From Our House to Yours

8 Easy and delicious recipes for the holidays

It doesn't matter whether you're having a low-key winter break or chaotically trying to organize a multi-family Zoom Christmas Eve dinner...we all have to eat. And nothing sparks memories, helps build new traditions, and brings people together (even when they are apart) like food.

The holidays are about sharing, and thankfulness, and taking some time to reflect. We are so happy to call homeowners across the country part of our Renewal by Andersen family...and we are grateful to be able to share some of our traditions with you. This month, we invite you into our homes with a selection of easy-to-make and equally delicious recipes submitted by Renewal employees! From our homes to yours...enjoy!

Potent Potables

Christmas Kentucky Buck

Submitted by:Troy R., Product Manager

• 2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup or ginger syrup (recipe below)
2 ounces cranberry juice
2 ounces club soda
fresh cranberries (for garnish)
For the cocktail:
1. Combine bourbon, juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 
2. Shake and strain into an old fashioned or high ball glass with ice. 
3. Top with soda, and garnish with fresh cranberries.
For the ginger simple syrup:
1. Place 1 + 1/3 cups water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Peel thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger and cut into smaller chunks. 
2. Add ginger to water and boil with lid on for 20 minutes. 
3. Rremove ginger and add 1 cup of white sugar, stirring until completely dissolved.
4. Refrigerate simple syrup and use as needed.


Spiced Hard Apple Cider

Submitted by Katie Z., Associate Social Media Manager

• 6 cups honeycrisp cider (or any apple cider of your choice)
1 lemon peel (pith removed)
10 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon light brown sugar (optional)
2 cups bourbon
2 honeycrisp apples (or sweet apples of your choice), sliced crosswise about ¼” thick (for garnish)
1. Place cider, lemon peel, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and sugar into a medium pot and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, cover, remove from heat, and steep for 1 hour. Place mixture over stove again and heat through until warmed.
3. Strain mixture and stir in bourbon.
4. To serve: Using a 1 ½ -2 inch circle cutter, cut star centers out from the thin slices of apple and remove any remaining seeds. Pour cider into individual mugs and top with apple star cut-outs and serve.


Starters and Shareables

Spanish Charcuterie and Cheese Platter

Submitted by: Adam M., Public Relations and Corp Comms Manager
Let your creativity (and taste buds) be your guide! But here are a few suggestions for your board:
2 or more chunks of Spanish cheeses—try manchego cabrales or mahon
a few slices of jamon serrano or jamon iberico
a few slices of chorizo
a few slices other cured meats/salami
marcona almonds, cashews, or other assorted nuts
a few slices pan con tomate (or other bread such as French loaf)
olives (manzanilla is a good choice)
a few slices membrillo quince jelly or paste
1. Thinly slice the cheese and meats, if not already sliced.
2. Arrange the slices around a plate, with the almonds, bread, olives and membrillo on the side.
3. Adjust quantities to the number of people/course you are serving.

Baked Brie with Fig Spread

Submitted by: Al B., Operations Manager

• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
• 1 round brie cheese (about 12 ounces)
• 8.5 ounces (more or less to taste) fig spread
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2-3 teaspoons cold water
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Lay the puff pastry onto the prepared baking sheet. Place brie wheel on center of the pastry.
3. Add fig spread evenly over the top of the cheese wheel. 
4. Fold the puff pastry over the top of the brie, sealing all openings. 
5. Mix egg and water in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash on puff pastry.
6. Bake in preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Allow brie to rest 15 minutes or so before cutting and serving. 

The Main Event (reheatable, sharable, scaleable)

Sauerkraut & Mushroom Pierogi

Submitted by: Megan R., Content Marketing Specialist

For the pierogi
• 6 cups flour
1 ½ cups warm milk or water
3 eggs
6 Tablespoons sour cream
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons butter
For the filling
• 1 ½ quart sauerkraut, chopped, rinsed, and drained
3 Tablespoons butter
1 medium to large sweet onion, finely chopped (or 1 ½ small onions)
12 ounces baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped (or substitute your favorite fungi)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
¼ to 1/2  teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
3 Tablespoons sour cream

Tip: This is just a suggestion--get creative! (But don’t rule out sauerkraut…even haters love sauerkraut pierogi) Other ideas include traditional cheese and potato; sausage; ham and cheese; or fruit fillings. The sky is the limit. Our family always does a sauerkraut, a cheese, a potato and cheese, and then one rotating flavor—this is my favorite. 

