Mom's Kitchen Handbook

Weeknight Rescue//December 2021

I made my first batch of Christmas cookies this week, I’m seeing lots of folks lighting Hanukkah candles, and we are nearly a week into December. Here is a menu that’s suitable for the season, including my tried and true cranberry muffins, a stack of latkes with a twist, and a bunch of healthy recipes for dinners at home. Enjoy!


This is simple comfort cooking and doesn’t call for anything fancy. If you don’t have apples, use pears, leave them out, or just serve a bowl of applesauce on the side. I like these Roasted Cabbage Wedges on the side!

Sweet Potato Latkes

These latkes are delicious any time of year, but are especially timely at the tail end of Hanukkah. Made with squash and sweet potatoes, they’re a little different than the norm. I like to serve them with crème fraîche and a colorful salad, such as this Baby Kale one.

Crunchy Asian-Style Salad with Chicken (or Tofu) Skewers

I know cold weather cooking tends to lean on hearty soups and starchy sides, but I like to mix in dishes that are on the lighter side. This bright, flavorful salad does it for me every time. Top it with broiled or grilled skewers of either chicken or tofu. Leftovers make an excellent lunch.

Pasta with Creamy Beet Sauce, Walnuts, and Parmesan

This shockingly pink pasta is thanks to a combination of tender beets and ricotta blended into a creamy sauce. You honestly don’t have to be madly in love with beets to love this pasta. The method is simple and the results, delicious. Tip: get it on the table as soon and you toss the sauce with the pasta and dig in.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

I always look forward to pulling this recipe out each fall, it’s so good. If you want to take a few shortcuts, here are three that you might find handy: 1. swap a 24-ounce jar of store-bought pasta sauce for homemade 2. use pre-grated Mozzarella 3. cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave using this method.  

Cranberry Streusel Muffins

I’ve got a bag of cranberries in the freezer bound for my first batch of these muffins, which I make every December. Everyone in the house is crazy about them and I’ve found they freeze like a dream.


This cheese dip could make a veggie lover out of the veggie averse. It’s a terrific thing to share when watching the game or for a casual appetizer, and is excellent paired with roasted broccoli, cauliflower, ornBrussels sprouts. I’ve even spoon it over a baked potato in lieu of butter.      

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