Molly Yeh’s Holiday Must-Haves

Molly Yeh of My Name is Yeh, Saveur's Food Blogger of the Year dishes on her favorite holiday traditions, essential family dishes and must-have spices to keep on hand this season.

 Molly Yeh and Molly Siegler Cooking

Throughout this fall and winter, Whole Foods Market and SAVEUR are partnering with Blog Awards opens in a new tab winners and finalists for In Good Company opens in a new tab, a series of culinary exploits from discovering new beers and sparkling wines to meeting local farmers and foragers.

This week, we’re going beyond the scenes at a video shot with Molly Siegler, Whole Foods Market’s food editor and Molly Yeh of My Name is Yeh opens in a new tab, Saveur's Food Blogger of the Year and Reader’s Choice for Best Baking and Desserts. Molly Yeh’s recipes draw inspiration from her Jewish and Chinese heritage, her suburban upbringing, her years spent in New York, and her new Midwestern farm life. 

I sat down with Molly Yeh to ask about her favorite holiday traditions, essential family dishes and must-have seasonal spices.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

MY: My holiday traditions are totally a blend of everything and I just grew up thinking that was normal. We’ll eat latkes on Christmas Eve when Hanukkah overlaps and we always have big, chewy bagels on Christmas morning.

For Christmas, Nick’s [Molly’s husband] extended family does a white elephant exchange every year, and I have been taking frosted layer cakes as gifts.

Wow! I bet those are a hot commodity.

MY: Yes, once Nick’s grandma got a cake with marzipan balls on it and she didn’t want anyone else to take it, so she ate one of the balls off the cake!

What about Hanukkah?

MY: We definitely make latkes and do sufganiyot. We often do a super basic recipe — just frying up canned biscuit dough and filling with jarred jam, but this year I want to go a savory route. I’m thinking about a rosemary donut with tomato jam.

I love that idea. What other things are part of your menu?

MY: We also do a dumplings-of-the-world party which is sort of a celebration for Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year’s all rolled into one. We do potstickers, samosas, empanadas, pierogis, and sometimes even try things that aren’t really dumplings but are stuffed in some way like arancini [stuffed rice balls].

Usually we just go crazy and make everything — all the fillings and the doughs — and put people to work in various stations around the house.

We’ve gone pretty traditional for potstickers. We have a chicken potsticker recipe we’ve made forever, but usually do soy chorizo empanadas to appeal to any vegetarians in the crowd. I guess we tend to go the classic route because we only make these once a year.

Do you have any can’t-live-without holiday spices?

MY: For sure! I have a little section of my spice shelf that starts to collect all my favorites around this time of year. Cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice…they just sort of migrate to the same area, which makes it easy.

 Molly Yeh and Molly Siegler Shooting a Video

Learn how to make chocolate gelt and homemade sprinkles opens in a new tab.  

Do you have any unique family holiday traditions? Let us know in the comments below. 

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