The end of the year is an exciting time to celebrate the holidays, and there’s no better way to do that than by gathering with friends and family to enjoy delicious food and fun! Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day, we have something for everyone. Here you’ll find a variety of recipes to make your December holiday gatherings even more special. From appetizers and main dishes to desserts and drinks, you’ll be sure to find something to please every palate.
Latkes are a traditional Jewish holiday treat. These fried potato pancakes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and are often served with applesauce or sour cream. To make latkes, simply shred potatoes and onion and mix with flour, eggs, salt, and pepper. Form into small pancakes and fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Kugel is a Jewish noodle casserole made with egg noodles, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, and cinnamon. This savory dish is perfect for any Hanukkah meal. To make kugel, boil egg noodles until al dente and drain. Mix melted butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, salt, pepper, and cinnamon in a separate bowl before adding to the cooked noodles. Pour it into a baking dish and bake until golden brown. Enjoy!
Sufganiyot are also popular Hanukkah treats. These round, doughnut-like pastries are usually filled with jelly or custard and dusted with powdered sugar. To make sufganiyot, combine warm milk, butter, sugar, and yeast in a bowl and let sit until foamy. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, eggs, and more sugar. Combine the two mixtures and knead into a dough before letting it rise. Once risen, roll out the dough and cut into circles before adding your desired filling and frying in hot oil. Dust with powdered sugar once cooled.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is a season of giving and love, so why not start your celebrations with some delicious recipes? For starters, consider serving some holiday appetizers like Smoked Salmon Crostini with a Dill Cream Cheese Spread. These tasty bites are sure to please guests of all ages. If you’re looking for a more festive option, try Maple Glazed Bacon Wrapped Dates. They look impressive but are actually quite easy to make.
When it comes to the main course, our favorite is the Cranberry Balsamic Glazed Ham. This classic dish can feed a crowd and will leave everyone asking for seconds. And for a side dish that really stands out, consider making Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans. The combination of sweet and savory flavors is simply irresistible.
For dessert, nothing beats a classic Yule Log. A Chocolate Orange Yule Log is filled with creamy orange mousse and decadent chocolate ganache – yum! Or if you want something a bit lighter, try making Cranberry Meringue Pie. The light meringue topping, and tart cranberry filling will be sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Celebrate Kwanzaa with a delicious traditional meal! Start off with a Kenyan Vegetable Stew. This hearty and flavorful stew is made with potatoes, carrots, green beans, and tomatoes, and seasoned with garlic, cumin, turmeric, and curry powder. Serve with fresh injera bread for a truly authentic dish.
For an entree, try a flavorful beef dish. Cube-cut beef is cooked in a tomato sauce with onions and herbs, making a delicious stew that pairs perfectly with rice or couscous. The fragrant spices used in this recipe make it the perfect main course for Kwanzaa.
Finish the meal off with something sweet – a tray of homemade almond cookies! These crisp and chewy cookies are full of flavor and have a slight nutty taste thanks to the almonds. Serve alongside warm mugs of Kenyan tea for a relaxing end to the night.
No Kwanzaa dinner would be complete without a drink. Traditional African beer is brewed with honey and spices, creating an alcoholic beverage that is lightly sweet and full of flavor. Enjoy it alongside your meal or offer it as a toast to your family and friends.
New Year’s Eve
Start off the evening with a delicious appetizer like our Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp. All you need is jumbo shrimp, fresh parsley, prosciutto, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter. Simply wrap the shrimp in the prosciutto and season with lemon zest and olive oil. Fry in butter until golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lemon for a delightful starter.
For the main course, try our Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. This dish looks impressive, but it’s easy to make. Start by mixing breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, thyme, parsley, garlic, and butter. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and then stuff with the breadcrumb mixture. Roast in the oven until cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes and a side salad for a flavorful dinner.
For dessert, why not try something sweet and festive like our Chocolate-Covered Apples? You will need apples, white chocolate chips, sprinkles, and lollipop sticks. Melt the white chocolate chips and dip the apples into the melted chocolate. Add sprinkles for a fun touch and place the lollipop stick in the apple. Let them cool and enjoy!
And don’t forget the midnight toast of bubbly!
New Year’s Day
As the end of December approaches, it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s Day! To start off the morning, try making a French toast bake. This classic dish is easy to put together and serves up to 12 people. Start by buttering up a 9×13 baking pan and then layering with thick slices of Texas Toast. Whisk together eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and pour over the toast slices. Add fresh blueberries or other favorite fruit for a sweet touch. Bake until the top is golden brown and enjoy.
For lunch or dinner, a traditional recipe calls for lentils. This may not sound very exciting, but we’ve found a fun way to make this harbinger of luck taste delectable. Simply rinse your lentils with cold water a few times (not just once), then drizzle them with some olive oil before frying. Dice up mirepoix (carrots, onions, and celery—including the leaves!), add that to a pot with some tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and garlic, bringing it to a boil. Add the lentils, parsley, and parmesan cheese rind – this is a must – and allow it to simmer. Before long, you’ll have a savory lentil soup ready to bring you good luck in 2023.
End the day on a sweet note with this simple and festive no-bake cheesecake. Start by crushing graham crackers and mixing with melted butter in a springform pan. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan and freeze for 15 minutes. Beat together softened cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Spread over the crust and top with freshly sliced strawberries or other seasonal berries. Chill for at least two hours before serving and enjoy!
Celebrate with Style
No matter the holiday, these recipes are sure to bring cheer to everyone who sits at your table. With the right decorations, your home will feel like the perfect spot to sit together, celebrate the coming year, and enjoy the spirit of the season. However how you choose to celebrate this season, these delicious recipes will make sure your holiday is off to a delicious and memorable start.