• Kaya Long

Try Out a New Recipe This Holiday Season

Updated: Oct 17, 2021


If you love food, then you should keep reading! I have attempted and reviewed three recipes perfect for this holiday season.


3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie

This recipe is as simple and delicious as it sounds! Not only that, but it can be enjoyed by an array of people since it is flourless, and therefore, naturally gluten free.


PHOTO BY KAYA LONG


Review

The process of making the dough and preparing the cookie is very easy and straightforward. Collectively, combining all the ingredients, shaping the dough into balls, and flattening the cookies takes about 10 minutes. If you don’t have an appropriately sized cookie cutter for the decoration like the recipe suggests, you can use a fork to flatten the cookies and give them a nice design like I did. The recipe says that you can either grease your cookie sheet or put parchment paper down. Personally, I chose to use parchment paper because I wanted to avoid the cookies potentially getting stuck to the cookie sheet. Parchment paper is a more full proof way of preventing this from happening, but I am sure that either method works well.


PHOTOS BY KAYA LONG


Notes and Suggestions

  1. All ovens are different, but for me it took 11 minutes for the cookies to get to the point where the edges were “set” and the bottoms were “lightly browned.” However, make sure you check your cookies at the 9 minute mark. My cookies were crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle, but if you like really chewy cookies, 9 minutes will probably give you that result.

  2. I decreased the sugar by about 2 tablespoons, but it was still a bit on the sweet side, so keep that in mind, depending on how sweet you like your cookies. Also take into account the sweetness of the peanut butter you choose to use.

  3. The recipe says 4 ingredients, but two of those ingredients are sugar just in different quantities. Therefore, it really is just peanut butter, sugar, and an egg.


Summary

Overall, it was an extremely simple process and the cookies had a very desirable peanut butter flavor and a great texture. I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone who wants to make an easy and delicious cookie.


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Homemade Potato Gnocchi

I know that making gnocchi from scratch may seem like a daunting task, but let me assure you, it is much simpler than you may think. With some tips from research, reviews, and my own experience, you are bound to make some delicious gnocchi!


PHOTO BY KAYA LONG


Review

This was my first time making gnocchi from scratch, and overall it was a pleasant experience. Even though the ideal potato to use for gnocchi is a russet potato, I only had new potatoes, which worked fine. Surprisingly, the potato skins were easy to peel off and minimally tedious. If you use the proper kind of the potatoes you can just scope out the inside of the potato. The dough was a little difficult to roll out, but that is most likely because I had to use gluten free flour. Despite the variations in ingredients, they turned out really well. If you use the specifically called for ingredients (unlike me), it should be smooth sailing.



PHOTOS BY KAYA LONG


Notes and Suggestions

  1. After reading the ratings from this recipe, conferring with other gnocchi recipes, and doing some research, I decided to put the gnocchi into ice water after I took them out of the boiling water. I am very glad I did, because they maintained a good texture. The reviews said that the gnocchi was “soggy”, so when I looked into it, I found that you should “shock them in ice water to stop the cooking” according to The New York Times.

  2. This recipe doesn’t include a sauce, just the gnocchi, so it is up to you. I chose to make an easy bolognese sauce with ground turkey, which I definitely recommend. You could also use a regular marinara sauce, pesto, or simply butter and cheese. A combination of pesto and marinara sauce or a dollop of pesto on the marinara will make it festive with the pop of green and red. The possibilities are endless, and ultimately it is up to your personal preference.


Summary

All in all, this is a good recipe. It is straightforward, and fun to make. As long as you put the gnocchi in ice water as soon as they come out of the boiling water, you will end up with pillowy homemade gnocchi in a delicious sauce.


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Mini Vegetarian Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats

This appetizer is simple, healthy, vegetarian, and could be a good accompaniment to a variety of main dishes. There is a lot of creative leeway to tailor this recipe to each individual's personal preference.



PHOTO BY KAYA LONG


Review

These “zucchini boats” are very simple to make and are definitely a healthy option. In terms of flavor, I think that it missed the mark, but there are definitely other ways to infuse more flavor into the filling. I think that the overall concept is creative and could be applied to different ingredients that I personally, would prefer. For example, instead of zucchini, potatoes could be utilized, which I think would be more of a crowd favorite and have a better texture.


PHOTOS BY KAYA LONG


Notes and Suggestions

  1. To be fair, I didn’t have cheese with my zucchini boat, which definitely could have improved the flavor.

  2. To improve this recipe, I would suggest cooking the zucchini for a bit longer in the oven to make it easier to eat (about 2 minutes).

  3. Furthermore, a good recommendation would be to add some sort of textural element on top (ex. Toasted cashews, sunflower seeds, etc.)

  4. This recipe definitely could have used some more salt.


Summary

Truthfully, this recipe fell a little short of fulfilling my expectations. Both the prepping and cooking elements were easy, and the end product looked nice, but ultimately the flavor was lacking. If anyone were to try this recipe, I would suggest taking the notes above. Nevertheless, this is just my opinion, and I still think some people would definitely enjoy this dish as it is.


Try this Recipe!

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