It’s that time of year again and I am SO excited for our upcoming Christmas party in a few weeks. We usually have anywhere from 40 to 60 people come by our party every year, so this post is mostly about how to feed and water a crowd without going completely insane. My photos from last year are seriously lacking in number and quality, but hopefully you can get the gist anyway! Continue reading
Tag Archives: Holiday
This holiday party post is very, very late, but hopefully still helpful if you ever find yourself trying to entertain for a large crowd. We throw two large annual parties, but our holiday housewarming this year took the prize for most guests next to our wedding! Since returning to Los Angeles, we have found that our old friends have paired up and multiplied, making our two biggies (Easter and Christmas) even merrier! It’s wonderful, but feeding 60 people can be daunting…so here are some tips on how to do that without breaking the bank (or losing your cool): Continue reading
We figured it was time to find a new place to decorate, cozy up and entertain in since we aren’t quite edgy enough to raise a baby in a garage loft. For now, enjoy this holiday party post, use the recipes (everything was delicious!) and next year, get ready for new-apartment posts and baby nesting!
Our party had a much looser theme than last year, but we encouraged people to wear “vintage holiday” attire….any decade would do. Jeff and I channeled the 60’s, mostly because it was the only vintage maternity dress I could find! Here’s what we served:
- Hot Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips and Toasted Baguette Slices (Martha Stewart)
- Cheese and Meat Plate (Trader Joe’s cheeses, salamis, fig butter and hot pepper jelly)
- Dill Dip With Veggies (recipe below)
- Marcona Almonds (Trader Joe’s)
- Glazed Ham with Mustard (Trader Joe’s)
- Roasted Winter Vegetables (recipe below)
- Butternut Squash and Turnip Gratin (Wine Garage)
- Classic Stuffing (recipe below)
- Touch-of-Grace Biscuits (from The Bread Bible, but these are similar)
- Yule Log (Cake, Filling, Icing (whip this until light and fluffy once it is thickened at room temp), Mushrooms)
- Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake (Martha Stewart I also added a simple orange juice and 10x glaze)
- Hot Chocolate with Gingerbread Snowflakes (Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Snowflakes)
We served this with raw veggies at the party, but traditionally, my family serves it in a rye or pumpernickel bread bowl with rye and pumpernickel bread cubes (it’s the best!).
- 16 oz. mayonnaise
- 16 oz. sour cream
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon dry dill weed
Mix everything together in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving.
- 5 cups whole cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 6 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into hunks
- 1 large acorn squash, seeds removed, cut in wedges along grooves, peeled and cut into hunks
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 425. Line 2 sheet pans with foil and put the mushrooms on one and the sprouts on the other. Drizzle both with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Roast both for 15 minutes, stir and flip and continue roasting until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Dump both into a serving dish or casserole and toss to combine flavors. Lower the heat to 400 and repeat the process for the parsnips and acorn squash. These will take longer than the mushrooms and sprouts. Toss everything together and add more salt if needed.
I made this vegetarian this year with veggie stock, but I recommend using chicken stock if you have meat eaters around…it’s a lot tastier that way!
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup butter
- 9 cups soft bread cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
Preheat oven to 350. Toss bread cubes, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage in a large bowl. In a large skillet, cook and stir onion and celery in butter over medium heat until onion is tender. Pour over the bread cubes and toss until coated. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish, drizzle with stock and bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to 375 and bake until browned and crispy on top, about 10 minutes.
Gifts spend 99% of their life wrapped, under a tree, and exposed to the world…so why not make them look just as incredible and festive as the rest of your decorations? And don’t you just LOVE opening up a fantastically packaged gift, even if it’s not really what you “always wanted”?
Some years, I come up with 2 or 3 different wrapping themes and stick to those so everything coordinates beautifully under the tree. That way, I also only have to buy a few different papers, ribbons and toppers.
This year, I decided instead to use up a bunch of Christmas ribbons and decorations I’ve had around for years. I limited the paper choices so they still belonged to the same “world”, but otherwise, I went all out! Here are some of my favorites: