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Holidays and Special Occasions - Just for the Two of You

Holidays and other special occasions are the perfect time to splurge and cook extraordinary dishes. Unfortunately for couples, recipes for big events are usually written for a family or even a crowd. But just because there are only two of you, that doesn't mean you can't celebrate. These special recipes are festive, delicious, and perfect for a couple.

Fourth of July Recipes for Two
If it's just the two of you this July 4th, you can still celebrate with these delicious menu ideas.

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner for Two
New twists on traditional Thanksgiving classics create an unusual and delicious menu that you can prepare almost completely in advance.

Elegant Easter Menu
Spring favorites like asparagus and lamb make for an elegant, delicious Easter dinner for two.

Valentine's Dinner Menus for All Tastes
Whether you're an experienced cook or a novice, and whether your tastes run to modern or traditional dishes, you'll find a great Valentine's dinner menu here.

Date Night Dinner Menus
If you're looking for ideas to make date night special without leaving home, these four special dinner menus are the perfect answer.

Four Menus for a Delicious Mother's Day
Delicious menus for breakfast, lunch or dinner -- and even afternoon tea -- will be sure to please Mom on Mother's Day.

Labor of Love: Valentine's Dinner for Cooks
If you and your partner both love to cook, why not celebrate Valentine's Day in the kitchen? This elegant dinner is as fun to cook as it is delicious to eat.

A Modern Easter Menu for Two
Glazed salmon is complemented with crisp potatoes and a scrumptious asparagus salad in this modern, elegant Easter menu.

Classic Steakhouse Valentine's Dinner Menu
This classic steak dinner menu is perfect for couples who want a traditional Valentine's Day celebration.

Easy and Delicious Valentine's Dinner
This simple Valentine's Day menu is quick to make and easy enough for beginning cooks, yet so delicious it will please any tastes.

Christmas Dinner for Two
A festive menu combines tradition with new twists for a special Christmas dinner for two.

Four Father's Day Choices
Whether you're celebrating with Dad in the morning, afternoon or evening, you'll find menu options to fit your (and your father's) tastes, from brunch to an afternoon picnic to a classic steak dinner.

Christmas Eve Menu for Two
This delicious Christmas Eve menu for two is based on the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Simplified and updated from the multi-course Italian extravaganza, it's a special seafood dinner for a special evening.

Cinco De Mayo for Two
These delicious recipes bring all the best of Cinco de Mayo food and drink to your own kitchen.

Rack of Lamb with Rhubarb Compote
Each spring I eagerly anticipate the arrival of rhubarb. And each year I try to think of something new to do with rhubarb. Lamb pairs delightfully with both tart and sweet flavors and a rack of lamb is quick to cook. Serves 2.

Super Bowl Menu for Two
Just because you've decided to skip the parties and bars this Super Bowl, that doesn't mean you can't make a few easy but festive recipes for watching the game at home. Here are some great suggestions for a Super Bowl menu for two.

New Year's Eve Dinner for Two
This special dinner for two is great for any occasion, but shines especially bright on New Year's Eve.

Roast Lamb Leg: A Taste of Greece
Roast leg of lamb is one of my absolute favorite meals. I love lamb anyway, but roasting seems to bring out the best in it. This particular recipe is adapted from several Greek recipes and features traditional flavors like lemon, garlic and rosemary. Serves 2 with leftovers.

In Memoriam
For a period of time between around 1985 and 1995 my family would gather at my parent's house each Memorial. We siblings were living all over the country and with wives and boyfriends Christmas and Thanksgiving were almost impossible. So we chose Memorial Day as our and would gather for a long weekend of swimming, eating, jokes, and just...

Easter (and Passover) Ideas
The guides for the About.com Food Channel have gotten together to create a collection of recipes suitable for Passover and Easter. It's an incredible range of food from some of the most knowledgeable cooks and chefs on the Internet.

Easter Menu
This year there is a confluence of spring holidays. Both the Catholic/Protestant Easter and the Eastern Orthodox Easter fall on April 4. But not only that, Passover also aligns with Easter, beginning March 29 and ending April 5. Although I'm not religious, I'm all in favor of any excuse to prepare a feast. I've gotten in the habit of choosing a...

Easter Ham Dinner
My personal preference for Easter dinner is lamb. Somehow it just seems to be the perfect main course for celebrating spring. But here in the South where I live the most popular dish is a glazed ham. Serves 2.

St. Patricks Day
We all know you're supposed to wear something green on Saint Patrick's day in honor of Ireland. But I don't. My heritage is Scots, English, and Welsh. But as a fellow celt and gael I do celebrate Ireland's most famous American day.

