’Tis the season for office potlucks, school feasts, neighborhood parties, and family gatherings. ’Tis also the season for wanting to impress everyone with your culinary skills for all of these events – but not having the time or the means to do it. That’s why you should consider keeping things simple in the kitchen. That doesn’t mean skimping on the must-haves on your Thanksgiving menu or subsisting on – gasp! – store-bought Christmas cookies. But it does mean getting some help and taking a few shortcuts with your favorite recipes – or even trying some new ones that promise to delight everyone lucky enough to be at your table! We’ll get you started with a few ideas from some of your favorite celebrity chefs for ways to serve up delicious food without spending all of your time at the stove.
- Rachael Ray’s Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Pepper and Black Olive Sauce – This one sounds fancy, but it is deceptively easy to make. With just 10 minutes of prep and less than an hour in the oven, you can serve up this impressive main dish and have all your guests singing your praises.
- Sunny Anderson’s Easy Holiday Spiral Ham – If you’ve shied away from making your own holiday ham because it seems like a time-consuming endeavor, check out this recipe. Sunny’s method takes just 10 minutes of prep and then cooks to perfection while you do other things.
- Ina Garten’s Jam Thumbprint Cookies – These festive-looking cookies look like they took a lot of time and effort but they’re really easy – not to mention delicious. In fact, of the total time involved, a large majority of it is inactive. That means you can be making cookies while you clean your house for the guests who are coming later, or put the finishing touches on your tree. It’s all about the multitasking.
- Melissa D’Arabian’s Individual Potato Gratins – Potatoes layered with creamy Swiss and sprinkled with green onions make a delicious, chef-worthy appetizer or side dish. Best part? These little superstars take just 15 minutes of prep time and spend 40 minutes in the oven.
- Claire Robinson’s Clementine Cosmos – What’s more festive than a fruity, simple-to-make cocktail? This one incorporates clementines, a simple syrup, cranberry and lime juices, and vanilla-flavored vodka for a perfect aperitif.
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