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Made with Love: Holiday Recipes from around the World

Introduction by Jordan Staggs

If there is anything better than love for bringing families, friends, and communities together during the holidays, it’s food! Looking back on Thanksgivings, Christmases, and New Year’s Eves with the people we love, the cherished memories almost always include mouthwatering holiday meals and sweet treats made with affection. There is just something about food, especially a home-cooked meal, that causes people from all walks of life to pause and revel in the holidays the way they were meant to be enjoyed—with others.

In honor of great food’s universal power to bring people together, VIE has elicited some help in compiling an array of palate-pleasing holiday recipes—from appetizers to cocktails and everything in between. From our home on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Susan Benton of 30AEats includes seafood in her holiday menu, while Ashley Whitehead shares some of her favorite Southern holiday fare, and Siobhan Fedden of Food Blog Food takes us across the pond with her Christmas recipes from the United Kingdom. And for you health nuts, don’t worry about missing out on the last course—Anya Kassoff of Golubka: Food That Takes Love has some great desserts that are not only healthy but will also satisfy any sweet tooth.

This season, whether you are celebrating things to be thankful for, decorating the Christmas tree, or counting down the last seconds of 2012 to usher in 2013, remember that the most important thing of all is sharing those moments with loved ones, dear friends, and, of course, some great food!

Happy holidays from VIE!


 

VIE Magazine made with love champagne mojitos 30aeats cocktail

Champagne Mojitos

By Susan Benton of 30AEats

This cocktail is the perfect way to toast family and friends at a holiday dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups packed mint leaves
  • 6 limes, cut into wedges
  • 2 cups light rum
  • 3 cups champagne (or other sparkling wine)
  • Cracked ice
  • 12 or so additional mint sprigs for garnish
 

Directions:

Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan and cooking over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the simple syrup to cool to room temperature. In a large pitcher, combine the simple syrup with the mint leaves and lime wedges and muddle with a wooden spoon. Add the rum, stir well, and then strain into another pitcher. (The mixture can be made ahead of time up to this point and put in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, continue with the next step.)

Put crushed ice into tall glasses and pour in the mojito mixture, filling them about two-thirds full. Top off with champagne, garnish with mint sprigs, and serve.

Yield: 4–6 cocktails


VIE Magazine made with love recipes from around the world candied grapefuit vodka  

Candied Grapefruit Vodka

By Siobhan Fedden of Food Blog Food (Suitable for vegans and vegetarians)

Ingredients:

  • 24 ounces (3 cups) vodka
  • 1 red grapefruit
  • 1 white grapefruit
  • 5 cups white granulated sugar (plus extra for dusting the peel)
  • 6 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla tea
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
 

Directions:

Remove the peels from both grapefruits, scraping away the bitter white pith; slice peels into thin strips. Bring peels and 2 cups of water to a boil; reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes. Drain. Add 2 cups water to the pan with peels and repeat process. Drain. Combine 2 and 1/2 cups of water, sugar, vanilla tea, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon in the pan and cook until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Add the peels, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes or until syrup is almost absorbed into the peels. Watch carefully to prevent scorching. Remove the peels and leave to dry on wire racks overnight. Roll each slice of peel in sugar and add to the vodka. The peel must be left to soak in the vodka for at least two weeks before drinking.

Tip: The leftover flesh of the grapefruit and the leftover sugar syrup can be cooked together to create grapefruit syrup.

Yield: 4–6 cocktails


 

VIE Magazine made with love recipes from around the world lobster bisque

Lobster Bisque

By Susan Benton of 30AEats

Ingredients:

  • 4 (1 1/2-pound) steamed fresh lobster tails (set aside half a tail for garnish)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1  (14-ounce can) San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups seafood stock
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
 

Directions:

Remove lobster meat from shells; coarsely chop and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, and cook for 2 minutes. Add sprig of thyme and slowly stir in seafood stock; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add lobster meat. Slowly stir in whipping cream and Creole seasoning; cook for 10 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove sprig of thyme. Add lobster garnish. Serve immediately.

Tip: If the bisque is too thick, add a bit more seafood stock.

Yield: 4–6 servings


VIE Magazine made with love recipes from around the world loaded baked potato  

Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Appetizers 

By Ashley Whitehead

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes (approximately 15 potatoes)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Milk, as needed
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Boil potatoes over medium-high heat until tender; allow potatoes to cool. Meanwhile, cook the bacon and chop. Cut potatoes in half; trim the rounded bottom part of the potatoes sparingly, just to allow them to sit evenly on work surface with the open half facing up (you may opt to cut the potatoes before boiling). With a small teaspoon, carefully scoop out centers of potatoes, reserving the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Once all the potato skins are hollowed out, add sour cream, butter, onions (reserve some for garnishing), cheese, salt, and pepper to the flesh in the bowl; mix well. Add milk to the mixture until it becomes creamy. Using a small teaspoon, put a small amount of mixture into each potato skin and top with bacon and shredded cheese. Place the bites on a nonstick cookie sheet or a regular cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown. Garnish with green onion.

