WE BLEW THE DOORS off this holiday food issue! Our theme of "Holiday Hacks"—tricks, shortcuts, and cheats to make your holiday entertaining easier—got the writing team so worked up we literally wrote twice as much as we could fit in the print edition—the online package you're currently perusing includes full recipes from the new Toro Bravo, Le Pigeon, and The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home cookbooks. I spent a week cooking with the chefs/authors to bring you inside the books and how they play out in the kitchens where they were born.
I'd also like to introduce our newest team member, Heather Arndt Anderson, local author, botanist, and frighteningly accomplished home cook. Her contributions to this issue include resurrecting the classic mincemeat pie (now with 100 percent less beef tongue), 10 clever leftovers hacks based on historic recipes, and a "ratafia" liquor infusion, which, if you start now, you can be drinking on New Year's Eve. Check out her new book Breakfast: A History for an authoritative look at the way the meal has evolved over time. (I like to say that Anderson's books are like if Mark Kurlansky made his subjects fun to read about.)
Finally, regulars Thomas Ross and Nick the Booze Guy fill us in on the latest in affordable wines that everyone's not dead tired of, and some truly ingenious booze hackery that can have you making your own gins, aquavit, and more.