It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … well, at least here in Ohio it is! It’s not just an early winter blast of frigid temperatures and a few inches of snow covering the trees and ground, but the Christmas music on the radio and the shiny decorations going up in stores.
On one hand, I think we ought to dial it back until Thanksgiving is over. But on the other hand – that’s the tinsel- and twinkle light-loving one – I’m ready to embrace it. I may be a certified (certifiable?) adult, but I anticipate the holiday season with the glee of a 7-year-old wearing new pajamas and setting cookies and milk out for Santa.
So, welcome holiday season! I’m looking forward to decking the halls, baking cookies and welcoming friends and families for get-togethers both crowded and intimate, dressed-up and casual. The common ground is always good food and good cheer – simple to put together, boasting the best ingredients, and guaranteed to put smiles on faces.
One of my go-to nibbles that everyone loves, is some version of steak on a stick. Slice steak into cubes or ribbons – I like a well-marbled top sirloin that’s both flavorful and economical – and thread it on skewers (be sure to soak the bamboo ones in water first so they don’t burn). Then season the steak, and grill to desired doneness. Fire up your outdoor grill if you can brave the conditions; otherwise, a grill pan on your stove works great, too. The best part is you can cook these in advance, and keep them stashed in the fridge until your guests arrive – they’re perfectly delicious served at room temperature.
The crowning touch is a festive dipping sauce that you can also put together in advance. I love to include chipotle peppers, which impart a wonderful smoky heat that’s not too intense and is guaranteed to help warm up a chilly evening.