zest and lots of fresh herbs. It's gorgeous too and tends to make jaws drop!

Pomegranate Parsley Pecan Cheese Ball – light, fresh and fun – with a smidgen of garlic, a bit of fine lemon zest and lots of fresh herbs. It’s gorgeous too and tends to make jaws drop!

Sides

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes - make them in under 15 minutes, hear rave reviews for days!

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes – Make them in under 15 minutes, hear rave reviews for days!

Honey Maple Roasted Carrots - these are like candy, everyone always wants second helpings! This recipe definitely transforms everyday carrots into something spectacular!

Honey Maple Roasted Carrots – these are like candy, everyone always wants second helpings! This recipe definitely transforms everyday carrots into something spectacular!

Combining sweet potatoes, butternut squash, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon and curry, this healthy sweet potato casserole wows everyone!

Healthy Sweet Potato Butternut Casserole – combining sweet potatoes, butternut squash, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon and curry, this potato dish wows everyone!

Super Easy, Crazy Delicious Cranberry Sauce

Super Easy, Crazy Delicious Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce – Nothing everyday or ordinary about this sauce. But it is everyday easy and extraordinarily delicious!

Pomegranate Couscous Salad - it's super easy and the perfect delicious side for everyday and special occasions.

Pomegranate Parsley Couscous Salad –  it’s super easy and the perfect delicious side for everyday and special occasions.

Make Ahead Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes - super delicious and super versatile! Don't like or can't find smoked Gouda? Cheddar, parmesan or goat cheese would be a delicious swap!

Make Ahead Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes – super delicious and super versatile! Don’t like or can’t find smoked Gouda? Cheddar, parmesan or goat cheese would be a delicious swap!

Arugula, Pear and Pom Salad - a fabulous fresh salad with fresh pears, pomegranate arils and juicy red grapes. A poppy seed and apple cider dressing is the perfect pairing!

Arugula, Pear and Pomegranate and Pear Salad – – a fabulous fresh salad with fresh pears, pomegranate arils and juicy red grapes. A poppy seed and apple cider dressing is the perfect pairing!

The Bread Basket

Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits - and incredibly easy (as in, less than 5 minutes) that yields tall flaky, incredibly delicious biscuits!

Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits – an incredibly easy (as in, less than 5 minutes) technique that yields tall flaky, incredibly delicious biscuits!

These easy artisan rolls truly are unbelievably easy. Stir up the dough then go enjoy a good sleep. In the morning, shape and bake. Unbelievably delicious too!

Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls –  truly, they are unbelievably easy. Stir up the dough then go to bed. In the morning, shape and bake. Unbelievably delicious too!

5 Minute Artisan Bread Tutorial. Sound too good to be true? It's not! You'll think your kitchen's been transformed to a European bake shop!

Five-Minute Artisan Bread –  a step by step tutorial. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! You’ll think your kitchen’s been transformed to a European bake shop!

Main Dishes

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Shrimp and Chicken Cashew Curry – fresh, light and full of fabulous flavor, this curry is easy enough for every day dinner and fancy enough for your most special holiday dinner party. Such a nice twist from traditional holiday cuisine.

Skillet Shrimp and Pasta Scampi - a one pot, easy, 45-minute weeknight dinner that's delicious and elegant enough for a dinner party!

Skillet Shrimp and Pasta Scampi– a one pot, easy, 45-minute weeknight dinner that’s delicious and elegant enough for a dinner party!

Asian Glazed Salmon Salad with Maple Ginger Dressing - a healthy, delicious salad. The dressing doubles as part of an Asian glaze for the salmon.

Asian Glazed Salmon Salad with Maple Ginger Dressing – with fresh pears, pomegranate arils and red grapes this salad is not only a stunner, it’s healthy and so delicious. The dressing doubles as part of an Asian glaze for the salmon.

Roasted Shrimp, Tomato and White Bean Salad - it's easy enough for a weeknight dinner but elegant enough for your fanciest company - and it always brings rave reviews!

Roasted Shrimp, Tomato and White Bean Salad– this one’s elegant enough for your fanciest company and always brings rave reviews. With the abundance of heavy, high calorie food at this time of year, it’s nice (and welcomed) to offer something beautiful and healthy.

Beef Daube - it's beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves; it's slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender and crazy delicious!

 Provencal Beef Daube – it’s beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves; it’s slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender. It’s also totally make ahead!

Desserts

French Almond Cake - incredibly delicious and incredibly easy. One-bowl, no-mixer, just-a -few-minutes-to-throw together!

French Almond Cake – incredibly delicious and incredibly easy. One-bowl, no-mixer, just-a -few-minutes-to-throw together!

Irish Chocolate Cheesecakes - in a jar! So rich, so decadent, so delightful ... and ... so portable! Take them anywhere and enjoy!

Irish Chocolate Cheesecake Jars – so rich, so decadent, so delightful … and … so portable! Totally make ahead – take them anywhere!

French Chocolate Tart with Brown Butter Crust - the real deal! It's super simple and super decadent, an authentic French chocolate dessert that's alway a huge hit!

French Chocolate Tart with Easy Press in Crust – the real deal! Another make ahead that’s simple and decadent. It’s an authentic French chocolate dessert that’s alway a huge hit!

Best Ever Hot Fudge Sauce - just like the name says this stuff is seriously the best ever. What the name doesn't say is now super easy it is, you won't even believe it!

Amazingly Easy, Best Ever Hot Fudge Sauce – just like the name says this stuff is seriously the best ever. What the name doesn’t say is now super easy it is, you won’t even believe it! Keep things super simple – pick up some good ice cream and make this sauce in minutes. No one will miss the fancy dessert that takes hours!

French Grandmother's Lemon Yogurt Cake - a fabulous cake with a really fun history. It's moist and super delicious and it can be thrown together in minutes!

French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake – French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake – a fabulous cake with a really fun history. It’s moist and super delicious and it can be thrown together in minutes!

Easy, One Bowl Gingerbread Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing - this might just be the easiest, moistest, most delicious cake you've ever made!

Easy, One Bowl Gingerbread Cake – perfect for celebrating the holidays or for Santa and the elves and it very well may be the easiest, moistest, most delicious cake you’ve ever made!

Sweet Treats

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies - this easy, one bowl, no mixer recipe might just be the most romantic, most beautiful and most delicious cookies you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting!

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies – this easy, one bowl, no mixer recipe might just be the most romantic, most beautiful and most delicious cookies you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting!

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies - easy, whimsical and eye-catching, these incredibly delicious cookies have a buttery shortbread base and a sprinkle coating, topped with a Hershey's candy-cane kiss.

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies – easy, whimsical and eye-catching, these incredibly delicious cookies have a buttery shortbread base and a sprinkle coating, topped with a Hershey’s candy-cane kiss.

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies - think one-bowl, no-mixer, super-easy, crazy-delicious cookies that look and taste like they came right from a fine bake shop are impossible? Nope, check it out!

One Bowl Toffee Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies – think one-bowl, no-mixer, super-easy, crazy-delicious cookies that look and taste like they came right from a fine bake shop are impossible? Nope, check it out!

15-Minute Microwave Pecan Brittle - this stuff is crazy good, super easy and, be warned, it's also ridiculously addictive! www.thecafesucrefarine.com

15-Minute Microwave Pecan Brittle – this stuff is crazy good, super easy and, be warned, it’s also ridiculously addictive!


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