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A Winter Menu to Spice up Your Holiday Dinner

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Ever get tired of having a repeat Thanksgiving meal during the winter holiday season? While Thanksgiving is one of the most looked forward to meals of the whole year, winter holiday meals are often overlooked.

However, these meals can be just as good as your Thanksgiving meals! The great thing about winter holidays is you can easily add new recipes or spice up Thanksgiving favorites for a festive, enjoyable, and delicious meal with friends and family. Check out this adventurous, bold, and festive winter holiday menu to add some spice back into your holiday meal:

1. Don’t forget the appetizer!

We all get hungry waiting for that decadent meal to finally hit the table after days and days of preparation, so it’s always a good idea to bring an interesting, festive appetizer to keep everyone happy and not hangry before the meal begins. This cranberry pecan baked brie is festive, deliciously warm, and will look beautiful on any table.

2. It’s cocktail time!

In my opinion, winter-themed cocktails are some of the best cocktails in the world. Warm or cold, cocktails (or non-alcoholic mocktails) are the perfect addition to any family meal. Try a spiced apple cider (this will perfume the house and make it smell lovely!), eggnog, or this Christmas cranberry cosmopolitan; they are sure to be hits at any celebration.

Source: Brooke Lark, Unsplash

3. The main course – Indian Spiced Pork Roast with Rosemary and Onions.

While turkey is a beloved staple for Thanksgiving, it doesn’t necessarily need to be repeated during the winter holiday season. Try experimenting with a different type of meat with new flavors or even try a vegetarian option! This Indian Spiced Pork Roast with Rosemary and Onions is packed with flavor and will complement any sides.

4. Side #1: Sweet Potatoes with Stilton and Walnuts.

Although mashed potatoes are one of the most beloved sides on Thanksgiving, it can get a little tiring eating them for a second time during the winter. How about substituting them for something a little edgier? These sweet potatoes with stilton and walnuts sound melt-in-your-mouth heavenly.

5. Side #2: Shallot Tarte Tatin.

Let’s put the green bean casserole on hold for a second and contemplate a buttery, flaky puff pastry topped with fresh burrata, arugula, and shallots. This shallot tarte tatin combines veggies with pastry, cheese, garlic, and lemon for the fanciest side dish that will rock your guests’ taste buds to a whole new level.

6. Side #3: Nutmeg and Black Pepper Popovers.

Kick those plain rolls out the door and exchange them with these nutmeg and black pepper popovers.

7. Dessert #1: Cranberry Curd Tart.

Are you looking for a beautifully red, festive, fresh tarte to serve to your guests? Well, I’ve got you covered! This cranberry curd tart is not only beautifully festive, but promises to add an aesthetic appeal to your holiday table. The light bright-red cranberry filling is complemented by a hazelnut crust and looks absolutely delectable.

Source: Jennifer Pallian, Unsplash

8. Dessert #2: Bûche de Noël with Buttercream Frosting.

Okay bakers, it’s time for the showstopper challenge! Wait, I guess we aren’t all competing on one of the best British baking shows on the planet… But, this chocolatey winter-themed French classic will be the showstopper at your holiday gathering! The Bûche de Noël with buttercream frosting is a traditional French dessert served during Christmas and is shaped like a Yule log. Not only is this so fun to decorate, but is absolutely perfect for the winter season and will be sure to please all your chocolate-loving guests.

Cover image source: Jennifer Pallian, Unsplash

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