Celebrations—big and small, formal and laid back, traditional and offbeat—all center around one thing: the food. For many, the rich aroma of a hearty stuffing or the practice of readying a holiday turkey conjures instant memories even as new ones take root, weaving these beloved meals into cherished traditions. But before a meal can become tied to nostalgic memories, it needs to impress. During the holidays, the stakes can be high and the pressure intense. Few home cooks tackle a mammoth roast or a spectacular dessert with any regularity, so turning out these project dishes (as well as their necessary accompaniments) can prove intimidating. Enter this collection of recipes, a lifeline making the perfect celebratory feast not only possible, but a promise.