The holidays are about celebration and relationships: marking the last days of the year by catching up with those closest to our hearts and closing the gaps geography has created. More often than not, these celebrations occur around a table filled with the same standards that have graced them for decades.

Tradition is a wonderful thing, but if you find yourself longing for something a bit different, look no further. Reinventing your holiday meal doesn’t mean eliminating classic dishes; rather, it’s about throwing new things into the mix. Tired of ham or turkey? Roasting a duck (or two) is less fussy than you think, and makes a beautiful centerpiece on your table. Is beef tenderloin more your style? Serve it with a winter chimichurri to keep things bright. Even switching up a side dish, salad or dessert can take things from humdrum to heavenly in no time.

Sweet and Sour Winter Relish Tray with Fresh Herb Dip

Wild Mushroom-Goat Cheese-Herb Flatbreads

Torched Cara Cara Orange Salad with Champagne-Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Slow-Roasted Duck with Orange-Rosemary Pan Sauce

Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Winter Chimichurri

Deep-Dish Root Vegetable Galette

Pan-Roasted Fennel, Carrots and Pearl Onions with Dill-Almond Pesto

Pickled Cherry Panzanella

Raspberry-Pomegranate Granita

Chocolate-Chestnut-Espresso Bundinos

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit,Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen. She is a self-taught baker and cook who believes the words “I can’t” should never apply to food preparation and that curiosity can lead to wonderful things, in both the kitchen and in life.

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Emily Suzanne McDonald followed her passion for photography and her need to create art into an ongoing search for beautiful images all around her. It was this zest for life that drove her to join Fedele Studio in St. Louis in March 2013. In her free time you can find Emily browsing antiques on Cherokee Street, in a coffee shop sipping cappuccino after cappuccino or walking her giant Bernese mountain dog, Henry.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.