AVLtoday’s holiday cookbook

Table of Contents

Last week, we asked y’all to send in your favorite holiday recipes so that we could compile an AVLtoday cookbook. From cocktails to sides, desserts and turkey recipes, we’re getting a taste of your favorite traditions.

So, whether you’re looking for inspiration for your Thanksgiving Day meal, just need a dinner idea for tonight, or want to indulge in a neighbor’s concoction, check out these holiday recipes from our local master and at-home chefs in Asheville. ⬇️

🌽 Side dishes

Butter braised cabbage, spiced apples, and sweet and salty pecans

Submitted by Chef Ian Griffin of Griff’s Kitchen & Bar

Notes from Chef Ian: This is currently on the menu at Griff’s and has received several requests and suggestions to offer this for a Thanksgiving side. It seems long, but it is a lot easier than it looks. You can make everything a day before Thanksgiving and just reheat when ready. Also, make extra pecans. You will eat them all.


Sweet and Salty Pecans

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Melt butter in a medium sized pan.
  3. Add the pecans, sugar, and salt. Stir.
  4. Toast pecans in the oven, until toasted, about 10 minutes.


Butter Braised Cabbage

  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the cabbage into quarters. Cut away the core. Slice crosswise into 1-inch strips.
  2. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add cabbage and a pinch of salt.
  3. Once cabbage starts to wilt, turn heat to low and cover. Stir occasionally, careful not to brown the cabbage. Cook until the cabbage is very soft, 20-30 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. (We go heavy on the pepper).


Spiced Apples

  • 1 apple (we prefer a crisp, sweet-tart apple. In the restaurant, we use Mutsu Apples.)
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch clove
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Mix the brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  2. Peel the apple and slice into quarters, lengthwise. Cut the core away. Slice into 1/4-inch wedges. Add to the bowl.
  3. To cook, heat butter over high heat in a small saute pan. Once butter begins to brown, toss in apples. Stir to coat apples in butter.
  4. Let the apples caramelize on one side, one to two minutes.
  5. Remove the apples from the pan.

To assemble: Put the butter braised cabbage in a serving dish. Spread spiced apples on top. Sprinkle with sweet and salty pecans.

Butternut Squash Gratin

Submitted by reader Kate J.


Butternut squash gratin


  • 3 cups torn day-old bread (your choice – whole grain makes it more healthful and a bit more dense
  • 2 cups cooked squash (any with rich orange color – butternut, pumpkin, kabocha, buttercup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh bread crumbs or panko


  1. Cover bread with hot water and let stand until softened, three to five minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in oil until tender.
  3. Mix bread, squash, and rest of ingredients in large bowl. Add onions and garlic.
  4. Spread in oiled two-quart casserole and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes until slightly puffed and beginning to brown.

An Old Bachelor’s Simple Dressing

Submitted by Jim H.


  • One box of Stovetop Stuffing (I prefer the pork variety; two boxes if I’m going to a covered dish) + the required butter or margarine
  • 1/3 of a medium white onion
  • 1/2 cup or more of pecan pieces
  • Optional: link turkey sausage


  1. Start with a bit more water than the box recipe calls for.
  2. Chop up the onion, add it and the pecan pieces to the water as it comes to a boil.
  3. Let the water boil uncovered for a bit to bring it down to the recipe’s quantity.
  4. Add the required butter, let it melt, then add the box’s bread crumb mix. Stir. Cover and let sit.
  5. Stir again, and enjoy. I like to add a sprinkle of garlic powder and black pepper. If I’m adding link sausage, I cut it into small pieces and add it with the box mix.

Oven-baked Cranberry Sauce

Submitted by Cari Z.

Note: This makes one recipe, I frequently double it


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (1 bag)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Pour all cranberries into casserole (a two-quart covered casserole). Discard stems and any soft berries.
  2. Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring gently & occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and water is clear, to make syrup. This should just take a few minutes. Be sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn, it does get very hot.
  3. Pour hot syrup over cranberries. Stir gently to distribute syrup. Cover and bake for 50 minutes at 250º. Don’t overbake or cranberries will pop.
  4. When cool, stir in marmalade and nuts. Chill. If you want thicker sauce, pour off some liquid before adding marmalade and nuts (or save to use as a glaze in another recipe).

Notes: If doubling the recipe, use a 3-quart covered casserole. Cranberries can be frozen, and if so, don’t defrost before preparation. You can make this several days before serving, or make and freeze for an extended period. Fresh cranberries are usually in grocery produce departments from Oct.-Dec.

