Holiday Dishes To Liven Up The Season

When you think back over the years, what are some of your fondest memories of the holiday? For many of us, our memories are centered around the kitchen or the foods we enjoyed with our family and friends. Each year, we highly anticipate the holiday season and all the delicious treats that will be enjoyed during this festive time. We do not even feel the least bit guilty for a little extra indulgence and let’s be honest, we all deserve some extra indulgence in 2020. We visited our friends at The Spice & Tea Exchange and Whole Foods Market to find some holiday dishes that we hope will make your holidays feel a little more special.

cheese board

Holiday Cheese Board from Whole Foods Market

MonS Camembert: Creamy and buttery at the start, deeply earthy on the finish with rich notes of mushroom.

El Trigal 12-Month Manchego: Classic Manchego from the La Mancha region of Spain. Tangy flavors with a fruit-forward finish.

Cypress Grove Midnight Moon: Mature goat milk Gouda balances sweet and savory notes expressing butter, butterscotch, and hints of caramel.

Saint Agur Blue Cheese: Unique, super creamy texture is a match for spreading or melting.

Beyond Good Dark Chocolate Discs: Rich, dark and velvety that starts with cocoa and finishes with berry and fruit.

Mitica Caramelized Pecans: Uniquely buttery pecans from Spain roasted and caramelized are a versatile companion.

Dalmatia Organic Fig Spread: Perfectly cooked, perfectly sweet.

34 Degrees Crisps: Wafer-thin crackers add a delightfully satisfying crunch as a sophisticated snack.


Unwrap 1 hour before serving. “Breathing time” brings out the cheese’s aromatics and nuances. Serve on a rustic board or natural stone. (Bonus points: Label cheeses with tasting notes.)

Garlicky Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo from Whole Foods Market


Maple Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup hazelnut oil (optional)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (or ½ cup if not using hazelnut oil)

Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 6 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced into coins
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced


For vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, shallots, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in both oils until emulsified. Adjust seasoning if desired. Store the dressing, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Remove outer leaves from Brussels sprouts and discard any that are blemished. Remove stems with a knife and peel the leaves. As you peel away leaves, you may need to cut the stem again to better access the leaves.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chorizo, stirring occasionally, until fat starts to render and chorizo is crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer chorizo to a bowl and wipe skillet clean.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add ghee. Working in batches, add Brussels sprout leaves, tossing and letting them wilt slightly before adding more. Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and slightly crisp, 7 to 8 minutes.

When almost done, push the leaves to the edges of the pan to clear a small circle in the middle. Add hazelnuts to slightly toast, then add sliced garlic and cook for 45 seconds. Return chorizo to the pan along with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss to combine and transfer to a serving platter, drizzling with more of the maple vinaigrette if desired.


Porchetta from The Spice & Tea Exchange


  • 6-pound boneless, skin-on pork belly
  • 1 oz. Italian Street Fair Spice Blend, ground (available at The Spice & Tea Exchange)
  • 1/2 oz. Lamb & Pork Seasoning (available at The Spice & Tea Exchange)
  • 1 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 TBSP garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped


Place pork belly skin-side down on a large cutting board.  Using a sharp chef’s knife, score flesh diagonally using strokes about 1-inch apart and about ¼-inch deep*. Rotate the cutting board 90 degrees and repeat to create a diamond pattern. Flip pork belly over skin-side up and repeat steps on the skin side.

Combine Italian Street Fair blend, Lamb & Pork Seasoning, and kosher salt in a small bowl. Portion roughly one-half of mixture into another small bowl and combine with baking soda and season evenly over pork skin.

Flip over to skin-side down.  Season pork flesh with remaining mixture, garlic, lemon zest, and parsley leaves. Use your hands to rub the mixture deeply into the cracks and crevices in the meat.

Starting at the thicker end, roll belly into a tight log and push to top of cutting board, seam-side down. Cut 10 to 12 lengths of kitchen twine long enough to tie around the pork and lay them down vertically in even intervals on the cutting board, about 1-inch apart. Place rolled pork seam-side down on top of the strings.  Working from the outermost strings to the center, tie up roast tightly, trimming any excess string. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least overnight and up to three days to cure.

Remove pork from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature 1 hour before roasting. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 300°F. Transfer pork to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 3 hours. Increase temperature to 400°F and continue roasting for an additional 15 to 30 minutes until skin is crispy and rich brown in color and reads an internal temperature of 180°-185°F.

Transfer porchetta to a cutting board and let rest 20 minutes before slicing. Slice with a serrated knife into 1-inch thick disks and serve.

Orange Cranberry Sauce from Whole Foods Market


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 (12-oz) package fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 TBSP grated orange zest or orange peel cut into very thin strips


Combine sugar, ½ cup water, orange juice, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and add cranberries. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, stir in orange zest or peel, cover, and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

mulled cranberry pear pie

Mulled Cranberry Pear Pie from The Spice & Tea Exchange


Mulled Vodka

  • 3 TBSP Mulling Spice Kit (available at The Spice & Tea Exchange)
  • 3/4 cup vodka


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled & cubed
  • 1/4 cup mulled vodka


  • 6 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cubed
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup mulled vodka
  • 1 tsp Baker’s Spice Blend (available at The Spice & Tea Exchange
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • water


Up to three days prior: Infuse Vodka. Combine vodka and Mulling Spice; infuse at room temperature 2 hours to overnight. Strain fully; refrigerate until use.

Up to one day prior: Prepare Crust. Whisk flour, sugar, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
Add cubed butter; rub in with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ¼ cup mulled vodka. Work mixture with your fingertips until the dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more vodka if dry, one teaspoon at a time. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, minimum 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare Filling. In a medium bowl, toss pears with flour, melted butter, and ¼ cup maple syrup; set aside. To a small saucepot, add cranberries, mulled vodka, Baker’s Spice Blend, ½ cup maple syrup, and enough water to just cover cranberries. Simmer over medium-low heat until reduced to syrup consistency. Immediately transfer to pear mixture and combine. Set aside.

Prepare Crumble. Mix flour, brown sugar, butter, and walnuts until combined. Set aside.

Assemble. Roll out chilled pie dough and gently transfer it into the pie dish; fork edges. Fill crust with cranberry-pear mixture. Cover evenly with topping. Bake for 25 minutes with crust covered to prevent browning. Reduce heat to 350°F and remove the crust shield. Bake for an additional 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Cool at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours to allow the filling to thicken.

Peppermint Patty Milk Tea from The Spice & Tea Exchange


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 TBSP Black Chocolate Tea (available at The Spice & Tea Exchange)
  • 3 TBSP Peppermint Patty Sugar (available at The Spice & Tea Exchange)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream


Add water to a small saucepot over medium-low heat. When water just reaches a simmer, turn off heat and add tea and sugar. Cover and infuse 1 minute. Stir in heavy cream and cover; adjust heat to low and infuse for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Remove cover and stir to ensure sugar has fully dissolved. Filter tea through a fine mesh strainer; discard tea leaves.

This delicious drink can either be served hot or chilled. To serve hot, portion equally into 2 or 3 warm mugs. To serve chilled, refrigerate until very cold. Serve in 6 to 8-ounce portions, without ice. Alternately, this can be a versatile base for a blended frappé, milkshake, or iced latte.

Finally, garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with additional Peppermint Patty Sugar or dusted with cocoa.

Destin Commons wishes all of you a very Merry Christmas and hope you give some of these holiday dishes a try. Happy Eating and Season’s Greetings!

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