img_20161224_081537999 This morning, I slept in, blissfully, until 8am. I usually get up around 6:15 in order to get Annie out of bed at 6:30. Little did I know that elves had sneaked into my kitchen and created a whole new holiday treat for me! Okay, it wasn’t elves, it was Nora with help from her great-aunt Lydia. I have to say, this is a pretty inventive, spur-of the moment breakfast treat, and it’s very easy for young kids to do themselves. Nora used whole wheat bread, but you could conceivably use any kind of bread. I found myself fantasizing about banana bread as I nibbled on my noshie treat.

Nora’s Nutella Noshies

Sliced bread
Holiday sprinkles

Use large holiday cookie cutters to cut shapes out of bread. Spread Nutella evenly over the shapes. Decorate with sprinkles. No baking required!

Don’t worry. I’ve got a more challenging savory dish for you. This is one of my winter favorites and is adapted from a recipe by David Bolduc appearing in the Gardeners’ Community Cookbook, which I highly recommend.

Roasted Root Vegetables

2 medium carrots
2 parsnips
2 beets
2 potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
1 medium celeriac
1 medium onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
chopped fresh or dried herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, or dill to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 deg. F. Dice all the vegetables except onion into roughly 1/2 inch rounds or cubes. Dice the onion into 1-inch chunks. Place all vegetables in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and toss thoroughly to coat. Spread the coated vegetables on a baking sheet large enough to hold them without touching each other (you may need two sheets). Roast for 35 minutes or until all the vegetables are just tender. Serve immediately.

If you are in a serious hurry, you can slice the vegetables thinly – using a mandolin will be quick and give better cooking consistency – then spread these thinly on baking sheets (you may need several) and roast for half the time. You can overlap the vegetables slightly, but try to avoid this as much as possible.

Note: you can omit the maple syrup, and the veggies will still be completely delicious. But I find that adding the maple syrup ensures that my kids devour them, too. For their sake, I go easy on the pepper and frequently omit the herbs altogether. Also, you don’t have to stick to the exact quantities of root vegetables listed. If you don’t have a celeriac, so what? Add a potato. I don’t like turnips, but you could use one if you like them. I suspect you could do this recipe with nothing but beets and carrots, and it would be delicious.

We are gearing up fast for Christmas Eve dinner. Tomorrow’s recipe will be helpful for using up leftovers. Meanwhile, here’s a picture of Nora enjoying her creation.