Whatever it is that you celebrate in December, few can deny that this is a time to celebrate. We've reached the end of a year, and it's time to cherish good times and the love of friends and family! To honor the diverse array of cultures represented in Arizona, we have brought together 30 traditional and modern takes on some favorite dishes that celebrate five different holidays. Cheers!
Christmas (Dec. 25), Nochebuena (Dec. 25) & Las Posadas (Dec. 16-24) Christmas and Nochebuena are a time for family, celebration, caroling, and generosity. Las Posadas (the procession) is a border community tradition that allows time for silence, prayer, and reflection followed by singing together. In Arizona, both celebrations share similar dishes in their feasts.
- Luxurious prime rib to impress your guests
- Red chile beef tamales to share with your family and friends
- Christmas roast pork to make with sour Seville oranges
- Fruit cake you will actually want to eat
- Healthier baked chile rellenos without the added guilt
- Roasted garlic mashed potatoes to write home about
- Hot apple cider for any festive occasion
- Easy slice and bake sugar cookies made with whole wheat
Hanukkah (Dec. 16-24) Otherwise known as The Festival of the Lights, Hanukkah is also a time for family, prayer, singing, and giving children gifts.
- Leek, kale, and potato latkes you won't soon forget
- Homemade cinnamon applesauce instead of buying store bought
- Herb-stuffed baked salmon for the center stage
- The best horseradish-crusted brisked with carrots
- Casino egg salad to top a bagel or rye bread
- Traditional sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts) made easy
Kwanzaa (Dec. 16-Jan. 1) Kwanzaa is a celebration of cultural heritage and traditional values for African Americans. It is sometimes celebrated in conjunction with Christmas.
- Hearty chicken and sausage gumbo to warm your soul
- Fragrant, hot, fiery, and smokey jerk chicken you can marinate overnight
- Simple yet satisfying black beans and rice
- Blackened catfish recipe you'll want to double or triple
- A new meat free take on collard greens
- Garlic twice-fried plantains are a real treat
- Baked white cheddar mac and cheese better than your childhood favorite
- Brown sugar spiced cake with caramelized apples
- Pumpkin-sweet potato pie sweetened with maple syrup
Yule (Dec. 21-23), Winter Solstice (Dec. 21), & St. Lucia's Day (Dec. 13) Yule and Winter Solstice are ancient celebrations that honor the shortest day of the year in mid-winter, which gave rise to the celebration of the Advent. St. Lucia's Day, generally celebrated in Sweden and other Scandanavian countries, recognizes St. Lucia who was persecuted by the Romans for her religious beliefs.
- Traditional wassail to honor the longest night of the year
- St. Lucia's saffron buns that are good for any day in December
- The real deal meat pie
- Swedish meatballs in gravy that are better than from a furniture store
- Winter solstice soup to light up your night
- Seasonal fruit and nuts are combined in this fresh apple cake
- Chocolate Buche de Noel (Yule Log) with meringue mushrooms for added effect