Posts Tagged 'party'

OnDiva Dara from Cookin’ Canuck

For the past week, we have been introducing you to our new panel of OnDivas. The OnDivas are each fabulous home cooks, creative recipe developers, talented food photographers and entertaining culinary writers all rolled into one. They are helping Discover Endive spread the word about California endive: the health benefits of eating endive, its value at the grocery store, and its versatility in your weekly menu. What’s more, this week the OnDivas offer you more wonderful holiday recipes and entertaining suggestions that will reduce your stress in the weeks to come!

Dara of Cookin' Canuck

Dara of Cookin' Canuck

Today, Dara from Cookin’ Canuck shares one of her “go-to” recipes for holiday entertaining, as well as revealing some of her favorite memories and foods from this joyful season.

What are some of your family’s traditional recipes or foods that you include in your holiday cooking from year to year? What are the “new” holiday culinary traditions you’ve created, and how did they come about?
Some of our holiday recipe traditions come straight from our childhood, such as my husband’s great-grandmother’s butter cookies in the shapes of wreaths and trees.  Being from Canada, my family holds tight to many English traditions, such as serving plum pudding (on fire, of course) and butter tarts.  Our new traditions include serving decadent maple-glazed cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.  We always serve turkey for Christmas dinner, but we make it on Christmas Eve and slather it with hot gravy on Christmas.  This takes some of the chaos out of Christmas day.
 The holidays just aren’t the holidays without _________________________?
…without watching my mum, my mother-in-law and our two boys dress up as reindeer, serenading us with jingle bells and Christmas carols.  It just never gets old.
What is your favorite holiday movie, television special, character or song?
Without a doubt, my favorite holiday character is the Grinch.  My dad started reading the story to us every Christmas Eve when I was very young and my husband and I now carry on the tradition with our boys.  We look at every picture in detail, marveling at all of the cool Seuss-ian toys.
What is one go-to recipe for the holidays that you can share with the Discover Endive audience?
My dad’s bread stuffing is a “must” at Christmas table.  Filled with fresh herbs and tender bread, the stuffing easily fills half of my plate each year…and then I go back for seconds.  He started making the stuffing when I was a teenager.  My mum was sick with bronchitis one year and my dad took it upon himself to come up with a stuffing recipe.  Surrounded by every cookbook we owned, he pieced together what has now become a family favorite.
What is one tip, suggestion or piece of advice for the Discover Endive audience to cut back on stress during holiday entertaining and/or cooking?
Delegate, delegate and then delegate some more.  Everyone wants to help, so let them!  The last thing guests want to do is sit idly by as they watch a harried host run around the kitchen.

Thanks, Dara!

Be sure to visit Dara’s food blog, Cookin’ Canuck for more great recipes and ideas.

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Stay tuned for more from the OnDivas, including California Endive Stuffed with Homemade Boursin later this week. And if you have a question for our OnDivas, post it to the Discover Endive facebook page or shout it out on Twitter!

OnDiva Rachael from La Fuji Mama

For the next week, we will be introducing you to our new panel of OnDivas. The OnDivas are each fabulous home cooks, creative recipe developers, talented food photographers and entertaining culinary writers all rolled into one. They are helping Discover Endive spread the word about California endive: the health benefits of eating endive, its value at the grocery store, and its versatility in your weekly menu. What’s more, this week the OnDivas offer you more wonderful holiday recipes and entertaining suggestions that will reduce your stress in the weeks to come!

Rachael of La Fuji Mama
Rachael of La Fuji Mama

Today, Rachael from La Fuji Mama shares one of her “go-to” recipes for holiday entertaining, as well as revealing some of her favorite memories and foods from this joyful season.

What are the “new” holiday culinary traditions you’ve created, and how did they come about?

One of our newer traditions (at least for me) is that I make fruit cake every year for Christmas.  My husband’s grandmother used to make it every year.  When she passed away a couple of years ago, I realized that there would be no fruit cake that Christmas, made especially sad by the fact that it is something my husband’s grandpa looks forward to all year.  So I decided to make it something I would do each year.  Now I look forward to the moment when I can give grandpa his own little loaf each December.

What is your favorite holiday movie, television special, character or song?

O Holy Night—the music never fails to send tingles up and down my spine.

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?

Getting to spend time with family.  It’s been a busy year, so having the opportunity to slow down a bit and gather round the dinner table with family sounds better than any gift that could be wrapped and put under then tree!

What is one go-to recipe for the holidays that you can share with the Discover Endive audience?

I LOVE chocolate covered pretzels, but always shy away from making them myself because I find the process monotonous.  This month I came up with a super simple way to get all of the same flavors of my beloved chocolate dipped pretzels in a homemade treat, without the monotony—my recipe for white chocolate peppermint pretzel bark: http://www.savvysassymoms.com/white-chocolate-peppermint-pretzel-bark/

What is one tip, suggestion or piece of advice for the Discover Endive audience to cut back on stress during holiday entertaining and/or cooking? 

