Our favorite holiday recipes

I always cook for several days to get ready for a holiday dinner. I try to prep as much as possible and start by mixing up the pie crusts, cookie, and bread doughs and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap before storing them in the refrigerator. The day before the celebrations I clean and decorate the house knowing all of my work is going to help my guests feel special and the day be memorable.

I practice kitchen witchery. Kitchen magick is a practical magick. It works by setting an intention and then aligning the magical correspondences of ingredients to make a dish with the power to comfort, nourish, heal, inspire affection, sweeten someone's attitude toward you, or even compel someone to do or think something you wish for them to do or think. This means when I do a task, I first formulate an intention and then focus on that intention as I use the energy of my body and the sound of my voice to program my creation, engaging thought and energy to affect and change matter. This is the act of conscious creation. When we give an action our attention, focusing only on that one task and fixing it with our intention of what it is to become as we create it, channeling our energy and thought into the process, it becomes more.

This is a fundamental part of spellwork but today I'm beginning to see it as a mainstream expression and every time I see it, and I do come across it again, again and in the oddest places, it thrills me! Just the other day I spotted it on the instructions of a package of Snapdragon’s Vietnamese Pho "Wait 3 to 5 minutes until noodles are tender and have happy thoughts." Then later I was reading Nigel Palmer's The Regenerative Grower's Guide to Garden Amendments and in his lovely advice on mixing amendments into water, he writes "In the world of energies and their effects, here is a final thought to consider. The thoughts that course through your mind can also affect the energy structure of the mixture in a bucket as one stirs. Intent defines the future.…Smile and appreciate the clean air, the puffy clouds, the sunlight reflecting off the leaves of the trees, and the breath moving through the body. Know that the water you are preparing for the garden is rich with plant-available nutrition and an energy generated by you." 1

Mind you this is an academic gardening book. I just love this! That it is coming to be accepted that in the world of energy Your thoughts are important. It is acceptance of ideas like these that narrows the gap between science and magick.

1. Nigel Palmer, The Regenerative Grower's Guide to Garden Amendments, (Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020), 78.

Split Top Loaf

Makes 1 2 pound loaf or 2 1 pound

you will need:

1 1/4 cup warm water

2 1/2 teaspoons yeast (or 1 packet if you bought it this way)

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

5 cups bread flour

4 tablespoons of warm milk

in a small bowl, add 1/2 cup water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the top and whisk. Set aside to proof. (10 minutes) Measure the flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir to incorporate. Add the milk and most of the water. Stir until a ragged dough forms. Dump the dough out onto a floured work surface. Set your feet and draw your awareness in as you focus your intention into the dough as you knead it. I like to chant something like "Joy, happiness, peace and love" or "Fun will be had by all." Add a sprinkling of flour if the dough is sticky or a sprinkling of water if it is dry. Channel whatever you intend into the dough as you work it, rolling it under your palm and pressing down until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a piece of oiled plastic wrap. Set aside until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down and shape. Roll ends under to form a loaf shape. Put dough in bread pan and cover. Set aside to rise for 30 minutes. Slice the top of loaf down center with a sharp knife. Let the loaf sit for ten minutes while the oven preheats.

Bake 450 for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 400 and bake for 25 more minutes or until bread is golden in color. Thump the bottom. if it sounds hollow it is ready to cool.

Mix up some holiday cheer.

Mulled Wine

Makes 10 servings

You will need:

2 bottles of red wine (750 ml)

1 cup brown sugar

6 ounces orange juice

2 teaspoons nutmeg

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

12 whole cloves

10 cardamom pods

In a large saucepan, warm the wine over medium until it begins to steam. Add the brown sugar, orange juice, and spices. Reduce heat to low and warm until the sugar is melted. Let mixture cool. Place in a sealed container and allow to the flavors to mull in the refrigeration for 12 to 24 hours. Warm, strain, and serve.

Holiday Sangria

Makes 2 pitchers

You will need:

2 bottles of light dry red wine (750 ml)

4 ounces of cognac

4 ounces Grand Marnier

1/2 cup sugar

2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 cup cranberries

2 liters club soda

Combine all of the ingredient, except the club soda, in a sealed container and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour the mixture into a pitcher and top off with cold soda.

Cranberry Martinis

Makes 1 pitcher

You will need:

1 cup sugar

1 cups cranberries

6 strips orange zest

1 water

1 bottle of vodka (750 Mil)

1 cup cranberry juice cocktail

1/4 cup triple sec


In a saucepan mix together sugar cranberries orange zest, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Pour the vodka into a large pitcher, add the cooled cranberry mixture. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 5 days.

The Decadent yet Incredible Simple Baked Brie

This is one of the party recipes to add to your repertoire. Though this recipe is incredible simple to put together it delivers a scandalously rich treat.

You will need:

1 sheet of thawed puff pastry

a wheel of Brie cheese in the 8- to 12-ounce range

You can use a larger wheel but you will then need 2 sheets of puff pastry.

