What to cook in December: Holiday showstoppers of course!

'Tis the season to treat yourself and your guests.

'Tis the season to treat yourself and your guests

(Photography, left: Betty Binon; middle: Peter Chou)

What would Mariah Carey do? That's what we're asking ourselves this month. After the doldrums of November, we're ready to do everything with a little more pizzazz, especially in the kitchen. As we plan holiday meals big and small, we're excited to make some real showstoppers. 

Whatever shape your festive menus take, consider these if you want to add a little extra holiday oomph to the table. From beloved mains, like a wine-braised brisket bejewelled with pomegranate arils, to picture-perfect desserts, like a decadent wreath made of chocolate cream profiteroles, each of these dishes promises to make your meal — and the people you've invited to join you — feel extra special.

We're not, however, suggesting that these recipes are exclusively for hosting guests. Would Mariah Carey not want a fancy Chicken Liver Mousse for herself on a random Wednesday in December? We think she would. Would she want normal applesauce, or an applesauce in the most delightful rose-pink hue? We want the pink one, too. And brioche and sausage in our stuffing, and cookies that look like shooting stars. We hope you find the pièce de resistance for one of your holidays meals below.

Wine-Braised Brisket with Pomegranate Seeds 

(Photo credit: Debi Traub)

CBC Life's 12 Pies of Christmas

(Photography by David Bagosy)

Rose Pink Applesauce

(Photo credit: Debi Traub)

Brioche and Sausage Stuffing Bake 


Delhi Papri Chat

(Photo credit: Martin Poole)

Chicken Liver Mousse

(Photography by Peter Chou)

Sabzi Polow — Fragrant Herbed Rice 

(Photography by Betty Binon)

Kutch Chicken Biryani

(Photo credit: Martin Poole)

Mothership Sunday Roast Lamb 

(Credit: David Loftus)

Beef Wellington

(Credit: David Loftus)

Mahi — Sea Bass with Cilantro and Walnut Relish

(Photography by Betty Binon)

Fennel and Asian Pear Salad 

(Photography by Jennifer May)

Vegan Beef Wellington with Cranberry and Orange Sauce 

(Photo credit: Simon Smith and Peter O’Sullivan)

Raspberry Chipotle Glazed Ham

(Photography by Florence Grunfelder; food styling by Sabrina Falone)

Chocolate Cream Profiterole Wreath

Beautiful Black Forest Gateau

(Credit: David Loftus)

Shooting Star Sugar Cookie Cake

(Photo credit: David Bagosy)

Braided Challah with Homemade Butter and Apple Butter

Half-Made Homemade Sweet Angel Cake

(Photo credit: Zac Williams)

Half-Made Homemade Penguin Cake

(Photo credit: Zac Williams)

Santa Stocking and Pinecone Hand Pies

(Photo credit: David Bagosy)

Chocolate Cherry Bûche de Noël

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