Are you hooked on Downton Abbey like I am? I confess to catching on late and then bin-watching season after season (there could be worse things to binge on, right?). As the finale of season 5 is approaching (it’s Feb 22!) it’s time to start thinking about hosting a finale party. Because, why not? If you’re a fan of the show, it’s a must. If you’re not into the show, you can find any reason to gather the ladies in your life for a little tea … I’m sure of it.
It’s no secret that I love to entertain … but that I also love to keep things simple. The most memorable part hosting friends or family is the company…not the two hours you spent in the kitchen (am I right?). One of my secrets to stress-free entertaining is to order in for part of the meal. Maybe it’s the main course, or perhaps a store bought dessert –pick one part of your meal and agree not to make it yourself.
We spent the past weekend up in a cabin (in an effort to find some post-holiday downtime and just chill) which resulted in several amazing things: long hikes, snow sledding, making our own dreamcatchers (check them out on Instagram here!), and the development of a wonderful new cocktail.
I was tempted to call it the “Cabin Cocktail” but that really only means something to me. It would make no sense to you. So, let’s call it what it is —a Rosemary Lemon Sparkler.
It’s the New Year and while I am definitely eating healthier, I am not one for sacrificing delicious flavor. One of my favorite appetizers to serve (and eat!) is caprese … in any form. Salad, pasta, on a sandwich, or simply stacked on a skewer. It really doesn’t matter I want to eat it all. In this recipe I ditched the mozzarella but I got the tomatoes drunk. I say that’s about even, wouldn’t you?
The first step is to place your cherry tomatoes into a small bowl of red wine. Any red wine you may have leftover will work great. Make sure they are at least 1/2 way covered and let them soak for about an hour (stir them at about the 30 minute mark). After your tomatoes have taken their lovely wine bath, remove them from the bowl and place them on a paper towel. Next, all you have to do is skewer your tomatoes and fresh basil —it’s that simple.
If you really want a treat, go ahead and add in a chunk of mozzarella. I won’t tell anyone.
I love a good holiday themed martini. I also love serving mini martinis at cocktail and holiday parties. Here’s why: you can create a fun signature martini and even you non-martini-lovin’ guests will happily take a glass and enjoy. It’s a nice and festive 2-3 sips without the commitment of a full martini (for the record, gal doesn’t mind this form of commitment… just sayin’).
Last week I shared with you a few tips for simplifying your holiday party prep and today I’m going to share more ideas for holiday entertaining when it comes to what to serve. My key to any gathering (big or small) is to serve something delicious and pour a great glass of wine. Keeping it simple is key. Let’s start with the food.
You really cannot go wrong with a charcuterie and cheese pate. With this spread, there was something that appealed to everyone. Cured and dried meats, two different cheeses, smoked almonds, a variety of olives and even chocolate.