Saturday, December 24

Holiday's Simpl(e)y (and) the Best

With Christmas around the corner,
things are hectic enough without having to worry about what to cook
up for dinners. We're always looking around for new and interesting
recipes that will make the holiday season a bit more special and
memorable than usual.

 Everyone knows the basics of a traditional holiday meal, but having something different will not only make you stand out as the fabulous host that you are, but it will put a smile on everyone's face!



For the first recipe, I've put down
some mouth-watering ceviche cups. Ceviche is a deliciously fresh and
vibrant appetizer, full of bold flavors all around. It consists of
various seafood that get cooked by citrus juices, so no pan is
required. The best part of this recipe is that it fits in perfectly
with a busy meal schedule because it's quick and easy and very
flexible. Red snapper can be substituted completely or partially with
anything from scallops, to shrimps, to salmon. The best part of
eating this yummy appetizer is that it is pretty guilt-free, unlike
most of the stuff that will likely have you loosening your belt.

500 grams Red Snapper
Juice of 6 limes
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly
1 avocado, pitted and diced
2 tbsp finely chopped, fresh cilantro
2 small red chilies, seeded and finely
8-12 romaine lettuce leaves, to serve

  1. Slice the fish into thin slices/strips and place into a medium bowl.
    Drizzle with the lemon and lime juices and stir gently to coat.
    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours,
    stirring occasionally. The flesh of the fish will be opaque when
    ready to serve.
  2. Drain the fish, reserving 3 tablespoons of the marinade. Whisk the
    reserved marinade with the olive oil in a small bowl. Season with
    salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Combine the fish, tomatoes, onion, avocado, cilantro, chilies, and
    marinade dressing in a medium bowl and stir gently to combine.
  4. Spoon some ceviche mixture into each lettuce leaf. Prepare 2-3
    filled lettuce leaves for each guest. Serve.


To balance out the oceany feel of the
first dish, the the next yummy bite should be something more
traditionally meaty, like, say, some meatballs with a sweet ginger
sauce. These meatballs are easy to make, packed with flavor, and
pretty hard to mess up. The recipe calls for chicken in the
meatballs, but for an even more festive twist try using turkey!


for the
100 grams firmly packed dark brown
120mL Water
120mL soy sauce
120mL sweet rice wine
1/4 cup chopped peeled ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
4 whole black peppercorns

500 grams ground chicken breast or
6 scallions, finely chopped
50 grams fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
Fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat,
    stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the soy sauce, sweet rice
    wine, ginger, coriander, and peppercorns and simmer, stirring
    occasionally until reduced by half, about 15mins. Strain through a
    fine-mesh sieve.

  1. Mix the chicken, scallions,
    cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, and pepper in a bowl. Roll
    tablespoons of the mixture into balls.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large
    frying pan over the medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches
    until browned and cooked through, 7-8 minutes each batch.
  3. Arrange the meatballs on a heated
    platter, spoon some ginger sauce over each one, and serve hot.

To top off one fun-filled day of good
food, nothing beats classic gingerbread cookies! Ginger bread is
especially great for kids because it offers up a great way for them
to express their creativity. They can decorate these tasty cookies in
any way they like, which spares you some work and makes it more fun
for everyone! All of these warming spices scream holiday season and
add up to make one really tasty cookie!

6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup shortening, melted and cooled
1 cup molasses
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift together the flour, baking powder,
ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the
shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until
smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, until they are
completely absorbed. Divide dough into 3 pieces, pat down to 1 1/2
inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175
degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4
inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place
cookies 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the
preheated oven. When the cookies are done, they will look dry, but
still be soft to the touch. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on
wire racks. When cool, the cookies can be frosted with the icing of
your choice

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