Books and Cooks

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Soft, melt-in-your-mouth Christmas Sprinkle Cookies have a sweet almond flavor that adults and kids alike will love.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

I have a confession to make. I’m a cookie snob.

I’m the person you don’t want to invite to your holiday cookie exchanges, because I will almost never like anyone else’s cookies as much as the cookies I bring. I want my holiday cookies soft and to stay soft even if it takes us a couple of days to eat the batch. I want them full of sweet yet subtle flavors, not cookies overpowered with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg.

So after a couple of disappointing cookie exchanges, I decided it was probably better for me to stay home and bake the cookies I enjoy, and then to push them on friends and coworkers so that I don’t become a blimp during the holiday season. Truthfully, I’m bummed that I didn’t enjoy the cookies I took home at those exchanges more than I did, because I truly enjoy trying new cookies. But I just didn’t fall in love with any, and my friends and coworkers haven’t complained yet. So I guess this arrangement will do.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

So today, for this day on #ChristmasCookies week, I bring you a recipe that I discovered within the past couple of years. This recipe isn’t a seasonal classic in my house (that would be our seven layer cookies and our cranberry oatmeal cookies), but everyone loves these cookies so much that we now make a batch every month or two – for holidays as well as everyday entertaining. These cookies are slightly crispy on the outside but generally have soft throughout, a melt-in-your-mouth sort of texture. And the flavor is wonderful.

These cookies are also one of my favorites to make with kids. Miss Hazelnut and Mr Nutterbutter absolutely love to make it since they get to pick out which sprinkles they use. They love making all cookies but there’s something special about them each getting their own bowl of sprinkles for them to roll the cookies in. And then, of course, to be licking spilled sprinkles off the counter.

So if you’re looking for a new cookie to make this holiday season, may I suggest these Christmas Sprinkle Cookies. Not into sprinkles? Check out the collection of cookie recipes at the bottom of this post for even more inspiration. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened slightly
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened slightly
  • 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1+ c. sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place cream cheese, butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Lower speed to medium and beat in eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat again, if necessary. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat on low until combined, again scraping down sides and bottom of bowl to ensure that everything is mixed thoroughly.
  3. Portion dough into equal sized balls, using a 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop. Roll between the palms of your hands to warm dough slightly (as well as to perfect the shape) before rolling in a shallow bowl filled with sprinkles. Sprinkles should completely coat the ball of dough all around.
  4. Place sprinkle-covered dough onto prepared baking sheet, each about 2 inches apart. Press down slightly with the flat bottom of a drinking glass or palm of your hand to flatten. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until edges are set and starting to brown ever so slightly (center may look a bit underbaked). Remove from oven and allow to cook on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.books-n-cooks.com/2017/12/06/christmas-sprinkle-cookies/

Rewritten but not really adapted from Smitten Kitchen, Originally from King Arthur Flour

 

Recipe Note: Smitten Kitchen advises that if the dough is too soft to roll, chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before using. I’ve never had this problem, but my butter and cream cheese are usually still fairly cold when making the dough.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies on Books n' Cooks

Big thanks to Family Around the Table for hosting #ChristmasCookies Week! And don’t forget to check out more great recipe below, as well as enter to win a fabulous prize from the #ChristmasCookies Week sponsor, Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors. Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Save

I meant to get this post up – my Christmas week menus – Christmas week, but as usual, life got in the way. My baby got sick, so we spent a few miserable days cuddling as he recovered in time to enjoy lots of family visiting, and, of course, Santa. Since I’m late, I’ll give you the menus, and a little bit about what I’ve been up to, and why it’s been so quiet on the blog over the past few weeks.

So as I said, at the start of Christmas week, my sweet boy came down with a nasty virus and ear infection, making him a pitiful sight. We had a couple of rough days, sleeping all day, eating very little, and trouble breathing at night. Thankfully, Nutterbutter started recovering and returning to his normal, happy baby-self just as family started to arrive.

This was the first Christmas since I’ve been with my husband (8 years) Tree!where we weren’t traveling for Christmas. We ended up with a full house – several members of my family came for the holidays, as well as some close friends, our “local family,” as we think of them.

