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Publishers WeeklyChef Ogden (Bradley Odgen's Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) collects over 150 recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas and, to a lesser extent, New Year's in this attractive collection that offers diminishing returns as readers work their way through the book. Ogden starts strong with Thanksgiving recipes including Twice-Baked Blue Cheese Soufflés with Citrus-Fennel Salad, a Wood-Grilled Turkey Chop with Wild Mushroom Gravy, and a Sweet Potato Gratin. That momentum carries him through Christmas with Caviar Potato Puffs, Black Mustard Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce, a Chocolate Brioche Pudding, and others. But he hits a wall when it's time for New Year's. An inordinately complicated take on hummus and a lazy acknowledgement of brunch do little to raise spirits for the holiday, though a few dishes do deliver, like Fennel-Cured Gravlax and a Bean Stew with Smoked Ham Hock and Kale. The suggested menus are a nice touch, but other sections do little more than baffle. A puzzling Thanksgiving preparation schedule that isn't paired with any of the menus, text rather than photos for carving a turkey, four vague paragraphs on choosing the right wine, and New Year's Day hangover remedies feel hastily and misguidedly tacked-on. Fans of Ogden and foodies with time on their hands will likely find a few new favorites here, but those new to cooking or pressed for time may find better advice elsewhere. Photos.
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