Yield: Makes approximately 30 bites


 

VIE Magazine made with love recipes from around the world beef tenderloin

Herbed-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

By Susan Benton of 30AEats

Growing up, my dad was always in charge of the beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner, and the tradition continues today, as I am fortunate to have my parents living near me. We enjoy serving horseradish cream on the side, which is half horseradish and half sour cream.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup prepared horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) trimmed beef tenderloin, butt end left in tact
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 500°F. In a food processor, combine the butter with the garlic, horseradish, thyme, rosemary, and sage; process to a paste. Put beef on a sheet of plastic wrap. Spread the horseradish-herb butter all over the top. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Place beef on rack on rimmed baking sheet and close oven door. Cook for 25 minutes without opening oven door. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 125°F for medium rare. Transfer tenderloin to a carving board and loosely cover with foil to rest for 15–20 minutes; the temperature will rise. Slice and serve. It will be pink and rare.

Tip: The horseradish-herb butter can be refrigerated overnight. Let the butter soften before using.

Yield: 4–6 servings


 

VIE Magazine made with love recipes from around the world spinach artichoke dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip with Roasted Tomatoes

By Ashley Whitehead

Ingredients:

  • 15–20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 12-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained of all juices
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss tomato halves in olive oil, place on a cookie sheet, and allow to roast in oven until tender and browned. Remove tomato halves from oven and reduce temperature to 350°F. Combine roasted tomatoes (reserving some tomato halves for garnish) with all remaining ingredients (except the cheese) in a medium mixing bowl), and place in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 15–20 minutes or until cheese browns. Garnish with remaining roasted tomatoes. Serve dip with tortilla chips or toasted French baguette slices.

Yield: 4–6 servings

 
 

VIE Magazine made with love recipes from around the world chocolate orange muffins

Chocolate Orange Muffins with Toasted Flaked Almond Topping

By Siobhan Fedden of Food Blog Food (Suitable for vegetarians)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups white self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces (1/3 cup) salted butter
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
  • The juice from an orange
  • The zest from half an orange
  • Flaked almonds, toasted to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then place in a large mixing bowl with the sugar, eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract. With a zester or grater, add the zest of half an orange to the bowl. Then cut the orange in half and juice both halves. Add the juice to the bowl and stir. Next add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cocoa powder,  baking powder, and flour. Fold the mixture together. Grease muffin pans and spoon in the mixture. Sprinkle each muffin with toasted flaked almonds. Bake in the oven until a skewer or knife, inserted into a muffin, comes out clean. Perfect for Christmas morning!

Yield: 15 muffins


VIE Magazine made with love recipes from around the world plum rum bundt cake  

Plum Rum Bundt Cake

By Siobhan Fedden of Food Blog Food (Suitable for vegetarians)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cups salted butter
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 3 plums
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons chocolate extract
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 teaspoons prepared black tea
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the yogurt and eggs. Cut the plums in half and then slice each half into five pieces. Add the plums to the bowl, then pour in the vanilla extract, chocolate extract, tea, and honey. Stir in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Grease a Bundt pan and pour the mixture in. Bake until a skewer or knife inserted into it comes out clean. Once cooked, leave to cool. Once cooled, turn out onto cake plate and pour the rum over the cake.

Tip: Dust with confectioners sugar or serve with warm custard.

Yield: 1 Bundt cake


 

VIE Magazine made with love recipes from around the world holiday macaroons

Holiday Macaroons

Anya Kassoff of Golubka: Food That Takes Love

Ingredients:

For Persimmon Macaroons: Blend 2–3 ripe persimmons in a high-speed blender to the consistency of a smooth puree. Use 1/2 cup, reserving the rest for macaroon cream.

For Pomegranate Macaroons: Blend 1 cup of dried black mission figs (soaked for 2–3 hours) with 2 cups of fresh pomegranate juice in a high-speed blender to a smooth puree. Use 1/2 cup, reserving the rest for macaroon cream.

 

For Blueberry Macaroons: Blend 2–3 cups of fresh blueberries in a high-speed blender to the consistency of a smooth puree, or use 5 teaspoons of blueberry powder for flavor. Combine with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Use 1/2 cup, reserving the rest for macaroon cream.

For Matcha Macaroons: Combine 1/2 tablespoon of matcha powder and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.

Other ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw agave syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

In a food processor, combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Spread evenly on Teflex-lined dehydrator trays. Using a cookie cutter or shot glass, cut circular shapes out of the “dough.” Reform the dough that remains from the circles and cut out again. If the dough is too moist and sticky to cut, place the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes or dehydrate for 30 minutes prior to cutting. Dehydrate at 115°F for about 8 hours or more, until dry on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.

Macaroon Cream

Directions:

Golubka used Artisana coconut butter for the base of the cream. Place the butter jar into warm water to soften the butter up. In separate bowls, mix butter with the reserved persimmon or pomegranate purees, matcha or blueberry powder a little at a time until you have achieved desired colors. Add raw agave syrup or other preferred sweetener to taste.

Yield: About 6 cookies

 

— V —


CONTRIBUTORS

Susan Benton of 30AEats 30AEats.com Susan Benton shares her travel and culinary experiences through blogs, recipes, and restaurant reviews for 30AEats.

Siobhan Fedden of Food Blog Food foodblogfood.tumblr.com Siobhan lives in Plymouth, England, and has fused her love of photography and food to bring her recipes to life in vibrant detail.

Anya Kassoff of Golubka: Food That Takes Love g0lubka.blogspot.com Anya strives to live a raw, healthy lifestyle while still enjoying the foods she loves. She lives with her family in central Florida.

Ashley Whitehead Ashley graduated from the University of North Alabama with a degree in culinary arts and currently works as a chef for Marriott Hotels. Her catering business, Cake My Day, is a favorite among locals in her area.



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