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.
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.
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.
I have this mild obsession with pecan pie. Specifically this pecan pie recipe (thanks PW!). But it seems I only make it during the holidays … which is not cool. So I came up with a reason to eat pecan pie all year round — and for breakfast.
These pecan pie pancakes are DIVINE. And see that topping dripping off? It’s sort of amazing. The pancakes have this familiar nutty flavor reminiscent of the pie itself. Mmmm so good. I made them silver dollar size which made me feel not so bad about eating 6 of them… which makes no logical sense (I know).
I am a self diagnosed canned pumpkin junkie. This time of year I come up with all sorts of reasons to use it; cooking, baking, or otherwise. That is just how these mini pumpkin milkshakes cam to be. They are so creamy and taste like your favorite milkshake just collided with a pumpkin pie. They’re rich, so making them in mini form seems to be the perfect choice. Served up in mini glasses also make them adorable to offer to guests or little ones during your next gathering or special dinner.