There are those holiday parties that you anticipate with glee, for which you buy a special sparkly dress to wear and pick up a fine bottle of wine to bring. And then there are those holiday parties that you would give anything to ditch if you could. Assuming we all want to be throwing the former kind of party rather than the latter, what do you think makes a truly great holiday party?
Q: I need help from The Kitchn readers: I'm looking for suggestions for homemade holiday gifts.
Every year I make a special gift for my friends to say "You're awesome. Happy holidays!" In the past I've made homemade tea breads, hot chocolate on a stick with homemade marshmallows, three kinds of roasted nuts, a variety of cookies, and homemade seasoned salts. This year I'm looking for some new creative ideas.
Criteria: has to be edible and homemade (not cheating and mixing from a box!), and able to be prepared ahead and stored for at least a week. Any good creative ideas out there? Thanks!
Growing up on the coast of Southern California, I was pretty far removed from my father's native Brooklyn neighborhood. However my Mississippi-born mother made sure to close some of that distance with one delicious Jewish recipe she adapted from her mother-in-law. Savory noodle kugel is as comforting and cozy as it gets.
The best gifts come from the kitchen, don't you think? I don't just mean just gifts wrapped up under the tree — I mean all the little gifts sprinkled through the holiday season. The gift you give a favorite teacher, or hand out to a group of coworkers over lunch. The gift you bring your aunt hosting Christmas Eve dinner, and the gift you leave on your neighbor's front porch. These treats and snacks are like little bundles of affection and love scattered through the holidays — and these are gifts that come from the kitchen.
Here are 10 of our all-time favorite treats for gifting, sweet and savory.
Gingerbread men, nut horns, frosted sugar cookies, chocolate crinkles, peppermint candy cane cookies, those cocoa ones with the cherry in the middle whose name I can never remember. I love them all, equally and without reservation. I'd make them all if I could, too! What holiday cookies do you absolutely have to have every December? Any new ones this year?
The holiday table: For some of us, it's just there to hold the food and the wineglasses; throw a tablecloth on and call it a day. Others of us look forward to decking the table out with food and pretty decorations! Where do you fall? How are you setting your Thanksgiving table, and do you enjoy it? Or does it stress you out?
Many people have strong opinions about mints, especially those of the wedding variety. But those who have either been on the fence or a little shy about them — you've never had a real, melt-in-your-mouth butter mint. Bonus: they're easily customizable for any party and a snap to make!
After the fanfare and drama of Thanksgiving dinner, we feel like Christmas and Hanukkah meals with the family can be slightly more relaxed affairs. At least in terms of the food! There are traditional dishes, to be sure, but we find there’s also a lot more room to play around. What will be on your holiday table this year?
Hannukah may be over, but not our craving for rugelach. Apparently, Emily Weinstein of Diner’s Journal feels the same.
Now that she’s mastered the basics of cooking, Weinstein has set her sights on learning how to bake...with a little help from Dorie Greenspan! Rugelach was in oven last week, and Emily shares some great tips from her baking guru.
We have a weakness for holiday cookies. Every December, we swear to ourselves that we won’t go crazy this year. We’ll just make a few different cookies, and just our favorites. Three or four kinds, that’s reasonable, right? Maybe five? And it’s downhill from there. What are your must-have holiday cookies?