New Look Bloody Marys Kick Off Christmas Dinner

I've never been one to think Bloody Marys need to be saved for brunch. For me, the veggie centric cocktail works any time, most recently about 5 p.m. on Christmas when I was cooking dinner.

I mixed up the "New Look Bloody Marys" the night before after spotting the recipe in the January issue of "Bon Appetite." I did need to buy a few extras not in my kitchen: a quart of Dill pickles and a new bottle of Sriracha. Otherwise, the recipe's ingredients were on hand: tomato juice, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce, dill seed, kosher salt, cracked pepper and whatever garnishes are hanging out in the vegetable bin.

When I tasted the mix on Christmas Eve, I was a little disappointed: Too much curry, I thought. But after sitting overnight in the 'fridge, the spicy flavors of the mix blended together effortlessly, especially when I added the vodka (duh) and a final squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

In addition to their festive appearance, the cocktails were a satisfying prelude to our holiday meal, pulled together in shifts by my family. Anna made four-cheese macaroni from a recipe called "Fancy Macaroni" by the Pioneer Woman. "I call it Fatty Macaroni," she said as she fried 10 strips of bacon before moving on to the cheese sauce. Tony seared and roasted a beef tenderloin, and I made sauteed greens and fresh cranberries.

Here are the links to the recipes, which I will definitely make again:

    New Look Bloody Marys from Bon Appetite
    Garlickly Beef Tenderloin with Orange Horseradish Sauce from the New York Times
    Fancy Macaroni from The Pioneer Woman

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