Share the Spirit of the Season with Holiday Cookies

Share the Spirit of the Season with Holiday Cookies

Spiced Holiday Sugar Cookies

The holidays are a season of sharing – sharing memories, sharing recipes and sharing the holiday spirit by making and giving homemade cookies. This year, the baking pros at McCormick are collaborating with cookie-sharing expert Kim Ima, owner of New York City’s The Treats Truck and author of the new “The Treats Truck Baking Book,” to make sure flavorful cookies are at the top of everyone’s gift list.

“Making and sharing cookies can really be a gift from the heart,” says Ima. “That’s what ‘The Treats Truck’ is all about – sharing a little of myself through my fresh-baked treats. It really is one of the greatest ways to connect with people.”

McCormick and Ima share some simple tips for making holiday cookies extra-special:

  • Fantastic Flavor Combinations - Certain flavor match-ups are real winners around the holidays. Cinnamon and ginger are comforting holiday classics, while a splash of peppermint extract adds a surprising hint of refreshment.
  • Dress it Up - Spruce up versatile, go-to recipes like Spiced Holiday Sugar Cookies with seasonal flavors and creative decorations. Add a hint of almond extract to deepen the flavor, or play with festive cookie cutters and colorful frosting.
  • Gift It - In a mason jar, combine pre-measured spices, seasonings and other dry ingredients for a homemade “cookie mix.” With a strip of ribbon, attach a recipe card with baking and decorating tips.

To capture the magic of holiday cookie-baking virtually, McCormick is helping bakers share their own delicious gifts from the heart in “The Big Cookie Share” at After choosing a signature cookie recipe and customizing it with their own flavor twists, McCormick fans will receive an e-cookie to share with Facebook friends – complete with a frosted holiday message – and the accompanying recipe to bake up a batch at home.

Spiced Holiday Sugar Cookies


  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
Colorful Cookie Icing
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 to 4 drops McCormick Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye


  1. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat granulated sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight until firm.
  2. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place on greased baking sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated 375°F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
  4. For the icing, mix all ingredients except food colors. (Stir in additional milk as needed to thin icing or more confectioners’ sugar to thicken, if needed.) Place small amount of icing into small shallow bowls, using one bowl for each color desired. Stir drops of food coloring into icing until desired shade is reached.
  5. To ice cookies, hold cookie by its edge and dip top of cookie into icing. (Or spoon icing onto cookie using a teaspoon.) Place iced cookies on wire rack set over foil-covered baking sheet to dry. (The foil-covered baking sheet will catch drips.) To add decorative details to cookies, spoon tinted icing into resealable plastic bag. Snip off tiny piece of corner. Squeeze icing through hole in plastic bag to decorate cookies. If desired, colored sugar may be sprinkled onto freshly iced cookies.

Makes 6 dozen or 24 (3 cookie) servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Test Kitchen Tip: Mix 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar to use for dusting surface.

Calories: 184g Total Fat: 8g
Cholesterol: 29mg Protein: 2g
Carbohydrates: 26g Sodium: 137mg


Preparation Time:
20 minutes

Cook Time:
8 to 10 minutes per batch

Refrigeration Time:
2 hours


Host a Holly Jolly Party

Host a Holly Jolly Party

Parmesan Pepper Spritz Crackers
Merry Mushroom Bites
Savory Southwest Donuts
All Aglow Melon-tinis
Cheery Cranberry Mojitos
Peppermint Blitz Hot Chocolate

When it comes to celebrations, there’s no season quite like the holiday season.

The celebration experts from Wilton share party tips and irresistible recipes to help create a fabulous cocktail buffet complete with all the trimmings.

“It looks like it would take lots of time and effort, but it really doesn’t,” says Nancy Siler, Vice President of Consumer Affairs at Wilton. “We’ve worked out all the details to make it easy, elegant and delicious.”

