If it looks like I am totally fan-girling out over Cristina Ferrare…it’s because I am, I just adore her, and have since I was a kid (I know, I know, I hate when people say they grew up watching me) but after this last year, I adore this woman more than I could have imagined and here’s why:
During her own treatment for Multiple Myeloma (thankfully she’s in remission) she reached out to me to make sure I was dealing with my transition after leaving Fox. She had been through a similar experience elsewhere and wanted to share her wisdom, her strength and her heart with me. She then asked me what I wanted to do to feed my soul (see with Cristina it always comes back to food!) Cristina is definitely one of those people who supported me in this lifestyle website pursuit.
So enough about my love for Cristina…let’s get to her happy place, the kitchen!
Cristina has always loved cooking and she makes every kitchen she walks into such an exciting and fun space! She’s the author of multiple books, including Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love, and has taught me to approach food in a fun and healthy way.
For years Cristina would spend part of her Thanksgiving with us on FOX where she shared all her Thanksgiving tricks. So it seemed only fitting that I turn to her to help brainstorm some new recipes for my family’s Thanksgiving!
If I am being honest, I don’t get the whole Pumpkin Spice Latte craze (i know, what’s wrong with me? Trust me the list is long!) but for all you PSL lovers wait till you taste Cristina’s spin on the seasonal drink. Now I am a fan! And her version is so much healthier than any coffee shop version. Cristina’s is filled with all types of healthy ingredients: super strong coffee + ginger + coconut or hazelnut milk + pure pumpkin puree, topped with a coconut or rice whipped cream. Grab the recipe below!
PUMPKIN SPICE LATTEPrint Recipe
Serves 4 to 6 depending on size of mug
Make your favorite coffee strong first (not instant) set aside.
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoons ground nutmeg
1-1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 cups milked Hazelnuts, if you can’t find them use coconut milk
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 heaping tablespoons pure pumpkin puree, not spiced one for pies.
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup strong hot coffee
Coconut whip cream, or rice whip cream (Available in refrigerated section of your grocery store).
Make the spice blend. In a small bowl whisk together cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ginger. In a small sauce pan add hazelnut or coconut milk, agave syrup, pumpkin puree and heat until hot but not boiling. Whisk in the vanilla extract, spice blend and coffee.
Divide your coffee between two mugs. Top with coconut whip cream or rice whipped cream. Dairy free whipped cream available in the refrigerated sections at your supermarket. This drink can also be served over ice! Super delicious!
Cristina also whipped up a refreshing and healthy holiday salad topped with pomegranate seeds, feta and walnuts drizzled with a Creamy Shallot Vinaigrette – grab the recipe below!
Holiday Salad with Creamy Shallot VinaigrettePrint Recipe
Serves 8 to 10
3 large heads of Frisee lettuce, rinsed well and spun dry
½ cup Greek or French Feta cheese, crumbled small
6 radishes sliced super thin
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fresh Pomegranates
½ cup Shallot Vinaigrette
CREAMY SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1-tablespoon shallots, minced small
2 tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 small garlic clove smashed
Layer all of the ingredients starting with the Frisee on a flat platter and then layer in all of the rest of the ingredients. Use a tablespoon to drip the dressing over the salad.
CREAMY SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE
In a bowl add Dijon mustard using a whisk drizzle olive oil slowly to emulsify. Add shallots the rest of the ingredients and whisk together well to form and smooth and creamy dressing.
And check out her amazing trick to get those pesky pomegranate seeds out! Take the pomegranate in the palm of your hand and tap around it with the back of the knife. Then cut it in half and squeeze the pomegranate and the little seeds just fall out! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Be sure to save the pomegranate juice as it’s incredibly good for you!
This day actually turned out to be a family affair, my sweet mom was with us as was Cristina’s youngest daughter, Arianna Thomopolous from The Modern Day Girlfriend .
And what’s a holiday gathering without at least one silly family photo?
I’d love to know what’s on your Thanksgiving Menu? Wishing you a very happy and delicious Thanksgiving, from my family to yours!