Celebrate the first Sunday of the month with a pot of homemade chicken soup, perfect for drop-in guests. Pair it with a hearty winter salad.
Consider this a special-occasion menu, minus the fuss. Be strategic: While the brisket braises into melting tenderness in a bath of red wine and onions, you'll have time to make the applesauce, brown the latkes...and take a bow.
Feed the gang with one large 5- to 6-pound bird or two smaller ones. To achieve golden brown skin, first roast at high heat, then turn the oven temperature down to cook the chicken through.Recipe: Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Apples
Take it easy and let guests build their own panini from a host of flavor combos. Serve it all on a large cheese board—one big moveable feast.
Break out the bubbly for a more relaxed celebration the evening before. No need for loud noisemakers. The real pros party smart with an easy menu and good company.