How To Master Holiday Entertaining - Tasting Table Leftovers Edition

How to master holiday entertaining

December's frenzy of shopping, gifting, entertaining and celebrating begins tomorrow.

We're here to help. Keep this guide to at-home entertaining, inspired by last month's finest finds, at the ready; use it, plus our comprehensive gift guide, to master the holiday season.

Eat: Too busy to swing by Butcher & Larder or City Provisions for local steaks? Quarter Circle 7 Ranch's free Chicago delivery service brings Illinois grass-fed beef to your door.

Bake: "Put it in a bourbon barrel" may be the food-world equivalent of "put a bird on it." But we fully support the trend, especially when what comes out of that barrel is as excellent as 240Sweet's infused vanilla extract and demerara sugar. Order both to better your baking.

Drink: Stock the cupboard (or fridge) with one of these quick hot chocolate mixes. Add a shot of espresso or a finger of brandy for an easy dessert or nightcap. When a cocktail is in order, look no further than this collection of recipes from Chicago's best mixologists.

Take Out: When we raved about the magical masa at Tamales Garibay, we didn't tell you this: It offers fresh tamales for takeout in packs of three, or frozen by request. Use as the base of your next dinner party, or pair with a Texan chef's migas for the month's most flavorful brunch.