Siler suggests setting up a beverage station so guests can serve themselves, or recruit a friend to help prepare and serve your signature cocktails – sugar-rimmed Cheery Cranberry Mojitos and colorful All Aglow Melon-tinis that twinkle with sparkle gel. And for a warm beverage choice, offer rich, thick hot chocolate garnished with frosty snowmen, peppermint curls or chocolate candy-coated marshmallows.

“When it comes to the food, a mix of savory and sweet is a must,” Siler adds. “Tree-shaped Merry Mushroom Bites and tiny Savory Southwest Donuts piped with avocado to resemble a wreath will wow both the eye and the palate. For another unexpected twist on tradition, stack peppery spritz crackers in a clear glass canister.”

And for the sweets, beautifully decorated snowflake shaped holiday butter cookies are displayed on stacked pedestal plates alongside a bowl of truffles adorned with festive candy drizzles and luminescent pearl dust. Both treats make a fitting finale – and can be made in advance.

See step-by-step instructions for Mint Chocolate Chip Truffles, Chocolate Raspberry Chip Truffles and Snowflake Shortbread Cut-Out Cookies on

For more holiday recipe and decorating ideas, visit

Parmesan Pepper Spritz Crackers


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In small bowl, combine flour, black pepper, white pepper and salt. In large bowl, beat cheese, butter and garlic until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture to cheese mixture. Mix until dough forms a ball. Gradually add milk, mixing until fully incorporated. Shape into small logs and place in Cookie Master Ultra II. Using desired disk, press crackers onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on cooling grid. Remove from sheet and cool completely. Store in airtight container up to 1 week.

Makes about 7 dozen crackers

Merry Mushroom Bites


  • 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces portobello or baby portobello mushrooms, coarsely diced
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package (4 ounces) water or other favorite crackers
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • Chopped rosemary or parsley (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare Bite-Size Silicone Tree Mold with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In large skillet, cook onion and butter over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, rosemary and black pepper; cook until liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes; cool slightly. Transfer mixture to food processor. Add eggs, flour, and salt. Pulse until mixture is pureed with no large pieces of mushroom or onion. Fill cavities of silicone mold completely with mushroom mixture, patting flat.
  3. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until top of the mushroom mixture is firm. Cool in pan 15 minutes; carefully remove and place on cracker. Top with sour cream, sliced red pepper and, if desired, rosemary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 24 bites

Savory Southwest Donuts


  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Additional chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray Mini Donut Pan with vegetable pan spray. Lightly sprinkle wells with some of the paprika.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cumin, chili powder and salt. In second bowl, whisk together milk, egg, oil, garlic and cilantro. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until flour is moistened. Fill each donut cavity about 1/2 full.
  3. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan 4 to 5 minutes before removing. Wash pan, dry thoroughly and prepare with pan spray and paprika. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. For topping, mash avocado with lime juice and salt; stir until smooth using a whisk or in a food processor. Pipe avocado mixture over top of cooled donuts. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Makes about 36 mini donuts

All Aglow Melon-tinis


  • Wilton Red Sparkle Gel
  • 2 ounces green melon liqueur
  • 1 ounce lemon flavored vodka
  • 1 ounce bottled sour mix
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • Maraschino cherries (optional)


  1. Squeeze Wilton Red Sparkle Gel around the inside of a martini glass.
  2. In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine melon liqueur, vodka, sour mix and club soda; shake well. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with maraschino cherries.

Makes 1 cocktail

Cheery Cranberry Mojitos


  • 6 fresh torn mint leaves, plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 lime, cut into four wedges
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons Wilton Red Colored Sugars, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 ounces rum
  • 3 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces club soda


  1. In tall glass, thoroughly muddle mint leaves, lime wedges, cranberries, and red sugar. Add rum, cranberry juice and club soda and stir. Add ice and additional club soda to fill glass.

