Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast!

There is no need to search the internet for holiday recipes this year, because I have Everything You Need For Your Holiday Feast right here in one post!
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Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

I May Be a Little Bit of a Control Freak when It Comes to Food…

Maybe. Just maybe.
Even if I am not making everything myself I have a habit of asking people to bring something and then shooting them a link. Now you may think people would get annoyed by that (if so no one has expressed annoyance…yet) but in my experience they are grateful they don’t have to figure it out themselves and wonder if whatever they bring will work with the rest of the food being served. See I am doing everyone a big favor! That’s my story and I am sticking to it. So what links do I shoot off when making food assignments for the holidays? These…

The Drinks:

We don’t drink alcohol, but we love a sparkling festive drink that is also liver friendly. We opt for spritzers all the way! I have two flavors that will make everyone happy: The Lemon Basil Spritzer and The Pomegranate Lime Spritzer.

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

The Appetizer:

When it comes to appetizers, nothing beats a Holiday Charcuterie Platter. You can keep it as simple or elaborate as you please, and everyone will find something they like.

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

The Turkey or Roast Chicken:

We are all about the Dry Brine Herbed Butter Turkey here. It’s less messy and more flavorful than a wet brine. But if turkey is a bit much for your celebration, The Organic Kitchen Citrus and Herb Roasted Chicken is a great choice!

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

And Because a Delicious Turkey or Chicken Needs and Incredible Stuffing:

Turkey is fabulous and all, but give me the stuffing! This Italian Sausage and Apple Stuffing is made with Ciabatta bread which makes for amazing taste and texture!

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

The Cranberry Sauce:

Let’s just get this out of the way…canned cranberry sauce is not the greatest, and when my homemade cranberry sauce takes five minutes to make and tastes 1000X better, why would you go any other way?

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

The Potatoes:

Okay, I can’t decide on just one holiday potato recipe so I am going to share four! My Orange and White Au Gratin Potatoes are always a hit and look beautiful on a holiday table, that said my Traditional Potatoes au Gratin are fabulous too. Maple Sweet Potato Casserole and Decadent Smashed Potatoes are traditional favorites as well…I told you I couldn’t decide, I hope you can.

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

The Gravy:

Potatoes have to have some good gravy so I offer this thick and creamy Turkey Gravy made with Drippings!

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

The Veggie Side Dishes:

One again, I just can’t decide here…my Grandma Julia’s Green Beans are a traditional holiday vegetable side dish go to. But I also love these Orange and Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots or Brussels Sprouts with Apples!

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #Christmasdinner #holidaydinner

The Salads:

I am definitely a holiday salad kind of girl. I think all that meat, potatoes, and stuffing needs some balance and greens provide that. My top four salad picks are each very simple, so no added stress or oven space needed and the dressings can be made ahead: Greens with Apples and Pomegranate Vinaigrette, Butter Leaf with Pear Vinaigrette, The Chopped Apple with Apple Vinaigrette or the Traditional House Salad.

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

The Bread:

Ok I am just going to come out with it, stuffing is bread. You don’t need more bread BUT I know people really want it! It’s the holidays after all. So if you are so inclined I say go big or go home with my Herbed Cheesy Bread. I mean really…

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

Three Semi-Non Traditional Desserts:

When you have had enough of pumpkin and apple pie, it’s time for an incredible cake, mouth watering galette or some decadent bread pudding! We devour this French Cream Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Cinnamon Pecans. Special enough for the holidays, simple enough for every day. But keep scrolling…

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #Christmasdinner #holidaydinner

Another fabulous holiday dessert is my Black and Blueberry Galette with Sour Whipped Cream, like pie, but easier!.

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

And last, but certainly not least, this Orange Cranberry Bread Pudding will knock your socks off!

Everything You Need for Your Holiday Feast! #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner #holidaydinner

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How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings

If you are going to serve gravy, it should be the best gravy, and the best gravy is made from scratch using those turkey drippings! That savory concentrated goodness left in the roasting pan makes the most flavorful gravy on the planet, and it’s easy. So, here’s How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings! (full printable recipe below)
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How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings #turkeygravy #thanksgiving #gravyfromdrippings #glutenfree option

Deglaze That Pan!

