Entertain During the Holidays with Elegance and Ease

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This holiday season, try something new by mixing up your usual seasonal decor and whipping up a new family favorite recipe.

 

Décor to Match

Decorating for the holidays can be overwhelming, but don’t overthink your approach. Whether you’re hosting a party or having dinner with your family, the kitchen is always the most popular gathering spot when there are holiday foods to enjoy.

Adorning your counter space with fresh, simple décor will help create a warm holiday atmosphere. Create visual contrast by accentuating a pine garland with solid, metallic ornaments. Depending on which matte finish you’ve chosen for your appliances, consider coppers, bronzes, golds or silvers to match those tones or try mixing metals by using more than one color.

Festive Hors D’oeuvres

When you’re hosting friends and family for the holidays, the stakes are high. So there’s nothing wrong with whipping up hors d’oeuvres that are tried-and-true crowd pleasers. Crostinis, for example, are easy for you to make and easy for guests to handle while socializing before the entrees are served. And with endless topping options, they’re easy to change up for any gathering. Try this Christmas-ready recipe for a fail-proof appetizer.

Cranberry and Chevre Crostini

Cranberry Orange Sauce Ingredients

12 oz fresh cranberries

½ cup water

½ cup honey

½ tsp dark brown sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground allspice

Zest of one orange

Crostini Ingredients

1 loaf crusty whole grain bread, cut in ½-inch slices

2 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt

10 oz chèvre or another soft, spreadable cheese

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway, until the slices are lightly golden. Set pan aside.

Rinse the cranberries and toss any that are overripe. In a large saucepan, add water, honey, sugar, and spices, and bring to a gentle boil. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in two-thirds of the orange zest.

Spread a generous smear of cheese on each slice of toast, then top with cranberry sauce and a sprinkle of remaining orange zest.

Chef's notes: Any extra cranberry sauce can be saved to use on breakfast toast, stirred into oatmeal or yogurt, or added to a grilled cheese sandwich.

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