Christmas Potpourri in a jar

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So this is not a recipe for something to eat – this is a recipe for an aromatherapy gift. I made these jars as gifts last year – and they were a hit. You can use prepackaged potpourri – or make your own – just fit the items into mason jars, and finish off with a cute bow.


Sage, Sausage and Apple Dressing

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16-ounce bag stuffing cubes

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan and topping

1 pound fresh sage sausage, casing removed

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cooking apples, such as Gravenstein, Rome, or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and chopped

1 to 2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted (See Note)

2 eggs, beaten


Cider-Glazed Turkey with Lager Gravy

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Lots of people brine their turkeys. Not Michael Symon, who thinks brining makes the bird a little rubbery. In this turkey recipe, he salts his bird well and refrigerates it overnight to season it. Before roasting, he covers the breast and legs with cheesecloth that’s been soaked in a cider-infused butter. For his beer-spiked gravy, Symon recommends the German-style Dortmunder Gold, made by Great Lakes Brewing Company, from his home state of Ohio.


Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon and Streusel topping

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Bourbon adds a complex, woody flavor to this twist on the holiday sweet potato casserole, keeping things from veering off into kids’-table territory. Roasted sweet potatoes are mashed so they stay chunky, then mixed with melted butter, bourbon, milk, some cinnamon and nutmeg, and orange zest for loads of flavor without being too boozy-tasting. This glorious mash is packed into a buttered casserole dish, and topped with a pecan-and-brown-sugar streusel that turns crunchy as it bakes. Pair with our easy apple streusel for dessert.


Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

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For the salad:

3/4 pound brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise

3/4 pound cauliflower florets

3 cups 1/2-inch cubes of butternut squash

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon white balsamic

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

A few pinches of cayenne

1 cup cooked white beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

2 cups arugula

For the vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 clove garlic

1/2 shallot

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Handful of chives and/or parsley (optional)


Duck Ragù with Creamy Polenta

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1 (4 1/2-pound) whole duck, cut into pieces, skin scored

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 leek, white part only, sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

3 1/2 ounces smoked pancetta, chopped

10 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/3 cup malt vinegar

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

2 1/2 cups port

Amaranth leaves, to serve

Creamy Polenta:

1 liter milk

1 cup instant polenta

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chopped

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

Sea salt and cracked black pepper