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4 Strategies for Making the Holidays Easier This Year

Conquer the holiday cooking marathon with this menu of indulgent and surprising dishes sure to impress your guests.

Between trimming the tree, shopping for gifts, going to dinner parties, and visiting friends and family, it’s safe to say the holidays are a whirlwind of activity. And when it comes to the ultimate holiday dinner menu, sometimes bigger is better. Think decadent cheese recipes and a show stopping crown roast. From premium recipes for every stage of the meal to brilliant time-saving tips, here’s everything you need to impress – not stress – for this year’s holiday cooking marathon.

1. Nosh on bite-sized holiday appetizers

Hot bites, finger foods and other savory party noshes are perfect because you can pop them in your mouth while you’re mingling with guests. These Almond Bacon Cheese Crostinis, a riff on classic bruschetta, are ideal cocktail hour snacks. Take the dish to the next level with Kerrygold shredded cheddar cheese. The all-natural milk from Irish grass-fed cows grazing naturally results in a rich, creamy taste perfect for enhancing any dish. Depending on the size of your crowd, you may want to double your recipe so there are more batches ready once the first one is gone.

2. Wow guests with a seasonal soup

Roasted apples, onions and butternut squash fill this silky-smooth Apple Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup with all the flavors of the holidays. A handful of rich Kerrygold Mild Cheddar shreds and a swirl of sour cream give this soup an extra bit of indulgence. Because Ireland’s climate provides such excellent grazing pasture for cows, Kerrygold dairy products tend to be incredibly rich in flavor, which means the creamy taste of the shredded cheese can elevate this otherwise standard soup recipe.

Pair the soup with this Party Cheese Bread, a gussied-up version of cheesy, buttery bread guests will flock to that looks as elegant as it tastes.

3. Impress with a centerpiece roast

Everyone loves a good roast, especially when it’s served alongside your favorite sides. This crown roast is so elegant it makes for a regal Christmas dinner centerpiece that you don’t have to spend hours tending to. Once you season it, pop it into the oven and work on your other dishes. This version calls for rosemary, sage and thyme that results in a crusty exterior bursting with flavor.

4. Finish with an over-the-top finale

What’s a good holiday dinner without dessert? There’s nothing wrong with a traditional Christmas dessert. But why not introduce your friends and family to new and sophisticated flavors? Take a crowd-pleasing classic–old-fashioned spice cake–and upcycle it into an even more decadent, over-the-top dessert like this version. Chock full of raisins and nuts, the taste gets kicked up a notch drizzled with a rich, velvety brandy sauce where Kerrygold butter is the star ingredient. Follow this recipe the morning of your Christmas dinner, and then keep it at room temperature until ready to serve.

You can’t go wrong with a make-ahead game plan and these decadent recipes. You’ll be able to spend more time with your friends and family, which is what the holidays are all about!