Holiday Recipes for the Whole Family


Yazmin Luna, Staff Writer

Sweet and Salty + Vegan Recipe

We all know that Christmas smell.

The home made cookies, the turkey scent in the air and the evergreen christmas tree light up in the corner with presents laying around it. However, we all have those moments we do not know what to cook, and look online desperately for last minute recipes.


Santa Hat Mini Cheesecake

difficulty: medium-hard



For the Crust:

  •         10 chocolate sandwich cookies
  •         2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, meltedFile_000 (1)
  •         ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar

For the Filling:

  •         12oz cream cheese, softened
  •         ½ cup granulated sugar
  •         ½ cup eggnog
  •         1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  •         ½ tbp vanilla
  •         ¼ tsp salt
  •         1 egg

For the Hat:

  •         ½ cup heavy cream
  •         2 tbsp powdered sugar
  •         12 Strawberries


1)     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put a little bit of butter on the mini cheesecake pan.

2)     In a food processor or blender, break chocolate cookies until it is in fine crumbs. Blend with the butter and the sugar. Then divide between prepared cheesecake cavities, and add a small scoop of crust mixture to each cavity. Press down firmly to create an even layer. Then bake for 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees F.

3)     In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and granulated sugar until fluffy and smooth. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly add the eggnog, flour, vanilla and salt into the mixture. Continuously increase speed, making sure there are no lumps remaining. Finally, add in the eggs, mixing until combined and no streaks are left.

4)     Divide batter between each cheesecake pan cavities using a medium scoop. Roughly add 1 and ¼ medium scoop or heaping scoop to each cavity. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until cheesecakes are set.

5)     Allow cheesecakes to sit on pan wire rack until they are room temperature. Transfer cheesecakes to a refrigerator to chill overnight or until completely chilled.

6)     On a medium bowl, beat together heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Cover and chill until ready to use. Carefully remove cheesecakes from pan, removing the pan discs from the crust. Top off with whipped cream and strawberries. Sprinkle with optional powdered sugar for a snow dusted look.



Gruyere, Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Bites

difficulty: medium


  •         4 tbsps salted butter, divided
  •         2 tbsps vegetable oil, divided
  •         5-6 tbsps crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
  •         2 medium yellow onions, thinly slicedFile_002
  •         ¼ tsp dried thyme
  •         1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  •         ¼ tsp garlic powder
  •         Salt and pepper, to taste
  •        4 oz. grated gruyere cheese
  •         1 package (1 lbs.) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  •         1 egg, lightly beaten.




  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat one tablespoon of oil with one tablespoon of butter. Add in the mushrooms and sauté (fry quickly) for about 5 minutes until tender. Remove and set aside in a medium bowl.


  1. Heat the rest extra 3 tablespoons of butter with one tablespoon of oil and sauté the onions for 5 minutes. Add the dried thyme and sugar, continue to cook for 25 minutes on low medium heat. Make sure to stir mixture about every 5 minutes. If you see that the onions are caramelizing too fast, turn down the heat some more. After this, add in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan, along the onions to soak it in. Cool to room temperature. Mixture can be kept in a airtight container and refrigerated for up to 48 hours at this point. Let it come to room temperature before going onto the next step. Add the gruyere cheese in and mix well.


  1. Arrange two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Then preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.


  1. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the puff into 2 inch squares and place them on a lined baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten eggs on the squares and place a tablespoon of caramelized onion mixture in the center of the pastry. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway in between until it is crisp and golden brown. Let it cool before serving.


Butternut soup with crispy sage & apple croutons  

difficulty: easy-medium




  • 1 tbsp of olive oilFile_001
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, appr 1 kg peeled, deseeded and chopped.
  • 3 tbsp Madeira or dry Sherry.
  • 500 ml gluten-free vegetable stock, plus an additional amount if necessary.
  • 1 tbp of chopped sage, plus 20 small leaves, cleaned and dried.
  • sunflower oil, for frying

For the apple croutons:


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced.
  • a few pinches of golden caster sugar




  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add in the onions and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and squash, and cook for 5 minutes more. Pour in the Madeira and stock, stir in chopped sage, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the squash is tender.


  1. Blitz (blend)  with a hand blender or food processor until completely smooth. Allow to cool the pan, then cool until ready to serve.


*Soup can last up to 2 days in the fridge or  up to 3 months in the freezer.


Leaves and Croutons:


  1. To make the sage crispy, heat some oil (about 2 cm) in a small pan then drop in the sage leaves until they are crisp- you will need to do this in badges.


  1. For the apple croutons, heat the oil in a large pan and fry them until they are soft. Sprinkle with some sugar and lightly caramelize them.


The soup should be thick and velvety after reheating. Add in some stock if it is too thick.


Suggested serving: After reheating, serve soup into small bowls and top with apple, sage and a speck of black pepper.