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Kitchen Sink

Holiday Entertaining: Food/Drink Ideas!

November 21st, 2011

Entertaining, especially holiday style, ranks way up there as one of my favorite feel-goods. I dig putting menus together, selecting festive cocktails, and planning stupid party games my husband nixes (i.e. throw random strangers together, hand them one word written on a file card, make them talk about it amongst themselves). (Every time, he says no and breaks my spirit) (I call it a “Conversation Party.”) (Or I would. If my spirit weren’t broken and hanging precariously by one fragile soul thread.)

 

Lately, we haven’t had as many people over like we did in the old days, pre-recession and economic suckage, but I still like to fantasize about what I’d do if I were to plan a shindig. At the very least, I enjoy coming up with appetizer/drink ideas to bring to other people’s parties. That’s fun, too.

 

Coincidentally, last week, I was invited to a party hosted by Fresh & Easy (the grocery store, Pervo EntendrePants), and came across so many cool apps and drinks to serve that I had to share it with you. So you can serve them at your Conversation Party your husband would probably let you have if you asked. (I mean, come ON! The strangers get to know each other during the forced conversation that would only be awkward for probably the first 10 minutes. Or until everyone left immediately.)

 

At any rate, here’s what I would serve:

 

-FOOD-

 

Cranberry Sausage Skewers

 

 

What you do:

Take Fresh & Easy’s Cranberry Sausage (sliced), sweet potato cubes and tomatoes, put it all on a skewer, quick grill it, then glaze with Fresh & Easy pineapple/cherry glaze.

 

Butternut Squash Risotto Cakes

 

What you do:

Scoop out balls (watch it, Pervy) of Fresh & Easy’s Butternut Squash Risotto and freeze about 20 minutes until firm, but not frozen.
Then coat the balls (I HEARD THAT) with a beaten egg mixture and Panko bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet, spray with extra virgin olive oil, bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, let cool, and serve.

 

Pumpkin Bisque

 

What you do:

Warm, pour in shot glasses, serve. (I loved these bisque shooters because sometimes pumpkin overpowers, but these offered just the right amount of festive deliciousness.)

 

Fresh & Easy Triple-cream Brie, Spinach and Artichoke Purses, Shrimp Platter, Fruit and Dip Plate.

 

What you do:

Try not to eat all at once. These are ready to go, and major temptresses. Especially the Brie. Best I ever had, no lie.

 

-DRINK-

 

Fresh & Easy Dreamstone Pink Moscato

 

What it is:

A pretty sparkling wine that’s a great start to a party. And it’s less than $5 a bottle. This also makes a cool hostess gift.

 

Fresh & Easy Doon Buggy Red Blend

 

What it is:

A blend of 90% Syrah, 10% Merlot that is mellow and under $10.

 

Fresh & Easy Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider

 

What it is:

A non-alcoholic, seriously flavorful, holiday-ey drink. This was my favorite. It’s a really nice option to offer people who don’t drink.

 

-THE EXTRAS-

 

If nothing else, you must procure the Fresh & Easy Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake.

 

Take it from a cheesecake head (I went to college in Wisconsin!)

 

And to sum up: Enjoy the holidays. Let me know if you talk your husbands into my Conversation Party brainstorm. First two words to discuss: AWESOME IDEA.

 

{{Fresh & Easy does not know I posted this. But they did give me granola and nut clusters (SHUT IT PERVY.)}}

 

On November 21st, 2011, julie gardner said:

You said “coat the balls” and “spray the virgin” or something like that.

Come ON!

I think THOSE need to be the first conversation starters.

But my husband wouldn’t let play that game either.

So you can consider my one-threaded soul to be dangling, as well.

I think triple-cream brie may be the only cure.

On November 22nd, 2011, green girl in wisconsin said:

Go Cheeseheads! And I like your idea to conversation-start.

On November 22nd, 2011, Jenn Sullivan said:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

On November 23rd, 2011, Da Goddess said:

My preferred way to spend the holidays is to show up to someone’s house and dinner is ready. And clean up participation isn’t required of me.

However, I do enjoy cooking, so for my new family (now that I’m a live-in nanny) I’m putting on a full Thanksgiving dinner. I think I may have fallen and hit my head within the last week because it almost sounds like lots of fun.

On November 23rd, 2011, Aunt Snow said:

It’s just the two of us this Thanksgiving, and I am in a indecisive mood. I don’t know what I want to serve or eat, or whether I want to cook at all.

On November 30th, 2011, Doon Buggy Red Blend 2009 From Fresh And Easy Wines said:

[...] for the wine and called it Doon Buggy. The exact blend isn’t on the bottle. I had to ask San Diego Momma (who did an excellent recap of everything we ate) to remind me what they told us it was – 90% [...]

On December 2nd, 2011, Tonya Staab said:

I almost didn’t eat for a full day after the party … or at least I didn’t want to until I picked up another pumpkin cheesecake from Fresh and Easy the following morning for the kinder class party. So good!

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