Potato Gratin Torte

To make the crust, in a bowl, combine flour, salt, thyme, and rosemary. Add butter and work it into flour with pastry cutter or pulse in a food processor until mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. Combine water, egg, and vinegar. Add to flour mixture and mix until dough sticks together. Form dough into a ball and flatten to form a disk.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll dough disk between 2 sheets of waxed paper until 1/8” thick and 15” in diameter. Transfer crust to an 8” spring form pan. Flatten bottom and fold dough edges under at pan edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and slice to 1/4″ thickness.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Add cream, thyme, rosemary, and nutmeg into same pan and warm until wisps of steam appear.

Remove crust from fridge and brush bottom and sides lightly with egg. In a small bowl, combine cheeses.

Layer one-third each of Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper in crust. Spread 1/3 of shallot-garlic mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese mixture over shallot-garlic mixture. Pour 1/3 herbed cream mixture over shallot-garlic mixture. Repeat layers twice, pressing layers down slightly to fit. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Bake for 15 minutes, lower oven temperature to 375° and bake for 1/2 hour. Uncover, brush edges with egg wash, and bake until potatoes are done and crust is browned, 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 15-20 minutes. Place paper towels around pan to soak up any oil.

Carefully transfer to a serving plate and remove sides of pan. Carefully slide gratin off bottom of pan using a long knife or narrow spatula. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Tip: Make 1 to 2 days ahead of time. To reheat, preheat oven to 350°, bake, covered, for 30-45 minutes or until bubbling.

South of the Border Stuffing

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, celery, carrots, and corn and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add chiles, sage, thyme, cayenne, and season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

In a bowl, add 2 eggs and parsley and mix to combine.

In a large bowl, add bread. Pour vegetable-broth mixture over bread. Add pumpkin seeds and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown, 30 more minutes.

Cran-Raspberry Sauce

In a medium saucepan over high heat, add cranberries, raspberries, blood orange zest and juice, sugar, dried apricots, star anise, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool slightly and remove star anise and cinnamon.

Moroccan-Spiced Turkey

Preheat oven to 400°.

Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and bake until very tender, 45 minutes-1 hour. Let cool completely. Squeeze garlic cloves into a bowl. Whisk in citrus juices along with paprika, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, sage, and mint.

Place turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Brush turkey all over with citrus-garlic mixture. Roast for 15 minutes then baste with more citrus-garlic mixture. Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in meat registers 165°, about 70 minutes. Transfer turkey to cutting board and let rest, loosely tented with foil, about 15 minutes. Slice turkey and serve.

German Layer Cake (Kalter Hund)

Line loaf pan with plastic wrap and set aside.

Melt coconut oil in microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment mix powdered sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, cream, rum, and coffee. When mixed, turn mixer on low and slowly add melted coconut oil and mix.

Pour a layer of batter on bottom of pan. Place a layer of cookies and cover with batter. Repeat until pan is full, ending with batter layer. Cover and refrigerate, 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, remove from pan, and cut into slices.

Cran-Apple Cheesecake Bars

In a heavy frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar and salt and cook until bubbly or thickened, 4-5 minutes. Add apples, cranberries, raisins, and cinnamon and cook until apples are tender and most cranberries have popped.

In liquid measuring cup, add cornstarch to orange juice and stir until smooth. Add to apple mixture stirring constantly until thickened. Cool and set aside.

Heat oven to 350°. Grease 9”x13” baking pan with butter. Set aside.

Combine flour, salt, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until fine crumbs form. Add 1/2 cup walnuts and raisins. Mix well, reserve 1/2 cup of crust. Set aside. Press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan.

Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, using a hand or stand mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until smooth. Spread over hot baked crust. Return to oven and bake additional 15 minutes.

Spoon cranberry-apple glaze over cheese layer. Spread evenly.

Combine chopped walnuts and reserved 1/2 cups crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over glaze. Return to oven. Bake for additional 15 minutes or until no longer jiggly. Cool. Refrigerate for several hours. Cut into bars.

Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To make the cake, spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray again.

In a bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt and set aside.

In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat egg yolks until thick. Slowly add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until pale yellow. Add raspberry liqueur, if using, and stir to combine. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Using a hand mixer, in another bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter in two additions.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until top springs back when lightly pressed, about 12 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Sift powdered sugar onto cake and invert warm cake onto a clean kitchen towel. Peel off parchment paper. Sift powdered sugar again onto cake.

Starting at short end, use towel to tightly roll cake into a log. Let cool completely.

To make the filling, place 2 tablespoons cold water in a shallow microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle gelatin in an even layer on top. Let bloom for 5 minutes.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 1/4 cup cream for 30 seconds. Transfer bloomed gelatin to warmed cream and combine until gelatin melts.

In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add remaining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, raspberry liqueur, and salt. Whisk on medium speed until cream begins to thicken. With motor still running, add powdered sugar, all at once. Whisk until cream is thick. Add gelatin-cream mixture and whisk a few more seconds. Fold in raspberries and raspberry chocolate. Keep cool until ready to use.

When cake is cool, unroll and spread filling evenly over cake. Roll cake back into a log, using kitchen towel to help create a tight roll. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and refrigerate until well chilled, 1 hour.

To make the cream cheese frosting, in a bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, about 5 minutes. Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder over butter-cream cheese mixture, and mix on low speed. Add vanilla, cream, and salt and mix to combine. If needed, add more cream until frosting is smooth, creamy, and spreadable.

Thinly trim cake ends to expose cake filling. Slice cake on bias about 3” from one end. Using frosting, stick 3” piece to larger piece, making it look like a tree branch. Frost sponge roll cake thinly with some frosting. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Spread another layer of frosting all over cake and, using back of an offset spatula, create lines in frosting to look textured like a tree. Garnish with mint leaves and cranberries to resemble mistletoe.

Dust serving platter with cocoa powder/powdered sugar mixture. Dust softly with powder sugar to make it look like snow.

When ready to serve, trim ends and frost cake with frosting. Dust lightly with powdered sugar. Place cranberries and rosemary sprigs on log to create mistletoe. Garnish with toasted mushrooms.

Calvados Sour

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Boil until fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Let cool, strain and discard spices.

Combine Calvados, lemon, syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake vigorously with no ice for 10 seconds. Add ice and shake for 10 more seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Maple Bourbon Cider

Add ingredients to an old-fashioned glass with a large ice cube. Stir until syrup is incorporated. Garnish with a cloved lemon wheel. 

Spiced Blood Orange Margarita

To make the simple syrup, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool completely. Once cooled, strain out and discard cinnamon sticks.

Add juices, syrup, and tequila to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake for 10-20 seconds. Strain into a salt-rimmed glass over fresh ice, garnish with a round of blood orange and cinnamon stick.