New Twists on Holiday Favorites with Chef and Lifestyle Expert Cat De Orio

New Twists on Holiday Favorites with Chef and Lifestyle Expert Cat De Orio

One of the best parts of the holiday season is undoubtedly the food. The intoxicating smell that fills our homes evokes memories of holidays past and it is the perfect way to bring together family. While holiday classics like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, pumpkin and apple pie are sure to be on any menu, there are easy ways to put new twists on old favorites.

Join me in a recent interview with Chef and Lifestyle expert, Cat De Orio as she shares some of her favorite ways to step up your entertaining game this season and more.

Some of Cat’s tips include:

  • Sides – Ask anyone what their favorite part of the holiday meal is and most people will say that it is the sides. Take an instant classic like mashed potatoes and make it bite size – sure to be a hit that will have your guests asking for seconds and thirds.
  • Sweets – Everyone loves apple and pumpkin pie around the holidays. Why not get creative and put together an ice cream bar incorporating these classic desserts? Have a variety of complementary ice cream flavors as well as toppings to enjoy these delicious treats in a new way.
  • Drinks– These days, Bloody Marys come garnished with everything but the kitchen sink. Find out how to take those favorite holiday sides and incorporate them into this savory cocktail.
  • New Classic – Pumpkin pie broiler s’mores
  • Leftover Makeover – After hosting Thanksgiving dinner, the last thing you want to do is be in the kitchen again all day. For black Friday, create a menu using up ingredients from the night before that can be prepared with minimal effort.

For the entire interview, click here to download the interview!


Cat De Orio is the host of the Emmy award-winning dining review show Check, Please! She also travels the country to appear on behalf of her own company and various corporations to dish on the food scene—whether to discuss trends, demonstrate a recipe or give tips for organizing a successful event.  Via her company Culinary Curator she writes articles relating to food, travel & lifestyle for various publications; develops recipes; consults on events and speaks at various engagements around the country.  Zagat named her one of the “10 Chicago power players you need to know now” and New City included her in the 2013-2015 ‘Big Heat’ List of Chicago’s most influential culinary figures. She has appeared on every major network including NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CW and WGN with recurring spots on The Today Show, Better TV, The Rachael Ray Show, Good Day LA, Bringing it Home and Cooking Channel.  She has also been a guest on over 250 radio shows including What’s Cooking? and Martha Stewart Radio.

For more information, go to

Interview courtesy of: Marie Callender’s


Cynthia Tait

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