Sichuan Green Beans

Submitted by Chef J Chong (@j_chongeats)

**You can find all the ingredients at our local Asian markets. I frequent YZ in West Avl.

This dish is most commonly made during Chinese New Year celebrations, but since green beans are an easy cultural crossover dish, I love to serve it at Thanksgiving and other holiday feasts as well. Growing up Chinese-Canadian in Toronto and then living in Mississippi and Louisiana for most of my adult life, I witnessed a wide variety of food traditions. My food is a unique expression of that experience and I’m not a traditional holiday person. I like my vegetables to be clean and fresh tasting with a bite while still showcasing their cross-cultural versatility. I hope you enjoy this version of a green bean staple dish!


  • 1 pound haricot verts (you can substitute with green beans or Asian long beans)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of preserved mustard greens (Sui Mi Ya Cai)
  • 3 dried red chilies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (you can substitute with sherry wine)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash haricot verts. If using green beans or long beans trim the tough ends and cut long beans in thirds. Pat dry haricot verts before cooking.
  2. Heat ¼ cup of oil in a wok over medium high heat, and shallow fry the green beans in two batches. Once they appear wrinkled and slightly scorched, they are ready to remove from the wok.
  3. Once all the green beans are nicely blistered, remove remaining oil, except for 1 tablespoon. Turn heat down to low and add ginger, garlic, dried chilies, preserved mustard greens and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir-fry for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Turn the heat back up to high, add haricot verts, after 3 minutes add Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. Toss or flip to incorporate it all, season with salt to taste. Enjoy, friends!!

Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Submitted by Cheryl P.

You will always want to cook sprouts this way!


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or more if you like it really spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven at 425º.
  2. Wash the sprouts. Trim off the stem end and slice them in half long ways. Quarter them if they are really big.
  3. Place them in a lasagna-type roasting pan. Include any leaves that have fallen away.
  4. Drizzle with the oil and maple syrup. Stir them up in the pan, and sprinkle with the chili powder and salt. Give them another stir.
  5. Roast in the oven at 425º degrees for 20 minutes (or more if you like them really crispy!)

Sweet potato fritters

Submitted by Carol J.

You can make these in the morning or the day before, refrigerate, then bake at 300º for 25 minutes to reheat. You can also freeze them overnight before breading and frying.



  • 5 sweet potatoes, baked
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1/2 or more seeded jalapeno, minced
  • Salt
  • All purpose flour
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Panko
  • Cooking oil


  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise


  1. Prick sweet potatoes all over and bake until done, about 45-60 minutes. Let cool, then scrape out meat and place into a bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 250º.
  3. To the sweet potatoes, add minced jalapeno, and four chopped spring onions, whites and greens. Add salt to taste.
  4. Mix thoroughly with your hands, then form into hush puppy or small ball shapes and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet into the freezer.
  5. Pour oil into a deep saucepan or pot to within two inches of the top. Heat oil to around 375º (usually medium-high on your stove).
  6. Remove fritters from freezer.
  7. Prepare three bowls for breading. Dip in flour, followed by egg, then roll in panko crumbs.
  8. Fry several at a time until breading is medium brown, just a few minutes.
  9. Keep finished fritters warm in a 250º oven.
  10. For the dipping sauce: Mix Sriracha and mayonnaise in a small bowl.
  11. Serve with sliced onions on top.

Cheddar Scallion Biscuits with Green Onion Compound Butter

Submitted by Liisa Andreassen - Cottage Cooking Asheville

Makes 8


  • 2 cups flour, plus a little more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (4 ounces), cubed
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup), divided
  • 1 cup buttermilk, divided


For the biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 425º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pepper and salt until combined.
  3. Use your fingers to work in the cold butter until the butter is in small flattened pieces and the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Stir in scallions and 1/4 cup of cheese.
  5. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk and stir until dough just comes together. Add additional buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time, if needed. The dough should be neither sticky nor crumbly.
  6. Place dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead three to four times just to bring the dough together.
  8. Pat the dough into an 8 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold one short side a third of the way over toward the center. Fold opposite side over folded end. Rotate dough clockwise 90 degrees and pat out dough into 8 x 6 inch rectangle. Repeat the process once more so you end up with an 8 x 6 inch rectangle that’s 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Cut dough into eight rectangles.
  9. Sprinkle remaining cheese in eight mounds, about three inches apart, on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place one biscuit on top of each mound.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

For the compound butter


  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Let the butter sit till softened.
  2. Use a fork to cream it. Add in green onions and salt and pepper. Mash together till mixed.
  3. Scrape mixture onto wax paper and roll into a cylinder and place in freezer for about one hour.
  4. Remove from freezer about 20 minutes before you want to use it and cut it into small rounds.