Makes 1 cocktail

Peppermint Blitz Hot Chocolate


  • 1 quart (4 cups) milk
  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces) Wilton Dark Cocoa Candy Melts, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 ounces chocolate liqueur (optional)
  • 1 ounce peppermint liqueur (optional)


  1. In a large pot over medium-low flame, heat milk and Candy Melts, whisking frequently, until boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in extracts and liqueurs, if using.
  2. Garnish with peppermint sticks or curls or snowman decorations and serve immediately.

Makes about 4 servings

Wilton Enterprises

The Sweet Secret to New Holiday Favorites

The Sweet Secret to New Holiday Favorites

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Pie
Banana-Mango Bread Pudding with Coconut Caramel Sauce
Ice Cream Cone Sundae Fudge
Cinnamon Spiced Café Latte

The holiday season is a perfect time to share delicious and decadent family recipes with friends and relatives. This year, introduce them to new sweet homemade treats that are sure to quickly become holiday favorites.

Share Your Sweet Secret

All home bakers need is a can of Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk and their imagination to enter the brand’s Sweet Secret Recipe and Essay Contest. From October 5 through December 7, 2011, home cooks can enter an original dessert recipe and essay (100 words or less) describing how Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk is their “sweet secret” for the chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. Visit and for Official Rules and entry form.

Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk is the go-to sweet secret ingredient for preparing countless holiday recipes. It is a special blend of milk and sugar that can be used to create a foolproof “base” for a variety of desserts. When combined with acidic fruit juice, such as lemon juice, the sweetened condensed milk thickens – without heating – to form velvety pie fillings, puddings and other desserts. It also caramelizes evenly and easily – just empty in saucepan, heat and stir per directions on can. Visit (and in Spanish at for more dessert recipes and helpful baking tips.

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Pie


  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell, thawed according to package directions
  • Water
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips or miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Whipped topping


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Brush pie shell very lightly with water; generously sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  2. Stir ricotta cheese, sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar and vanilla in medium bowl until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into pie crust.
  3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Filling will appear slightly soft. Cool completely on wire rack. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired.

Yield 8 servings

Preparation Time:
25 minutes

Cook Time:
45 minutes

Banana-Mango Bread Pudding with Coconut Caramel Sauce


Bread Pudding
  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 8 cups lightly packed 3/4-inch challah bread cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups diced fresh mango (2 to 3 mangos)
  • 2 medium bananas, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 9.6-ounce can mango nectar (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Spiced Sour Cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Coconut Caramel Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted


  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Coat 13 x 9-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. To make Bread Pudding: Combine bread cubes, mango and bananas in large bowl. Whisk together eggs, sweetened condensed milk, mango nectar, milk, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in medium bowl. Pour over bread mixture, stirring until thoroughly moistened. Let stand 30 minutes. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until set in center. Cool slightly in pan on wire rack.
  3. To make Spiced Sour Cream: Stir sour cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger until blended.
  4. To make Coconut Caramel Sauce: Cook butter and sugar in small saucepan over medium-low heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk in coconut milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Cover and keep warm.
  5. To Toast Coconut: Spread coconut on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high 2 to 4 minutes or until lightly toasted, tossing the coconut with a fork after each minute. To avoid overbrowning, remove from plate immediately.
  6. To serve: Spoon Bread Pudding into shallow serving bowls. Drizzle with Coconut Caramel Sauce. Top with a dollop of Spiced Sour Cream. Sprinkle with coconut. Serve immediately.

