The winter holiday season is my favorite time of year. I love lights and winter coats and drinking hot tea. Winter is also a great time to whip up cozy eats and holiday treats. I hope you have fun trying these simple winter recipes!
Winter Fruit Salad
I often have a fruit salad as a quick breakfast before class. This colorful salad uses some of my favorite fall and winter flavors, like cranberry and maple. Plus, it’s an easy side dish to throw together if you’re busy studying for finals or preparing for the holidays. Feel free to add some of your favorite fruits!
1 Braeburn apple
1 Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup craisins
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1. Cut apples and oranges into bite-sized pieces.
2. Mix in a festive bowl with almonds and craisins.
3. Add maple syrup, cinnamon and lemon juice. Mix well. Enjoy!
Acorn Squash Macaroni and Cheese
This recipe was the product of fortunate timing. I bought an acorn squash at the grocery store a few weeks ago, and I wasn’t actually sure what to do with it. Then while I was reading through some of my vegan cookbooks, I stumbled across a sweet potato pasta recipe I really love, and I was inspired to mix the acorn squash with pasta. This is a comforting recipe for cold days, and the cheese makes it a crowd-pleaser.
You could make it with roasted butternut squash, and it would be just as tasty!
1/2 lb. pasta
2 cups diced, roasted acorn squash (roughly half a squash)
1 1/4 cup veggie broth
2 Tbsp margarine
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1. Cut acorn squash in half. Rub each half with a little bit of margarine and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast squash in oven preheated to 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
2. After squash is done and cooled, cook pasta. Set aside.
3. Cut half of squash into cubes. In a large pan, sauté cubes with 2 tbsp margarine over medium heat.
4. Add 1 1/4 cups broth. Reduce liquid by half.
5. Grate 4 oz. cheddar cheese and add to pan. Stir to help cheese melt.
6. Add 1 cup milk. Add a Tbsp or two of flour to help sauce thicken.
7. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
8. Mix cooked pasta into sauce. Enjoy!
Cuccidati (Christmas Fig Cookies)
This cookie recipe was inspired by one of my family recipes. Every year, my Sicilian great aunt bakes dozens of Cuccidati, packs them each in Ziploc bags and gives them out to all her relatives. I altered her recipe a little, but they still look as festive as the originals.
4 cups flour
1.5 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup dried figs
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup walnuts
4 oz. semi-sweet bakers’ chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup rum
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Finely chop dried figs, raisins, dried cherries and walnuts in a food processor. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add sugar, water and rum.
3. Melt the bakers’ chocolate in a pot on the stove. Add it to the rest of the filling.
4. Cover and refrigerate bowl of filling for 24 hours.
5. The next day, add all the dough ingredients in a bowl and mix together with an electric mixer.
6. Using your hands, roll the dough into two manageable logs. Flatten out each log into strips, each about two inches wide.
7. Spoon small balls of filling onto one dough strip. Leave space in between each filling ball and leave a little space on the borders of the dough as well.
8. Place another dough strip over the filling balls. Press dough down around the filling balls, and cut between the filling balls to create ravioli cookies.
9. Repeat process until dough and filling are gone.
10. Bake cookies for 12–15 minutes. Enjoy!