Cheesy Greens Bake

Submitted by Susan B.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 full bunches of greens (chard, kale, spinach, etc.)
  • One medium onion, chopped
  • One clove garlic, minced
  • 2-3 slices bread, any kind
  • 3/4 cup of grated cheese (Swiss, Jarlsberg, or mild cheddar work well)
  • 3 eggs, well whisked
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dry or fresh herbs, like dill, oregano, tarragon, and thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Destem, wash, pat dry, chop, and saute greens in olive oil until wilted and quite soft. Set aside.
  3. Add onion and garlic to the pan with a little more olive oil if needed, and saute until translucent.
  4. Tear bread into fingernail size pieces and place a medium bowl with the sauteed onion and garlic.
  5. Add grated cheese and eggs and mix everything well.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, and a mix of herbs.
  7. Add the sauteed greens and mix well to coat the greens. If too dry, add water by the tablespoon until dry ingredients are better coated with wet.
  8. Pour into an 8 x 8 inch dish or pie pan and bake at 350º for about 30 minutes, until firm in the center. A knife poked in the center should come out clean.

Best Pickled Beets

Submitted by Jan Z.

Author note: And I LOVE pickled beets!


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cans (15 ounces each) sliced beets, drained


  1. Heat the vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Pour over drained, sliced beets and chopped onions.
  3. Refrigerate overnight. Stir or turn over in a very tight container several times as it helps the flavors to mix well.
  4. Taste to be sure the flavor is just right. Be careful not to eat them all before dinner is served!

Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad

LisaRose B.

Or as I like to call it, Step Away from the Overcooked Sweet Potatoes. Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.


  • 4 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup feta or goat cheese

For the pomegranate dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400º.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until sweet potatoes are well coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from oven.
  4. Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add pomegranate seeds, pepitas, and cheese.
  5. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together pomegranate juice, red wine vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle dressing over sweet potato salad. Gently toss. Serve immediately.

🍗 Entrees

Purple Shepherd’s Pie with Brown-Butter Corn

Submitted by Sandy M.


Purple shepherd’s pie

If you don’t want to cook a turkey this Thanksgiving, try this casserole instead. My shepherd’s pie is not traditional, but it is beautiful on the table and oh-so-good to eat. Make leftovers on purpose! I love the fresh, brown-butter corn layer. The other thing that makes it different is the use of purple or blue potatoes.


Top Layer

  • 1 pound purple, blue, or white potatoes: unpeeled, trimmed, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut or dairy milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Middle Layer

  • 2 ears fresh corn, husked and kernels trimmed from cobs (or drained canned corn)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, browned

Bottom Layer

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs of your choice or 1 tablespoon Herbes De Provence
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. For the top layer: Trim and chop unpeeled potatoes into chunks. Cover with salted water. Boil until tender, drain.
  3. Place into a large bowl and add butter. Whip with an immersion blender or hand mixer.
  4. Add milk and continue to whip until smooth and potato skins are completely combined into the mash. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. For the middle layer: While potatoes are cooking, heat a large cast iron skillet.
  6. Melt and cook butter until slightly browned.
  7. Add corn kernels, stir and cook until slightly browned.
  8. Pour corn into a covered bowl while preparing the bottom layer.
  9. For the bottom layer: In the same skillet where brown-butter corn was made, now add the oil and sauté the onions; add the garlic.
  10. Push garlic and onions to the edge of pan.
  11. Add more oil in the center of the pan. Add ground turkey, chop into pieces and cook until slightly browned.
  12. Stir garlic and onions back into meat.
  13. Add herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir.
  14. Assemble the shepherd’s pie. Spread meat mixture evenly in the skillet. Add corn layer evenly over meat layer and spread whipped potatoes evenly over the top of corn. Dot potatoes with remaining butter.
  15. Bake for about 30 minutes until slightly browned. Set aside about 10 minutes before serving.

