If you’re hosting a holiday meal this year, odds are you’ve already got a game plan. You know where to purchase the right turkey, and just how you’re going to prepare it. As for side dishes and desserts, you’ve been earmarking recipes since September. After all, hosting a holiday party is a big deal. You need to have a plan. (Just in case you don’t, have no fear! Our sister mag Taste of the South has a handy no-fail hosting guide.)
As for those who will be guests rather than hosts this year, there’s a different question regarding holiday meal preparation. Perhaps you’ve already been asked to bring something, or your gracious host has told you not to worry, but you still feel strange showing up empty handed. Here are a few straightforward recipes that have the basic requirements when traveling for the holidays: tasty, easy, and transportable.
We hope your holidays are full of warm moments of gratitude. Now on to the food!
Food styling by Loren Wood
Styling by Lucy Finney
Photography by Will Dickey
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Remove and discard bay leaf. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or refrigerate up to 5 days.
- 2 fennel bulbs, cut into eighths
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, stems removed, and halved
- 2 (8-ounce) bags baby rainbow carrots, halved
- 2 shallots, peeled and cut into eighths
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400˚.
- In a large bowl, combine fennel, Brussels sprouts, carrot, shallot, and garlic. Add oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper, tossing gently to coat.
- Spoon mixture into a roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes or until vegetables begin to brown. Reduce heat to 350˚. Bake until tender and well browned, about 30 to 45 minutes more.
- 3 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup prepared eggnog
- 8 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter, stirring to combine. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
- To prepare filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until combined. Stir in eggnog. Reserve ½ cup batter. Pour remaining batter into prepared pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine melted chocolate and reserved ½ cup batter. Drop in tablespoons over batter in pan, and swirl with a knife.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Let cool completely before serving. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.