Jam (The French raspberry preserve by Bonne Maman works very well.)

1 egg beaten

Heat oven to 400°F Dust work surface with flour. Dust your rolling pin with flour and roll the puff pastry until it measures roughly 11 x 11 inches. Set Brie in center of the pastry and top with a couple spoons of jam. It's that easy! Fold the corners over the Brie, gently pressing the edges to form a neat package. Transfer the wrapped Brie to the baking sheet or pie plate. Brush with egg and bake until golden-brown. 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm so that cheese remains gooey.

Brie Tartlettes

mini phyllo tart shells

Brie cheese, cut into 24 small chunks

1 ripe pear, cut into small chunks


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange tart shells on baking sheet. Place a piece of Brie cheese into each shell. Top with diced pear and bake until tarts are golden about 12 minutes. Drizzle with honey and serve.

Potato and Onion Hand Pies

Makes 8

You will need:

for the dough

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup Greek yogurt


1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon butter

2 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 cups cooked and mashed potatoes

2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 egg

1 Tablespoon water

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Add the yogurt and pulse until just combined. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Flatten into 4 rectangular sections and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the filling:

Heat the oil and butter and add onions. Sauté the onions until tender. Place the mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl and add onions, yogurt, and salt. .

Preheat oven to 325.

Place dough on a work surface and roll to make a 5 x 12 inch rectangle. Have the dough crosswise so that you will have 2 5x6 sections. Add 1/4 cup of potato mixture to the center of each section.

In a small bowl beat together the egg and water. Seal the pies by folding the top over and pinching to seal. Brush with the egg mixture and place on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make a couple slice on the top and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.


You will need:

butter, softened

1 cup whole milk

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup flour

In a mixing bowl, mix together milk, eggs, and salt until mixture is foamy. Slowly add the flour. Mix until incorporated. Cover batter and let rest for 30 minutes. Resting improves the texture and height of the pastry. Heat oven to 450 f. Generously coat the inside of the popover cups with butter allowing about 1 teaspoon for each cup. When you are ready to bake, preheat the popover pan by placing it in the oven until it hisses. Watch it carefully, this should only take a few minutes. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and pour the batter into the cups. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 350f and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Yule Log Cake

You will need:

4 eggs

1 cup white sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

filling of your choice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 15x10-inch half sheet pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, then spray the parchment paper. Beat the eggs until they turn thick and foamy. Add the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract and mix. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Stir only until incorporated. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Lightly sift an even layer of powdered sugar over a dish towel. Turn the cake out of its pan onto the prepared cloth while it is still warm. Carefully peel away parchment paper. Trim away crisp edges and immediately roll the cake up in the cloth, jellyroll style, to cool. When cool, unroll the cake carefully and spread with filling. This swiss roll is a dry cake, and whipped cream, Nutella, and chocolate ganache work well as filling. Roll it up again and chill. When cake the is cold, frost it with your favorite frosting.


You will need:

1 sheet of puff pastry thawed and unrolled

1 recipe vanilla custard 1 recipe fondant 1 cup melted chocolate

Unroll pastry sheet and bake at 385 for 25 minutes. Allow to cool then cut into 3 equal parts Take a pastry and top with custard. Stack second piece of pastry and top again with custard. Turn the last piece upside down and place on top. Then top with fondant. Spoon melted chocolate into rolled waxed paper and pipe onto fondant. Draw through with knife. Refrigerate until firm.

Vanilla Custard

You will need:

4 egg yokes

3 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks well. Gradually stir in milk until blended. In a large heavy saucepan mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in. Gradually stir in a small amount of milk mixture, making a smooth paste until all is incorporated. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil (about 10 minutes) When mixture begins to boil, time for 1 minute stirring constantly then remove from heat immediately and cool quickly by setting the pan in an ice bath. This is wonderful served alone or as filling for cream puffs. Just mix and mash then use as a dessert topping


1/4 cup of honey

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups of powered sugar

1 tablespoon of water

mix into a smooth thick paste. Add more sugar or more water if needed

Chilled White Peaches Poached In White Wine

4-5 large white donut peaches

2 cups white wine

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup of sugar

1 cinnamon stick

Add wine, water, sugar and cinnamon stick to a medium saucepan, stir and bring to a simmer. Add white donut peaches and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until they become tender. With a wooden spoon, transfer peaches to a bowl and allow them to cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. Pour wine poaching liquid through a sieve and cool for approximately 15 minutes. Serve chilled wine over peaches.

Figgy Bread

Makes 2 loaves

You will need:

3 eggs

2 1/2 cup sugar

2 cup ripe figs, mashed

3/4 cup olive oil

3 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 c. pecans, chopped

Beat eggs, add sugar and beat well. Add fig puree and oil. Sift together flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the fig mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Beat well. Fold in pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in greased and floured loaf pans.