I love snacking on packaged Middle Eastern sesame bars, which are very hard and crunchy. These florentines are much chewier, but their sesame flavor reminds me of those.

This lamb can be your savior on those evenings when you’ve got a bunch of strangers around the table.

You may think I have gone off the rails by adding curry powder to cookies, but along with the ground and candied ginger, the combo really wakes up a classic American cookie.

The tart looks homey, but it's oddly sophisticated in its own way and not-so-oddly very satisfying, particularly after a hearty meal.

Every year for the holidays, Mormor would make her famous gravlax. It wouldn't have been Christmas without it. 

This is the James Bond martini, named for Vesper Lynd, the doomed love interest in Casino Royale.

If you're going to take on an ambitious dessert, it had better look and taste spectacular. This is one of those creations — a dome of cake filled with alternating layers of almond and pistachio mousses, fresh raspberries, and finished with billows of whipped cream. It comes to the table looking like a great white snowdrift studded with fresh raspberries.