Holiday meal prep is loaded with stress: deciding what to cook, shopping endlessly and running out for those forgotten items— often as guests are arriving. It’s an experience that can dampen anyone’s holiday spirit. Given the hassle that a holiday dinner party presents, I have mapped out a fairly effortless feast that achieves both goals— great tasting food and ease of cooking. I’ll even teach you some shortcuts.

First, check the list of ingredients against what’s in your cabinets. Second, make sure your serving dishes are clean and polished. Be creative with your presentations— I serve the roasted ham on a cake pedestal. Next, amass a shopping list, and shop in the morning when traffic— and tempers— are at a minimum. Each recipe can be made in an afternoon, with plenty of time to clean the kitchen and enjoy some quiet time.

Good luck, good eating and happy holidays! 

Janet’s Peach Glazed Roasted Ham

Pan-roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

Whipped Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Soufflés

Pear and Ginger Upside-down Cake with Pomegranate Sauce

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