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Last Minute Holiday Recipes: 5 Quick Dishes to Impress Your Holiday Host

December 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Nutella Thumbprints...mmmmm!

If you’re still looking for holiday recipes, chances are you’re heading to someone’s house and need something to bring. Something quick and easy. I’m also going to guess that you’re not trolling for recipes that also come with a good read. So, I’ll get straight to the point!

Here are 5 dishes that take no time to make and will knock your host’s socks off. Think of these recipes as my gift to you this Christmas! Happy, merry, enjoy!

Homemade Peppermint Magic Shell
We all know that, unless you’ve been given a specific charge, dessert is the ticket. But most good desserts take a bit of time and dirty a whole lot of dishes. This Homemade Peppermint Magic Shell is your ticket. It takes 5 minutes to make—no exaggeration—and can even be done in a single bowl in your microwave. Grab a bag of chocolate chips, and hit your local natural foods store for coconut oil and peppermint extract (or skip the extract to make plain magic shell), and you’re in business. I PROMISE it will be a hit.

Peppermint Magic Shell Sundae! (Quick and easy)

Peanut Butter Nutella Thumbprint Cookies (naturally gluten free!)
These bites are mind boggling tasty and made with peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon and Nutella. Tell me that, other than the Nutella, you don’t have all of these things in your house already. Mix in a bowl, bake and, in 15-20 minutes from starting to measure your ingredients, you’ve got a cookie that will have people—and maybe even Santa—whooping and hollering.

Homemade Caramel of Toffee Sauce
More easy dessert treats! Both of these sauces compliment almost any sweet flavor, from chocolate to apple. Either gives a wonderfully decadent touch to almost any cake or pie. I even like pouring some caramel sauce over slices of juicy orange; a simple, delicious, (relatively!) healthy dessert. Both sauces are the kind of extra that most hosts don’t have time to get to, so bring it for them!

Brown Butter Mashed Cauliflower
Okay, I’ll give you some veggie sides! This one is actually going to be on my holiday table. All you have to do is steam the cauliflower (which can be done healthily in the microwave without compromising the taste or texture of the veg), brown some butter and mash or puree it all up with some milk or cream, lemon juice and lemon zest. Delicious and done in no time.

(Bonus! Follow the link to my cauliflower recipe and you’ll also get my Holiday Spiced Sweet Potato Mash and Celery Root Mash, both of which are equally delicious and easy.)

Brown butter mashed cauliflower

Butternut Squash with Honey, Lemon and Parmesan
I love this simple puree. It’s amazing how much flavor comes from combining squash with honey, lemon, butter and parmesan. Look at how easy:

Butternut Squash with Honey, Lemon & Parmesan
serves 4

20 oz peeled and cut (into large cubes) butternut squash
1/4 c honey
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 c grated parmesan

1. Steam butternut squash until cooked through.

2. Place cooked squash and all other ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. (Alternatively, you can mash this by hand, as you would mashed potatoes.) Serve hot, warm or at room temp—this works well any which way!