Breakfast in Bed
When I was married I served my wife breakfast in bed every couple of months. I'd wake her with a kiss and we'd sit on the bed and share a platter of food.

Dinner and a Movie
I am such a romantic. At least when it comes to food movies. There's little I like better than what's usually called a "chick flick" with food or cooking at it's core.

Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day falls on Sunday this year – which is tremendous because it makes planning and cooking a meal so much easier. It also means it's a great opportunity for the two of you to cook together.

Going Cajun
My neighbor is throwing a Superbowl Party this year and he asked me if I'd cater it for him – he also invited me to attend, but football bores me to tears, I'd much rather cook so that works out well. When we talked about the menu I suggested a Cajun theme, some gumbo, red beans and rice, possibly muffalettas. He was all for the idea and this is...

New Year's Brunch Menu
I gave up attending New Year's Eve parties about the time I turned 28 or 29. So I started celebrating on New Year's Day with either a dinner party or a New Year's brunch. Either event was more relaxed and laid back than the traditional NY Eve party and best of all, there aren't any drunks on the road.

Favorite Holiday Desserts
Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza, these dessert recipes are perfect for completing your holiday feast.

Christmas Menu 2009
I'm doing a roast rack of lamb this Christmas. Although for many people Christmas dinner is an opportunity to splurge on that greatest of beef roasts, a standing rib roast (aka, prime rib), it's just too much meat for two (or three) people. A rack of lamb is essentially the same cut from a smaller animal and is perfect for two or three people.

Favorite Holiday Sides
Whether it's something as basic as sweet potatoes with marshmallows or as unusual as Mushroom Bisque we all have our favorite holiday side dishes. What are yours?

Stuffed Mushrooms with Pancetta and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Stuffed mushrooms are always a popular hors d'oeuvre, this unusual recipe has an Italian twist and features pancetta and sun-dried tomatoes. Serves 4.

Seven Favorite Holiday Side Dishes for Two
Here are seven of my favorite side dishes that are perfect for holiday meals and will go well with almost any main dish.

Tailgate for Two
Tailgate picnics were a common feature of my childhood. Whenever we took a road trip, whether it lasted a day or, in one case, three weeks, at lunch we'd stop pull down the tailgate on the station-wagon, and my mother would unpack sandwich fixings, paper plates and napkins, and whatever else my parents had purchased for our tailgate party.

Beef Wellington: Elegant, Easy, Exceptional
This recipe for individual Beef Wellingtons looks like a million dollars and tastes like heaven. It's also surprisingly easy to make, albeit time-consuming, but can easily be completely prepped a day in advance. Serves 2.

Be My Sweetheart
This menu offers foods of love, some are actual reputed aphrodisiacs while others are simply licentious by nature. Most of these can be prepared in advance, giving you plenty of time for a little pre-dinner flirting. Serves 2.

Peach Crêpes: Light and lovely
Peach crepes are an easy and elegant dessert. They're best when made using fresh, locally grown peaches, but frozen peaches also work. Serves 2.

Superbowl Treats and Recipes
This collections of recipes and treats is perfect Superbowl fare - or for any other casual party.

New Year's Feast
I have an abiding affection for holidays and celebrations so I began a tradition of my own to acknowledge the new year: a New Year's Feast.I'd invite a few friends over for dinner on New Year's day, prepare a fancy meal, and we'd have a couple of glasses of champagne (sparkling wine) without worrying about other drivers or traffic checks by the...

Christmas Menu for Two
I've spent many Christmases alone or with just a friend or two, and as with all other holidays I absolutely dispute the idea that just because there are only one or two is no reason not create a feast. A smaller feast? Yes, but that makes it even harder to justify going out to eat instead of cooking.

Pork Medallions with Apple Cream Sauce
Medallions of pork tenderloin are quickly sautéed. Then a pan sauce is made combining apples, cream, and Calvados, a French apple brandy. This is easy enough for a weeknight meal, but worth saving for a special occasion. Serves 2.

Holiday Sides for Two
Many of the eaters we serve at Thanksgiving and Christmas absolutely insist on tradition. There must be turkey or roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, perhaps that green bean casserole, candied yams, and on and on. For those of us who cook this gets boring. So here are a few options...

Thanksgiving Menu for Two
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner for two isn't that hard and is well worth the effort. Most of the dishes in this menu can be at least partially made in advance so you can relax and enjoy the holiday.

A Flagging 4th of July
For most of us, the 4th of July means grilling or barbequing. My favorite is barbequeing (slow smoking) ribs but I've also been known to fire-roast Cornish game hens, grill steaks or kebabs, and smoke a whole salmon.

