• 3 easy-to-make additions to Christmas meals

    A Christmas meal often comprises of roasted turkey, honey glazed ham, roasted goose, rack of lamb, or even classic roast chicken. Finish it off with desserts, and you will have a grand satisfying holiday feast. To get the best out of such a delish meal, you can start off with some light appetizers to keep those hunger pangs at bay as well as save a lot of space for the huge Christmas dinner. Here are some light and savory appetizer recipes for Christmas:

    • Marinated beet toasts with yogurt: This toast with a twist makes for a great appetizer as well as side dish. To make this Christmas recipe, you will need 1 pound precooked and vacuum-packed beets (sliced into 1/4-inch wedges), 1 small shallot (finely chopped), 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided), 1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided), ½ teaspoon black pepper (freshly-ground and divided), 1½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, one 1 pound loaf of whole-grain bread (sliced into ½ inches, toasted, and halved), 1 small bunch of radishes (thinly sliced), and 2 tablespoons of chopped chives. In a large bowl, mix the shallots, beets, vinegar, three tablespoons of oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Toss it once and set it aside. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the horseradish, yogurt, 1 tablespoon oil, and the remaining salt and pepper. Spread yogurt over each toast and top it with the marinated beets, chives, and radishes.
    • Pears with blue cheese and prosciutto: This simple appetizer needs barely 10 minutes to be whipped up. You need 2 pears cut into 8 wedges, 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 cup arugula, 3 ounces of blue cheese cut into small pieces, and 6 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto cut in half, lengthwise. Toss the pears and the lemon juice in a large bowl. On a piece of prosciutto, layer a slice of pear, an arugula leaf, and a piece of cheese. Roll this up and serve.
    • Tender greens with champagne vinaigrette: Made with fresh greens, this salad is a colorful addition to a Christmas meal. This Christmas recipe needs 2 ½ teaspoons of Dijon mustard, ¼ cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 large shallot (finely chopped), 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, ½ cup fresh dill sprigs, ¾ cup fresh whole flat-leaf parsley leaves, 1 ½ tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves (roughly chopped), ¼ cup fresh chives (chopped), and ¼ cup fresh whole chervil leaves. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and honey with 1 ½ tablespoon of water. Slowly, add oil to this while whisking. Combine the fresh greens in a large bowl and serve with the vinaigrette on the side.
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  • 3 delectable Christmas recipes

    Apart from the presents, the next best thing about Christmas is the food. Everyone has their own special Christmas recipes they like to put out on the table for friends and family during the festive season. To add an interesting twist to a traditional holiday meal, here are a few unique Christmas recipes to try out.

    Salmon with spinach and white beans
    This simple Christmas recipe makes a healthy addition to any holiday meal. For this recipe you need 4 salmon fillets (each of 4 oz.), 2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil (divided), 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, 1 garlic clove (minced), 1 can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained), ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, 8 oz. fresh spinach, and lemon wedges. Preheat a boiler. Rub 2 teaspoons of olive oil on the fillets and sprinkle seafood seasoning over these. Place the fillets on a greased rack of broiler pan. Keep the rack 5 to 6 inches from heat and broil for 6-8 minutes. While the fish is broiling, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic to the skillet and cook for 15 to 30 seconds. Add the beans, pepper, and salt. Stir the beans until completely coated with oil. Add the spinach to this mixture and stir until wilted. Serve the broiled salmon with spinach and lemon wedges on the side.

    Warm Christmas punch
    Made from cinnamon-flavored candies, this drink is perfect for a Christmas brunch. To make this punch, you will require 1 bottle cranberry juice, 5 cans unsweetened pineapple juice, 1/3 cup Red Hots (or cinnamon-flavored candies), 1 cinnamon stick, and sugared cranberries (if needed). In a 3-quart slow cooker, combine cranberry juice, pineapple juice, cinnamon sticks, and the candies. Cover the cooker and cook on low heat for about 3-4 hours, until the candies dissolve completely. Before serving, remove the cinnamon stick. Add additional cinnamon sticks or candies if needed.

    Caramelized onion tarts with apples
    These tarts make for delightful appetizers for a Christmas party dinner. It goes well with a perfectly mixed green salad as well. The ingredients required for this include 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 medium onions (sliced), 2 red apples (cut into small pieces), kosher salt, black pepper, 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry (thawed), and ½ cup sour cream or crème fraîche. Preheat the oven to 330℉. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the onions in the skillet until they are golden brown. Add the apples, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Place each pastry sheet on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a fork, prick the pastry sheets all over. Spread the sour cream. Put the onion-apples mixture on top and bake for 30-35 minutes.

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