A few of these recipes are misfits, but still very good.
There are some foods I make every year around Christmastime. They are tried and true classics that continue to make taste buds happy year after year. And each year, I also try some new recipes. Some stick and become a classic, others fade away either because they didn’t deliver on their promise or simply because of neglect: like a broken doll on the Island of Misfit Toys in the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” TV special.
Here are a list of winning recipes. Most I make every year. But there are a few neglected misfits too that are worthy of a new chance in a New Year. We’ll start with the desserts because this time of year is so sweet:
Chocolate Bread is more of a snack than a dessert but anytime you eat it, it's delicious.
1.) Pane alla Cioccolata (Chocolate Bread): This lightly sweetened bread is great with a cup of coffee or a glass of red wine. You can spread cream cheese over it, but Mascarpone cheese is better.
2.) Chocolate Bark (Christmas Gift): The only thing that would be easier than making this sweet treat would be going out and buying it.
3.) Cenci (Florentine Rags): Cenci are a deep-fried Florentine winter treat, made from Epiphany to Mardi Gras.
4.) Christmas Befana Cookies: My grandmother, Bruna, made these Befana cookies every Christmas.
5.) Chocolate Kahlua Rum Balls: Another quick and easy treat to make. Makes a good gift too.
Ribollita is a hearty soup for a cold December day.
6.) Ribollita Soup: One of the most loved recipes in the RootsLiving collection. Who knew, Tuscan Bean Soup, would be such a crowd pleaser?
7.) Asian Shrimp Salad: Trish found this recipe in an old cookbook a previous tenant left in her apartment about 30 years ago. It has become a traditional Christmas Day appetizer.
8.) Nan’s Mashed Potatoes (with Cream Cheese and Sour Cream): No Christmas Roast Beast would be complete without a side dish of this. It puts the “comfort” in comfort food.
Shrimp Saute can be served as an appetizer or as the main dish.
9.) Shrimp Saute (For the New Year): I made this for the first time last year, but it’s a keeper. From Joshua’s Restaurant in Wells, Maine.
10.) Best Lobster Stew Recipe, Ever!: The recipe is from Morrison’s of Portland, Maine. It’s even easier to make if you have your lobsters steamed when you buy them.
11.) Pizza: Cheese and Fig & Proscuitto (from Figs Restaurant): My grandmother made pizza every Christmas Eve. This recipe is a combination of her pizza, Julia Child’s pizza, and Todd English’s pizza.
12.) Breakfast for Dinner: Gingerbread Pancakes: In these last, short, dark days of December sometimes it’s nice to stay in your pajamas all day and have breakfast for dinner. Here’s a suggestion in keeping with the holiday spirit.