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.
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.
Basic Pie Crust
Having a go-to pie crust is a surefire way to become a great home baker, so we're here to teach you how to make pie crust from scratch. A great pie shell is both crispy and flaky, and doesn’t shy away from a real-butter flavor. As for the way to get there? It’s all in the (very simple) technique. The food processor does the hard work of getting the butter into the right size pieces, and then all you’ve got to do is mush the dough into disks. Don’t forget to chill the dough! It’s the key to making sure the shell doesn’t shrink too much or lose its shape in the oven.
Savory Beet Hamantashen
Despite what you might nosh on during Purim, Hamantaschen don't have to be filled with jam. We kept the triangular shape but swapped in a colorful tahini-beet puree, creating a savory take on the classic cookie. The best part is actually the crunchy seeds on the pastry—a blend of sesame and poppy with a little flaky sea salt mixed in, too. If you don't have a round cookie or biscuit cutter, don't fret: we've had success with mason jar lids and even the rim of a wine glass. To keep the edges from unfolding in the oven, pinch them tight and re-seal as they bake, if necessary.
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.
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.
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.