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With Christmas and New Year right around the corner, we find ourselves in that wonderful time of year known as the holidays—a time for the warm embrace of family and friends together in one place, accompanied by showstopping dishes you only get to see once or twice a year.
In the spirit of the season, we are teaming up once again with the good folks at Eat The Culture (ETC), a community-based platform for Black culinary creators, to bring you a soulful holiday menu for your next gathering.
A Toast to Togetherness: ETC’s Holiday Recipe Exchange is a collection of dishes and pairings made by creators on the platform to celebrate the joys of the holidays.
We are doing our part to highlight these talented individuals and their food blogs by sharing some of our favorite recipes from the recipe exchange, along with the stories behind them.
Through these fun and festive offerings, you can find creative ways to create your own soulful holiday menu while exploring the soul-soothing power of food and fellowship.
- Eat the Culture’s Virtual Potluck Connects Foodies Deeper into the Diaspora
- Eat the Culture’s Juneteenth Cookout Menu Celebrates Freedom and Family
A Fresh Seasonal Slaw
Start your holiday dinner off right with a side or accompaniment that is sure to make your dinner table look festive with its vibrant ingredients. Artney’s Apple Strawberry Cabbage Slaw with Candied Pecans from Artney of My Pretty Brown Eats is as delicious as it is beautiful.
The seasonal slaw is composed of shredded cabbage, green apples, carrots and strawberries, tossed with a dressing made from honey, champagne vinegar, and mayonnaise, and finished with candied pecans and orange zest.
The food creator talks about the process of crafting her colorful contribution, “This recipe was such a fun recipe to create. I made it over the summer and fell in love with it, but I thought it was such a beautiful slaw to have for the holidays.”
Drawing inspiration from her Auntie Anne, another talented cook in her family who makes a similar salad with cranberries and Brussels sprouts, Artney put her spin on the lively slaw to honor her and the rest of their family.
“Everyone is a great cook in our family,” she begins, “And so, I just think that it just brings us together, and it allows us to create memories.”
This slaw pairs beautifully with a recipe for Caribbean Johnny Cakes by Marta of Sense & Edibility.
A Soup to Savor
The next dish by Dr. Geo and his dish Geo’s Creamy Shrimp and Tomato Bisque with Corn from his blog, Geo’s Table works perfectly. The delicate shrimp is simmered in a rich seafood tomato broth that is perfectly balanced against the sweetness of the corn. Spiced with a dash of garam masala for an extra kick, Dr. Geo pays homage to the flavors he grew up eating with an international twist.
Growing up near the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland, dishes like this one could easily be found on his family’s dinner table during the cold winter months. “Seafood is a very big part of my upbringing, and so it was very common at holidays to have some type of seafood-based soup,” he shares.
The Pennsylvania native has crafted the perfect holiday bisque to bring everyone curiously around the table and spark conversation, “I think that’s really the essence of the holidays for me; how can we reconnect as we’re winding down the year.”
This dish pairs wonderfully with the Southern Hot Water Cornbread from Marvin, founder of the blog Food Fidelity.
Bite-Sized Sweet Potato Pies
Hopefully, you saved room for dessert because Shani’s Roasted Sweet Potato Turnovers from Coined Cuisine will surely be a hit at your next holiday get-together. Roasted sweet potato filling is spiced with brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon and then baked golden brown into crispy puff pastry hand pies and drizzled with a sweet maple glaze.
Shani talks about the significance of her dish, “Sweet potatoes have always been a staple in my household, our culture and holiday dishes, and I wanted to take the ingredient and turn it into a portable, festive appetizer that everyone would enjoy.”
These sweet potato turnovers are packed with flavor and are the perfect addition to your soulful holiday menu. “A soulful holiday should nourish your being and leave you restored,” she declares, and that is exactly how her turnovers will leave you feeling.
You can pair this dish with a refreshing Peppermint Espresso Martini from food creator Chenée of Chenée Today.
Spiced or Spiked (Your Preference)
Finish the night warming up by the fire with a steaming cup of Cozy Gingerbread Hot Cocoa from Jazzmine of Dash of Jazz. This tasty hot chocolate recipe is spiced with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla and spiked with a bourbon whiskey of your choosing.
Jazzmine recommends using Black-owned whiskey brands like Uncle Nearest or Brough Brothers in your rendition, designing the recipe with them in mind.
Being brought up in a family of entrepreneurs in Third Ward, a prominent Black community in Houston, Texas, her family always made it a point to patronize Black businesses, “That was just a way of life, being able to support and be in community with Black business owners,” she reflects.
Now that she is older, she continues to do the same whenever she can. Taking a page out of her book, the holidays are a great time to practice a little intentional consumerism, and what sweeter way to do it than spiking your hot cocoa?
This delicious drink pairs well with the Cast Iron Peach Cobbler from Kanyi and Essy, creators of Comfort Food and Drinks.
Seize the Soulful Holiday Menu Season
These talented culinary creators are as inspiring as their dishes are enticing, and the significance of each recipe makes this soulful holiday menu even more impactful.
Hungry for more? View the full ETC Holiday Recipe Exchange and see other amazing pairings. You can also read about the creators and discover more of their recipes on their blogs linked in each dish description throughout the article.
Happy Holidays, everyone!