The week was amazing. I LOVED seeing my little ones crawling over and smiling at my 85-year old grandfather, teasing my uncles, begging my brother to color… It was the first Christmas where my daughter understood that Santa was coming, and her reaction on Christmas morning was priceless. She was absolutely speechless, eventually stuttering, “so… many…presents.” We truly had the perfect Christmas.

My mom stayed until New Years Eve, to watch the munchkins while daycare was closed. I love when my mom stays, but it’s always tough – I’d rather be home and hanging out with her instead of working or being productive at home.

Once my house emptied out, I focused on returning life to normal – getting through the laundry, putting away the Christmas stuff, finding a new home for all of the toys, etc. The normal, boring stuff. But most of all, I was knitting like crazy. My sister-in-law’s baby shower was this past weekend, and I really wanted to finish the baby blanket I had started for my first (!) nephew. Knitting was pretty much all I did for the better part of a week, but it was worth it. I finished it the night before the shower, later than I would have liked. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out, and think both my brother and sister-in-law liked the blanket.

Never one to sit for long, when my nephew’s baby blanket was finished, I turned to organizing my photos (which I slacked on for the past few months) and finishing my son’s 3-6 month photo album. (I’m creating digital scrapbooks, four for the first year of his life.) I’m really making an effort to stay on track with finishing his albums – Nutterbutter is almost 9 months old, and I’ll have another album to start on very shortly. I can’t get behind! My daughter is almost 3 and I’ve yet to do any of her albums. (#fail!) I still have a long way to go on this project, but I feel better having started getting back on track.

So life is returning to normal after all of the winter holidays. I am getting caught up on or finishing some projects, and after a short break to focus on my home and family, I’m ready to get back to blogging. I’ve got a number of posts to finish up, and several new ones I’m planning, so stay tuned for regular updates. Without further ado, I give you my Christmas week menus! (Hey, you can still bookmark them for next year! 🙂 )

CHRISTMAS WEEK MENUS

Sweets for the Week

With unexpected additions from some family members, I decided to skip formal desserts for the week.
Instead, we had an assortment of cookies and candies.

White Chocolate Covered Oreos
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caramels
Spritz
Polish “Chrust”
See’s Chocolates

Wednesday, Dinner for 8

Beef & Sausage Lasagna
Spinach Lasagna
Garlic Ciabatta Bread

Thursday (Christmas Eve), Dinner for 12 Adults, 2 Toddlers

Crab Cakes with Creole Sauce
Rice Pilaf
Roasted Carrots
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Friday (Christmas), Breakfast for 10 Adults, 1 Toddler

Tomato & Asiago Frittata
Raspberry Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins
Mimosas

Afternoon Appetizers for 12 Adults, 2 Toddlers

Spanokopitas
Antipasto & Cheese Platter

Dinner for 12 Adults, 2 Toddlers

French Onion Soup*
Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Salad
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

* I wasn’t super excited about the version of French Onion Soup that I made on Christmas Day, so instead I linked to my tried and true recipe.

Last year’s annual holiday party did not go as planned. Our heater was being flaky (I’d argue it wasn’t working at all by the end of the week) and I had come down with a cold. Between the two, we had to cancel the party or risk everyone being cold and getting sick. I was super bummed – this has been our big party each year. I plan and look forward to it for months. More than half of the menu, to feed 40-50 people, was already prepared by the time we made the call to cancel. As hard as it was for me, I’m sure I wouldn’t be forgiven if everyone spent their upcoming Christmas vacations in bed with colds.

Even though we didn’t get to host the party last year, I wanted to share the menu I had planned, in case something inspires you. In addition, I wanted to share a few tips and lessons I’ve learned while planning these parties over the last 6 or so years:

1.   I plan and execute my menu each year. This sounds silly and might offend some people, but I’ve learned not rely on others (or at least limit that reliance) for contributions. Inevitably, something happens and someone can’t make it, which has the potential of throwing everything off (one year, I had backup appetizers in my freezer, just in case… another year, I wasn’t prepared and had to ask someone to pick up a last minute item from the grocery store on their way to the party because someone arrived without the promised goods). Planning and executing myself means that I don’t worry that something may not go as planned.