After cooking your succulent bird, remove it from the roasting pan, cover with foil and allow to “rest” for 30 minutes before carving. This accomplishes three things: it allows the juices to redistribute, allows the turkey to cool enough to handle and carve, and it gives you ample time to make some top notch gravy! Simply place the roasting pan on your cook top and bring those drippings to a simmer, there should be a little snap crackle and pop going on. Then add some broth and use a spatula to scrape any brown bits from the pan. This is called deglazing.

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Now Thicken it Up!

Now that your pan is deglazed, it’s time to thicken up that gravy. This is accomplished by whisking flour with broth and adding it to the pan while whisking consistently. BTW, this gravy is very easy to make. My husband has never made gravy before but made this gravy while I took photos and it turned out perfectly!

How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings #turkeygravy #thanksgiving #gravyfromdrippings #glutenfree option

Keep on Whisking:

As gravy thickens, just keep on whisking. This creates a smooth gravy, but because you’ve scraped the brown bits from the pan, you will get some wonderful, flavorful texture as well. Once the gravy thickens up, you can decide whether or not to add more broth to thin it out or leave it as is. Voila! It’s that easy!

How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings #turkeygravy #thanksgiving #gravyfromdrippings #glutenfree option

Making it Gluten Free and Just as Good!

If gluten is not your friend, this gravy can easily be made gluten free. For this recipe I recommend using King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour. You’ll never know the difference and neither will your guests!

How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings #turkeygravy #thanksgiving #gravyfromdrippings #glutenfree option

Need More Thanksgiving Recipes?

I have everything from appetizers, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes and desserts right here!

How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings #turkeygravy #thanksgiving #gravyfromdrippings #glutenfree option

 

The Recipe: How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings

What you need:roasting pan, a whisk, and if making this recipe gluten free King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour.

5 from 12 votes
How To Make Gravy with Drippings
Cook Time
10 mins
resting time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

The good old fashioned way to create thick, delicious gravy with drippings

Course: gravy, sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gravy, Thanksgiving, turkey
Ingredients
  • drippings from one 12-16 pound turkey
  • 2 cups turkey broth, separated
  • 1/4 cup flour of choice (see my gluten free suggestion above)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. After turkey is removed from the oven, remove from roasting pan, cover with foil and allow to "rest" for 30 minutes before carving. Begin making gravy.

  2. Place turkey roaster with drippings on cooktop, you may need to use two burners. Turn heat to medium, when drippings start to simmer and pop add 1 cup broth to pan. Scrape pan with spatula or wooden spoon to loosen those flavorful brown bits.

  3. Whisk 1/4 flour and 1/2 cup broth until smooth. Slowly add flour mixture to the pan with the drippings while whisking constantly as gravy begins to thicken. Whisk another minute or so. If gravy is perfect, take off heat, you're done! If it's too thick: while whisking add remaining 1/2 cup broth a little at a time until desired consistency is achieved

  4. If needed, season to taste with sea salt and pepper, then smother everything on your plate with this lovely gravy!

 

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Homemade Blueberry Swirl ‘No Churn’ Ice Cream

Hey friends! I have a gorgeous treat for you today: Homemade Blueberry Swirl ‘No Churn’ Ice Cream. Now before you throw your hands up and say “I ain’t got no time for that!” I think you must have missed the key words… “No Churn” y’all! That’s right, you do not need a machine to make this smooth, rich, creamy ice cream.
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Homemade Blueberry Swirl 'No Churn' Ice Cream #nochurnicecream #homemadeicecream #blueberryicecream

 

So, “How Does No Churn” Work?

It’s so simple it’s almost crazy. Why did anyone ever think we needed an ice cream maker to make ice cream? Believe it or not, you simply beat together heavy whipping cream, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk until peaks form, like soft whipped cream. Then pour into a container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Blueberry Swirl 'No Churn' Ice Cream #nochurnicecream #homemadeicecream #blueberryicecream

 

But What About That Berry Swirl?

