…and we all know what that means by now.  LOTS OF PHOTOS OF FOOD. And festivities, and, you know, that GIANT FUCKING BLIZZARD that stranded me for one extra day in the suburbs of New Jersey.

More after the jump….

I don’t know what’s going on here but it sure looks exciting.

For the record, the white blur over everything isn’t due to overexposure.

Gingerbread waffles with apples and walnuts

Aged gruyere, ricotta, carmellized onions, and roasted tomato grilled cheese sandwiches — and a bit of ricotta adds a bit of extra to, um, canned soup. Can we take a second to discuss how underappreciated and underused ricotta is? Seriously.

And of course, the cookies:

lemon-pepper cornmeal cookies; fudge (with and without walnuts); snowballs; white chocolate chip spice cookies; peppermint bark; applesauce oatmeal cookies; chocolate orange cookies; cinnamon rugalach; toffee

Homemade cocoa mix — finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, sugar, and whatever spices (cinnamon, ancho, nutmeg, pepper, and clove makes a great spiced Mexican-style chocolate) you like in a mason jar with a pretty ribbon — makes a great easy gift.  (Though admittedly this is just ordinary cocoa with a candy cane melted into it and another to stir.)