After an insane bender of cooking, shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, loading the dishwasher/unloading the dishwasher, cooking, and more cooking, I hope you are sitting on the couch with absolutely nothing to do for the next few days. Here’s what I’ve been cooking — all are very good recipes.

Fritto Misto with Fennel and Lemons

I cooked this as part of my daughter’s 12th Birthday Italian Feast. We also had antipasto, meatballs and angel hair, tomato basil ravioli, and a big salad. She has a Christmas Birthday, so the dinner is her choice and it rarely includes a turkey — a tradition I’ve come to love. We fried calamari and shrimp and this batter is super light and crispy. I think we are going to do it again over the holiday break for a family dinner at the bar — which is much easier than frying for a sit down dinner.

Salsa di Parmigiano

This was an appetizer for the same Italian feast. What could be better than chopped parmigiano and asiago, olive oil, scallions, and spices served on grilled bread? Delicious and simple appetizer.

Momufuku Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

This was the girl’s choice for her birthday cake. We did a standard yellow cake (box mix even — judge me all you want, I had a few other things to get done on Christmas) and stirred in mini chocolate chips and substituted raspberry jam for the passion fruit puree (her choice). I also did three layers (cut in half) from two 8 inch cake pans because I didn’t have smaller ones. I also doubled the frosting, but I could have even tripled it — especially if I used all four layers of cake. You will need baker’s acetate which I found on Amazon. And because I had to buy a 500 foot roll, I will be making cakes in this style for the rest of my life. But this cake is really good — and I’m not even a cake person.

Lobster Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

We hosted Christmas for my side of the family last weekend — for all 21 of us. Beef tenderloin is usually the menu item of choice for this crowd, because everyone likes it. This year I wanted to do something a little special with it and this lobster stuffed version with Bernaise certainly was that. I doubled the recipe and stuffed two whole tenderloins (did a third plain for the kids). I also used four standard lobster tails and added them to the stuffing chopped, rather than using whole tails. If this doesn’t say special dinner, I don’t know what does. I served it with scallion mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus.

Oyster Pan Roast with Tarragon Toasts

Now that we live on Long Island, whenever we have company I love to showcase our amazing seafood. My family is full of oyster lovers, so I did this simple appetizer before our Christmas dinner. I reduced the cream sauce a bit more so it wasn’t too liquidy and with perfectly sweet local oysters, this is a hit.

*Photo Credit to the Birthday Girl

2 thoughts on “The Best of the Holidays

  1. OMG!!! You have really outdone yourself. This all sounds completely incredible. I am going to be dreaming about those oysters!!!

  2. Made the lobster stuffed beef tenderloin for 10 guests New Years Eve. Rave, rave reviews! One guy said it was the best tenderloin he ever had in his life (with apologies to his wife). The bernaise held great in an insulated coffee mug.

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