1 (17-ounce) container of purchased plain hummus
1/2 cup reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (from about 2 onions)
3/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt
cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large red pepper, optional (look for one with broad, flat sides)
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons very finely crumbled, reduced-fat feta cheese
dippers for serving: whole-grain pita chips, wedges of whole-wheat pita bread, pretzels
or any red and green veggies
In a medium-sized bowl, combine hummus, 1/2 cup feta, and green onions.
Place a small bowl or drinking glass in the center of a large, round platter
Use a rubber scraper to spread the hummus mixture in a circle all around the bowl/glass you placed at the center
Remove the bowl/glass from the center using a gentle, upward twisting motion. If needed, you can carefully insert the tip of a toothpick under the edge of the bowl/glass to help it release.
In another small bowl, toss parsley, oil, and salt until the parsley is thoroughly coated and the oil and salt are evenly distributed.
Spoon parsley mixture in a circle on top of the hummus layer, leaving a small border of hummus showing all around.
Place halved cherry tomatoes, cut-side down, randomly throughout the parsley layer, so they look like Christmas ornaments.
If making the optional bow out of red pepper, cut one broad, flat side off the pepper (as shown in the photo in our post), and gently but firmly press a metal, bow-shaped cookie cutter (we use this one) through the pepper slice to cut out your bow. Place the bow on your wreath.
Sprinkle entire wreath lightly with a dusting of 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons very finely crumbled feta, to look like snow. You can adjust the exact amount of feta, depending on the diameter of your wreath – you want it to look like just a light dusting, without using so much feta that it hides the other ingredients.
Serve immediately with dippers of your choice, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1-2 days
Prepared pizza dough (or make your own)
Pizza sauce or Pesto
Green, red and yellow pepper
Any other topping you want! Banana peppers, black olives etc
Prepare pizza crust according to package directions.
On lightly floured work surface, roll out dough into large rectangle, about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick.
Using large Christmas tree cookie cutter, cut out 12 Christmas trees, re-rolling dough as needed. Transfer tree pizzas to 2 large parchment paper–lined baking sheets, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Spread sauce over each pizza; sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with pepperoni, colored peppers and any other topping…be creative 🙂
Bake according to package directions, about 10 to 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Cranberry Pistachio Coating
1 1/4 cups cranberries
1 cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios
7-8 oz. goat cheese log or tub
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 tsp EACH ground ginger, ground cinnamon, salt, dried thyme, dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Cranberry Pistachio Coating mixture (in directions)
Garnish with honey
Add cranberries and pistachios to your food processor and chop into small pieces (but don’t over-process). Remove ½ cup and add it to a medium bowl. Add all remaining Goat Cheese Log ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.
Add this cheese mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap, and form into the shape of a log. Wrap in plastic wrap. Freezer for 20-30 minutes. We want the cheese log slightly firm so it holds its shape but is still soft enough for the Coating to be pressed into it.
Line counter with about a large piece parchment paper. Add Coating ingredients to parchment and spread into a single layer square a little larger than the length of the cheese log. Add cheese log to the edge of the coating and roll in coating until evenly coated, pressing coating into the cheese so it sticks. The cheese log can be refrigerated at this point until ready to serve or serve immediately.
When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator 15 minutes beforehand so it can soften. Drizzle generously with honey just before serving. Serve with crackers.
1 cup salted butter, softened
1/3 c finely chopped dried cranberries
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp orange zest
Dash of cinnamon
Whip butter for 3 minutes using an electric or stand mixer
Add in cranberries, syrup, orange zest and cinnamon.
Mix on High for 2 minutes
FOR SPAGHETTI SQUASH
2 medium spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. taco seasoning mix
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-oz.) can black beans
1½ c. chopped cherry tomatoes
1 c. corn, canned and drained or frozen
1 c. shredded Monterey jack
½ c. shredded cheddar
2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle cut sides of spaghetti squash with oil and season with salt, chili powder, and cumin. Place cut side down on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Using a fork, break up squash strands.
Meanwhile, make filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground beef, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until beef is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Drain fat.
Stir in taco seasoning, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in black beans, cherry tomatoes, and corn.
Fill each spaghetti squash with beef mixture and top with cheeses. Return to oven to melt cheese, 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Cooking spray, for pan
1 c. granulated sugar
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin purée
2/3 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
For the topping
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
Pinch kosher salt
3/4 c. cold butter, in 1/2″ cubes
1 c. chopped pecans
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. When smooth and fully combined, add pumpkin, cream, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Whisk until smooth and blended. Pour into prepared pan.
In the bowl of a food processor (or with a pastry blender) pulse the flour, brown sugar, and salt to combine and break up any clumps of brown sugar. Scatter the cubed butter over the dry ingredients and pulse again until crumbs form. Stir in the pecans.
In the palm of your hand, press handfuls of the topping into rough balls. Break off teaspoon-sized pieces and place over the pumpkin.
Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.