Alternative Dishes for Any Holiday Gathering

The holidays are here again. While Paul and I were never the ones celebrating the traditional way (i.e. no turkey on Thanksgiving), we have our favorites we like to bring back every holiday season. Here’s our favorites.

S.S. Spud

S.S. Spud

It’s a shrimp-stuffed potato mixed with sour cream, grated romano and parmesan cheeses and bay shrimp. We’ve served it a few times and it’s always been a hit. It’s making a reappearance at our Thanksgiving table this year. Check out the recipe here.

Cheeseball Turducken


This appetizer is not for the faint of heart — or lactose intolerant. Multiple layers of cheese make up this massive turducken and will feed a lot of people. The cheeses used in this can be customized to your preference and holds very well for a few days. Read about it here.

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller

Keeping in with the seafood theme, this appetizer will win over anyone who hasn’t tried oysters. The oysters are topped with spinach and cheese and baked. They’re a decadent addition to any holiday celebration. Recipe can be found here.

Lamb Stew with Dried Plums

Lamb Stew with photo

What? Your holiday gathering will include a viewing of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? This recreation of lamb stew with dried plums doesn’t qualify as a side but is a delicious addition to any Hunger Games party this season. My recipe is here.

Mini Pecan Tarts

Mini pecan tarts

Why bake a whole pecan pie when you can have mini tarts? This is my mom’s recipe and these two-bite tarts are so easy to make. If you don’t eat them all, they’re great option to bring to gatherings. Post with recipe here.

Venetian Cookies

Venetian cookies

If you’ll be attending cookie exchanges, consider making these. Venetian cookies take a bit of work, but once made and assembled, you’ve got a lot of cookies. These layered cookies are flavored with almond and topped with chocolate. The different layers can be any color but the traditional green and red layers are festive. Recipe for cookies here.

Avocado Cheese Cake

Avocado Cheesecake

Betcha your table will be loaded with pumpkin desserts this year. Why not throw a surprisingly delicious alternative to the table with avocado cheese cake? Recipe here.

2 thoughts on “Alternative Dishes for Any Holiday Gathering

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  1. The oyster dish looks divine. I wish I knew how to shuck fresh oysters. We don’t really like turkey in my family – have you ever tried to make goose instead? I’m tempted to try that this year but I about burnt down my house last time I tried to roast a whole goose 😦

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