By: Cindy Grosz
HOLIDAY ICE CUBES
(Makes 2 ice cube trays)
LVP Sangria or sangria of your choice
Raspberries or sliced strawberries
Fresh mint, julienned or sliced
1. Fill each ice cube tray square with a raspberry
or slice of strawberry.
2. Add a small mint leaf slice to each square.
3. Top each square with Sangria.
4. Freeze overnight in a very cold freezer.
5. Pop out and drop into your drink! For
Thanksgiving and Chanukah, think sparkling apple
drinks -- even nonalcoholic for the entire family to
enjoy -- present in a clear pitcher -- will be
finished before the ice melts!!!!!!
PUMPKIN SEED CRUSTED & CURED SALMON WITH GUACAMOLE
This is one of our favorite holiday appetizers, as
the flavors are decadent and delicious and the
presentation fabulous! The idea of curing your own
salmon might be a little daunting to some,
but it’s so easy and will delight your guests.
Curing is a way of infusing the salmon with flavor
and preserving it slightly, so you can eat it rare –
but make sure to get sushi grade or very good
For the Cure:
- 2 salmon steaks (8 oz each, good quality or sushi
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup salt
For the Salmon:
- 1 bag Pumpkin Seeds (crushed)
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Raspberry Vinaigrette (see below)
- Pumpkin seed oil
To Cure the Salmon:
1. Mix salt and sugar together and generously coat
the bottom and top of the salmon steaks.
2. Place on a plate, wrap with plastic and
refrigerate for 24 hours.
3. The next day, remove salmon from plate and wash
thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry with
To Cook the Salmon:
1. Heat olive oil in a pan until it starts to smoke.
2. Pressing firmly, coat both sides of the cured
salmon with pumpkin seeds.
3. Turn off the heat and place both pieces of salmon
in the oil for 30 seconds each side.4. Remove from
pan and rest on paper towel to remove excess oil
5. Slice salmon thinly and arrange slices on a plate
with a dollop of guacamole on each slice.
6. Using a spoon sprinkle raspberry vinaigrette
around the plate and a drizzle of pumpkin seed
oil to finish.
Mix all ingredients together:
- ¼ cup raspberry vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp raspberry purée
- 1 tsp salt
- Sugar to taste
MUSHROOM & SAGE POLENTA CAKES
For the Polenta:
2 cups parve milk
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cup polenta
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the Topping:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp margarine
1 shallot, halved and sliced in ¼” slices
4 oz button mushrooms,
4 oz oyster mushrooms¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 sprig sage, chiffonade
Chiffonade is a chopping technique in which herbs or
leafy green vegetables are cut into long,
1. Bring the water, parve milk, and salt to a boil.
Slowly whisk in the polenta.
2. Turn heat to low, and continue whisking for 5
minutes, or until polenta is smooth and creamy.
3. Spread the polenta in a 9×9 baking dish, and set
aside to cool.
4. While the polenta is setting up, add the
margarine and olive oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet
to medium-low heat.
5. Add the shallot, mushrooms and a sprinkle of
kosher salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until
soft, golden, and caramelized- about 10 minutes.
6. Add the parve cream and reduce until thickened.
7. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into another skillet,
set over medium heat.
8. Using a 2″ round cookie cutter, cut out circles
of the firm polenta, and place in the heated
9. Cook until slightly browned and crusty on one
side, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook the
other sides another two minutes.
10. To assemble the polenta cakes, place on a plate,
add one tablespoon of caramelized
mushrooms to each cake, top each with sage.
The best party of the holidays is enjoying them with
family and friends. When meeting Lisa,
daughter Pandora and son-in-law Jason, one can truly
understand why she is such a success,
her success begins at home, and people make the
party, everything else enhances it. It truly is
"the divine addiction." Lisa Vanderpump stars in
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and
Vanderpump Rules." She is the best-selling author of
Stuffing or Dressing?????
Food Network has answered the all-important
question: What’s the difference between stuffing
and dressing? Traditional wisdom holds that stuffing
is actually cooked inside the turkey, while
dressing is cooked separately and served alongside.
Makes sense, right? But in my experience,
it really comes down to geography. People from New
York and Pennsylvania never stuff the bird,
but always call the savory bread pudding-style side
dish “stuffing.” Go further South, and
everything is “dressing."
SIMPLE, HOMEY SOUTHERN HERB DRESSING
adapted by epicurious.com
Makes 8 to 10 servings
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for
baking dish (use margarine)
1 pound good-quality day-old white bread, torn into
1" pieces (about 10 cups)
2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups 1/4" slices celery
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 large eggs
preparation -- replace margarine or oil when butter
Preheat oven to 250°F. Butter a 13x9x2" baking dish
and set aside. Scatter bread in a single
layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring
occasionally, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let
cool; transfer to a very large bowl.
Meanwhile, melt 3/4 cup butter in a large skillet
over medium-high heat; add onions and celery.
Stir often until just beginning to brown, about 10
minutes. Add to bowl with bread; stir in herbs,
salt, and pepper. Drizzle in 1 1/4 cups broth and
toss gently. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk 1 1/4 cups broth and
eggs in a small bowl. Add to bread mixture;
fold gently until thoroughly combined. Transfer to
prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until
an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center
of dressing registers 160°F, about 40
minutes. DO AHEAD: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead.
Uncover; let cool. Cover; chill.
Bake dressing, uncovered, until set and top is
browned and crisp, 40-45 minutes longer (if
chilled, add 10-15 minutes).
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND KALE QUINOA STUFFING
adapted from goodlifeeats.com
YIELD: serves 6PREP TIME: 5 - 10 minutesCOOK TIME:
30 - 35 minutesTOTAL TIME: 35 - 45
1 1/2 cups quinoa (I like a mixture of red and white
quinoa for color)1 bay leaf
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ribs celery, diced
2 medium leeks, washed and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
3 ounces curly kale, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 - 2 teaspoons fresh sage or thyme, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Prepare the quinoa according to package
instructions, substituting chicken or vegetable
for the liquid called for in the instructions and
adding the bay leaf to the pot with the liquid prior
to cooking. Discard the bay leaf after cooking.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and adjust rack to
Toss squash with coconut oil, whole cane sugar, and
salt. Spread the pieces evenly in a baking
dish and cover with foil. Roast for 15 minutes,
remove foil and then roast for an additional 20
minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from
oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium to large cast iron skillet or
saute pan add the olive oil and heat over
medium heat. Add the celery and saute for 2 - 3
minutes, until slightly tender. Add the leeks and
saute an additional 2 - 3 minutes, until the leeks
and celery are tender and fragrant. Add the
garlic and saute 1 minute more.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the chopped kale and
saute over low heat just until the kale has
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa,
vegetables from the saute pan, cranberries, fresh
parsley and your choice of thyme or sage. Stir until
combined. Season to taste with salt and
Just before serving, top with 1/3 cup of chopped
walnuts, if desired.
If assembling in advance, heat just until hot prior
to serving - make sure to use an oven safe
dish and cover the stuffing with foil to preserve
Substitution or addition ideas include sweet
potatoes instead of butternut squash, swiss chard
or spinach instead of kale, yellow onion instead of
leeks, and dried cherries, apricot, or diced
apples (dried or fresh) instead of cranberries, wild
rice blend instead of quinoa. The options are
Squash roasting method adapted from Butternut
Squash, Pomegranate + Roquefort Salad
Holiday Ideas? Look for my hostess gift guide and
tips for Chanukah and New Years. From my
corner to yours, Cindy.