If you have yet to throw a tree-trimming party (hey, there's nothing wrong with a procrastinator!) or want a celebrity-inspired holiday party menu, then turn to Jennifer Aniston. She revealed details about her annual tree-trimming party in a recent interview, and my, does the menu sound perfectly girl-next-door-esque. "There's usually three different kinds of chili at the tree-trimming party," Jennifer explained. "There's a vegetarian chili, a turkey chili, and a good ol' beef chili. I can't honestly say I make that, but I do make some Rice Krispies treats and hot chocolate. My best hostess tip is to have good food and really good music! We usually put on the Charlie Brown Christmas album. That's my favorite. And then we'll go to Bing Crosby and stuff like that — old school — Frank Sinatra." Jen can provide the ideas, and we can offer the recipes! Be sure to set up a triple-pot slow cooker for the chilies and an elaborate topping bar!
There are so many sweet and indulgent edible gifts to be had during Christmas, but one need not feel an ounce of guilt for these kale and sweet potato chips. The chips are best eaten the day they're made, so this is an ideal last-minute gift that doesn't require many ingredients or time.
If you don't have a mandoline, prepare to bake the sweet potato chips much longer than anticipated. Before removing them completely from the oven, test the chips to see if they are crispy and dried out. Otherwise, the gift recipient won't be too keen on the bag of soggy chips!
Look, this combo is unbeatable. The savory kale combined with the sweet potatoes will make any healthy-snack disbeliever change her ways. Just remember to double the recipe so you can get your snack on too.
The kitchen appliance I can't live without once the weather cools off? My little red crockpot. During December, things might get busy, but there's no reason I can't make a quick dinner that's delicious and healthy; all it requires is a few minutes of advance prep. This high-protein, vitamin-A-rich Paleo soup can help your body refuel after a tough strength-training session at the gym or satisfy a hungry crowd in need of a hot bowl of soup.
I added one cup of precooked shredded chicken to the original recipe for extra protein, but the recipe stands strong on its own without it. If you use veggie stock and eliminate the chicken, this recipe will work for a Paleo and vegan bunch.
Either cook for three hours on your slow cooker's high setting or six hours on low.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups peeled butternut squash
1 dried New Mexico, ancho, or guajillo chile pepper
1 cup boiling water
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 cup sweet corn kernels, thawed if frozen
1/2 teaspoon lime zest, finely grated
1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup chicken, precooked and shredded, optional
1 roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips
Cilantro leaves, finely chopped, for garnish
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, and cook, stirring, until softened, about three minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and salt, and cook, stirring, for one minute. Transfer to slow-cooker stoneware. Add stock, and stir to combine.
- Add butternut squash, and stir to combine. Coverm and cook on low for six hours or on high for three hours, until squash is tender.
- Thirty minutes before the soup has finished cooking, in a heatproof bowl, soak dried chili peppers in boiling water for 30 minutes, weighing down with a cup to ensure they remain submerged.
- Drain, discarding soaking liquid and stems, and chop coarsely. Add to stoneware.
- Purée using an immersion blender. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend in a food processor in batches and return to stoneware.)
- Add corn, lime zest, and juice. Cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes, until corn is tender. When ready to serve, ladle into warmed bowls, and garnish with red pepper strips and cilantro.
- Serves 3-4
- Calories per serving
Question: what cheery holiday dish also happens to make use of last night's leftovers? Answer: a turkey and cranberry wreath! This baked number is not only the perfect showstopper to bring to a Christmas party, but it also comes together in well under an hour. It's our favorite way to use leftover turkey (or chicken) without it feeling like leftovers. Watch the video to learn how, then print out the recipe.
Take pumpkin, and pair it with chocolate chip cookies, and there's no doubt it's a winning dessert recipe.
Using an ice cream scooper ensures each cookie is the perfect, pillowy shape and size.
Leave sufficient space between each cookie dough ball, because the dough will spread when baking.
These cookies have plenty of warming spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger, which will waft throughout the kitchen even hours after baking.
Muffin-like and semisweet, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies double as dessert and an excellent breakfast the next morning.
With a mere 21 days left in the calendar year, it's time to nail down your holiday party menu plan if you haven't yet. From an ugly sweater party to a hangover-squelching New Year's Day brunch, we have six festive ideas complete with menu suggestions to inspire you.
A recipe to have on hand all Winter season is for chewy gingerbread cookies. Unlike the crispy counterparts that are typically rolled, cut out in festive shapes, and decorated with royal icing, this ultramoist, molasses-rich gingerbread cookie is slice-and-bake. There's no need to be a Betty Crocker decorator, because this convenient, quick method just requires you to engage your basic log-forming skills (channel your inner kindergartener in art class).
OK, here's the hard part. The cookie dough log has to be refrigerated to moisten up and firm up before being cut. Distract yourself by eating peppermint treats for the next two hours.
The molasses makes the dough salty, so to offset that (and to add a nice crunchiness), dip one side of the cookies in a bowl of granulated sugar.
The cookies will spread as they bake, so be sure to keep them spaced out. Once the cookies have emerged from the oven, serve them with milk, eggnog, or even turn them into an ice cream sandwich with vanilla or eggnog ice cream.
As we're in the midst of cookie-exchange-party season, I couldn't resist making one of my favorites, oatmeal with chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and cocoa nibs. I love the texture of oatmeal cookies but can't stand them with raisins, so I began experimenting with different additions. It started with only chocolate chips and slowly grew to other ingredients.
After many trials, the conclusion was clear: creamy chocolate chips, roasted hazelnuts, and crunchy cocoa nibs all nestled in a chewy oatmeal cookie. The nibs are not completely necessary but do provide a more intense chocolate flavor without amplifying the sweetness. They are essential for any chocoholic. If you want to add a little more to your oatmeal cookie, keep reading.