Spice Up Your Holiday Dishes

The holiday season is all about food, get-togethers and good times. If you are looking for a really easy way to impress your family and friends, you might want to use different spices in your holiday dishes.

Marlena Jayatilake, owner of the Love That Spice store, knows all about spicing up your meals, and she came into our ABC 7 Eyewitness News studio to share spicy recipes.

Recipes by Marlena Jayatilake, Love That Spice:

A. Pan SearedFilet Mignon with Herb Butter, Served with Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Put 1 stick unsalted butter and 1 tbsp of my Herb Butter Blend (see recipe below) in mixing bowl.
Stir with a wooden spoon until blended.
You can also opt to use a bunch of fresh chives, left whole and mixed into butter.

1. Herb Butter Blend

1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 dried chives
1/4 cup dried basil
1/8 cup dried dill weed
1 tbsp dried garlic powder
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

(Quick tip for a holiday party appetizer: add 2 tbsp of Herb blend, 10 oz cream cheese and 2 tbsp butter, refrigerate 3 hours, form into ball and roll in pecans and parsley. Serve on flax seed of whole wheat crackers.)

2. Pan Seared Filet Mignon

Heat a skillet to medium high heat, and drizzle pan with olive oil.
Season steak with my Smoked Rosemary Paprika Spice Blend.
Place filets into pan, and cook until medium rare - 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Remove the pan from the heat, and pour brandy into the skillet.
Carefully tilt skillet towards the flame to flamb.
When flame burns off, remove filets from pan and season with flaky sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Scoop out butter with a small scooper and place one scoop on top of steak.
Top with a sprinkle of dried chives.

3. Whipped Sweet Potatoes


2 potatoes cubed
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp candied pecans chopped almost to a dust

Boil sweet potatoes until softened about 10 to 15 minutes, drain.
Add brown sugar, butter, heavy whipping cream and blend until whipped, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Top with pecans.

B. Spiced Apple Cake with Honey Glaze

1. Spiced Apple Cake:


3 cups diced Granny Smith Apples (2 apples)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Sweet Spice Blend or the Apple Pie Blend
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 vegetable oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
In a large bowl mix together the apples, cake spice blend, vanilla and walnuts.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and the salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, oil and the eggs in a bowl.
Add in the dry ingredients and beat until completely combined and fold in the apple mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for at least 1 hours.
Once the cake has completely cooled, turn it onto a plate.

2. Honey Glaze:


1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons honey

Add of the ingredients to a bowl and stir until completely smooth.
Let sit until the cake has cooled and is on the plate.
Drizzle the honey glaze all over the cake and serve.

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