What's for Dinner?

The holidays are swiftly approaching and as much as I love buying presents, singing carols, and watching holiday movies, none of those quite compare to the unique excitement I feel about Christmas dinner.  Having just returned to Kenya, we decided to forgo any further holiday travel this year and with most of our closest expat friends being away, it turns out that our Christmas table will be small.  This of course hasn't prevented me from trying to make some big culinary plans however and I found myself recently perusing Food & Wine's website for inspirational recipes.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

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The only holiday dinner tradition that T and I have is to veer away from the obviously traditional mains.  That means no turkey and no ham.  I still swoon when remembering the amazing bouillabaisse T made for our second Christmas in Boston.  I remember we decided to splurge and buy all of our ingredients from Whole Foods that year.  Excitedly, we drove home through puddles of notoriously unpleasant wintry mix and worked the day away in our cold and crooked kitchen.  I never knew it then but there is a part of me that misses those cold and snowy New England holidays.  While the following recipes don't necessarily call for wildly exotic meats, their unique preparations still seem mouth wateringly inviting.

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Despite all the pomp and circumstance that usually surrounds the main dish, I still think my favorite dishes are usually the sides.  I'm a huge fan of collard greens and garlic mashed potatoes but I'm forcing myself to branch out a bit this year.  Here are a couple options that seem pretty promising to become future favorites.  

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