The holiday season is here, and free time is quickly filled with family, friend, work, and community obligations. There are so many people and things you want to see and do this year, and it can be difficult to find time for it all. If coming up with recipes for the office potluck or having friends over for a festive feast has you stressed, here are some simple recipes from Chef Blakely Trettenero She graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, and is the host of the Everyday Gourmet with Blakely as well as the Hungry for Travels website.

While ribs are surely a favorite for many people, I don't see myself hosting and making the rib anytime too soon, so that recipe will have to wait for another year in my house. But I enjoy gingersnap cookies, and they might be the perfect thing to bring as a hostess gift to a holiday party. Be ready for whatever events you might be hosting or attending this winter, and impress everyone with your delicious dishes, by printing out these recipes and having them ready to go.

Braised Short Ribs
4 pounds bone in beef short ribs
Garlic powder
Olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
4 cups beef broth
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
10 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1. In a heavy bottomed pan (or Dutch oven) heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Completely pat dry all of the short ribs. Put them on a paper towel to soak up any moisture
3. Heavily season the short ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder
4. Working in batches, sear ribs until a beautiful brown on every side. Put the browned short ribs on a plate while you work on the next batch
5. Once all short ribs have been browned, add the onions, carrots and garlic to the pan, letting it cook for a few minutes
6. To the vegetables, add the tomato paste, stirring to coat everything, and let it cook another 5 minutes to cook out that raw tomato paste flavor.
7. Add the red wine and stir everything, scraping up all of the browned bits on the bottom for flavor.
8. Add back in the short ribs, add the beef broth, rosemary and thyme on the top, and the bay leaves
9. Put the lid on and put the pot into the oven. Let cook for 2 1/2 hours.

Homemade Gingersnap Cookies
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh-grated ginger
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Extra sugar for coating
In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugars until smooth. To that add the grated fresh ginger, egg, and molasses. Give it another mix to incorporate everything. To the wet ingredients add the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, allspice and cinnamon. Mix until well blended. The dough will be loose, but don’t worry. Put the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to let chill and set up for 1 to 2 hours. Once the dough has set up and chilled completely, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take the dough and form about 1-inch balls. Roll them in sugar, and put on a parchment-paper-lined sheet tray. Leave at least 1 inch between each ball. Bake for 10-15 minutes. For chewier gingersnaps, bake 10-13 minutes and for crisper gingersnaps, bake for 14-15 minutes. Let cool and set up on the counter for about 1-2 minutes before serving.

Gingersnap Cookies
Provided by Blakely Trettenero

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