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Holiday Negroni

The Negroni, a popular Italian cocktail, has made a serious comeback in the past couple of years—and we can’t get enough of it. Traditionally, this punchy, bitter cocktail is made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. But for the holidays, we took inspiration from the spices in mulled wine—star anise, cinnamon, and cloves—and used them to infuse the Campari overnight. The result is a crowd-pleasing holiday cocktail that’s very merry and quite delicious. We like to garnish each glass with a strip of orange zest and a whole star anise. Serving it over extra-large ice cubes will make it look like it came straight from the hottest cocktail bar.

Brussels Sprouts Flatbread With Lemon and Pecorino

This seasonal flatbread feeds a crowd, making it perfect for a weeknight holiday party (or any party, really). Store-bought pizza dough saves you time, and the Brussels sprouts cook entirely on the flatbread—so it comes together faster than you think. For even faster prep, use the slicing disk of a food processor to create thin shavings of Brussels sprouts, or buy pre-packed shredded sprouts. Each bite has a kick from the crushed red pepper, and Pecorino provides just the right amount of saltiness. It's just as delicious warm as it is at room temperature, so no need to worry about serving it straight from the oven. Pair it with a dry white wine.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Peppadews With Prosciutto

If you're pressed for time before company arrives, these stuffed and wrapped peppers will save you. Peppadew peppers, originally from South Africa, are sweet and just the right amount of spicy. Pop one in your mouth and your tastebuds won’t know what hit them. They're especially tasty with the melty cheese and crispy, salty prosciutto. Look for the peppers in a jar, or at the olive bar in most supermarkets. Cross the appetizer off your list, because these hit the jackpot on tasty and speedy.

Affogato with Hazelnuts and Chocolate 

Affogato: An Italian coffee-based (easy!) dessert that adds a touch of elegance to a dinner party. The combination of caffeine and ice cream is the perfect way to round out your gathering. We suggest brewing some decaf, too, for guests who shy away from caffeine come dinnertime. Hazelnuts add crunch and richness to every bite, while the chocolate shavings make each serving festive. Serve the affogatos in coupe or wine glasses to make the treat feel extra special. Or, for a more casual dessert, serve in ice cream bowls or mugs. Once you experience the ice cream melting into the coffee, this will quickly become one of your favorite party tricks.

6 Creative Ways to Use Cranberries

They flood supermarkets at this time of year for one reason: cranberry sauce. But fresh cranberries can be so much more than a Thanksgiving side. Packed with fiber and vitamin C, they’re delicious when baked into a cake or roasted for a tart new twist on green salad. Grab an extra bog—er, bag—the next time you’re out.

Slow Cooker BBQ Sweet Potato Bakers

The slow cooker does it all. Here, you stick sweet potatoes into the slow cooker and let them bake for a few hours. Then, top with rotisserie chicken, cheese, and barbeque sauce for a dinner the entire family is sure to love. If you want to get kids involved with cooking, make sure to wrap the sides of the slow cooker insert with a dish-towel before adding the chicken, cheese, and sauce. It tends to get hot during cooking.

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie

Hosting vegan guests this holiday season? No need to serve them a separate dessert. Whip up this silky chocolate pie at the holidays, and all of your guests—even your vegan and gluten-free ones—will be able to enjoy it (and trust us, they’ll devour it). The press-in crust couldn’t be easier—just dump the almond-based mix into your pie pan and press it to the edges. As it bakes, you can make the creamy chocolate filling, which firms up in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. To serve, top the pie with chocolate shavings, a drizzle of melted chocolate, or a dusting of cocoa powder.

Potato-Leek Soup

This is exactly the kind of food that short winter days call for. Even though it’s vegetarian, it’s not short on flavor. Including the Parmesan rind in the stock as it cooks infuses the entire soup with a delicious cheesy flavor, and you’ll top it all off with more cheese and sour cream. Make sure to buy russet potatoes, which have a high starch content—that’s what’ll give the soup body and a creamy texture. If you want this to be super smooth, use your immersion blender to purée it after discarding the Parmesan and thyme.

Dried Plum and Ginger Turnovers With Brown Butter Cream Cheese Glaze

If you're in the market for a quick and tasty pastry, you've come to the right place. These not-too-sweet turnovers can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert, and will be out of the oven in less than an hour. We were able to keep the ingredient list short without skimping on flavor by using ingredients that pack a punch, such as fresh ginger and lemon zest. The prunes (dried plums) are naturally sweet keeping the filling super simple, while the nutty brown butter glaze balances out the tartness. Check out that pretty drizzle, too!

Campari and Cranberry Jello Shots

These deep red jello shots get the grown-up treatment with Campari. It’s likely you know Campari from the trendy Negroni—a mix of Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth, served in an Old Fashioned glass and garnished with a half-wheel of orange. In these festive shots, Campari is mixed with cranberry juice and a bit of sugar to balance out the bitterness. The sweet orange zest rim not only looks sparkly and pretty, but the citrus marries nicely with Campari, too. These are equally as delicious as a pre-party ice-breaker as they are a palate cleanser before dessert.