We Scoured the Internet — Here are Our Favorite Winter Recipes for Hosting

holiday recipes gravy

There are a lot of recipes out there in the internet space. Some are good, some not so much.

We wanted to save you some of the trouble of trying the not-so-stellar ones, so we asked the team to pool their favorite, tried and true winter recipes for serving to friends and family, so you don't have to risk serving something that's not worth seconds.

Here's what we've got:

Cemaj and Shivie's Amazing (Vegan) Gravy

Cemaj and Shivie make eating vegan seem like a breeze. There are few things more exciting than coming into the office and seeing one of Shivie's delicious vegan cheesecakes in the freezer.

Another thing she's able to make delightfully vegan is gravy. Here's her recipe for a vegan gravy that she says most closely resembles the gravy her mum used to make. The original recipe, in addition to lots more delicious vegan recipes can be found on her website, One Woman Revolution.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups stock (homemade or low sodium store bought if not)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 3-6 tbsp all purpose seasoning (or combination of thyme and rosemary)
  • 3-4 tbsp low sodium non-GMO Tamari
  • 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • pepper to taste
  • Optional: 4-6 mushrooms chopped finely

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a small pan and bring to a slow boil.
  2. Keep it in a glass jar and keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Simply reheat when you want to use it.

Abby's Pick: Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin

Potatoes au gratin is a classic comfort good. Warm, cheesy, filling… And it's actually really easy to make.

Abby is a huge fan of making this dish with sweet potatoes along with the classic Yukon golds. Not only do the sweet potatoes add some flavor flare, they're also densely nutritious, high in minerals and vitamin A.

This recipe from Epicurious is her go to It's a sure fire recipe that you can use again and again to give your guests something they'll love.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 ½ pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups (packed) grated Gruyére cheese (about 5 ounces)

Directions:

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Peel all potatoes and cut into ⅛ inch thick rounds and place in the bowl of water.
  2. Combine cream, butter, and garlic in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat.
  3. Mix all herbs in a small bowl. Mix salt and pepper in another small bowl.
  4. Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Drain potatoes and pat dry with kitchen towels. Transfer half of the potatoes to the baking dish and spead evenly. Sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper mixture, half of the herb mixture, and then half of the cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour cream mixture over gratin, pressing lightly to submerge potato mixture as much as possible. At this point, you can cover and leave in the refridgerator for up to 6 hours if you're making it ahead.
  6. To cook: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coven baking dish with foil or lid and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top of the gratin is golden and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes or longer. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Rachel's Favorite Apple Pie Recipe

holiday recipes

For the Crust

This crust recipe from Inspired Taste lays it all out for you. They explain the roll wheat gluten plays in crust formation and outline a method for mixing the dough to get a flaky crust everytime. So below we have the abridged version of the recipe, but we encourage you to check out the link above for the full story.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar, optional
  • 1 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 to 8 tsp ice waIf Making by Hand

Directions:

  1. Add 1 ½ cups flour, salt and sugar (optional) to a medium bowl. Stir 2 to 3 times until combined.
  2. Scatter butter cubes over flour and mix briefly with a fork or spatula to coat the butter with flour.
  3. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender, working mixture until the flour has a coarse, mealy texture similar to fresh bread crumbs. About 1 – 2 minutes.
  4. Add remaining 1 cup of flour. Work butter and flour with the pastry blender until flour is evenly distributed. About 20 seconds. (Dough should look crumbly with pea-sized pieces).
  5. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and continue to press until dough comes together.
  6. Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
  7. Remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  8. Lightly flour work surface, top of dough and rolling pin. Use rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12-inch circle (about ⅛-inch thick). Add flour when necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the surface below.
  9. Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish.
  10. To transfer dough to dish, starting at one end, roll dough around rolling pin then unroll over dish. Gently press dough down into dish so that it lines the bottom and sides of the dish. (Be careful not to pull or stretch the dough). Then, use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within ½-inch of the edge of the dish.
  11. Fold edge of dough underneath itself so that it creates a thicker, ¼-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Use your fingers to press the edges of the dough on the inside and outside edges. Refrigerate dough at least 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.

Again, we encourage you to read the whole here.

For the Filling

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 °F. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. With crust in pan, fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 °F. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Lisa's Favorite Winter Vegetable Casserole

This is another recipe with sweet potato, clearly one of our favorite vegetables. This dish defies the common casserole myth that they have to be cheesy, highly caloric and nutritionally lacking. This one is packed with veggies and brown rise, so a post-meal nap is not required (but certainly not discouraged).

She found this on FindYourBalanceHealth.Com, an amazing site for super healthy recipes. (A few weeks back, we posted another recipe from here, these delicious Caramel Apple Nachos.)

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced and baked
  • 1 bunch collard greens or kale, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, or more if you like
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 2 eggs
    1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Butter a 9×13 baking dish or casserole dish (or use olive oil).
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the mushrooms in olive oil and salt until browned. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add garlic, cook for another minute or two. Then add the rice, sweet potatoes and collards/kale to the pot and mix to combine.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream.
  4. Combine the rice mixture and egg mixture in a large bowl. Stir well. Top with ¼ cup parmesan, walnuts and pepper. Cover with foil bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, sprinkle the top with thyme and remaining ¼ cup parmesan.

We hope one of these recipes has struck your fancy and may even end up at your dinner table this winter!

What's your favorite thing to make for guests during the winter? Let us know in the comments below.

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