'Tis the season for home cooking.
We have a lot to do this holiday season. We have cookies to make, pies to bake, hams to roast, and gingerbread houses to build. But in the meantime, we also have to get meals on the table. In between the trays of treats and antipasto platters, here are the recipes we’ll be adding to our nice list this month.
Creamy Homemade Hot Cocoa
Of course you can pick up the packets and just add water, but we'll be making the homemade version to sip while we watch all the Christmas movies this season. Recipe creator Jeanie Bean says, "This old-fashioned hot chocolate is so comforting on a dreary day. It makes the kitchen smell wonderful and it's good for the soul."
Though there are countless goodies to bake and enjoy this season, nothing evokes the holidays quite like the flavor of eggnog. This recipe offers a twist on traditional cookies that will be welcome at any swap. So after you get your sugar cookies ready for Santa, treat yourself to these thumbprints. "I have been making these cookies since 2000, and every year, they are my biggest request. My family literally begs me to make them. The cookies are simple, but combined with the flavorful frosting filling, are absolutely spectacular!" says one Allrecipes member.
Easy Homemade Pasta
While we're on the topic of homemade everything, prep some pasta dough to use all month long. Dough balls can be made a day or two ahead, or frozen for up to a month. Kneading and rolling out fresh pasta makes for a fun project and a delicious meal. And it's easier than you might think. Boil the pasta to serve with a simple sauce or save it to make festive ravioli or trays of lasagna to share with friends and family. Fresh pasta just takes things up a notch.
French Onion Chicken Meatballs
We can't mention pasta without mentioning meatballs. But for a new take on tradition, try this version with ground chicken and onion soup mix. They sound too good to pass up. Recipe creator fabeveryday helped to convince us, "Richly seasoned meatballs baked with a rich French onion sauce and topped with melted Gruyere cheese make this a meal fit for hosting guests."
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
As the intro to this recipe by ReneePaj says, "This lemon chicken orzo soup is comfort in a bowl. It is so flavorful with tender pieces of chicken in a lemony broth with orzo pasta, carrots, onions, celery, and baby spinach. This has quickly become one of my family's favorite soup recipes." We couldn't think of a more perfect December dish. Serve it with French bread and a side salad and you're set.
Kale and Feta Salad
This is the ultimate salad for wintertime, with the added benefit of being customizable. Recipe reviewers have swapped cranberries for currents, pears for apples, walnuts or pumpkin seeds for pine nuts, and many more helpful suggestions. Perhaps the best suggestion is to massage the kale with salt for a few minutes to take the toughness out of this bitter green for delicious, tender results. You can serve this as a side, or make it an entrée by adding a protein like chicken, shrimp, chickpeas, or hard-boiled eggs.
Simply the Easiest Beef Brisket
You may have a family heirloom recipe for brisket already (or you may not follow a recipe at all) but this "easiest" version is hard to beat, whether it's for a holiday table or a festive dinner at home. Place the handful of ingredients in a baking dish and let it go in the oven for about 4 hours. It can also be made in a slow cooker according to the almost 350 five-star reviews, and is even better the next day.
The Best Lamb Chops
A different choice for your main course this month, these elegant lamb chops make any occasion feel special. Season them with garlic, fresh rosemary, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper for bold, fresh flavors—or customize to your liking. They cook in a 425-degree F oven and are ready in less than 30 minutes to serve with anything from Roasted Za'atar Potatoes to Green Beans Almondine.
Chef John's Cioppino
If you go for seven fishes on Christmas Eve, this hearty, comforting fish stew is the best place to start. Take it from Chef John, "When you feel like splurging a little, San Francisco's famous cioppino is a great choice. This cioppino recipe, a spicy fish and shellfish stew, is a big red bowl of yummy, and when paired with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread, it's downright otherworldly." Double up on the crab to make crab cakes while you're at it, too.
Chocolate Yule Log
December wouldn't be complete without this showstopper. "If you haven't tried this Yule log recipe because you thought it required advanced baking and pastry skill, then get ready to buche up this Noel, since the techniques required are actually quite simple," says Chef John. The best part of this recipe is that it tastes even better than it looks with its rich chocolate sponge cake and mocha buttercream filling. Thanks for another delicious, gourmet gift this month, Chef John!
Breakfast Sausage Casserole
We can't forget about breakfast, and this make-ahead casserole is the perfect choice for your holiday morning or breakfast-for-dinner type of day. With more than 1,500 five-star reviews, it's sure to be a hit no matter when you serve it. As one Allrecipes member says, "I am constantly being asked for this recipe every time I make it. So easy to put together. Best way to feed many for a stress-free morning meal." We're sold.
What better way to celebrate December than with a classic cocktail? After you've had your fill of spiked eggnog, toast the season with something a little lighter. Mimosas couldn't be easier to make and can be personalized with your favorite juice or garnish—though we always love the traditional combo of orange juice and Champagne. Cheers to what's next in 2024!
Read the original article on All Recipes.