Tip: Picnics
Above all, a picnic should not be ordinary, nor should it be an effort - at least not during the picnic itself. A little advance planning and work goes a long way toward keeping the picnic itself more joy than job but even a spur-of-the-moment picnic can be pure pleasure if you're prepared.

Pan-roasted Duck with Cranberry Coulis: Easy & Sophisticated
This is a wonderfully festive recipe: a real treat for Christmas, a birthday, or an anniversary and it couldn't be any easier. If cranberries aren't in season you have make a different sauce for it for ideas. Serves 2.

Rack of Lamb with Horseradish
Perhaps the most perfectly elegant meal for two, rack of lamb usually has six ribs (three each) guarding that most tender of any cut of meat, the tenderloin.

Happy Anniversary: Celebrate Your day
Anniversaries are the ultimate couple's meal, even more so than Valentine's Day because it commemorates not only your love but your history. To me, this is the time to pull out all the stops.

An Italian Easter Feast for Two
This Italian Easter Feast isn't completely traditional nor completely Roman, but it is mostly both of those. None of it requires a lot of effort and the flavors match delightfully. Double or triple the recipes and you have a great dinner party. Serves 2.

Valentine's Day Menu for Two
Popular with lovers of all ages, there is no other holiday so suitable for a couple unencumbered with children. This menu is as intimate as it gets.

Father's Day Menu
I've been trying to decide what to cook for Father's Day this year and I've finally settled on a menu. I'm fortunate that my father likes just about everything so there aren't any limits on his account. And like me he has a deep fondness for pork so I'll go for pork as the main course and then fill in the corners. The cutlets will cook quickly...

Apple/Sausage Stuffing: A Holiday Favorite for Two
This recipe for Stuffing (or dressing if you prefer) for Two includes apples and Italian sausage is packed with flavor and created specifically to go with Apple-Brined Turkey. Serves 2 with leftovers.

Pear and Sausage Stuffing: Pork & Poultry Perfect
I came up Pear and Country Sausage Stuffing one Christmas when I wanted to serve a stuffed pork loin. Then decided the stuffing was going to be too good to limit it to the little bit that would fit into the loin. This is really good stuff with both pork and poultry.

Southern Birthday Menu
I've had two birthday parties in my life. The first was when I was six or seven and my parents organized it. The second was when I turned 50 an I organized it - I invited foodie friends from all over the country (and my family) to join me. I had 20 people show, the furthest coming all the way from Charsleston, South Carolina to my home in...

Mashed Rutabaga with Maple Syrup and Bourbon
Mashed ruatabagas with maple syrup and bourbon are slightly sweet, slightly tart, slightly rich, and all delicious. Serves 2.

Roast Cornish Hens au Provence
Roast Cornish Hens are the perfect solution to roast chicken for two. This recipe is flavored with Herbes de Provence and lemon. Serves 2.

Roast Turkey for Two: Doable and Delicious
It's possible to roast turkey for two people producing a delicious holiday meal. It's a matter of knowing how to scale. Serves 2 with leftovers.

Thanksgiving/Christmas Roast Duck
Roast duck is my most favorite of Thanksgiving/Christmas feasts. It's not too much food for a single person and perfect for two (because the leftovers are so adaptable). And a single duck will feed four if you're willing to share.

Holiday Desserts
“Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table.” ~ The Anarchist Cookbook

Roast Duck: Pure Deliciousness
Roast duck is a bit of trouble to make but well worth the effort for a special occasion such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. It's also far more flavorful than either turkey or chicken and is a great size for two people.

Christmas Finger Foods
The last Christmas party I attended as guest was about 10 years ago - although I've catered a few since then. But back when I used to be invited to parties instead of hired for parties my specialty was finger foods. Two-bite morsels perfect for piling on a small paper plate and requiring no utensils to imbibe. Ideally, they should be as good at...

Christmas Brunch Menu
When I was a child we had our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and the only cooking done on Christmas Day was a brunch. It's a tradition I've continued to honor since I first left home whether I was cooking for a house-full or just myself. (Note: Make sure there are enough leftovers from Christmas dinner to provide supper on Christmas Day if...

Eggnog: Make it Now, Drink it Later
For almost 50 years my father made eggnog on Thanksgiving weekend that would then age in a closet until Christmas. It produced the most lusciously mellow nog you've ever had - and if was safe.

Christmas Dinner
I hope you will be able to have your Christmas dinner with a house-full of family. And if you are so-lucky, this meal will easily scale up to 8. But if, like me, you are cooking only for yourself or a neighbor/spouse/room-mate, this menu is equally perfect. It's not difficult and I make the bulk of it a day or two ahead so I have time to relax...

