Choosing Your Guide to Holiday Baking

nigellaHonestly, you’re probably already deep into any holiday baking you might be tasked with– already making cupcakes for the kids’ holiday parties or a casserole for the office pot luck or cookies for a friend’s festive get-together.  So what I’m saying is that this post is probably a bit too late.  But I offer it anyway.

With all of that said, I humbly suggest you check out one of my favorite female celebrity chefs:  Nigella Lawson.  Not only is she gorgeous, but she has a simple elegance that I strive for.  Making food taste good is priority one.  And then making it look good is secondary.  However, I find that when food tastes good, often it looks good without much effort at all.

But during the holidays, it’s time for a little indulgence.  And as Nigella claims in the introduction of her book, Nigella Christmas, “…I can’t deny that I am, simply put, a heathen.”  In regard to the decadence of the holidays anyway.  When I wouldn’t bother with a garnish during the rest of the year, I will try to make things fun and cherry during this time of year.  No matter how I feel emotionally.

Every family probably has a set of recipes that MUST be made during the holidays.  Whether it be latkes or yule logs, there are just some foods you cannot skip when it comes to the holidays.  For us, we HAVE to make my husband’s grandmother’s special cookies.  I’d share the recipe with you, but I had to marry into the family in order to get it.  Seriously, it was a wedding present from my sister-in-law, and I’m sworn to secrecy.  Sorry.  (Though I have made my own improvements on it.  But keep that on the down low.  I’d be ostracized for messing with perfection.)

This year, I have the Nigella Christmas book.  I wish I could say that I could afford to buy her entire collection, but instead, I picked this one up at a yard sale this past summer.  And it’s finally time to break it out.  This week, I intend to try a couple of her recipes.

Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake

Mixed Berry Compote (to go with the Vanilla Cake)

Christmas Coleslaw (to cut through all the rich foods of the holidays)

Cheese Stars

I’ll make these recipes up and report back on the results.  As well as any changes I might make or was forced to make.  Though, since I’m already in love with Nigella, I doubt I’ll have anything negative to say.  Ever.

What are your favorite recipes for the holidays?  Are there any you HAVE to make or you’ll be strung up in holiday lights?  Share your recipes!

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