Saturday, December 25, 2010

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

It feels like Christmas came especially fast this year. I certainly hope that everyone has finished all of their Christmas shopping by now! I plan to spend the next week with family-first in New Jersey and then heading down to South Carolina to be with my fiancĂ©’s family. 

I thought it was appropriate to share these Buche de Noel (Yule Log) recipes with you today since it is traditionally served on Christmas (at least in France). I think these logs are ready for the fire =) 

I wish everyone a wonderful and a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Where Does the Fish Fork Go? (Table Setting Guide)

If you are having guests over for Christmas, you may be interested in this table setting guide. This guide will be helpful for a more formal Christmas dinner. Keep in mind that for each kind of food you will be serving (eg: soup, fish, salad, etc.) there are certain positions for your tableware. Don’t be afraid to use the good china. If you have been waiting to use your good china for the day the Queen arrives on your front steps, it’s time to put it to good use! Christmas is the perfect opportunity to take it down from your china cabinet. It will feel very special to see your beautiful china set out on the table for friends and family to enjoy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Breakfast

Christmas morning and the day after Christmas are two days when my family enjoys a relaxing breakfast with the whole family. My aunt, cousin and grandma usually stay over for Christmas weekend and I always look forward to breakfast. On our breakfast table we have: eggs, bacon, toast, an assortment of fruit, cranberry bread, an apple coffee cake with a high amount of cinnamon (my father has an extreme addiction to cinnamon), and some leftover Christmas cookies. Below are some great recipes to accompany your breakfast meal. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

DIY Gift Tags

I’m sure many of you are in the midst of wrapping all of your Christmas gifts. I still need to finish some of my shopping! Here are some great gift tag ideas you can use, which kick it up a notch from the average stickers found in the store. 

For the crafty: 
The How To:

For those in a rush:  
Easy, printable labels for those with less time. 
Printable Sheets: 
Monogram Gift Tags (for every letter of the alphabet) 

For the Green Conscious: 
Be environmentally friendly this year and recycle scraps of wrapping paper and turn them into gift tags. 
Use this template to trace tags onto scrap paper or you can create your own shapes & designs.

For the Money Givers: 
If you are planning on giving someone money, a gift card, or a small gift, this is a fun alternative to using a regular card & envelope: 
Create your own paper stocking

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Dessert Table

I created this lovely table for a good friend of mine. She thought that a dessert table would not only be a perfect addition to her holiday party but that it would create an area for people to gather and mingle. I stayed within a mainly red and white color palette. The bright white exuded a feeling of wintry, frosty snow. Decorative aspects of the table focused on everything cranberry. The backdrop had a wintry cranberry feel; a tree made of fresh cranberries along with cranberry balls placed atop of glass candle holders were a showstopper. While my blogs are meant to give you all ideas, I myself got the idea to decorate with cranberries from my previous blog entry, Decorating with Cranberries.

Cranberry iced tea was presented in glass bottles for guests to serve themselves. The table was not short on candy, there were: white chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint mints, chocolate mints, gum balls, jordan almonds, sixlets, large swirly lollipops, chocolate dipped candy canes, twizzlers, red chocolate stars, and white chocolate snowflakes. A feast for the eyes! Christmas is pretty much synonymous with baking cookies, so I made sure to include a good variety of cookies as well, such as: candy cane thumbprint cookies, Christmas tree almond sugar cookies, lemon-coconut snowball cookies, and vanilla meringues. Guests also had candy favors to take home with them. The “Christmas treats to go” were a hit as guests tried to narrow down their choices of treats to bring home. A great time was had by all! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Handheld Desserts

Large customized cakes always impress your guests. However, when you're the host you may not have time to find the cake cutter, slice it into pieces and parcel out to all the guests. These individual desserts are meant to be grabbed & enjoyed.  One less thing to worry about while you’re entertaining is good in my book.

* Try a few of the recipes below to create a decadent dessert buffet.
1. Dark Chocolate-Raspberry Cakes
2. Bittersweet Chocolate Tartlets
3. Chocolate Truffles
4. Coconut Cupcakes 
5. Individual Chocolate Cakes
6. Fruit-Filled Hand Pies
7. Mini Raspberry and White Chocolate Whoopie Pies
8. Deep, Dark Brownies
9. Meyer Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes