Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hosting for the holidays? Read this first!

Are you hosting a holiday gathering this year?  If so, here are some of my tried-and-true tricks that will help make your prep work easier - your dishes tastier - and your decor more festive.

.

Forgo an expensive floral arrangement!
For a festive bouquet, all you need is a vase, a store-bought bushel of flowers (or freshly-picked, if you have that luxury), and a bag of fresh cranberries.
Fill the vase half-way with water and float a handful/more of cranberries.  Top with flowers!


Guests, especially men, love their nuts.
Alongside your more intricate appetizers, present a bowl of pistachios and a small dish for discarded shells (<---- that last piece is key).  No offense, but these will actually go faster than your famous baked brie.    

Stop reheating your mulled cider on the stove!
Use your crock pot as a makeshift cauldron; this will keep your cider consistently warm.

Does your casserole recipe call for pre-cooked veggies?
Don't use canned vegetables, for crissakes; use frozen!  Cook them according to the stove top instructions, subbing chicken or vegetable stock for water.  It adds that much more flavor to the overall dish!

Subbing chicken or vegetable stock for water when cooking your veggies will make your casserole sing!

Too intimidated to make homemade whipped cream for your holiday pies and desserts?
You're not the only one!  Grab a tub of Cool Whip and some eggnog.  In a separate bowl, portion your desired amount of whipped cream and lightly float with eggnog.  Whip ingredients together until blended, and top with a dusting of nutmeg.   
Your pumpkin and pecan pies...and even your coffee...will love you!

I found this gorgeous photo here, as I didn't get a chance to snap a shot of my own.


...

Lindsay, Beverly Hills Bites

P.S. Do you have any great holiday hosting tips?  I'd love to hear about them!