Family + Food = Fabulous Christmas Holidays.  And some hard workin’ pants zippers over here.  Oh boy.

Yep, I’m stuffed.  Between Christmas Eve dinner and last night’s Christmas dinner this girl is happy.  Too bad I didn’t snap a couple pictures with my phone to get the real shots; this picture from the nice people at will do just fine.

How does baked halibut with spinach and artichoke sauce sound?  With wild rice on the side? And a salad starter with fresh pear and dried cranberries?  This is one of my Mom’s signature holiday dinners and it’s to die for.  And even better given my Dad caught the halibut on a fishing trip in Alaska over the summer.  We polished off dinner with homemade biscotti and fudge for dessert.  YUM.

Why is it that after a huge, satisfying dinner I’m hungry the next day?  Since this “next day” was Christmas Day this was a good thing.  Off to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for their fabulous annual dinner tradition:  prime rib with Yorkshire pudding (which is kind of like popovers).  And Mom’s famous seafood lasagne with shrimp and artichokes.  We had spinach salad with sliced red onions and some heavenly vinaigrette for a starter (I NEED this recipe something fierce), a side dish with crisp, fresh green beans and then peppermint ice cream pie with drizzled chocolate sauce for dessert.  Homemade ice cream, everyone. Isn’t this sounding incredible?  My mouth is watering just remembering it all.

I feel very fortunate having incredible cooking talent in the immediate family here.  I like to think I’m a pretty good cook but given I don’t entertain on the scale a lot of my family does I guess some of my talent lies a little dormant.  Although I do have a butt-kicking corn chowder recipe with potatoes, fennel and bacon and a paella recipe I’m dang proud of. 

Tonight I’m thinking it’s gonna be linguine with shrimp and pesto…and maybe a nice glass of pinot grigio.  With just me at home in my PJ’s watching the Canucks game (ahhh, Boxing Day!) and later the latest Real Housewives of Atlanta episode.  Yep, I’m hooked.