New Year's Eve Menu
I attended my last New Year's Eve party around 1983. I don't like having restrict my Champagne intake, and even when I do I dislike being on the road with people who didn't. So I've fallen into the habit of a private New Year's Eve meal and every three or four years I do a New Year's Day brunch. Having now nailed down what I'm fixing for...

Valentines Day 2011
This year (2011) Valentine's Day falls on a Monday. This offers a number of celebratory options. One, dash home from work then go out to a crowded, over-priced restaurant for an unremarkable meal. Two, you can cook yourself but celebrate the event early (Saturday or Sunday) or late on Monday night. Or three, you can prepare this meal - ideally...

Greek Easter Bread (Tsoureki Paschalino)
This traditional Greek Easter bread is mildly sweet, mildly orange-flavored and outrageously good. If you go to Easter services, make it the night before and bake it the next day after church. Serve with brie and hard-boiled eggs.

Superbowl XLV
There's yet another superbowl on the way - will these games never end? They seem to have one every year. Anyway, the Superbowl isn't really a cooking-for-two event, however, it's usually a party event. So I figured I'd put together a complete game party menu this year just in case you're going to be hosting the event. The menu has everything...

Memorial Day Menu 2011
The first time I had grilled tri-tip was on a Memorial Day in California. I invited some of my co-workers over to join me, bought a tri-tip (California's most popular grilling meat) and we had a really pleasant and relaxing afternoon.

Pear-glazed Cornish Hens
I made these Pear-glazed Cornish Hens for Thanksgiving one year, they're far less trouble than a turkey and taste far better. They also make a great choice for Christmas dinner, Valentine's Day or anniversary.

Christmas Menu 2011
This menu, featuring roast beef, is quite British but more suited to two people than the traditional prime roast of rib - and cheaper too. It's also quicker - though you want to do the in advance.

Porcini-crusted Beef Roast with Port Wine Jus
This roast is coated with a mixture of dried porcini mushrooms, rosemary and black pepper - producing an awesome crust. Then serve with a jus made with port and red wine and more procinis.

Christmas Party Menu
I'm catering a Christmas party for a neighbor. Not a dinner party, more like a 60s-era cocktail party but with more wine and fewer cocktails. So I've assembled a few of my favorite hors d'ouevres.

New Year's Day Menu
I'm planning to spend this New Year's alone. I never go out on New Year's Eve - call me a coward, but I like to have a couple of drinks and don't trust those who want to drink more than a couple. New Year's Day I also plan to spend alone but plan to make a French menu featuring beef burgundy.

Superbowl 46
I've been concentrating on traditional Superbowl treats. Most of these are recipes I actually fix for supper from time to time (and they make fine suppers with a side dish or two) but they are also easy to triple or quadruple for a party.

Valentine's Day Menu
This delicious Italian meal will not only beat any meal in a restaurant, but you can make everything in advance and then finish cooking it on Valentine's day with minimal effort - giving you time for a little pre-dinner romance.

Easter Picnic Menu
The spring of 2012 has arrived sweet and warm, if early. It will almost certainly get cold again – in fact last week we had three days in the mid-60s – but as I thought about Easter dinner this year it occurred to me a picnic by a stream in the Smoky Mountains would be a good idea.

Smoked Oysters: Fire and Water
I've loved those little cocktail smoked oysters that come in a tin since I was a child. But one year my brother Loren showed up for a family gathering with a cooler full of oysters he bought the day before in Florida. We smoked the oysters ourselves. Oh my God.

Sorghum-glazed Turnips and Carrots
Good any time of year, these sorghum-glazed turnips and carrots are a particularly colorful and flavorful addition to a holiday meal such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Creole Crab Dip: Munching in New Orleans
This creamy, spicy, Creole Crab Dip make a delightful hors doeuvres served on crackers or endive. It's also quick and easy to make.

Sweet Potato/Bacon Stuffing: Semi-traditions
Chunks of roasted sweet potato, cranberries, and the usual complement of onions, celery, and herbs combine in this dressing to make a delightful change from the usual holiday recipes.

Bacon/Herb Turkey Breast: Bacon Always Helps
Is there anything that bacon doesn't make better? I've been covering chicken breasts with bacon for years, so why not turkey? The cranberry brine and fresh herbs help a lot too.

Maple Spice Rolls: The Smell of the Holidays
Flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice these maple spice rolls will fill your house with a marevelous scent while rising, while baking, and for hours afterward.

Christmas Cheesecake: Tradition Revisited
My Christmas Cheesecake is based on the recipe my father used for eggnog every year for over 50 years. It's rich, creamy, and delightfully spiked with bourbon and rum.

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