The holiday season has officially begun, which means more opportunities to bring loved ones into my home! The combination of the holiday spirit and the cooler temperatures create the perfect conditions for staying in together, enjoying a hot meal, and chatting late into the evening. Some nights I'll keep things casual with a one-pot stew that everyone can help themselves to. Other times I like to pull out all the stops to really make our time together feel like a special occasion. Whether you're hosting a large group or just having a low-key weeknight meal in, keep reading for some of my favorite tried-and-true dishes that will certainly elevate any of your entertaining experiences this holiday season!
To me, nothing says "celebrate" like wine and cheese. I often find ways to incorporate this theme throughout the menu, like with these Instant Pot Artichokes with White Wine, Capers, and Burrata. Cooking with wine is not something I do for my regular weeknight meals, but when I do, it adds such rich flavor that instantly takes dishes to the next level. The addition of salty capers and creamy burrata (mozzarella cheese with a cream-filled center) make for an irresistible combination of flavors that takes this dish from next level straight to the top!
Speaking of cheese, this dish has not one but two different kinds melted on top of nutty, roasted cauliflower for a simple but sophisticated side dish. More cheeses the merrier, right? Serve Parmesan & Gruyere Roasted Cauliflower alongside a hearty protein like beef tenderloin or filets for a five-star steakhouse feel straight from your oven!
Perhaps the most visually appealing of all, these Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp with Fennel Slaw are deceivingly simple. They make perfect hors d'oeuvres to kick off your festivities and help tide guests over while you chat and wait for the main course.
How do you create a special dining-in experience for your loved ones? Share your secrets in the comments below!