It is a cherished tradition in our family to have cinnamon rolls for breakfast Christmas morning.

Growing up, sometimes they were homemade, sometimes they were from a package, sometimes they were the whomp-em variety (you know, the kind from the can that you “whomp” on the counter?) but they were always there, first thing, and we nibbled on them as we opened Christmas gifts followed by a large, hearty breakfast later in the morning.

Over the past few years I’ve been experimenting with various recipes for making them from scratch, and this is my hands down favorite, numero uno winner. A true “feast day” recipe that we save for only special occasions. I love it because it uses all sourdough for leavening, can be placed in the pan the night before and rises overnight in the fridge so you can throw them in the oven first thing in the morning, and they are billowy, soft, and super decadent. The inclusion of a lot of butter, mashed potato (yes, mashed potato!) and a little bit of buttermilk gives these cinnamon rolls a presence and flavor that can’t be matched. . .

 

Imagine you’re sitting in front of a crackling fire. Suddenly, you smell something delicious coming from the kitchen. Creamy, a little smoky,   A perfect meal for a wintry night, lightly melty over a forkful of sourdough french bread. This is not your typical, “traditional” fondue.  First, I add the smokiness of my caramelized onion marmalade which I make in a big batch in advance in the crockpot and store in the fridge.  Second, it includes cream cheese, which isn’t in a standard traditional fondue, but is a fixture in my fridge, plus I often use cheddar if I don’t have gruyere.  And you know what?  This cheese fondue is amazing.  Creamy, smoky, delicious.  I’m thinking I’m going to start using it in place of my standard roux-based cheese sauce [... To read more, click here ...]

 

Yum, right? This recipe is a family favorite!  I make it about once a year and it is always a hit. Keep in mind that this is a special occasion treat and, as such, it takes a while to make.  I recommend making it a day in advance before you serve it!  Enjoy!   Deep Dish Sweet Potato Pecan Pie adapted from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen; makes an 8-inch pie Crust 2-1/2 cups flour 1 Tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold and diced into very small pieces Ice cold water Sweet Potato Filling 2 to 3 sweet potatoes (enough to yield 1 cup cooked pulp), baked 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 Tablespoon egg, vigorously beaten until frothy (using remaining eggs [... To read more, click here ...]

 

This recipe is a family favorite. It would not be the holidays without spiced apple cider, ladled from a waiting, simmering slow cooker into mugs lovingly cupped in cold fingers. We serve this at Christmas parties and to carollers, sip it while making pfefferniuss and while watching our favorite Christmas movies. I can’t eat Thanksgiving pie without a cup of spiced apple cider nearby. Nor open Christmas presents. A waft of this and I am home. Spiced Apple Cider adjust to fill your particular Slow Cooker Enough apple juice to fill your slow cooker. Growing up, we always used the frozen concentrated variety and I’m not above using that now! For every “can” of prepared frozen juice (or approximately 32 ounces of juice if you are using fresh or bottled [... To read more, click here ...]

 

Smoked Salmon Spread with Pecans courtesy of my mom and dad One 1-lb. can of wild, Alaskan salmon One 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened 2 teaspoons grated white or yellow onion 1/4 teaspoon sea salt * 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice 1 teaspoon horseradish 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke * 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, snipped (or 1 Tablespoon dried parsley) 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika Drain, removing bones and skin from salmon. Flake salmon into a bowl. Combine cream cheese, lemon juice, onion, horseradish, salt and liquid smoke with salmon, mixing well. Chill several hours or overnight. About an hour before serving, combine pecans, parsley and paprika. Shape salmon mixture into a log or ball and roll in pecan mixture. Chill. Serve with crackers, sliced baguette and sliced [... To read more, click here ...]

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