The swirl is everything! Simply simmer blueberries, a little sugar and lemon juice to make a simple blueberry syrup. Then you swirl it through the cream. Can you even believe how pretty this is?

Blueberry Swirl 'No Churn' Ice Cream #nochurnicecream #homemadeicecream #blueberryicecream

The Secret Ingredient: Creme Fraiche

You don’t need creme fraiche to make this ice cream amazing. It would be amazing without it. But creme fraiche adds an tantalizing tang to this creamy dessert. So I will suggest it, but you can make up your own mind (but do it ok?)

Blueberry Swirl 'No Churn' Ice Cream #nochurnicecream #homemadeicecream #blueberryicecream

The Recipe: Blueberry Swirl ‘No Churn’ Ice Cream!

What you need: a good quality sauce pan, organic sweetened condensed milk, a freezer safe container with lid and an ice cream scoop! I LOVE my heart shaped bowls!

Blueberry Swirl No Churn Ice Cream
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

An incredibly delicious ice cream made without a machine!

Course: Dessert
Keyword: easy dessert recipe, ice cream, no churn ice cream
Servings: 3 pints
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 14 ounces cold organic sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche (if you can't find it you can sub with sour cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan heat juice lemon, sugar and blueberries until simmering, stir frequently

  2. Use a spatula or potato masher to smash berries as they cook, simmering for five minutes or so, until the sauce has a syrupy consistency. Place syrup in a jar and place in the fridge until cool. Go do something else like laundry or Facebook while it cools.

  3. When berry syrup is cooled, pour whipping cream and vanilla into a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium until soft peaks form (usually 3 minutes or so)

  4. Add creme fraiche (if using) and sweetened condensed milk, beat again until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes)

  5. Fold cooled blueberry syrup into mixture by hand, swirling it in but being careful not to over mix or you will just have purple ice cream

  6. Pour into a container, seal and freeze for at least four hours

  7. Enjoy! Stays good in freezer for six weeks 

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One Pan Braised Chicken and Vegetables

We spent this week cozied up in our little cabin in Sundance, Utah. The snow was halfway up the house and the temperatures hovered right around 20 degrees. These circumstances call for for some healthy comfort food, for sure, and what’s more comforting than One Pan Braised Chicken and Vegetables?
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Let’s Talk About Braising…

Braising is a cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats: typically, the food is first sautéed or seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot or pan at a lower temperature while simmering in liquid. Braising gives you the best of both worlds, beautifully browned meat and veggies that are also tender and flavorful from being simmered in broth and wine which forms a beautiful sauce!

Making This Recipe Gluten or Grain Free:

This recipe does call for 2 teaspoons flour. To make this recipe gluten free, use your favorite gluten free flour. I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour for GF cooking. To make this recipe grain free, I use cassava flour. It works very well!

Fancier Than Your Usual Meat and Potato Meal…

I love the idea of serving this elegant meat and potato meal for colder weather dinner parties. Just keep in mind that when it comes to braising you shouldn’t go “too big”. Instead of doubling or tripling this recipe and cooking in a really large pan, I like to make 2-3 recipes at the same time but in 2-3 separate pans. It just seems to work out better, at least for me.

The Recipe: One Pan Braised Chicken and Vegetables

Tips and what you need: I make this braised chicken in a 12″ cast iron skillet with lid, but you can also use a Dutch oven. As always you need a good knife. To make this recipe gluten free, I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour.. To make this recipe grain free, I use cassava flour.

One Pan Braised Chicken and Vegetables
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Made in one pan, this rich, savory dinner takes about 30 minutes to make! To make this recipe gluten free, use your favorite gluten free flour. To make grain free use cassava flour. Note: my husband loves cauliflower, so on occasion I will steam some and toss it in (as pictured) this is optional but I didn't include it in the recipe. 

