Serious Entertaining

Seasonal menu planning for the perfect dinner party.

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The Ultimate Mad Men Finale Dinner Party

After seven glorious seasons, Mad Men is drawing to a close. In other words, the time to throw the ultimate '60s (and early '70s) bash is nigh. Take a drag from your cigarette holder and whip out your pearl necklaces and cufflinks, your fedoras and your cat-eye glasses: it's time to get retro. We're talking Swedish meatballs with a side of toothpicks, creamy deviled eggs, tangy French onion dip, pastry-encased beef Wellington, and beyond. And yes, don't worry, we've got the drinks covered too. More

A Festive Menu for Easter Sunday

Lent is over, the anniversary of the resurrection is upon us, and it's finally spring! In other words, it's time to celebrate. Whether your family does an Easter lunch, brunch, or dinner, we've got a four-course seasonal menu expressly engineered for maximum satisfaction. I'm talking fresh new spring greens, a choice between some mighty fine looking lamb and ham, and the cheesiest, creamiest potato gratin you ever did see. More

A Passover Menu to Feed a Crowd

On Friday night, Jewish families around world will gather at their dining room tables. They'll recline with just a little more intent. Most will crack open their haggadahs. Hands will be washed and bitter herbs dunked; there will be many, many glasses of wine. And then, history absorbed and tradition honored, there will be food. Glorious, glorious piles of delicious Jew food. Here's how it's gonna go. More

A Brunch Party Menu to Celebrate Spring

Spring is in the air! Can you feel it? Because...I can't, not yet anyway. Luckily, I can see it, mainly in the form of fresh young produce on my supermarket shelves. It may not be picnic weather just yet, but the first tender asparagus and sweet peas are just starting to return to our tables, and in my book that's reason enough to celebrate. Here's a four-course brunch menu to get you started. More

A Traditional Menu for Your St. Patrick's Day Feast

St. Patrick's Day is about more than wearing lots of green and getting plastered—it's also about having a hearty Irish meal first. In all seriousness, though, no matter how you celebrate, a great dinner is central to the holiday. From corned beef and mashed potatoes to stout-battered onion rings and one helluva Irish coffee ice cream, we've put together a menu of rib-sticking fare that'll keep you going full steam ahead all evening long. More

Screw Valentine's Day: A Greasy, Meaty Menu for Your Dark, Gloomy Soul

Batman has his Joker, Christmas has its Grinch, and Valentine's Day? I won't point any fingers, but you know who you are, snarling at love poems and ripping doilies to shreds in your dark, soulless lair of disdain. But whether you're dining alone, hunkering down with friends, or sharing the evening with an equally cliché-averse partner, there's no reason why you can't have your gloom and eat it too. More

A Traditional Thanksgiving Menu to Feed a Crowd

Thanksgiving in my family isn't exactly predictable, but there's one thing that's guaranteed, no matter where I am or who I'm with: there will be turkey, there will be stuffing, there will be cranberry sauce, gravy, potatoes, and pie. These aren't really dishes we eat year-round (or, in my case, on virtually any day other than Thanksgiving), so striking that balance of familiar and delicious is paramount. Here's how to do it right. More

Serious Entertaining: A 'Game of Thrones' Feast Fit for Kings

After a long, bitter winter (Wall-style, minus Hodor for company), the Game of Thrones season premiere is finally upon us (Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO). And there will be blood! (Probably.) Before taking the deep dive back into Westeros, you must have strength. And that means fortifying yourself with a Throne-themed meal that's...dare we say...fit for a king? More

Serious Entertaining: Ramps Ramps Ramps Ramps Ramps

Some people simply don't like ramps. I understand perfectly. Some people also don't like unicorns and rainbows and puppies or Mr. Wizard or telescopes or Calvin and Hobbes or holding hands or Super Mario or hugs or The Beatles or any of the other wonderful things that can make life worth living. Don't like ramps? That's your prerogative. For the rest of us, ramp season is a cause for celebration. More

Serious Entertaining: A Bavarian-Style Alpine Feast

On a family ski trip a few years back, my father and I wound up dining at a certain unnamed restaurant in Taos, New Mexico, where the overarching theme was lederhosen, braided pigtails, lots of logs, and steins und steins of beer. Snowed into my apartment in New York City, I've taken to reminiscing about the quaint atmosphere, charming in its unabashed artificiality—the folk music and ye olde German fonts, the tiled wood-burning stove, and, most importantly, the hearty Bavarian fare. Here's how to bring some of that flavor home. More

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