Holiday table

Simple and Stunning Holiday Menu

Thinking of hosting a holiday dinner party this year?  It can be tempting to try out elaborate new recipes to wow your guests. But when the cooking keeps you from enjoying the get together you know it is time to keep it simple. And like so many things in life, so often the simplest preparations are the best.

By doing the majority of the work ahead of time, you will be stress-free and ready to enjoy with celebration with your guests. All of these recipes can be made ahead of time and require just little finishing touches prior to serving. Try the following festive holiday menu, complete with tips for make-ahead shortcuts, to keep the get-together merry for everyone – including you!


Make the ginger syrup ahead of time.


This can be made ahead of time, but not baked. Just pop it in the oven an hour before guests arrive.

Main Course:

Cranberry Glazed Chicken Breasts

This can be assembled ahead of time, refrigerated and then put in oven when guests arrive.


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 14-ounce can jellied cranberry sauce

  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries

  • ¼ cup orange juice

  • Dash of cloves

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 TBSP soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds


  • Preheat oven to 425°.

  • Place chicken breasts in shallow baking pan. In small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, orange juice, cloves, mustard and soy sauce. Cook until hot and bubbling. Pour sauce over each chicken breast.

  • Bake for about 12 minutes then sprinkle almonds over top and bake for another 5 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 170°.


Broccoli can be chopped and prepared on sheet and baked at the same time as the chicken


This can be assembled ahead of time and baked while you are enjoying dinner with your guests

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