Updated 2009-02-24 22:44:18 ID=208:1

© 2008 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Christmas Pesto, with Rosemary and Thyme, it's aroma smells like a freshly-cut Christmas tree. 2008-12-03 19:57:51:87
©2008 The Romantic Table

Christmas Pesto, with Rosemary and Thyme, it's aroma smells like a freshly-cut Christmas tree.

December's Recipes

With the weather getting colder, it's time to start showcasing some of our more hardy recipes.

December is here and with it comes colder weather and the need to keep warm. We now can start talking about some of our favorite recipes that are best appreciated in colder weather.

First off we have a wonderful appetizer that's very straight-forward to make and oh so delicious! It's simply sauted mushrooms on Basic Polenta crostini.

Next up will be an unusual winter salad made up of arugula, walnuts, Kalamata olives and an unusual walnut-olive dressing. The dressing itself is delicious and it also lends itself to be great as an appetizer with crackers or potato dip chips.

Our quick meal this month is a recipe I named Christmas Pesto. Made up of ingredients: Rosemary, Thyme, it's aroma smells like a freshly-cut Christmas tree. And whatever time of year you have it, it can bring back the magic and thoughts of Christmas. We serve it mixed with a thin spaghetti and it covers beautifully. Please note that this sauce is another double-duty recipe. The pesto makes a delicious dip for crackers or vegetables.

©2008 The Romantic Table, Braised Lamb Shanks Osso Bucco style, a hearty Winter meal. 2008-12-03 16:19:56:85
©2008 The Romantic Table

Braised Lamb Shanks Osso Bucco style on soft Polenta, a hearty Winter meal.
Our risotto this month is Red wine Mushroom Risotto. This is such a mellow meal and it practically digests itself! Made with Pancetta, thyme and Cabernet Sauvignon, it too smells a lot like Christmas. See my blog Risotto - Rice Italian Style!.

Our entree this month is a humdinger! Oh is it delicious! -So much so that this year it's going to be the star of our Christmas dinner party. The Osso Bucco is made from meaty lamb shanks that are simmered with wine, spices and beef broth until the meat falls off the bone. It's easy to make, but the cooking time is longer than most our meals. It's served on a bed of soft Basic Polenta.

Finally to finish off the meal in a showy presentation of a delicious dessert will be our Poached Pears in wine with a Creme Anglaise. (A specialty of my husand.) I mentioned this recipe last month when I talked about my country-style pear tart. The Poached Pear is the high-tech way to serve a pear and very fitting of such an important celebration as Christmas!

All in all, we have a few ways to celebrate dinner at your table. I hope that you enjoy them and I hope it brings out the fun of sharing your holiday cuisine with others.

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A tip from Sue!

Sauteing whole garlic

If your recipe calls for whole garlic, it doesn't burn as easily when in larger pieces. But you do need to score your garlic cloves all over in order to release the garlic juices and fragrance .Always be careful to avoid burning the cloves. It'll make the garlic cloves bitter and ruin what you're cooking.