Brined Roasted TurkeySourdough, Prune, Sausage Stuffing with GreensGreen Bean Casserole with Crispy OnionsTurkey StockMaple Apple Cranberry Double-Stuffed PieCornbread Stuffing with Bacon, Leeks and PecansPears Poached in Red Wine with Vanilla Marscapone CreamChocolate Caramel TartSpiced Cranberry Sauce with Pinot NoirMeet Rachel Willen
"To brine or not to brine? There is no Shakespearean wavering in my kitchen about this question. I no longer debate whether it’s nobler to suffer the dry and rubbery turkey that results from skipping this step. I act decisively...and drown the bird without remorse...I’ve had it brined. I’ve had it not brined. And a brined turkey is just juicier, moister and more tender."
Recipe: Brined Roasted Turkey
"I like that this stuffing, though not gluten-free, is lighter on the breading, and stuffed with vegetables, including the earthy kale, bringing some greens to an otherwise starch heavy table. You can make this a vegetarian stuffing by using veggie sausage, or just lighter by using turkey sausage instead of the pork."
Recipe: Sourdough, Prune and Sausage Stuffing with Greens
"If you love mushrooms like I do...make the mushroom sauce part of this recipe alone, it is fantastic! I wanted to drink it! Think about pouring it over egg noodles to accompany a beef or pork roast, or pasta with shaved parmesan, or as a sauce for a seared filet mignon...I could go on…"
Recipe: Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions
"Think about it. Your stuffing, no matter what recipe you decide to make—your grandmother’s heirloom cornbread, your mother-in-law’s oyster dressing, or a new-fangled prune and pecan with sourdough you find on a blog at the last minute—is going to call for 1-2 quarts of stock. And then there is the gravy. You can’t make gravy with just water. Not good gravy anyhow."
Recipe: Turkey Stock
"I made this pie... Abundant. American. Cranberry goodness oozing out the steam vents. Isn’t it gorgeous? I mean, I’m so proud of it. I’m not trying to be cute here, it’s just that I don’t make pies that often, and there’s a good reason for this...But this time I took it on."
Recipe: Maple Apple Cranberry Double-Stuffed Pie
"Stuffing demonstrates the essence of the phrase “the whole is greater than the some of it’s parts.” The cornbread, is pretty great straight out of the pan, and all of it never makes it into the stuffing because I cannot resist having a steaming hot piece of it right out of the oven, slathered with butter."
Recipe: Cornbread Stuffing with Bacon, Leeks and Pecans
"I predict you will move this dessert into your personal dessert hall of fame, you will make it and serve it over and over because it is do-in-your-sleep simple, make-ahead friendly, palate-explodingly delicous with it’s red wine reduced to a syrup that is body-paint worthy, and it’s marcapone cream that puts regular old whipped cream in the forgettable category forever."
Recipe: Pears Poached in Red Wine with Vanilla Marscapone Cream
"This tart has "special occasion" written all over it and what is more special than the Holiday Season? Impress family and friends by making this rich, and decadent tart, with it's chocolate/shortbread crust, runny caramel filling and sumptuous ganache. I love balancing this with the Red Wine Poached Pears with Marscapone Cream as a second, lighter dessert option...What goes better than red wine and chocolate!"
Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Tart
"I warn you. Once you make this, once you serve this, you will not be allowed to go back to your old version. Everyone will demand cranberry sauce this way from now on, and with just a hint of the exotic and the decadent."
Recipe: Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir
Blogger, professional chef, mother, wife, kitchen extraordinaire and foodie-for-life Rachel Willen wears many hats in her life - and each is captured wonderfully in her comprehensive blog Food Fix
. We especially love her divine recipes, attention to detail and witty commentary. The following 10 recipes are some of her holiday favorites in her own words.