We're wearing gloves at our desks because Los Angeles is FINALLY officially cold!  We're also drooling over all of the delicious recipes and goodies we're about to show you by some of our favorite food bloggers.  Is it dinner time yet? Read on for some festive hors d'oeuvres, main courses, and desserts that will make your Holiday that much better.

1) Kraut/Kopf by Susann and Yannic

Roots have a tendency to remind us of the Holidays.  Maybe it has something to do with their deep colors, but this salad is a perfect starter and will look beautiful on the buffet table.
Beetroot Salad with Lentil Sprouts
INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings, so you may want to quadruple or so!)
  • 75 g puy lentils
  • (200g lentil sprouts)
  • 750 g beetroot
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp organic honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 pod black cardamom
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 tbsp coconut kefir (or yoghurt)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • 40 g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 chioggia beetroot
  • 50 g miner's lettuce

  • INSTRUCTIONS
    Soak the lentils over night, fill them into a sprouting glass, and keep them in the dark the first day. Wash the legumes three times a day with lukewarm water, and let them sprout in daylight and at room temperature from the second day on.
    Wash the beet root thoroughly, wrap in aluminium foil, and cook at 180°C in the oven for about 60-90 minutes.
    Meanwhile mix the lemon juice, cider vinegar, and 1 tbs. honey to a dressing, and spice with pepper and sea salt. Put half of the dressing aside. Later, we will marinate the lentils with it. Loose the cardamom seeds from the capsule and grind them. Half the vanilla bean, scratch out the core, and add it with cardamom and coconut kefir to the dressing. (If you put the vanilla bean into a glass with cane or coconut sugar, you’ll get aromatic vanilla sugar.)
    Finely chop the shallot and garlic, and braise them in a bit of plant oil. Lightly roast the pumpkin seeds, add the remaining honey, and let the seeds caramelize. Spread them on a sheet of baking paper and let them cool down.
    Peel the beet root, quarter or chop in rough pieces, and mix with coconut vinaigrette, garlic, and shallot. Shortly blanch the lentil sprouts and refresh them in cold water, since raw they should be consumed only in small amounts. Drain well, and sprinkle them with the put-aside dressing. Slice the Chioggia beet, and together with the lentil sprouts, miner's lettuce, and caramelized pumpkin seed arrange them on the beet root salad.

    2) Manger by Mimi Thorisson

    French blogger Mimi Thorisson and her family will make you wish you lived in the countryside with olive trees and just cooked all day.  This tomato, cheese, and basil tartine is a perfect appetizer for your Holiday party.
    Tomato Tartine with Tarragon Mustard
    INGREDIENTS

    For the filling:

    • 5-6 tomatoes (sliced and partly deseeded)
    • 4 tbsp tarragon mustard
    • 5 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 tbsp Provence herbs
    • 200 g mozzarella cheese (sliced)
    • A few fresh basil leaves
    • Olive oil (to drizzle)
    • Salt and pepper (for seasoning)

    For the shortcrust pastry:

    • 210 g plain flour
    • 125 g unsalted butter, chilled and sliced in cubes
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 3 tbsp cold water
    • or 230-250 g ready-made shortcrust pastry dough
    INSTRUCTIONS

    In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and mix using your hands until dough is crumbly. Make a well in the center, add egg and water. Mix well until dough is soft and form a ball. Roll dough on a floured surface, adding flour if necessary if dough is too sticky. With a rolling pin, roll dough large enough to cover tart pan. Press firmly on the sides to line the pan.

    Preheat oven 200°C.

    Spread tarragon mustard on the tart base, sprinkle parmesan and arrange the sliced tomatoes in two fine layers. Drizzle with olive oil, Provence herbs, and arrange sliced mozzarella all over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    (Tip: To avoid a wet tomato tart, let the sliced tomatoes drain for 10 minutes on a plate before placing them in tart.)

    Place tart in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.

    3) My Name is Yeh by Molly Yeh

    Molly Yeh lives on a farm with her husband on the Dakota-Minnesota border.  She "hangs out with my little flock of chickens, and pickle[s] everything."  Needless to say we want to try this out someday--maybe just for a little vacay.  These little sugar cookie trees are so unique.
    INGREDIENTS (makes 6)

    cookies:

    • 3 c all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 c sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp almond extract
    • 1 large egg
    • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

    frosting:

    • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 c confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp almond extract
    • a pinch of kosher salt
    • sprinkles, for decorating

    INSTRUCTIONS
    cookies:
    preheat the oven to 350ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

    in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. in a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium high until pale and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. reduce the speed to medium and add the extracts and egg and mix to combine.  reduce the speed to low and then gradually add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. pour the dough out onto a clean work surface and give it a few kneads to bring it all together. divide it in half, wrap half of it plastic wrap, and refrigerate it while you roll out the first half. (alternatively, you can make the dough in advance, wrap all of it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.)

    dust your work surface and a rolling pin with confectioners’ sugar and roll out the dough to 1/4” thickness. cut out five increasing sizes of circles, 1 1/2"-3" (i use these biscuit cutters) and use a small offset spatula to transfer them to a baking sheet, 1" apart. re-roll scraps and repeat with the remaining half of the dough. bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer them a wire rack to cool completely.

    frosting:
    in a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy. gradually add the sugar and mix to combine. mix in the extracts and salt. add food coloring, if desired.

    assembly:
    transfer the frosting to a piping bag. stack up the circles, largest on bottom, with a thin layer of frosting between them and decorate with sprinkles.

    4) A House In The Hills by Sarah and Lou

    Based in sunny San Diego, Sarah and Lou's blog is bright and refreshing.  This pumpkin polenta has us ready for family dinner already!
    Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Cranberry and Crispy Fried Sage
    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 cup polenta (coarse grain, not quick cooking)
    • 2 cups cranberries
    • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
    • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
    • 1 orange, juiced
    • 2 tablespoons raw honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt (more to taste)
    • One bunch of sage leaves, separated from stem
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • Maldon Salt
    INSTRUCTIONS
    • To prepare the cranberry topping, place cranberries, orange juice and honey in a small pot. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until the cranberries cook down and lose their form. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if the mixture starts to thicken too much.
    • In a medium pot combine polenta, coconut milk, 2 1/2 cups of water, and salt. Cook over medium/low heat stirring continuously for 20-30 minutes, or until it thickens and loses it's crunch. Add pumpkin and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add additional water 1/4 cup at a time if mixture becomes too thick, and cook until desired consistency is achieved.
    • To fry sage, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. When oil is hot, drop leaves 3 at a time into oil. Cook for 2-3 seconds, removing with a slotted spoon. Place on paper towels and sprinkle with Maldon salt.
    • To serve, spoon polenta into bowls. Top with a heaping spoonful of cranberry and 4-6 sage leaves. Enjoy!