A Beginner's Guide to Holiday Meals

By Stefanie Keeler / Photography By Stefanie Keeler | Last Updated November 20, 2017
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With a little planning, every holiday meal can remain focused on enjoying time with friends and family.

Don't Fear the Fowl and Other Advice for Newbies. (Plus a sample menu and recipes!)

Hosting a holiday meal for the first time was an incredibly intricate process that I most definitely underestimated. Planning, shopping, coordinating all kitchen activities and cooking, all on my own, was a considerable amount of work. I learned a lot from the whole process, having never taken on the task before. The biggest lesson was to plan and complete as many tasks ahead of time as possible (fun fact: if you wait until the day before a holiday, you might not find a turkey that is unfrozen, which may impact your timeline). Keep the menu simple and always accept offers of help from guests.

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Roast Turkey with Herbs

Best Roasted Turkey recipe
When possible, buy your turkey from a farmer in your region and support local agriculture.

Sausage-Leek Stuffing

Holiday table dinner party
This stuffing will quickly become a favorite side dish all year round! For a vegetarian version, use fennel instead of sausage.

Rosemary and Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Rosemary Cheddar Bisquits
These drop biscuits are quick to fix and make a great base for leftover open-face turkey sandwiches.

Endive and Fruit Salad

Endive and fruit salad
The poppy seed vinaigrette adds a tangy crunch to the endive and citrus fruit.

Vegan Cranberry Apple Crisp

Making Vegan Cranberry Apple Crisp
This dessert is sweet and tart, and makes a great fruit-filled breakfast the morning after a dinner party. 

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