Baco-Parmesan Biscuits

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D

An Hors d'Oeuvre We're Hard-Wired to Go Bananas For
Few foods have a smell that intoxicates the senses as much as bacon does (we have 150 volatile organic compounds to thank for that). You can harness this power by incorporating the salty, smoky meat into these fluffy, cheesy biscuits, which are surprisingly easy to make and go wonderfully with a glass of sparkling wine (bubblies love salty foods).

Get the recipe: Baco-Parmesan Biscuits
Kitchen Workhorse Italian Pot Roast

Photo: Bob Ingelhart/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The Entrée That Reminds Us of Home
Whether or not you grew up eating pot roast on Sunday afternoons, it's hard to dismiss the braised-meat dish's reputation for instilling feelings of nostalgia. If that leads to a conversation about your most treasured memories, or any of the other personal topics on this list, great...but even if it doesn't, you can't argue with the deliciousness of this slow-cooked roast. It's also nearly impossible to screw up, and you can make the dish well ahead of time (it even tastes better a day later).

Get the recipe: Kitchen Workhorse Italian Pot Roast
Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs

Photo: Lynn Andriani

The Eye-Opening Potatoes
You (and your dinner guest) may think you've tried every possible iteration of potatoes—baked, roasted, mashed, boiled—but we have one that may be new to you, and that could be just the thing to rekindle your admiration for the hearty spud (and hey, new experiences flood your brain with the feel-good chemical dopamine!). The ingredients list is four items long (plus, salt and pepper), and the cooking process is a snap, too: Boil potatoes until just tender, smash gently, then roast with oil and seasonings. They're golden, crispy and perfect.

Get the recipe: Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
Apple Pie Sundae with Greek Yogurt and Toasted Oats

Photo: Sarah Ashley Schiear

The Dessert You've Just Got to Share
Ending the meal with something sugary doesn't just make sense from a traditional standpoint; research shows that love and sweet tastes activate common areas of the brain. This unassuming yet brilliant dish is just the thing. It combines baked apples with cinnamon, then tops the mixture with yogurt and a toasted-oat and walnut crumble, so you get soft fruit, warm spice and a crunchy texture. And although this recipe is foolproof, there's one thing we insist on: Prepare the dish in a cast-iron skillet or pie pan, then bring it right to the table—with two spoons.

Get the recipe: Apple Pie Sundae with Greek Yogurt and Toasted Oats