Holiday dinners are lovely affairs. I really do believe that. But what about all those meals you have to eat before the lovely dinner parties? Getting the house ready: cleaning, decorating; dealing with gifts: shopping, wrapping, mailing (can you believe the line ups?); cooking & baking all those goodies...all those things take time and energy - very little of either left for "regular" cooking.
That's why it's great to have the Barefoot Contessa drop by...even if she's only there through her cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home. The other night I made 2 dishes and they were both wonderful. More important... they were so easy! The entire meal took 20 minutes to prepare.
Now if I wasn't doing the South Beach Diet, I would probably serve the chicken with some pasta tossed with really good olive oil, some minced garlic and freshly chopped parsley. In fact, it's exactly what I'm going to do for the little Chanukah dinner we're having this week. Our niece is coming over and she still isn't too adventurous. So her portion of chicken won't have the amazing lemony sauce (think chicken nuggets - at least I hope she will) and her pasta won't have the garlic or parsley. So the "things fried in oil" tradition of Chanukah will be there and latkes will be saved for another day.
So take a deep breath and enjoy the holiday season - even those crazy days!