Now that outdoor grilling season is over, it’s time to start making your favorite winter dishes again. Holiday baking and large family meals are just around the corner, do you have everything you need to make your favorite dishes? Below are just a few of the items that are winter staples in our kitchens to ensure we have everything we need to whip up a hearty pot roast or a sugary batch of cookies.
1. Dutch Oven.
This versatile kitchen essential is great for braising meats, cooking hearty soups, and baking loaves of bread. When purchasing a dutch oven, look for one with tiny spikes on the underside of the lid, which helps recirculate the moisture back into your dish. Dutch ovens come in all shapes and sizes and are oven safe. Since dutch ovens are typically made of enameled cast iron, they can be pricey for name-brand pieces, but if properly taken care of, these pieces can last for years.
2. Crock-Pot or Instant Pot.
Nothing beats coming home to a hot, home-cooked meal after a long winter’s day. Both Crock-Pots and Instant Pots are a great way to create a delicious meal in a few easy steps. With Crock-Pots, ingredients are thrown in at the beginning of the day and left for hours to cook, great for roasts and other hearty dishes. Instant-Pots are a great tool for the days when you don’t have a lot of time to cook, since the pressure cooker cuts cooking time for most recipes in half! While both appliances have different cooking methods, they are both great ways to create a delicious meal with minimal cleanup!
3. Stand Mixers.
Stand Mixers are great for so many different reasons. With so many attachments available, your can transform your stand mixer into an ice cream maker, pasta maker, or vegetable spiralizer in a matter of seconds. While we use our stand mixers all year round, they are especially useful for the influx of baked goods we make this time of year.
4. Cookie Cutters.
A great way to get your children involved in the baking process is by allowing them to choose the cookie shapes! These affordable kitchen accessories come in all shapes and sizes and are a fun way to put a festive spin on your traditional cookies! If you’re not quite ready to let your children crack the eggs, letting them cut the dough into fun shapes is a great way to teach them about baking without compromising on the cookie’s taste!
5. Just for fun
If you’re looking to give your kitchen a true winter makeover, consider changing out your tea towels and pot holders! This is a great way to add a pop of color and some seasonal flair to your kitchen without breaking the bank. We suggest sticking to a color theme that will last even past the holidays for maximum enjoyment of your festive linens!
Not sure which recipe to make for the holiday season? Below are just a few of our favorite recipes.
Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze – Courtesy of Food Network
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.
Turkey Lasagna – Courtesy of Food Network
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.
Sweet Potato Latkes – Courtesy of Shape Your Future
2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or more as needed)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Applesauce for serving
Shred sweet potatoes on a box grater or electric food processor.
Place sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch until shreds are fully coated.
Heat oil a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add a scoop of sweet potato to oiled skillet.
Flatten each latke with a spatula and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Repeat with rest of potato shreds.
Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and serve immediately.*