Make the filling
1. In a medium saucepan, add the sauerkraut and cover it with water. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain.
2. In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter until golden. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the sauerkraut, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the kraut turns golden, about 20 minutes. 3. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.
4. Add sour cream (you might need less sour cream or more sour cream depending on the size of yoru onions and mushrooms) and mix well. The consistency should be like a paste. You should be able to form it into a ball. Set aside.

Make the pierogi
1. Mix pierogi ingredients thoroughly, until you have a pliable dough. Let rest at least 10 minutes.
2. Divide dough into 3-4 sections so that you can roll each section into a rope.
3. Cut rope into small balls, about the size of a walnut or ping-pong ball. Flatten into discs of about 1/8” thick. (NOTE: You can also roll the dough into sheets and cut circles with a cookie cutter or highball glass)
4. Place a dollop of filling in the center; fold dough over into a half-moon shape. Press edges together to seal.
5. Bring large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pierogi in small batches (make sure they do not stick together).
6. Boil until pierogi float to top; remove with slotted spoon and set aside (careful not to overlap). Keep boiling in small batches until all are done.
7. Serve as is or lightly pan fry in butter until golden. Serve with sour cream (or horseradish or your favorite condiment!) You can also freeze boiled pierogi and cook later.



Christmas Cioppino (Seafood Stew)

Submitted by: Matt N., Engineer III

Note: There’s no set type of seafood—feel free to use whatever you like or what is available at your local market. Prefer shrimp to clams? Double up. Hate scallops? Leave them out. Experiment!
• 1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups fennel bulb (white part only), diced to appx. ½”
1 1/2 cup diced yellow onion (about 1 large), diced to appx. ½” 
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups seafood stock (not all stores carry seafood stock. You can substitute chicken stock or clam juice, or a combination of the two) 
1 1/2 cups dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris (not cooking wine)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound firm whitefish (e.g. cod, snapper, halibut), cubed into large chunks (about 2”)
1 to 1 ½ pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
1 pound sea scallops halved crosswise
1 dozen mussels scrubbed
1 dozen littleneck clams or other small clam
3 tablespoons parsley minced
1. Heat oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until tender.
2. Stir in the garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
3. Add the tomatoes, fish stock, wine, 1 Tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil. Then, lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.
4. Add the seafood in the following order: first the cod, then the shrimp, scallops, and finally the clams and mussels. Do not stir. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 additional minutes until the seafood is cooked and the shellfish open.
5. Stir gently; do not break up the fish. Cover let rest for 3 minutes for the flavors to blend. Discard any mussels or clams that have not opened.
6. Serve in pasta bowls or other shallow bowls, garnish with parsley and fennel fronds. Accompany with a good, crusty sourdough bread and white wine.

Sweet Treats

Monkey Bread

Submitted by: Emily P., Digital Specialist
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 (16 oz) cans (16.3 oz each) of refrigerated flaky layer biscuits.
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Generously grease 12-cup fluted tube (bundt) pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large 1-gallon plastic food storage bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
2. Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts among the biscuit pieces. Sprinkle any remaining sugar over biscuits.
3. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Loosen edges of pan with metal spatula. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; replacing any biscuit pieces and caramel from pan. Pull apart to serve. Serve warm.


Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Submitted by: Ryan F., Digital Marketing Manager
• 1 1/2 cup white sugar 
• 1 cup butter, softened 
• 8 oz. package cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
• 1 egg
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 3 ½ cup flour
1. Beat cream cheese, butter, egg, sugar, almond extract, baking powder, and vanilla together in large bowl; mix well. Gradually add flour, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate until chilled.
2. Heat oven to 375°F. 
3. Roll out dough in thirds to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured surface (refrigerate unused dough for later use). 
4. Cut into desired shapes cookie cutters.
5. Leave plain for frosting or top with sprinkles or colored sugar.
6. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet.
7. Bake 7 to 10 min. or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 2 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely before frosting.

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