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Holiday Recipes to Cheer For

"We are thrilled that you have attended one of our cooking classes, community dinners, or catered events in the past. As we approach the end of 2023, we would like to offer you a scrumptious feast to end the year on a high note. We appreciate your continued patronage and look forward to serving you in the upcoming year, 2024."


Coconut rice with Quinoa and Anise Seed: Typical of Cartagena, this delicious Afro-Colombian dish is simple, but it requires a little technique. We use Beluga lentils, which are special ones from Montana, but you can use any type of lentils except the yellow and orange ones.

8 servings.


2.5 cups basmati rice

½ cup red quinoa

2 cans of unsweetened coconut milk

5 cups of water

1/3 cup raisins

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon anise

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons toasted coconut

2 cups cooked lentils, following package directions.

pomegranate seeds

Chopped parsley or cilantro


1. Heat a 4 quart Dutch Oven or pot over medium-high heat.

2. When the pot is hot, start adding the coconut milk cap (the thick part of the milk; it almost looks like a fat cap) a little at a time until it starts to turn golden brown.

3. Add more coconut fat until you use the entire thick layer of coconut milk.

If you have some lighter milk left, pour it into a measuring cup and use it as part of the water.

4. To cook the rice and quinoa, use 6 cups of liquid or the remaining thinner coconut milk and water to measure 6 cups.

5. Add sugar and brown.

6. Add the rice and quinoa and coat to fry.

7. Add the water, anise, and salt. Stir only once to mix in the salt. DO NOT STIR MORE. Stirring the rice releases the starches and makes the rice sticky. We are not cooking risotto.

8. Lower the heat to medium and let the water evaporate. Top with raisins and cooked lentils. When all the water is gone, and there are small holes in the rice, meaning the moisture has sunk in, cover and lower the heat to medium-low.

9. Cook for 20-30 minutes.

10. To serve, put the rice on a large plate and shape it, leaving the outside to pour the lentils and the photograph.

11. Cover it with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley or cilantro.

12. Enjoy your best company during these holidays and throughout the year.


Stephanie Banyas

With a combination of humor, sass, and grit (not to mention a deeply unique obsession with food and cooking, and most especially for real buttercream), Stephanie Banyas has become one of the industry’s most versatile recipe developers, cookbook authors, and culinary consultants. When it comes to food, Stephanie is a food jack-of-all-trades, seamlessly shifting from healthy to decadent, easy to complex, quick to slow, and Thai to Mexican.


Stephanie started as a baker in NYC restaurants and then made a name for herself as Bobby Flay’s right-hand-woman for over two decades. This entailed appearing as Bobby’s sidekick on television, co-authoring 13 cookbooks, and collaborating on every recipe churned out of the Bobby Flay machine, whether for TV, books, or restaurants.


She lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her beloved cat, Fred, and works on various freelance culinary consulting jobs and recipe development jobs throughout the US and the Gallatin Valley.

Lentil Bolognese Over Pasta

Serves: 4 to 6

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups or 195 coarsely chopped Spanish onion

1/4 cup or 60 g coarsely chopped carrot

4 large cloves garlic, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces whole cremini or white button mushrooms

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 ½ cups cold water

1/2 cup uncooked red lentils

1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

8 springs fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil (optional but recommended)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Serve: over pasta, over a baked potato, as a chile topped with cheese, green onion, and sour cream.  Use for nachos, tacos, and pizza sauce.

1. Combine the onion, carro, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (or finely chopped by hand.)

2.Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high until it begins to shimmer. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and garlic mixture and sauté until translucent and soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes—season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

3. While the onion mixture is cooking, add the mushrooms to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped (or chopped by hand). Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown and their liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Next, stir in the tomato paste, ¼ teaspoon more salt, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

4. Stir in the water and lentils and bring to a boil.  Cook for 15 minutes, stirring a few times. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 to 45* minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the lentils are tender and breaking down. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed.  Stir in the lemon juice and basil just before serving.  

*Lentils can take 20 to 45 minutes to cook, depending on how dry they are when you buy them.  Cook until the lentils are tender, this can take up to 45 minutes and sometimes, longer.  Add a bit more water, ¼ cup at a time if needed. 

Potato Latkes- We love eating latkes during Hannukah. Papa Sol Krevat used to make them yearly for all of the Krevat family. Steve loves using apple sauce, while I opt for sour cream.

I found that a matzo meal works better for us as it adds an extra crispiness to the latkes. But feel free to use Panko or flour.


1 pound Yukon gold or russet potatoes, shredded

1 small onion, shredded

1 large egg at room temperature

2 Tablespoons matzo Meal

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Vegetable oil to fry the latkes, about 1 cup


  1. Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise, and shred them in a food processor. You may want to use a hand grater, but the processor makes things much quicker. I didn't peel the potatoes, but feel free to do so—place in a large bowl with cold salted water ( about 1/2 cup and 1 TBSP of salt to keep them from oxidizing).

  2. Peel the onions; we like using Vidalias or any other sweet onion, half lengthwise, and pass them through the food processor grater.

  3. Mix the onions and potatoes in the salted water.

  4. Squeeze excess moisture.

  5. Take a large cheesecloth and place over a colander.

  6. Add the squeezed potato-onion mixture and press the moisture out as much as possible. If you leave in too much water, it will cause the oil to splatter.

  7. Whisk egg, matzo meal, and salt in a small bowl.

  8. Remove the cheesecloth from the potato-onion mixture. Place mixture in a bowl and add egg mixture.

  9. In a Dutch oven, add the vegetable oil. So, NOT use olive oil.

  10. Place a spoonful of the latke mixture into the hot oil. With the back of a spoon, press to flatten.

  11. Continue shaping, but make sure you don't over-crowd the pot.

  12. Turn the latke when it is golden and fry on the other side.

  13. Place in a paper towel line, bake sheet, and continue frying.

  14. Once done, remove the paper towel and place it in a warm oven before serving.

  15. Serve with apple sauce and sour cream.

Let's end the celebration with a move or two by this talented dancer. The music you hear is by Puerto Rican-Nuyorikan

composer and piano maestro Richie Ray. Vocals by Bobbie Cruz.

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