This is the best lasagna ever, hands down. I’m not even going to waste time with some long back story because you need to drop whatever you’re doing and make this right now. (Or, you know, this weekend.) It’s another one of my mom’s old standbys, and with good reason—not only is it everything you’d ever want in a meat lasagna, but it freezes beautifully. Go make it right now!

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My favorite cake

If you remember from my Key lime pie post—and really, who hasn’t committed it to memory?—one of the only desserts I like as much as Key lime pie is my mom’s chocolate, kahlua, and coffee bundt cake. My amazing mother has always baked birthday cakes for me and my siblings (and Dad), but in the last several years, she’s started a tradition of overnighting homemade birthday cakes to those of us who live out of state. That means that for the last few years on my birthday, I not only receive a big package of birthday goodies and gifts, but also one of these cakes. Wrapped securely in two or three layers of tinfoil and situated in a round tin, my friends anticipate its arrival as much as I do.

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Oyster dressing

Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, Thanksgiving (and Christmas, in my family) is utterly incomplete without it. I was never much of a dressing fan until a couple of years ago; something about the texture was unappealing, and there were far too many other dishes vying for space on my plate for me to give dressing a real chance.

Strangely, I was converted by the same dressing that’s been present at every holiday meal of my life: oyster dressing. Conventional wisdom would dictate that anyone who has problems with the texture of dressing would probably also find oysters repulsive, but I am anything but conventional. I love oysters—recently had a wonderful meal at one of the best places currently shucking them in Seattle—and I love this oyster dressing.

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