Updating a holiday menu can be easy to do with a few touches to family favorites. For a crowd-pleasing dish, put a new twist on mashed potatoes with cheddar and bacon. Keep mashed potato flakes on hand to thicken soups.
Stock up on ingredients that can be used in several recipes. Pantry staples, such as peanut butter and jelly, have a variety of uses beyond sandwiches. Use grape jelly as a glaze for meats, or spice up a traditional holiday dessert, such as cannolis with orange marmalade.
Choose one or two dishes that can be made a day ahead, such as appetizers or snacks and soups. The fresh roasted taste of peanut butter, added to a simple snack mix, is sure to please both kids and adults. Most soups and sauces can also be made the day before, giving ingredients time to blend flavors.