Eat Boutique contributor Jessica Merrill is like a member of the family, literally. She just happened to marry my cousin and it was pretty much true love. With me, of course! While she was visiting for our annual Thanksgiving extravaganza last week — which included 12 people, three days, two shelves of homemade liquors and too many bottles of bubbly — we were getting excited for the holidays, thinking about all the recipes that we just had to cook. Oh, and soothing quite the hangover. Still, she managed to put together her top five list of recipes she’ll be wishing to make this month. Thanks, Jessica! – Maggie
Black Pepper Breadsticks — I usually buy packaged crackers to serve at my annual holiday party with a dip like horseradish cheddar or warm goat cheese and leek, but this year I plan to impress with these homemade breadsticks.
Israeli Couscous with Squash, Dried Cherries and Pistachios — This could be a great side for a holiday meal, but I think I’ll use this recipe for a comforting weeknight dinner by the Christmas tree.
Figgy Pudding Butter Cookies — I always make classic frosted Christmas cookies and molasses cookies (from a recipe Maggie passed my way) this time of year, but I like to experiment with at least one more. This is my pick. And yes, the brandy sugar glaze does have something to do with it.
Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin — Roasted cauliflower is just so darn good and so darn easy to make that it’s almost too good to be true. Add cumin, a dollop of yogurt and sprinkling of fresh mint, and how could this not be the perfect light lunch to offset all that seasonal cookie-eating and cocktail-drinking?
Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Caramels — My candy thermometer is waiting. I want to make these salted caramels — perhaps with some wintergreen patties or candied orange peel — to give away to family and friends.