Hello everyone, I hope this article finds you happy, healthy and hungry! Today I am presenting some of my favorite recipes that we enjoy in my family around Christmas time. This year has been so eventful and busy, it is nice to have the chance to spend time with loved ones, friends and family. For these are the real gifts during this holy season of cheer and good will towards one another. Growing up in Brooklyn, this time of year always brought out the best in not only myself, but all the great people around me. Aside from making even the most miserly folks smile and be merry, Christmas has a funny way of making the kid in all of us shine brightly through.

2 cups all-purpose flour • 1⁄2 TSP baking powder • 1⁄4 TSP baking soda
1 1⁄2 TSP ground cinnamon • 1 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup margarine • 3 TBSP maple syrup • 1 egg
(1⁄2 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1⁄4 cup of finely ground peppermint sticks)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the flour, baking powder and soda together in a mixing bowl.
In another mixing bowl, cream the margarine and the sugar until nice and light and airy. Beat in the egg and maple syrup. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients until just mixed.

In a small baking sheet take your finely ground peppermint sticks and additional granulated sugar.
Next roll the dough into about one-inch balls and roll in your peppermint sugar mixture, lightly dusting the cookies. Place the dusted cookies around 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Next, bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes. The cookies should be crunchy on top and moist in the middle. Once you remove them from the oven, cool on a perforated plate or wire rack and enjoy. These make the perfect cookies to serve Santa when he arrives this year. I hear he really loves them!

1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar 1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup dark corn syrup
2 TSP cornstarch
1 TBSP cold water
3 eggs
1⁄4 TSP kosher salt
1 TSP vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 cups chopped pecans 1 TSP vanilla extract
One 9” pie shell (unbaked)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a sauce pan add your sugar, butter, cornstarch, water and corn syrup. Bring to a full boil and then remove from the heat. Next, in a mixing bowl, beat the 3 eggs until nice and aerated. Slowly beat in the cooked syrup mixture. Next stir in the vanilla, salt and pecans. Pour this mixture into your pie shell. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the filling is set.

Store bought pastry dough (enough for a 9” tart)
2 cups shredded Idaho russet potato (pan fry lightly and let drain and cool)
6 ounces of chopped frozen spinach, thoroughly thawed and drained
1 3⁄4 shredded gruyere cheese 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
7 Lg. beaten eggs
2 TSP kosher salt
1 TSP ground black pepper
1 TSP toasted sesame seeds
1 TSP Crystal Louisiana hot sauce (add more if you like)
To Preheat your oven to 405 degrees. Cut parchment paper into a 9” circle. If you have a 9” quiche pan that is great if not us a 9” pie pan will do. Put the crust in the pan and shape it to the pan. Perforate the crust with a fork and place the parchment paper on top. Weigh it down with pie weights or dried beans. Take the pan and place on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes (AT 375 DEGREES). Remove from the oven and cool. Carefully remove your weights/beans and parchment and bring your oven up to 405 degrees.
While the crust is cooling, squeeze thawed spinach between several layers of paper towels, to remove most of the moisture. Set aside.

Add the cooled potatoes to the cooled crust. Add 1 cup of the shred- ded gruyere cheese on top.
Stir the beaten eggs, heavy cream, the spices and hot sauce in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Add in the spinach making sure to separate it well and pour over the cheese and potatoes. Add the remaining cheese on top.

Next place in the middle of the oven until the eggs are set and a fork or bamboo skewer comes out clean. This should take about 35-40 minutes.

Once it’s done let cool about 10-15 minutes, slice and serve warm. If you like serve the slice of quiche with a dollop of creme fraiche and top with chopped chives.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas & a blessed and Happy New Year.
I hope you enjoy these fun and delicious recipes this year and for years to come!