Bring Easy yet Elevated Additions to Your Holiday Table with Familiar Flavors and a Gourmet Twist

Comfort zone.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink, Homes
  • Written, styled, produced & photographed by
    Kara Mickelson
  • Above
    Turkey & Sage Meatballs with Pine Nuts & Marsala Butter Sauce

Turkey & Sage Meatballs with Pine Nuts
& Marsala Butter Sauce
 (gluten-free)

Serves 4

(pictured above)


Turkey Meatballs

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup white or brown onion, diced small
  • 1 cup fennel bulb, diced small
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup white rice, cooked and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh sage leaves, minced (reserve a few whole leaves for garnish)
  • 1½ teaspoons thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ cup pine nuts, lightly pan-toasted (reserve extra for garnish)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Marsala Wine Butter Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large shallot, diced small
  • ¾ cup dry Marsala wine
  • 2¼ cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 tablespoon organic cornstarch
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, optional
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh sage or parsley, optional


In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and sauté onion and fennel until translucent. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix egg, rice, sour cream, spices, fresh herbs, garlic and pine nuts. Add ground turkey, onion/fennel mix and combine. Cook a small portion of meatball mixture to check seasoning. Season with salt to taste. Use a scoop or hand-roll 12 large or 24 medium meatballs.

Heat remaining butter and oil in large saucepan. Cook meatballs, turning frequently until brown and firm. Remove meatballs from pan. Reserve pan drippings.

In same pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until tender. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Mix ¼ cup of the broth with cornstarch until dissolved. Add to pan and continue to cook. Add salt, pepper and seasonings. Reduce until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter.

Return meatballs to pan to reheat and finish cooking sauce. While cooking, slowly add additional broth, while maintaining sauce consistency. If adding sour cream, remove meatballs first. Stir in sour cream and top with fresh herbs.

Serve meatballs with sauce, on top of mashed potatoes or rice. Add pine nuts and fresh sage leaves as garnish.

Fall-ious Pomegranate Sangria

Serves 4–6
  • 1 bottle Rioja, or medium-bodied Spanish wine
  • 12 ounces tangerine juice
  • 8 ounces pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 2 medium apples, cored and diced
  • 2 tangerines or mandarins, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • rosemary sprigs

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and chill for 6 hours or overnight. Before serving, check flavor. Add more apple juice or simple syrup for a sweeter drink or more tangerine juice for tartness. Add wine-soaked fruit and ice to each serving glass*; top with extra slices of citrus, pomegranate seeds and a sprig of rosemary.

*Note: By adding ice to the glass and not the pitcher, the sangria will remain full-flavored.

Sundae Spiced “Apple Pie” with Macadamia Nut “Crust” (gluten-free)

Serves 4
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted Macadamia nuts
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced (Fuji, Jazz or Honeycrisp)
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 whole star anise
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1 jar salted caramel sauce
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large saucepan. Add nuts and cook until light brown. Remove nuts from pan and cool.

Add apples to same pan and sauté until light golden brown. Add brandy to pan and reduce until almost dry. Add 1 tablespoon butter and spices to pan. Lower heat and cook until aromatic and apples are tender. Add 1 tablespoon brown sugar and cook until dissolved and apples have a nice caramel color. Remove from heat, slightly cool apple mixture and discard star anise.

Chop nuts or place in a large plastic bag and smash. Combine with remaining brown sugar.

Set out serving dishes. Place some nut mixture in bottom of each dish, reserving some for garnish. Add ice cream. Spoon caramel sauce over ice cream and top sundae with caramelized apples. Garnish with a sprinkle of nut mixture. Enjoy!

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