Three food experts. Three delicious recipe. Three fun, festive—and easy—party ideas. That means less work for the host and more merrymaking for all!

Hanukkah Latke Bar

make ahead latkes
Credit: Photography by Sidney Bensimon

Deb Perelman, Cookbook author and founder of

"Nobody's immune to the charms of shredded, fried potatoes—a Hanukkah classic. They're also fantastic with cocktails! I like putting out a spread of toppings, so guests can choose their own latke adventure."

Recipe: Try Deb's Make-Ahead Latkes

Christmas DIY Tamale Party

tamale party setup
Credit: Photography by Sidney Bensimon

Marcela Valladolid, TV personality and cookbook author

"During posadas, the gatherings leading up to Christmas, I'll often host a tamale party. These are informal affairs, filled with cooking and masa (the dough used to make tamales) and messiness. At the end of the evening, you have tamales to eat now and some to stick in the freezer, but you also have a lot more. The conversations that happen while those tamales are being made remind us that we have a strong support system. Tamales are life!"

Recipe: Try Marcela's Chicken & Salsa Verde Tamales

New Year's Day Open House

smothered cabbage sausage
Credit: Photography by Sidney Bensimon

Pableaux Johnson, Food writer and photographer

"For years, I've hosted a morning-after open-house homage to delicious New Year's superstitions. I cook big batches of 'lucky' foods from the American South: black-eyed peas for good luck, cornbread for gold, greens for money. It's an übercasual, noon-to-six party for friends and acquaintances in need of good fortune, a sustaining meal, and maybe a little something to take the edge off the night before."

Recipe: Try Pableaux's Smothered Cabbage with Sausage