Parties are filling the calendar, and the shopping rush is on.

A public notice to all those I’m celebrating with this year: Expect gifts of food from me. After coming home from shopping and ranting like Ebenezer Scrooge, I’m no longer able to drive around the city and have any sort of holiday cheer left. To save my heart from hardening over the holidays, I’ve been spending some therapeutic time in the kitchen whipping up party food and gifts from foods found at my farmers market.

I Eat La.: Recipes for Broccoli Cheese Dip, Limoncello

This year I plan to serve this fresh broccoli dip at my annual mom’s night wrapping party. It’s rich and creamy as a dip, but you could add more cream and a little broth to make it into a cozy soup, too.

For those who host us, I plan to bring cute little bottles of this classic limoncello. Made with fresh Meyer lemons, it’s a sweet, just-a-little-tart after-dinner treat.

Good luck out there! If you need me, I’ll be cooking in the kitchen or watching old Christmas movies with my cats (they complain less than the humans).

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at