cheese souffle

Photo: Natalie Stultz

The Fluffy, Cheesy Feat You Can Totally Pull Off
This no-fail soufflé from An Old-Fashioned Christmas, by Ellen Stimson, gives you that light, puffy, salty cheese flavor but is actually not hard to make, despite what you may have heard about collapsing, sinking, deflating and cracking. It includes a few untraditional ingredients, such as crustless white bread, but it rises perfectly every single time. Plus, you can prepare the soufflés ahead of time and refrigerate them then just bring them to room temperature before baking.

Get the recipe: Mock Cheese Soufflé
whole cranberry sauce

Photo: Thinkstock

The 4-Ingredient Condiment
Homemade cranberry sauce isn't just for turkey dinners. The sweet and tangy side is also a terrific complement to pork or chicken dishes. It's supereasy to make, too, as this recipe from Robb Forman Dew's A Southern Thanksgiving shows. Boil cranberries in water for a few minutes, stir in sugar and salt, chill and serve.

Get the recipe: Whole Cranberry Sauce
winter kale slaw

Photo: Alison Gootee

A Leafy Slaw with Showstopping Good Looks
This salad reminds us a lot of coleslaw, but with a modern, seasonal twist. Instead of the traditional cabbage, you use kale. You shred the leaves, along with a raw sweet potato and a beet. Mix everything together, and that's it. The colors are striking, and fresh parsley and mint add bright and earthy flavors.

Get the recipe: Winter Kale Slaw
pizza popcorn

Photo: Lara Robby/Studio D.

The Brilliant Mash-Up of 2 Foods (Almost) Everybody Loves
Pizza and popcorn may not be standard cocktail-party fare; but combined, they're an irresistible snack to enjoy with a glass of wine or a soda, perfect for anything from a book-club holiday gathering to a New Year's Eve party. You simply pop the kernels and sprinkle them with grated Parmesan, dried oregano, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, red-pepper flakes and garlic powder.

Get the recipe: Pizza Popcorn
gingersnap pumpkin pie

Photo: Anna Williams

The Pumpkin Pie That's Just a Little Different
A crust of crushed walnuts and gingersnap cookies is an unusual way to jazz up classic pumpkin pie, without adding extra work. There's no dough to refrigerate and roll out; instead, you just stir cookie crumbs, walnuts, salt and butter together, press the mixture into a pan and bake for 10 minutes. And rather than top the dessert with whipped cream, you drizzle the pie with a tart, bright-pink cranberry glaze.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Gingersnap Pie
chocolate bark

Photo: Andrew Purcell

DIY Candy for People Who Don't DIY
This inventive bark uses crackers as the base and chocolate as the glue that helps all kinds of sweet, savory and salty bits stick together. You just microwave the chocolate until it melts, dip a cracker in and lay it on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with toppings—anything goes, from dried pineapple and coconut flakes to broken mini-pretzels and honey-roasted peanuts—then refrigerate until set.

Get the recipe: Crispy Chocolate Bark