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.


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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