Holiday Entertaining Simplified

Holiday Entertaining SimplifiedLast 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.

Ideas: Holiday Entertaining 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.

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Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

A lot of baking goes down in December.  Am I right? School parties, neighborhood gifts, potlucks, cookie swaps – it seems there is always a reason/need to be whipping something up. In my family there are those staple things that we bake every year. You can bet on some type of sweets for breakfast (like cinnamon rolls or now, these pecan pie pancakes), a really seasonal dessert (think fudge), and of course a holiday staple – cookies.

chocolate peppermint cookies recipe

This season I’ve teamed up with Sugar In The Raw® to bring you some festive holiday treats (check out these monster lollipops and this pumpkin pie spice latte cake), and today I’m sharing my most recent holiday recipe with you – Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.

chocolate peppermint cookies recipe

Have them on hand to serve your family or pop in guests, box them up and ship to a distant relative, or tie them with a ribbon for a special teacher gift.

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Party Prep Tips and Printables

Tis’ the season to deck the halls, wrap the gifts, and gather for some festive cheer! I have been busy prepping for an upcoming holiday gathering with friends and thought I would take a moment to give you a little peek behind the scenes and tips on how I like to make things as simple as I can when entertaining.

avery4My biggest tip is to do as much party prep ahead of time that you can. Above are some drink tags I designed and printed on Avery Printable Tags. You can design your own (which I love!) or choose from one of dozens of designs.

Avery5Then simply tie them to the stem of your glassware and your beverage station will be ready to go when guests arrive.

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Give it :: Pecan Pie Pancake Mix in a Jar

You may have seen my recent post for Pecan Pie Pancakes in which I professed my love for pecan pie and (hopefully) convinced you all to eat it for breakfast. Great news! I’ve teamed up with Diamond of California to turn this into a simple gift idea so now you can gift the joy of pecan pie pancakes to your friends, family, and neighbors.

pie mix in a jar

I typically like to give baked good during the holiday season but to be honest, it’s a lot of pressure to find time to do all that baking during the holiday crunch. I love this idea because you can create this layered pancake mix gift weeks ahead of time, seal the lid, and you’ll be ready to roll when it comes time to deliver your gifts. Plus, there is just something so cute about gifts in a jar, am I right?

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Sip It :: Cranberry and Rosemary Cocktail

Cranberry CocktialConfession: I get really excited over a themed holiday cocktail. This post is one of those times (can’t you see my smile from there?). But really, who doesn’t? There is just something so fun and festive about a colorful, flavorful,  cocktail. This cranberry cocktail has a rosemary garnish that just swept me off of my feet.

cranberry cocktail recipeI recently got my “coveted” bar cart and was looking for a way to add a little pizzaz to cocktail hour this holiday season. With a little colorful tissue garland and this new Absolut Limited Edition Andy Warhol bottle, we were ready to sip in style. This bottle screams festive and fun, doesn’t it? It is modeled after Warhol’s iconic Absolut artwork that he created in 1986 which makes it a great conversation piece as well.

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Pecan Pie PANCAKES!

Pecan Pie Pancakes

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.

Pecan Pie Pancakes Recipe
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).

(PS I have also been known to drink my pie. Yep. Check out these pumpkin pie mini martinis).

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