Vegan Chili

Submitted by Early Girl Eatery


Vegan chili

Yield: 1.25 gallons


  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 Anaheim pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried cumin
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 can tomato strips
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1/2 can kidney beans
  • 2 pounds tempeh
  • 1 1/2 kosher salt


  1. Lightly coat tempeh in oil, season with salt and pepper, and brown on stovetop. Transfer to sheet pan and allow to cool. Once cooled, crumble and reserve for chili.
  2. In a large stock pot, add canola oil and saute onions, garlic and all of the peppers until translucent.
  3. Add both kinds of tomatoes, miso, all spices, sugar and water to a stock pot and bring to a boil. Then, turn down and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, then add beans and tempeh and stir. Let cool before serving.

Marinated Tempeh

Submitted by Early Girl Eatery

At Early Girl Eatery, we use our marinated tempeh on our Farmhouse Tempeh Sandwich (with bistro sauce, lettuce, tomato, and sauerkraut on a locally baked bun) and our Korean Tempeh Reuben (with ginger Korean sauce and local kimchi on a locally baked bun).


  • 1 1/2 pounds Smiling Hara Tempeh
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 pinch coriander
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 pinch ginger
  • 1 pinch sage
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Cut the tempeh into 4-inch by 4-inch by 1/2-inch squares and set aside.
  3. Mix the water, soy sauce, spices and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  4. Place the tempeh in a baking dish and cover with the marinade.
  5. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  7. Remove tempeh from marinade and store under refrigeration.
  8. To serve, reheat tempeh in a sauté pan with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Have as a side, a main, or on a sandwich.

Jim’s Favorite: Split Pea Soup

Submitted by Donna B.


  • 1 smoked ham hock or leftover ham or pork bone
  • 1/2 8-ounce bag dry split peas
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt + pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dry


  1. Add olive oil to large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot and saute three to five minutes.
  2. Add ham hock, water, beef broth, split peas, thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer for four hours.
  4. Pull out ham hock using fork. Pull meat off bone and shred. Put back in pot. Stir.
  5. Spoon into soup bowl, dab with creme fraiche or sour cream.

Grilled Breast of Pheasant with Corn-Fennel Relish

Submitted by Michael F.


Pheasant with corn relish

Serves 4


  • 4 pheasant breasts


  • 1/2 cup bacon fat
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


  • 2 cup roasted corn
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup fennel, small dice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Salt + pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. To make the marinade: combine all ingredients in small stainless steel bowl. Reserve.
  3. To make the relish: in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, heat oil. Add garlic, shallot and then add fennel and corn. Cook 3-5 minutes, then add stock, vinegar and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Reduce liquid to half, taste and adjust flavor with salt and pepper, hold warm.
  4. Marinate the pheasant with bacon-maple mixture for 10 minutes. On a preheated grill, sear skin side first 2-3 minutes and repeat on other side.
  5. Place on a baking dish and bake at 400º for five to eight minutes, to medium or 165º. Let the meat rest a few minutes.
  6. Slice and serve with relish – bon appetit; food is love!

Vegetable Wellington

Submitted by Terri J.

Note: Great alternative for Beef Wellington

Serves 8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 and 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 5-oz. pkg. baby spinach leaves
  • 1 4-oz. jar prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 17.3-oz. pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 (5.2 ounce) package Boursin garlic and herb cheese spread
  • 1 16-oz. jar prepared tomato sauce or gravy, warmed


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, bell peppers, and onion, and sauté 5 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Add spinach, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until spinach wilts. Stir in pesto. Cool.
  2. Whisk egg and water in a bowl, and set aside. Cut one piece of parchment paper to 15 x 10-inch and set on work surface. Place one sheet puff pastry on parchment paper.
  3. Lift parchment with puff pastry, and place parchment-side-down in a 9-inch loaf pan. Press pastry into pan, being careful not to let folds get caught in parchment and allowing excess parchment and pastry to hang over sides.
  4. Cut squares from the second puff pastry sheet, and press onto short sides of the parchment-covered pan to make dough shell.
  5. Spread Boursin cheese over bottom of puff pastry. Top with asparagus mixture. Fold excess puff pastry over vegetables, and brush edges with egg.
  6. Cut a 9 and 1/2 x 5 and 1/2-inch piece of puff pastry from the remaining sheet. Set on top of asparagus mixture, pressing to seal edges.
  7. Refrigerate 30 minutes, along with unused pastry scraps and egg.
  8. Preheat oven to 425°. Place an oven rack on the second-lowest level.
  9. Brush top of Wellington with egg. Cut decorative leaves and stems from remaining pastry, press onto top of Wellington, and brush again with egg. Use the tip of a small knife to score leaves and top with decorative touches, adhering with egg wash.
  10. Bake Wellington for 15 minutes.
  11. Reduce oven heat to 350°, and bake 45 minutes more. Cool 15 minutes.
  12. Use parchment to lift Wellington from the loaf pan. Remove parchment, and transfer Wellington to a flat serving plate. Slice and serve with tomato sauce.