Yield 10 servings

Preparation Time:
30 minutes

Cook Time:
60 minutes

Ice Cream Cone Sundae Fudge


  • Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped sugar ice cream cones
  • 3/4 cup white baking chips
  • 1/2 cup well-drained chopped maraschino cherries


  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Coat foil with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine semi-sweet chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in peanuts, chopped sugar cones, white chocolate chips and cherries until thoroughly blended. Spread in prepared pan. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm.
  4. Remove fudge from pan by lifting edges of foil. Peel off foil. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Yield 64 pieces

Preparation Time:
25 minutes

Cook Time:
3 hours 30 minutes

Cinnamon Spiced Café Latte


  • 3/4 cup ground Folgers® Classic Roast® Coffee
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Whipped cream, as desired
  • Additional ground cinnamon


  1. Stir together ground coffee and cinnamon. Brew coffee in coffee maker using 3 cups cold water.
  2. Pour sweetened condensed milk into large coffee pot or 1 1/2-quart pitcher. Add hot brewed coffee, stirring until thoroughly blended.
  3. Pour coffee mixture into café mugs. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yield 4 servings

Preparation Time:
10 minutes

Cook Time:
5 minutes

The J.M. Smucker Company

Taking the Stress Out of Holiday Cooking

Taking the Stress Out of Holiday Cooking

Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Bay Leaf Ice Cream

A new national consumer survey by Ipsos reveals that the number one holiday cooking headache is synchronizing the meal so that all dishes are ready at the same time.

Brothers Michael and Bryan Voltaggio, of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” understand the delicate balance of preparing a holiday meal. “Holiday cooking is all about getting great food on the dinner table that can be savored and enjoyed. We prefer to keep the process as easy as possible,” says Michael.

The brothers offer a recipe for Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Bay Leaf Ice Cream, as well as these tips to help you get the timing of your holiday meal right:

Prepare in advance. Think about the cook time of each recipe; if dinner is at 4 p.m., you want your turkey out of the oven by 2 p.m., which means the turkey needs to be in a preheated oven by 8 a.m.

Make the most of your kitchen. Because convenience and flexibility are important in the kitchen, consider the Samsung Flex Duo Oven.  It is the world’s first freestanding electric range that can be divided into two cavities and then back into one larger oven. This gives cooks the option of preparing either two dishes at two different temperatures with no mixing of aromas or tastes, or one larger dish.

For tips, advice and recipes from the Voltaggio Brothers, as well as a chance to win a new oven, go to

Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Bay Leaf Ice Cream


Coffee Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon
Crumb topping
  • 1/8 pound butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Bay Leaf Ice Cream
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 fresh bay leaves, julienned
  • 1 allspice berry, cracked
  • 2 teaspoons ice cream stabilizer


  1. Coffee Cake – Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add buttermilk and eggs to creamed butter and sugar. Slowly add dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time. Fold in crème fraîche and reserve.
  3. Remove 1-3/4 cups batter; stir in 4 tablespoons of cinnamon until smooth. Gently fold cinnamon batter into remaining batter to create swirl effect.
  4. Place 1-1/2 cups batter into four 5 x 2-1/2-inch greased cake pans; place 1/4 cup of crumb topping (directions follow) on each cake, gently pressing into batter. Place in oven for 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Insert cake tester to make sure cake is cooked through. Let rest; cool for 1 hour.
  5. Crumb topping – Soften butter to room temperature. Combine all ingredients together in mixing bowl with paddle attachment until texture of sand. Distribute over cake batter as in main recipe above.
  6. Bay Leaf Ice Cream – Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Whisk together. Place in Cryovac bag; cook in 82°F water bath for 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove bag from water; shake rapidly for 30 seconds. Strain out bay leaves and allspice, cool properly over ice water bath to 40°F then transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to directions.
  7. You can alternatively cook the ice cream base over a double boiler until custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be sure to stir constantly.

Serves: 6


‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season

Easy Recipes for the Holidays

Pear, Roast Onion, Hazelnut and Cashel Blue Cheese Salad
Potato Chowder with Pancetta and Aged Cheddar
Slice and Bake Butter Cookies

If time and money are in short supply, use creativity to turn small splurges into celebrations. Here are holiday ideas and recipes that won’t break the bank nor leave you exhausted afterwards.

Each recipe features an affordable import – butter and cheeses from Ireland, where cows are grass-fed and milk from small farms is used to make prized dairy products.

