By Jessy Yancey
From pondering what to prepare for a potluck to hosting a huge holiday party, cooking for a crowd during the Christmas season can be stressful and repetitive for anyone who ordinarily loves to spend time in the kitchen. As much as we love sausage balls and cheese logs, sometimes it’s good to think out of the box and supplement your menu with new ideas. These recipes offer just that – a fresh perspective on holiday eats.
Just about anything tastes better with bacon, so why not wrap it around healthy fruit such as dates, which are free of fat, cholesterol and sodium, as well as a good source of fiber. Storing dates is easy – they don’t require refrigeration and have a long shelf life. The sweetness of these nutrient-rich fruits combines with the saltiness of the bacon for a simple crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Next on the party platter are stuffed mushroom caps. Mushrooms alone are naturally low in calories and sodium, as well as fat free and cholesterol free. The cheesy mixture may not be 100 percent healthy, but with this savory starter, you’ll also get the mushrooms’ nutrients, including riboflavin (vitamin B12), as well as calcium and vitamin D from the cheese.
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
Our sweet potato casserole goes the opposite direction of the typical requisites of marshmallows and brown sugar. Instead, this savory side dish gets its flavor from bacon, rosemary, shallots (a variety of onion) and Gruyère cheese. Though our version calls for them to be piped into ramekins for a pretty presentation, a single baking dish can be used; just adjust the baking time at the end.
Gingersnap Cookies With White Chocolate Drizzle
No holiday dinner party would be complete without something sweet. Our decadent take on classic gingersnap cookies call for them to be drizzled with sweet white chocolate.
Chocolate Pots de Creme
Or, opt for our French-inspired pots de creme to finish the night on a high note.
Whether you want to spice up a fancy dinner party menu or just find a new dish to bring to Granny’s Christmas dinner, we hope these company-ready recipes inspire you. After all, there’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than sharing culinary traditions with your loved ones.