Browsing Occasion

holiday

Vegetables

Thanksgiving Slaw

Our family’s classic Thanksgiving and Christmas menu is rich. There are tons of carbs, and I’m afraid to tell you how much butter it takes to get the meal on the table. This tangy cabbage slaw is not only quick to put together and sturdy enough to sit for up to 2 hours without wilting, it’s acidity and hint of mustard help cut through the other dishes on the plate.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings Total time: 25 minutes
Soups

Pressure Cooker Ham Hock & Bean Soup

If you serve ham at the holidays, don’t discard the ham bone — it beautifully flavors beans and soups, and this easy pressure cooker recipe is a great way to take advantage of it. After the craziness of the holiday, you can put the soup on, put your feet up, and get ready for some comfort food.

Yield: 5 to 8 servings Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cocktails

Apple Rye Punch

Batch cocktails can be a nice way to serve something a little special to a group, whether it’s at a party or late in the afternoon on a winter Friday at work. This apple-rye punch was a cheery way to end the workweek before the holidays.

Yield: 10 servings Total time: 10 minutes
Condiments

Day-Before Gravy

I’ve been searching for a gravy recipe I can do ahead of time, since by the time I have the turkey and sides ready to go on the holiday table, I’m usually too frazzled to successfully turn the pan drippings into gravy.

This one uses bacon drippings and tamari as a savory flavor base, and can be made the day before a holiday feast.

Yield: 2 cups Total time: 1 hour
Munchies

Cranberry & Brie Puffs

These easy, festive puff pastry bundles of brie and cranberry sauce (or raspberry jam, or fig preserves) are delightful party appetizers.

Yield: 12 puffs Total time: 35 minutes
Nibbles

Mom’s Rum Balls

When I was little, I remember mom making these rum balls for holiday parties. Made from crushed Nilla wafers, chopped nuts, cocoa, and light rum, they’re not for kids (but that didn’t stop us from sneaking one when the adults weren’t looking).

Cookies

Candy Cane Blossoms

Bake these soft sugar cookies, rolled in red or green sugar sprinkles until just done, and then press a peppermint-striped Hershey kiss into the top of each cookie. They’re the perfect holiday project for a child eagerly awaiting Santa’s visit.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies Total time: 3 hours
Dips

Mom’s Cranberry-Avocado Salsa

Salsa is standard party fare, but this fresh, holiday-themed version with chopped jalapeño, red onion, avocado, cranberries, and cilantro is a delightful surprise. It went quickly when mom took it to a recent holiday get-together.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 20 minutes
Beauty Products

Jamy’s Exfoliating Sea Salt Scrub

At this year’s book club holiday party, Jamy gave everyone a jar of this salt scrub, scented either with grapefruit or lavender.

Yield: 1 10-oz. jar Total time: 15 minutes
Vegetarian

Butternut Lasagna

If you’re looking for a nice, fall- or holiday-inspired main dish, try this vegetarian lasagna. Layers of sliced butternut squash, puréed pumpkin, crème fraîche, fontina, noodles, and sage make this a decadent dish worthy of Thanksgiving or dinner for friends.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes