Happy Holidays!
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What to Cook For the Holidays
Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa all in the same week! Happy, happy, and happy holidays to you all. There are a lot of things to celebrate and a lot of people celebrating. 
Let’s get right to the food. 
We’ll start with some hors d'oeuvres ideas. I am one of those people who could live on appetizers and graze boards without missing the main course much at all. (Should I share this with you? Oh well, too late.)
For the seasonal shindigs I’m hosting or bringing something to, I’m going with Smoked Salmon Crostini with Herbed Mayonnaise, one of my favorite nibbly creations of late (I am way, way into this mayo). Or this mushroom version, for vegetarians. 
Also, brand-new to the site: Parmesan Feta Spinach Dip, a big batch of old-school dip that will never, ever go out of style. Herbed Cheesy Puff Pastry Bacon Straws, because there must be at least one puff pastry appetizer. Or twoat some point this Baked Brie En Croute with Raspberry Jam will have to happen.

And of course . . . Favorite Crispy Potato Pancakes (Latkes). Non negotiable.
Onto the mains. If you are a meat-lover and ready to splurge, you cannot go wrong with a Standing Rib Roast, or prime rib as it’s also known. Perhaps the pinnacle of beef indulgence for many. Or how about Filet Mignon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Lemon-Herb Mayo. Lamb is also a possibility: maybe Orange Thyme Rack of Lamb Chops or Slow-Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki.
Less expensive, but still very festive, meaty, and robust is Beef Brisket with Wild Mushrooms, Roast Beef with Mustard Garlic Crust and Horseradish Sauce, and Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops (a very economical cut of lamb) or Marinated Petit Filets, which are tender and lean at the same time, and usually much less pricey than a full trimmed tenderloin.
For red-meat alternatives: Orange Salmon with Leeks and Mushrooms (I’ve mentioned this dish beforeI just love it) or Roasted Chicken with Orange Honey Mustard Glaze or Slow-Cooked Pork Roast?

And for vegetarians! Pasta Shells with Pumpkin in a Creamy, Cheesy Sauce or Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tapenade (skip the anchovies, add a bit more capers).
For sides. let's start with some old and new favorites: Smashed Garlic Butter Sweet Potatoes with Feta, The Best Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Thyme and Yukon Gold Potato Gratin, and Mashed Yukon and Sweet Potatoes with Sauteed Leeks
In the vivid color category, we have Black Lentil and Butternut Squash with Provencal Vinaigrette and Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots with Olive Drizzle (My friend Kate had the smart idea of making a big batch of the olive drizzle to give away in little jars for holiday gifts, an idea I will steal from her). Oh, I could go on . . .
Let's begin with cookies: Chewy Molasses Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Gingersnaps, and The Best No-Bake Haystack Cookies to start. I still have to carve out my cookie-making dayI’m a last-minute baker.
If I have one signature pie, this is it: The Best Streusel Apple Pie Ever. If I have two, the second is Atlantic Beach PieLots of whipped cream for both.
Also: Pear Tart Tatin, Ebinger’s Blackout Cake, or Dutch Baby Pancake with Sautéed Apples (Breakfast? Dessert? You decide.)
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Ok, well, that’s that for now.  I guess there’s a reason the local supermarket employees start clapping when they see me walk in the door.

If you have meal-planning gripes, questions, or things you want to suggest, come hang out with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

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Peace and happiness to you and yours,

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