a sheet of raw black pepper cookie dough with shapes--men, stars reindeer, hearts--cut into it

Black Pepper Cookies

It’s no surprise that a traditional Scandinavian cookie would be warming. Chalk it up to an inspired melding of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, and cocoa.

Vegetable tempura of zucchini, beets, carrots, squash on a paper towel on a plate

Seasonal Vegetable Tempura

We could stare at this staggeringly stunning tempura all day—and eat it all night. Talk about a nifty tactic to get us to eat our veggies.

Sweet pastry dough being placed in a fluted pie tin with hands fluting the edges.

Sweet Pastry Dough

This all-butter, no-fuss pastry crust comes together with ease and flakiness thanks to a little well-worded hand-holding that caters to pastry-making virgins.

Two Southern pecan pies in pie plates with a bowl of whipped cream in between them.

Southern Pecan Pie

Though not as sweet as most, this Southern pecan pie is still traditional through and through.

Sliced tea-smoked duck breast on a square white plate with star anise and loose tea

Tea-Smoked Duck Breast

Imbued with the intoxicating fragrance of lychee, black tea, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon, this duck’s got no room left for the quack.

A person carrying a decorative blue and white serving platter loaded with five-spice grilled pork chops.

Five-Spice Grilled Pork Chops

Only subtly spicy, these pork chops take on an air of intrigue with their warming and evocative aroma and taste. Certain to spark conversation, if not seconds.

Butter pecan affogato in a glass bowl with a spoon, on a floral tablecloth

Butter Pecan Affogato

Straight from Venice by way of Charleston, this Southern belle cheats a little, usurping the role of vanilla gelato with butter pecan ice cream.

Smoked whitefish brandade slathered on toast points, on a white plate with a knife.

Smoked Whitefish Brandade

Turns out an old brandade can learn new tricks. Here smoked sable stands in for salt cod, bringing a smoky richness to the garlicky potato purée–to great effect.

A foolproof daiquiri in a long-stemmed glass.

The Foolproof Daiquiri

That froufrou blender drink dolloped with whipped cream? Imposter. This is what you really want. Rum, lime juice, and just a touch of something sweet.