🥧 Desserts

Apple Galette

Submitted by Early Girl Eatery


Apple galette

Yield: 2 Galettes


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 2 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (2 medium apples)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins


  1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture.
  2. Stir in the ice water and toss to make a dough that sticks together. Gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a round disk. Wrap each with plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
  3. On a lightly floured board roll out one disk at a time into an 8-inch circle. Place one circle on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. In a bowl, toss together the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. Spoon half of the apple mixture into the center of the dough.
  5. Working around the edges, fold up one inch of dough toward the center and create pleats, folding down inward toward the filling. Pinch the dough to be flat.
  6. Ease the dough to the side of the baking sheet to make room for the second galette. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  7. Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crusts are golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

Submitted by Early Girl Eatery


Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

Yield: One 10-inch bundt cake or six mini bundt cakes


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for the pan
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups dark molasses
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Generously brush the inside of a 10-inch Bundt or six mini Bundt pans with the melted butter. Sprinkle with a fine coating of flour and shake out the excess. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in the molasses in a slow, steady stream until blended.
  3. Meanwhile, sift the flour, ginger, baking soda, cloves, and salt together. Stir in the crystallized ginger. Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the batter just until blended, no longer. Turn off the mixer. Add the boiling water to the batter, one-third cup at a time, stirring gently but thoroughly by hand with a large rubber spatula after each addition. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 55 to 60 minutes for a large, 10-inch Bundt cake or 15 to 20 minutes for mini Bundt cakes.
  5. Cool the gingerbread cakes in the pan on a wire rack until warm, 20 to 30 minutes. The top of the cake may fall slightly upon cooling. Run the tip of a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert the cake onto a platter.

For the lemon glaze: In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Add the lemon zest. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled cake.

The cake is delicious served slightly warm, but for neat cutting, let the glaze set before serving.

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Submitted by Early Girl Eatery


Pumpkin gingerbread


  • 1/2 gallon flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 pound butter
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups strong coffee
  • 4 cups pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups pecan halves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and eggs. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low. Add the coffee and the rest of the flour mixture, and mix until smooth.
  4. Add the pecans and pumpkin purée, and gently fold in.
  5. Grease two bundt cake pans or 12 mini bundt cake pans. Divide the batter equally among the pans.
  6. Bake the bread for 50-65 minutes for the large bundt cakes or 20-25 minutes for the mini bundt cakes, rotating during the baking to ensure even cooking. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Remove bread from oven and allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.
  8. Gently remove the bread from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

Rum Praline Cake

Submitted by Mary Z.

Serving Size: one bundt cake

Preparation Time: one and a half hours


  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 package yellow cake mix -- 2-layer size
  • 1 3.4-ounce instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dark rum


  1. Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Sprinkle the pecans evenly in bottom of greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan.
  3. In a large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, 3/4 cup water, the oil, and the 1/4 cup rum. Blend well. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for two minutes. Pour into a prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or till cake tests done.
  4. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert on serving plate. Prick cake with a long-tined fork.
  5. In a saucepan, combine sugar, butter and the 1/2 cup water. Bring to boiling, boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining rum. Heat through.
  6. Spoon hot glaze over warm cake. Enjoy!

🍸 Drinks

Hot Buttered Rum

Submitted by Vivian


Spice butter

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice (add more or less to taste)
  • Black tea (unflavored, like English Breakfast) – 3 and 1/2 ounces per serving
  • Dark rum – 1 ounce per serving
  • Zaya rum – 1/2 ounce per serving
  • Orange juice – 1/2 ounce per serving
  • Whole star anise, for garnish


  1. Make the spice butter. In a mixing bowl, beat softened butter with brown sugar, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Taste and adjust spices to your liking. Once combined, roll up into a log (or torchon if you speak fancy chef) in plastic wrap and put in the freezer to solidify.
  2. Brew your black tea. For each cocktail, pour 3 and 1/2 ounces of black tea into a mug, stir in one slice of your spiced butter (about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons) until dissolved. Add one ounce plantation dark rum, half an ounce zaya rum, and half an ounce orange juice.
  3. Stir again to combine and garnish with whole star anise! Enjoy!
More from AVL Today