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Easy Entertaining

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Homemade refried beans make this a stand-out salad.

Michele’s Margaritas

Michele’s Margaritas

Cointreau is a good choice because the subtle orange flavor won’t overpower the fresh lime.

Pasta Salad is a staple as a barbecue side dish for good reason – it’s satisfying, simple, and the perfect outlet for fresh, seasonal vegetables.

Cherry Turnovers

Cherry Turnovers

The puff pastry crusts of these tasty turnovers get a quick sugar glaze when they come out of the oven.

Individual Cobb Salads

Individual Cobb Salads

According to the legend, Cobb salad was invented in the 1930s at the famed Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles. Our take on the ultimate Hollywood Golden Age salad—a rich combination of chopped lettuce, tomato, avocado, (soy) bacon, blue cheese, and eggs—needs just a little olive oil and lemon juice for dressing.

Oven-Fried Truffle “Chips”

Oven-Fried Truffle “Chips”

Short and thick, these oven-baked fries are modeled after British “chips.” Parsley, Parmesan, and truffle oil toppings give them a gourmet feel.

Mushroom Sliders

Mushroom Sliders

Sturdy homemade buns mean you can assemble these sliders ahead of time, then pop them in the oven to warm before serving.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

Once you’ve discovered how easy it is to make a great tomato soup, you’ll wonder why you ever bought canned. For party flair, use mini cutters to cut sliced bread into shapes (stars, footballs, snowflakes, or simple triangles), which you can toast and float on top of the soup. Note: this makes 8 appetizer servings or 3 to 4 meal-size servings.

Frosted Espresso Cheesecake Bars

Frosted Espresso Cheesecake Bars

A blend of ricotta and cream cheeses keeps these bars light and creamy. The filling is flavored with instant espresso powder, which can be found in the coffee section of well-stocked supermarkets. 
It’s more intensely flavored and dissolves better than instant coffee granules. To make ahead: Refrigerate finished cheesecake in pan wrapped in plastic wrap for up to one day. Cut into bars before guests arrive, and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Roasted Tomato Crostini

Roasted Tomato Crostini

If you don’t have time to assemble 
these crostini before guests arrive, 
simply mound the topping in a bowl 
set on a platter, and surround the bowl with toasted baguette slices. If you're planning ahead, you can roast the tomatoes, prepare the bean topping, and toast the bread slices up to two days in advance.

Fontina Fondue with Cauliflower Dippers

Fontina Fondue with 
Cauliflower Dippers

Everybody loves hot dips on a holiday buffet table, so this subtly flavored 
fondue is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Look for green, purple, and orange cauliflower varieties to add color to the dipper selection. To make ahead: Cook cauliflower in advance, combine cheese and flour, and measure out milk and hot sauce into a jam jar. Stash these prepped items in the fridge so all you need to do is warm and season the fondue just before guests arrive.

Rice-Stuffed Mini Peppers

Rice-Stuffed Mini Peppers

Creamy, chewy Arborio rice holds a cheesy filling together in stuffed peppers that taste great warm or at room temperature. To make ahead, prep and stuff the peppers up to two days before the party; wrap tightly in plastic, and store in refrigerator.

Pear-Blackberry Semolina Cake

Pear-Blackberry Semolina Cake

Semolina is a coarsely ground flour made from durum wheat that’s often used to make pasta and gnocchi. Here, it gives a simple stir-and-bake cake a lovely golden color and tender texture. For make-ahead ease, prepare the cake batter, pour it into the pan, and refrigerate. Pop the pan into the oven when you sit down to eat, and the cake will still be warm when it’s time for dessert.

Tuscan Kale and Carrot Soup

Tuscan Kale and Carrot Soup

This recipe calls for steaming the kale in a steamer insert placed over the soup’s brothy base to keep the greens brightly colored and crisp-tender.

vegetarian times recipe

Beer Brats

Once these brats have simmered in the onion-beer liquid, they can be served as-is or grilled. Top with your favorite fixings.

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