The Family Holiday Dinner

Keep the main course simple with a no-fuss roast. Make a splash with a festive salad featuring creamy and elegant Cashel Blue Irish farmhouse cheese. Serve on your best china.

A Tree Decorating Party

A holiday party doesn’t have to be fancy; any simple excuse to gather informally, like trimming the tree or decorating the house, will do. It’s a great way to include children in the festivities. Serve up mugs of chowder enriched with Irish Cheddar, plenty of bread and Irish butter, a salad and some Christmas cookies.

Gifts from the Kitchen

Give a gift of love and save money, too, with home-baked goods wrapped in pretty packaging. Use premium Irish butter to give everything you bake true buttery flavor and natural golden color. Kids would love to help with the decorating.

And for Every Holiday Get-Together, a Cheese Board

A universal favorite of guests and the easiest choice for the host is a cheese board. An assortment of Irish cheeses like Dubliner, Cashel Blue and Kerrygold Aged Cheddar with fresh fruit and chutney make a spectacular presentation.

For more holiday recipes, visit

Pear, Roast Onion, Hazelnut and Cashel Blue Cheese Salad


  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 pears (not too ripe)
  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Unsalted Irish Butter
  • 2 ounces hazelnuts, lightly toasted, halved
  • 5 ounces baby greens (watercress, baby spinach and frisée)
  • 10 ounces Cashel Blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons hazelnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar (or to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Halve onion and cut it into crescent slices. Put into a small ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast about 20 minutes, or until soft with slightly caramelized tips. Keep warm.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients together. Halve and core pears, then cut lengthwise into slices slightly thicker than 1/4 inches. Melt butter in a frying pan and quickly sauté on each side until golden. Don’t overcook – they should still hold their shape.
  3. Toss salad greens with nuts, using most of the dressing; divide among 6 plates. Add pear and onion slices to each plate and scatter with cheese. Drizzle each plate with the rest of the dressing.

Serves 6

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
As featured on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour.

Potato Chowder with Pancetta and Aged Cheddar


  • 6 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Kerrygold Aged Cheddar


  1. In large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook pancetta, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove pancetta and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1/2 teaspoon fat from pan.
  3. Add onion and sauté over high heat until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add potatoes, celery and broth.
  4. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
  5. Add buttermilk and pancetta and stir until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings; multiply recipe for a crowd

Slice and Bake Butter Cookies


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (8 ounces or 1 cup) Kerrygold Salted Irish Butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar or coarse sugar crystals for rolling the cookie log


  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl and set aside. In large bowl beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour mixture, mixing on low just until flour is incorporated and soft, smooth dough forms.
  2. Divide dough into 2 pieces; form each into a log about 7 1/2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 1 hour until cold and firm, or overnight. Or freeze, wrapped securely, for up to 1 month. (Defrost in the refrigerator before slicing and baking.)
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In small bowl, beat egg white with fork until foamy, about 30 seconds. Brush each log with egg white. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup sugar on strip of wax paper then roll each log back and forth in sugar to coat lightly. Use sharp knife to cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
  4. Bake one sheet at a time on middle rack of the oven until cookie edges and bottoms are light brown, about 18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Makes 60 cookies









This football season, you don’t need tickets to enjoy the hottest grid-iron games with friends, family and food fresh off the charcoal grill. Gather up the home team and fire up the grill for a tailgate party with all the sights, sounds and smells of the stadium in your own backyard with these smart game-day strategies from champion pit master Chris Lilly and football analyst Mike Golic.

“Tailgating prior to kickoff is a football tradition in my family,” said Golic, “I’m about as big of a grilling enthusiast as I am a sports fan, so any game day is a great day to be around the grill in my backyard.”

The award-winning pit master recommends using a charcoal grill to bring out the best flavor of tailgate fare and shares a few quick tips to make your menu a success.