Don’t forget to stop and live in the moment.  I find that it’s all too easy to get caught up in the stress of the holiday season and I have to stop and remind myself why I’m doing everything.  Stop and enjoy the looks of wonder on your children’s faces as they experience the magic of the season.  Don’t worry so much about perfection—I promise, no one else will notice.  You have the rest of your life to work on perfection, but you only have these moments once!

Thanks, Rachael!

Be sure to visit Rachael’s food blog, La Fuji Mama for more great recipes and ideas. Stay tuned for another interview, recipe and tip with another fabulous OnDiva, coming tomorrow!

OnDiva Winnie from Healthy Green Kitchen

For the next week, we will be introducing you to our new panel of OnDivas. The OnDivas are each fabulous home cooks, creative recipe developers, talented food photographers and entertaining culinary writers all rolled into one. They are helping Discover Endive spread the word about California endive: the health benefits of eating endive, its value at the grocery store, and its versatility in your weekly menu. What’s more, this week the OnDivas offer you more wonderful holiday recipes and entertaining suggestions that will reduce your stress in the weeks to come!

Winnie Abramson of Healthy Green Kitchen

Winnie Abramson of Healthy Green Kitchen

Today, Winnie from Healthy Green Kitchen shares one of her “go-to” recipes for holiday entertaining, as well as revealing some of her favorite memories and foods from this joyful season.

What foods or recipes do you find that you save for the holidays, only making them at this time of year? 

I definitely do more cookie baking and more candy making this time of year. I limit sugar in my diet most of the time, but I make exceptions to this rule in December!

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? 

We live in NY and my husband works much of the time in Arizona so he’s generally only home on the weekends. My kids and I are looking forward to him being home for a longer stretch over the holidays.
What is one tip, suggestion or piece of advice for the Discover Endive audience to cut back on stress during holiday entertaining and/or cooking?
If you are having a party, do as much of the recipe preparation as you can ahead of time, and don’t choose recipes that require a lot of last-minute tending. For me, there is really nothing less fun than “babysitting” a fussy dish in the kitchen while everyone else is having a blast in the next room. It’s better to make things that are low maintenance, and that are fine served at room temperature. If your recipes require a lot of vegetable chopping or other similar prep work, try to get this done in advance (a day or two before your party).
What is one go-to recipe for the holidays that you can share with the Discover Endive audience?
We are Jewish, so I am going to have to say latkes. Here’s how I make mine.

Latkes

Ingredients:

* 4 medium-large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced longways (so they fit into the food processor)
* 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced to fit into the food processor
* 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
* 2 tablespoons finely minced green onion
* 2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range, whisked with a fork
* 2 tablespoons organic all purpose flour or leftover mashed potatoes
* Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Grapeseed oil for frying

Directions:

1. Using a hand grater or a food processor, grate the potatoes and the onion. Place in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and press out the water.
2. Mix the potato and onion in a bowl with the parsley, green onion, eggs, and the flour. Mix well. Season with 2 pinches each of salt and pepper.
3. Heat a cast iron skillet or a griddle and coat with a thin layer of the oil (about 1/2 inch). Place spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the oil, flattening each one with a spatula.
4. Fry several minutes, until golden brown, and then flip over and continue frying until both sides are well browned. Drain on paper towels. Add additional oil to the pan as needed to fry the rest of the latkes.
5. Serve immediately with applesauce and crème fraîche or sour cream (or the topping(s) of your choice).
Thanks, Winnie!

Be sure to visit Winnie’s food blog, Healthy Green Kitchen for more great recipes and ideas. Stay tuned for another interview, recipe and tip with another fabulous OnDiva, coming tomorrow!

OnDiva Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food

For the next week, we will be introducing you to our new panel of OnDivas. The OnDivas are each fabulous home cooks, creative recipe developers, talented food photographers and entertaining culinary writers all rolled into one. They are helping Discover Endive spread the word about California endive: the health benefits of eating endive, its value at the grocery store, and its versatility in your weekly menu. What’s more, this week the OnDivas offer you more wonderful holiday recipes and entertaining suggestions that will reduce your stress in the weeks to come!

Carolyn of All Day I Dream About Food

Carolyn of All Day I Dream About Food

Today, Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food shares one of her “go-to” recipes for holiday entertaining, as well as revealing some of her favorite memories and foods from this joyful season.

What are some of your family’s traditional recipes or foods that you include in your holiday cooking from year to year?

Growing up, we always had tourtiere, a French Canadian meat pie, on Christmas Eve.  My mother’s family is of French Canadian origin and it always felt very special to connect to that part of my heritage.  It’s a wonderful dish, and my husband and I now try to make sure we have it some time around the holidays.
What are the “new” holiday culinary traditions you’ve created, and how did they come about?
We started a tradition a few years ago that was an absolute hit with the kids.  On the night that we trim the tree, we also have pancakes for dinner.  I usually try to make the pancakes “holiday” themed, and last year I did Gingerbread Chocolate Chip pancakes.  The kids think it’s such a special treat to have pancakes for dinner, and little do they know, it makes for a quick and easy dinner to prepare.  But I can hardly wait until the kids are old enough to do all the clean up!
What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?
A visit from my parents.  We don’t live close to our extended family, and we haven’t spent the holidays together in a few years.  I am really excited to be the one hosting, and I know it means the world to my kids to have their grandparents here.  And my father just melts watching his grandkids open their presents.  He spoils them rotten, too.
What is one go-to recipe for the holidays that you can share with the Discover Endive audience?

