From grandpa’s famous cookies, to mom’s homemade pasta, food is an integral part of many holiday celebrations. With that in mind, we’ve curated some of our favorite, food-related CustomMade projects, as well as the best recipes from around the office.
Matt’s Spiked Maple Cider
Ingredients 4 cinnamon sticks 5 cups of apple cider 2 shots of Cabin Fever Maple Whisky
Directions In a saucepan, heat five cups of apple cider, two shots of Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey, and four cinnamon sticks over medium heat. Stir occasionally and remove before it starts to boil. Pour into mugs and place one cinnamon stick in each.
Ingredients 4 ripe avocados 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice 8 dashes of Tabasco sauce 1/2 cup of red onion, diced 1 large clove of garlic, minced 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
Directions Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop them out of the shells into a large bowl. Add lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, and toss with a large spoon. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, or fried plantains.
Abby’s Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Pasta
Ingredients 1 pound of sweet, or hot, Italian sausage, casings removed 4 tablespoons of olive oil 1 large onion, chopped finely 3 cups of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely 1/4 cup of water 1 large bunch of kale, washed and roughly chopped 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese/any sharp, salty cheese 1 12-16 ounce box of pasta of your choice Crushed red pepper flakes to taste Salt to taste Black pepper to taste
Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta until al dente. In a bowl, combine butternut squash with one tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
In a large skillet, sauté onion with one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Turn heat to low, add garlic, and sauté for an additional two minutes. Turn heat back to medium-high, and add the sausage in small pieces. Cook until brown. Add kale and water to skillet. Cook for five minutes, or until kale has wilted. Add roasted squash, pasta, half of the cheese, and any remaining olive oil. Stir together, then add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top.
Scott’s Baked Chicken
Ingredients 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs 1/4 cup of soy sauce 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar 3 cloves of garlic (minced) 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard 1 sprig of rosemary (finely chopped) Salt to taste Black pepper to taste
Directions Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dijon mustard, chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Trim excess fat off chicken thighs and place in large sealable plastic bag. Add soy sauce balsamic mixture and marinate for up to 24 hours. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning once. Remove chicken from oven and serve.
Maggie’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Ingredients: 2 cups of sugar 1 cup of butter, softened 2 large eggs 1 cup of sour cream 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon of baking sofa 4 teaspoon of baking powder 4 1/2 cups of sifted flour 1/4 teaspoon of salt
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the sugar and butter, then add the eggs. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together. Stir dry ingredients into egg and sugar mixture. Drop mixture by tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Colleen’s Chocolate Cake
Ingredients 2 eggs 1 stick of salted butter 2 cups of flour 2 cups of sugar 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa 2 teaspoons of baking soda 2 teaspoons of baking powder 1 pinch of salt 2 cups of almost boiling water 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 1 can of cream cheese frosting
Directions Mix sugar and softened butter together, then mix in two eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Then, combine with the sugar, butter, and egg mixture. Add water and vanilla to the bowl and mix completely. Keep in mind the batter will be thin. Pour into a greased 9 1/2 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes. Cool, frost, and enjoy.
Ellen’s Salted Caramel Brownies
Ingredients for caramel 1/2 cup of sugar 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter 1 hefty pinch of sea salt 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
Directions for caramel Heat the sugar over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan for five minutes, or until it has melted and turned copper. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, whisking quickly to incorporate the sugar. Next, add the cream and salt. Place the pan back on the stove and cook for another three to four minutes until it’s a deep copper color. Pour the caramel onto a plate, or baking tray, covered with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until solidified.
Ingredients for brownies 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate 1 stick of unsalted butter 1 cup of granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour 1 hefty pinch of sea salt
Directions for brownies Heat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Melt chocolate and butter in a medium, heatproof bowl over simmering water. Remove from heat just before it is fully melted, and stir until smooth. Whisk in the sugar, and then each egg individually. Add vanilla and salt, and stir in the flour with a spatula until combined.
Remove the plate of caramel from the freezer. Use a sharp knife to cut it into one inch squares. Stir all but a few of the caramel chunks into the batter, and pour into the prepared pan. Top with remaining caramel bits. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before attempting to slice. Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
What are some of your favorite recipes and traditions of the season? Tell us in the comments section below.