“Super Bowl weekend may not  be right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put up your grill,” said Lilly. “In fact, nothing says game day like friends and family enjoying the signature smoky aroma and flavors of food prepared on the charcoal grill.”


  • Score an Early First Down: Chips and dip make great appetizers for any party. Try paring tortilla chips with a coal-fired pico de gallo for an instant fan favorite. Give tomatoes, peppers and onions a quick turn on the grill before combining with cilantro, garlic, salt, sugar and limejuice to taste.


  • Home Field Advantage: Combine two game-day traditions at your tailgate party – grilling and pizza. Grilled pizza is a creative alternative to delivery when hosting guests for the big game. Plus, you can fire up another pizza on the grill immediately instead of having to wait for the delivery guy.


  • Instant Replay: One of the perks to hosting your own tailgate party is enjoying the leftovers. From chicken tacos to Philly cheese steak sandwiches, there are limitless options for what you can fix with the meat your guests don’t finish. Just make sure it gets cooked properly on game day – don’t forget to let it sit or “rest” undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes before serving to allow the temperature to equalize and reabsorb the internal juices.


For more ways to tailgate at home, including additional tips and game day recipes, connect with us at


Grilled Steak Pizza

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 9-12 minutes


1/4       pounds sirloin steak

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1          13.8 ounce tube pizza dough

4          scallions, finely chopped

1/2       cup queso fresca cheese

1/4       cup salsa verde

3          tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro


Preheat grill using Kingsford charcoal.


Season steak with salt and pepper and grill for 4 to 5 minutes for rare. Remove steak from grill and let rest for five minutes. Thinly slice steak.


Roll dough out on a well-floured board or pizza peel. Slide dough from peel on to grill and grill for 3 to 5 minutes or until toasted and crispy on the underside.


Flip the pizza dough over and top evenly with sliced steak, green onions, and queso fresca. Place cover over grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese has melted and is golden.


Remove pizza from grill and serve drizzled with salsa verde and cilantro.

Recipe created by football analyst, Mike Golic, on behalf of Kingsford charcoal




The Herban Legend | Mobile Cafe | Chef Brian Seeley

The Herban Legend had is grand-opening today. I tried the French Dip- Roasted prime rib, grilled onions and mozzarella cheese on a toasted sub roll with au jus for dipping. $6

The Prime Rib is sliced and extremely tender and juicy, cooked perfectly.  The sandwich was abundant with onions.  A nice amount of warm melted mozzarella cheese fused the sandwich together to make for a spectacular meal.  The toasted sub made for the perfect compliment accessory since it was fresh.  All in all, the sandwich shined as a winner.

For More information on The Herban Legend visit or find him on twitter at brian seeley @herban_legend



Charlotte Restaurants

Uptown Lunch is featuring A New Way on How to Advertise Your Specials or Video Tours. Why not both for Read more

Charlotte Restaurant, Video Guide, Video Blog

Whether you’re here on vacation or business, you’ll want to eat in as many Charlotte restaurants as your time and wallet permits. You can choose among a huge variety of restaurants . . . splurge and cheap . . . . different kinds of cuisines. Charlotte’s restaurant scene is culinary-rich and diverse, from fried chicken to fried lobster tails, and shrimp and grits to Eastern Carolina-style barbecue.

So with such a wide range of restaurant options, how do you choose? Here’s my tried-and-true recommendation: think about why you’re going out, what you want to eat, and where you’ll be.

And how much do you want to spend?

Once you know the answers to those questions you can easily choose , or navigate the restaurant scene of Charlotte, NC like a pro. Uptown Lunch delivers the food and beverage industry from an H.D. perspective and it “well done”

Bon Appetit
George Cardona

Uptown Charlotte, NC Restaurant Street Tour

Welcome to Uptown Lunch! It’s a website created with you in mind. It encompasses Uptown Charlotte, and surrounding neighborhoods. Lunch, Read more