Course: dinner
Keyword: braised chicken, chicken dinner, dairy free, gluten free, grain-free
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" strips
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 organic yellow or white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (1/2" thick)
  • 6 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into 3" pieces
  • 3 teaspoons flour (of your choice, recommendations in blog post above)
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
Prep and cook chicken
  1. Sprinkle chicken strips generously with paprika, sea salt and pepper. Heat skillet on high heat for 60 seconds, when hot add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan) Allow oil 30 seconds to heat.

  2. Add chicken strips to pan, cooking 4 minutes a side or until golden brown but not cooked through. While chicken cooks, prep vegetables:

  3. Peel and cut onion, potatoes and carrots. When chicken is golden but not cooked through, set on a plate, set aside. 

  4. If needed add more oil to pan, turn heat to medium, add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 10-12 minutes, until veggies begin to soften and edges turn golden. 

  5. Add flour and stir for one minute. Then add wine, broth and chicken. Turn heat up and bring to a simmer. 

  6. Once simmering, turn heat down (low but still simmering), cover and cook for 10-12 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and veggies are soft enough to easily poke with a fork but still a little firm. While chicken is cooking, prepare thyme and parsley. 

  7. Add thyme to pan a few minutes before chicken is done.

  8. remove from heat, garnish with parsley, serve.

xo

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Pomegranate Lime Non-Alcoholic Spritzer

I have decided to save America’s livers, one “mocktail” at a time. That’s right, you can enjoy your holiday parties, wake up the next morning feeling great and look festive while doing it thanks to this Pomegranate Lime Non-Alcoholic Spritzer!
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Pomegranate Lime Non-Alcoholic Spritzer #mocktail #lowcarb #spritzer #pomegranate

Let’s Muddle Things Up!

This drink is a favorite anytime we want something a little more celebratory than plain old water. To make it you’ll need a muddle. A muddle is a bartenders tool used to crush ingredients, in this case, limes.

Pomegranate Lime Non-Alcoholic Spritzer #mocktail #lowcarb #spritzer #pomegranate

SIMPLE SYRUP OR NATURALLY SUGAR FREE STEVIA OPTION:

You can sweeten this drink with a simple syrup made ahead of time, or with liquid Stevia drops. It’s fantastically delicious both ways!

Pomegranate Lime Non-Alcoholic Spritzer #mocktail #lowcarb #spritzer #pomegranate

The Recipe: Pomegranate Lime Non-Alcoholic Spritzer

Tips and what you’ll need: When we serve this for parties we set out lime wedges and lime halves, a hand held juicer, a muddle, simple syrup and Stevia drops along with a recipe card with instructions so our guests can make their own spritzer. I prefer to use Pellegrino sparkling water because of it’s alkaline ph balance. Find my Lemon Basil Spritzer here.

5 from 6 votes
Pomegranate Lime Non-Alcoholic Spritzer
Prep Time
5 mins
 

A simple mocktail with a simple syrup or low carb stevia sweetened option. If making the simple syrup, be sure to make it at least an hour ahead of time so it has time to cool and then refrigerate. When having a party, we set out all the prepped ingredients with a recipe card so guests can make their own spritzers.

Course: drink
Keyword: holidaydrink, mocktail, nonalcoholic, spritzer
Servings: 1 erving
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
If Making a Simple Syrup, Make Ahead. (Low Carb Stevia version below)
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
Spritzer Recipe:
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup OR 4-5 drops liquid stevia
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 3/4 cup ice cold sparkling water (I like Pellegrino)
  • ice
Instructions
  1. If using simple syrup, make ahead of time and allow to cool: place water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil, lower and simmer for 6 minutes. Allow to cool. If using liquid stevia, skip this step

  2.  To make drink: place 2 lime wedges in bottom of glass, muddle (this means smash with your muddling tool)

  3. Add lime juice, pomegranate juice and either simple syrup or stevia drops, and muddle more. Then pour sparkling water into glass.

  4. If desired, add ice,  pomegranate seeds or an additional lime wedge to edge of glass. Serve.

 

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