Five easy dinner and dessert recipes to start the holiday season

Looking for a switch from traditional appetizers and holiday meals? We’ve got you covered!

Five easy dinner and dessert recipes to start the holiday season
The final product of the M&M's Pretzels recipe!

The havoc of the holidays always makes an appearance during the autumn and winter seasons. Between gifts, family and big dinners that have to be planned weeks in advance, it can be easy to fall into a cycle of holiday preparations and mayhem. 

But when it comes to these exciting occasions, one of the best parts of celebrating is the delicious food. Here are some of the best dishes to make for the upcoming holiday season that will switch up your normal menu.

M&M’s Pretzels

To start off easy, this sweet and salty winter dessert will put you in the holiday spirit and add to your decor. To make M&M’s Pretzels, simply gather some square pretzels, M&M’s and Hershey’s Kisses. Once you’ve acquired those ingredients, preheat your oven to 200 F and lay out your pretzels on a baking sheet. Place one Hershey’s Kiss atop each pretzel and bake them in the oven for four to six minutes until the chocolate has started to soften. Lastly, remove them from the oven and put one M&M atop each Hershey’s Kiss and place them in the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate has solidified again. 

This amazing dessert can be made in just a few easy steps and will leave you with a treat that‘s not only easy to make but also filled with holiday spirit!

Pumpkin-Filled Crescent Rolls

How about some toasty appetizers while we hang on to the last few weeks of autumn? If you’re looking for the perfect starter to your Thanksgiving feast, these crescent rolls are sure to be a hit, no matter the guest or time of day. 

To start, you’ll need two packages of Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls, 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin, 1/3 cup of sugar and one 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. 

Once you’ve gathered everything, roll each crescent roll package into a 12-inch circle and cut each circle into 12 wedges. After that, combine the filling ingredients and spread a rounded teaspoonful of filling on each wedge. Then, roll the wedges from the wide ends and place point-side down two inches apart on greased baking sheets. Lastly, curve the ends to form crescents and bake at 350 F for 14 to 18 minutes (or until the crescent rolls are golden brown). Once this is all done, let the crescent rolls cool, and then you and your guests can enjoy this festive treat! 

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

If you need a dish for the main course, this sweet potato casserole recipe is the perfect solution. 

To start on this recipe from “Favorite Recipes from Our Best Cook Books”, Sisterhood Temple of Israel Union, gather the required ingredients: 1 large can of sweet potatoes (drained and mashed), 1 cup of mini-marshmallows, 8 ounces of canned crushed pineapple and 1/4 pound of margarine. Once all the ingredients have been gathered, mix them together. After that, bake the mixture in the oven at 350 F for 40 minutes.

In just three easy steps, your meal is done! This sweet potato dish is so easy to make, and it is both festive and delicious. It is sure to be a hit at any Thanksgiving or holiday meal! 

Potato Latkes

A “Best Holiday Recipes” list isn’t complete without some classic holiday foods, and potato latkes are exactly that. Potato latkes, also known as potato pancakes, are a holiday delicacy that have been made for centuries and a classic addition to Hanukkah meals. 

To make potato latkes, gather the required ingredients; 6 large eggs, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1/2 red onion (peeled) and 1/4 inch diced, 4 butter potatoes (peeled and shredded), 1/2 cup Manischewitz Matzo Meal, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper and, lastly, 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil. 

Once you’ve gathered those ingredients, you can begin to cook (with more specific instructions here) and start your preparations for the perfect meal. Potato latkes are a go-to for any and all Hanukkah gatherings and can be eaten with dips and sides ranging from apple sauce to sour cream! 

Chocolate Pudding Pie

It’s only fitting to end this list with something sweet, and nothing is sweeter than chocolate pudding pie. Though it’s not the traditional apple pie of Thanksgiving meals or the fruitcake of Christmas celebrations, chocolate pudding pie is a delicacy all on its own for any celebration ranging from birthdays to Christmas to New Year’s Eve. 

This pie is both pleasing in its appearance and in its taste. Although making it (with more details on how to here) may seem like a hassle, there’s no question that, at the end of the day, this dessert will leave you and your guests feeling filled with holiday spirit. 

From warm dinner sides to sweet and salty appetizers to the most delicious of desserts, there is no limit to the number of foods you can make this holiday season. 

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