For Christmas Eve dinner I made this fish stew for the second year in a row and like the first act the encore was a hit. I used this epicurious recipe which knows enough not to mess too much with a pot full of amazing ingredients, if you (or, you know, your dad...) feel like splurging on insane amounts of seafood this should impress the guests.
Chicken and Dumplings
I served this Smitten Kitchen recipe on Christmas evening (go check out her pictures, they make mine look like slop) and because I am incredibly lazy I didn't bother with the whole removing the chicken from the bone step which grossed out my sister-in-law to be but didn't seem to adversely effect the dish itself. This was the perfect comfort food and I found myself wishing for a blizzard while eating it. (Who am I kidding? I'm pretty much wishing for a blizzard every waking moment from November through March).
Pasta With Brussel Sprouts and Peas
This recipe is a Brianna original and my current favorite fast and easy winter dinner plan. If I may be so bold as to call myself a chef then I can also call this dish a lighter riff on the classic pasta carbonara. It starts with sauteing some cured pig (when I'm feeling fancy I use pancetta but at mom and dad's only bacon was available.) and garlic and mushrooms then add roasted brussel sprouts, peas and parmesan cheese. The recipe is a very forgiving refrigerator cleaner and I've replaced the peas with spinach and done without the mushrooms on many occasions never with any ill efects.
Last summer my parents shipped me 26 pounds of halibut from Alaska and since I am one person with one average sized freezer I was forced to share the bounty with friends. Because I am incredibly lucky my friends Alia and Owen shared the bounty back at me by inviting me over for dinner when they cooked their halibut ration. Owen got this recipe from his mother and I have dubbed it Fisherman's Pie since it's basically Shepard's Pie with fish instead of lamb and a cream sauce instead of a tomato base. I made this one evening when my parents had invited friends over and while there were many raised eyebrows upon hearing that I would be serving "Fish Pie" when we finally sat down to dinner there was a tableful of surprisingly happy tongues and many seconds served.
Eggnog Ice Cream
This was an ode to my love of the Starbucks Eggnog Latte which was as good an excuse as I needed to play with mom's ice cream maker. This is another epicurious recipe (I am their biggest fan and advertiser, they should pay me.) and while I was (obviously) tempted to up the rum portion I resisted out of fear that adding alcohol could adversely affect the freezing process which could lead to me being forced to eat a bowl of boozey liquid ice cream mix and while this sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the season I didn't think my parents would appreciate the image of me covered in custard and passed out on their kitchen floor. They have no idea how much I sacrifice for them. I am like the best daughter ever.