My recipe for French Canadian Tourtiere.  It’s easy to make, and it’s a really flavourful dish.
What is one tip, suggestion or piece of advice for the Discover Endive audience to cut back on stress during holiday entertaining and/or cooking?
Someone told me this before my wedding, and it applies to holiday plans and parties too.  It’s simply to keep in mind that your guests don’t know all the little details you were planning, so they won’t notice if one or more of those details is missing.  It’s all too easy to sweat the small stuff when planning parties and big dinners, but in the end, does it really matter?  The holidays are meant for enjoying the company of friends and family, so if one or two details don’t turn out according to plan, let it go.  Nobody is going to notice or care.

Thanks, Carolyn!

Be sure to visit Carolyn’s food blog, All Day I Dream About Food for more great recipes and ideas. Stay tuned for another interview, recipe and tip with another fabulous OnDiva, coming tomorrow!

OnDiva Paula from bell’alimento

For the next week, we will be introducing you to our new panel of OnDivas. The OnDivas are each fabulous home cooks, creative recipe developers, talented food photographers and entertaining culinary writers all rolled into one. They are helping Discover Endive spread the word about California endive: the health benefits of eating endive, its value at the grocery store, and its versatility in your weekly menu. What’s more, this week the OnDivas offer you more wonderful holiday recipes and entertaining suggestions that will reduce your stress in the weeks to come!

Paula of bell'alimento

Paula of bell'alimento

Today, Paula, from bell’alimento shares one of her “go-to” recipes for holiday entertaining, as well as revealing some of her favorite memories and foods from this joyful season.

What foods or recipes do you find that you save for the holidays, only making them at this time of year?

When I think of Christmas foods for us it HAS to include my Mom’s Sugar Cookies, my Grandma’s Divinity and Fruitcake. It isn’t the holidays without those.

Finish this sentence: The holidays just aren’t the holidays without:________________?

My Family!

What is your favorite holiday movie, television special, character or song? 

My favorite Christmas song would have to be Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” My Mom would blare it every year while we were decorating the tree, and we’d dance and sing as loud as we could. Good times.

What is one go-to recipe for the holidays that you can share with the Discover Endive audience?

Easy appetizers that I can throw together at a moment’s notice. Crostini are my go-to appetizers. A favorite is this Sausage Crostini  

What is one tip, suggestion or piece of advice for the Discover Endive audience to cut back on stress during holiday entertaining and/or cooking? 

 Breathe and remember that your guests are there to see YOU and not the house.

Thanks, Paula!

Be sure to visit Paula’s food blog, bell’alimento for more great recipes and ideas. Stay tuned for another interview, recipe and tip with another fabulous OnDiva, coming tomorrow!

De-Stress the Holidays with California Endive

Home entertaining peaks at holiday time, and stress spikes along with it.

But that was last year. This year, implement a new strategy. Start stockpiling festive recipes that rely more on your flair than your time, such as anything made with the fashionable and elegant endive. Both white and red varieties make an immediate style statement and can take you from Thanksgiving through New Year’s with minimal effort. Endive (say on-deev) can help you keep a lid on holiday calories, too. At only one calorie per spear, endive is truly the “slimmer dipper,” a more wholesome choice than crackers or salty chips.

A versatile vegetable developed in Belgium (but now California grown), endive can come to the table either hot or cold. Crisp and refreshing when sliced raw in salads with candied walnuts and ruby beets, the shapely heads also bake to perfection. Braise them with broth, cream, and mustard for a side dish worthy of your Thanksgiving turkey or a holiday roast. For a cocktail party, the curvaceous spears can cradle any filling or scoop any dip, from a creamy feta spread to a spicy shrimp salad.

Endive may have a glamorous aura but it’s a remarkably practical choice: less expensive pound-for-pound than most bagged salad mixes; longer lasting (up to 14 days if kept in moist paper towels in a plastic bag); and all but effortless. You don’t even need to wash it or spin it dry; just slice the heads crosswise for salads, discarding the core, or braise the plump heads whole. Its captivating bittersweet flavor has made endive a European favorite, a complement to apples, pears, and nuts, smoked fish, and roast meats.

All week we’ll be offering fabulous recipes that add the delicious to your holiday entertaining, while steering clear of added stress. First up, Endive with Roasted Red Pepper Feta Spread!

Endive with Roasted Red Pepper Feta Spread

Makes 1 1/3 cups spread, to serve 8
1/2 pound Greek or French feta, in small chunks
1/2 large roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or more if needed
2 dozen white and red endive spears for dipping
Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
Kalamata olives, for garnish

Put feta, bell pepper and garlic in food processor and blend, adding just as much olive oil as needed to make a smooth puree. Transfer spread to serving platter or bowl and surround with endive spears. Garnish with dill sprigs and olives.

For more holiday entertaining ideas, visit the Discover Endive website.

 


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