Recipe: Raw Pecan Pie by Vegan Chef & Author Mark Reinfeld

Categories: Holidays

Courtesy of Mark Reinfeld

Christmas is right around the corner, which means it's time to nail down that dinner menu if you don't want to be poring through Pinterest when you should be opening presents.

And in the name of feeding your guests something healthier than cream pies or ice cream sundaes, nutrient rich is the key phrase when it comes to dessert. Vegan chef and author Mark Reinfeld has a recipe for a killer raw pecan pie that's both healthy AND delicious. Check it out after the jump.

See also: TCBY Now Serving Almond Nog Fro-Yo for the Holiday Season

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Beer for Hanukkah: He'Brew ReJewvenator is a Mashup of Belgian Ale and Concord Grape

Laine Doss
Mixing grape and grain for Hanukkah!
Growing up in Brooklyn, my parents had a bar. Purchased through the Macy's catalog, it was a small octagon end table that opened up into a place to store bottles and glasses. Though they were quite proud of their swanky addition to the avocado green sofa they had purchased the year before (covered in the requisite plastic), their spirit collection left much to be desired.

I still remember the contents: a bottle of Wild Turkey (used mostly for toothaches); Cherry Heering; Creme de Menthe; Gordon's gin; some Dutch chocolate liquor in a fancy ceramic bottle; and a few bottles of Manischewitz Wine.

The Manischewitz was consumed mostly during holidays and family get-togethers, like Passover and Hanukkah. My family would drink the sweet elixir from small cordial glasses and I would get a glass of grape juice. Once, after much begging, I was given a sip of the kosher wine. It tasted exactly like what I was having -- cloyingly sweet and grapey, with a hint of tartness.

See also: Blue Collar's Latkes Named Among the Country's Ten Best for Chanukah

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Christmas Dinners in Miami

Categories: Holidays

Edge Steak & Bar via Facebook
Celebrate Christmas with good food and wine.
Christmas is almost upon us. It's usually one of the few days out of the year that even restaurants close to allow employees time with family and friends.

But, since we're in a major city, there are still a host of establishments that remain open to feed hungry tourists (and locals) who prefer to let someone else stuff the goose and make the figgy pudding. Here are some of Miami's best restaurants serving up delicious Chiristmas meals. Best to call ahead to confirm special hours and to make reservations.

See also: Shaquille O'Neal Bakes Holiday Cakes in an Easy Bake Oven (Video)

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Shaquille O'Neal Bakes Holiday Cakes in an Easy Bake Oven (Video)

Categories: Holidays

screenshot via YouTube
Shaq-A-Claus bakes with his Easy Bake Oven.
Shaquille O'Neal (or Shaq, as the world knows him) is many things.

Shaq Fu is a basketball great, a movie star, even a part-time law enforcement officer. Now, the larger-than-life personality can add two more "occupations" to his extensive resume: Easy Bake Oven chef and Shaq-A-Claus.

See also: Officer Shaq: What's Inside the Personnel File of Miami's Tallest Cop?

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Blue Collar's Latkes Named Among the Country's Ten Best for Chanukah

Categories: Holidays

Courtesy Blue Collar
Latkes. Eight crazy nights of them.
Chanukah starts tonight, which means eight nights of presents, dreidel spinning, and chomping on some tasty latkes.

If you're looking for the best latkes in Miami (and your bubbe happens to be busy), look no further than Danny Serfer's Blue Collar restaurant, which features Chanukah latkes on its year-round menu.

See also: Eating a Blue Collar Corben With Billy Corben

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Black Friday Brunches and Cocktails in Miami

Categories: Holidays

Courtesy of Swine
Reward yourself with brunch.
Black Friday is traditionally the day when retailers pull out the stops in a no-shame effort to separate you from your hard-warned cash.

Sure, it's a great way to save on all the presents on your list, but we've got a much better way. Pour yourself a hot cup of coffee, take advantage of all the Black Friday deals online (where early all retailers also offer free shipping), or skip the mall and opt for smaller shopping areas like South Beach's Collins Avenue shopping district or Coral Gables' Miracle Mile.

If you do brave the shopping center tomorrow, you're going to need to reward yourself with a nice cocktail afterward. We've got the scoop on a special Black Friday cocktail, too.

Happy shopping and brunching.

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How Miami Chefs Celebrate Thanksgiving at Home

Categories: Holidays

Courtesy of Todd Erickson
Young chef Todd Erickson and his Grandma making cranberry sauce.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow and, for most of us, that conjures up a dinner table filled with turkey, mashed potatoes, string beans, and pumpkin pie.

But, with the United States (and Miami), being a gigantic melting pot of cultures, what really constitutes a Thanksgiving dinner? The New York Times recently posted a map that listed the most popular and unique holiday dish in every state. The findings were as diverse as our country. Florida's was flan de calabaza, while New York's side of choice was the stuffed artichoke. Be thankful you don't live in Utah where the macabre-sounding funeral potatoes are a hit or Nevada's frog eye salad, which combines pasta salad with coconut, pineapple, Mandarin oranges, and marshmallows. (Here's a recipe, if you're curious.)

We asked some of Miami's favorite chefs to weigh in on what's on their family tables. From a traditional meal to a vegan spread, here are our favorites.

See also: Chef Peter Vauthy's Ultimate Turkey Tips For Thanksgiving Success

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Chef Peter Vauthy's Ultimate Turkey Tips For Thanksgiving Success

Categories: Holidays

Laine Doss
Behold! The perfect turkey.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow and you're probably getting ready to pick up your turkey. Before you lay one finger on that bird, let Red the Steakhouse's Peter Vauthy show you how to get the most from your turkey.

What, you say? A steakhouse chef who talks turkey? Let's just put it this way. At a recent Friendsgiving dinner at the SoFi restaurant, chef Vauthy served a turkey that was so moist, so tender, it blew everyone at the dinner away.

So, in the interest of sharing for the holidays, chef Vauthy has shared his tips for roasting the absolute perfect turkey -- complete with his amazingly easy brine recipe.

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This Thanksgiving, Shed Your Shame of Canned Cranberry Sauce

Categories: Holidays, Musings

Photo by Rick Kimpel/WikimediaCommons
Back up off my cranberry sauce.
Sweet-sour cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple. But unlike most dishes that adorn holiday tables, it is highly unpredictable, second only to your aunt's turkey, which for decades has been a coin toss between bone dry and poultry sashimi.

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Thanksgiving to Go in Miami: Where to Get the Best Premade Turkey Dinners

Categories: Holidays

Photo by Ms Jones via Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0
Have someone else make dinner so you can enjoy the day.
It's Thanksgiving Day, and you're up at 4 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven and peel ten pounds of potatoes. Between baking, cooking, and cleaning, you're stressed out long before Uncle Al arrives to tell you the turkey is dry, again.

Who needs that crap? There's a much better way. Just pick up the phone and order a gourmet meal from one of these upscale markets or restaurants. Let someone else roast the bird and purée the potatoes so you can have time to do important things, like run in a turkey trot or have a few cocktails before guests arrive.

Here's a list of places serving premade holiday feasts. Many of them also offer à la carte choices, so if you make the world's best sweet potato casserole, you can pick up just a turkey or a pie.

See also: Vegan Thanksgiving in Miami: Whole Foods, Bunnie Cakes, and Potluck Eats

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