2.   I’ve learned to dial back on the desserts and increase the savory items. Year after year, my savory items were all gone by the end of the night but I was still left with a number of desserts. Sometimes this is due to guests preferences, other times because people end up bringing cookies and other sweets unannounced.

3.   Start cooking and baking well in advance. I usually start cementing my menu in November, about a month away from the party. I start cooking and baking at the same time. Cookies freeze great; candy keeps well at room temperature. I store candies in airtight containers in my basement – cooler temps and not in sight to tempt us! Even some savory appetizers (such as the spinach and artichoke dip and meatballs on the menu below, or mini quiche that I’ve made in the past) freeze really well. This keeps me from feeling frantic in the week prior to the party, and rushing around the day of the party. I’ll even keep a little extra in the freezer in case I need to restock during the party.

Vanilla Almonds.4.   Know your layout and the flow of guests throughout your house. We’ve always had two floors of the house for entertaining. Currently, our upstairs has a family room, kitchen, dining room, etc. The downstairs has a second family room and pool table. While I set most of the food out upstairs, I usually try to make sure there’s snacks – bowls of nuts, a small cheese/cracker or veggies tray, an extra plate of assorted cookies – in the downstairs as well.

But this final item is equally as important for your main entertaining space. Does everyone tend to hang out in the kitchen and family room? Maybe then, place the food and beverages in a dining room so that people move around the space a bit more. Our formal living room and dining room have been completely empty for the past two years, so we always set up a few folding tables for holding food and beverage stations.

These four tips have helped me kick things off smoothly every year.

This year, we’ve decided to change things up a bit. We now have two young children and the majority of our Chocolate Coconut Cookiesfriends have their own families. While we’ll still hold a holiday gathering, this year’s will be slightly smaller and more kid-friendly than it has been in the past. Come back tomorrow for our first annual Holiday Open House Menu.

{Menu}

Holiday Party, 2014

Sweet:

Gingerbread CookiesCranberry Oatmeal Cookies, and Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies
Spicy Espresso Dark Chocolate Almonds
Pecan Pie Bars
Black Bottom CupcakesSpinach-Artichoke Dip 3

Savory: 

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip with fresh bread
Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
Mini Italian Frittatas
Veggies with Fiesta Dip
Caprese Skewers

Drinks:

Beer, Wine, Assorted Soft Drinks

What's_Baking_Badge

Ok, so I was terrible with keeping up with the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats this year. Call me lazy if you’d like. I’ve been super busy and frankly, exhausted over the past few (the first trimester does that to me, apparently!). It’s a wonder I’ve been able to get any posts out over the past few months.

Now that the first trimester has past, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. If you’re still looking for a holiday cookie for a party, some care packages, or just to have around the house, then this week’s post, something “gingerbread,” to satisfy the What’s Baking? theme chosen by Catherine of Pursuing Domestic Goddess-ness, will work for you. I’ve never been particularly interested in gingerbread flavored baked goods, but I did have to stop myself from eating these. The flavor was fairly subtle and the cookies were super soft, just the way I like them.

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Adapted from All Recipes via One Little Project At A Time

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¾ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. + 4 Tbs. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • ¼ c. molasses
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.Gingerbread Cookies

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 1 c. sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Lower speed slightly and one at a time, add egg, water, and molasses. Scrape down sides of mixer and add all remaining ingredients (except for the 4 Tbs. sugar), mixing until just combined.

Use a cookie scoop to form 1-inch balls, shaping them between the palms of your hands as needed. Roll in remaining sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are browned slightly. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Unlike some people, I never really had any strong Christmas traditions of watching a particular movie. When my brothers and I were little, we would watch Christmas specials that my mom recorded (on VHS!) – the Smurf’s Christmas Special, Frosty the Snowman… the homemade movie had all of those amazing Coca Cola polar bear commercials (seriously, why did those every go away?).

But at a certain point, we got too old for the Christmas specials. I don’t know when we stopped watching – junior high? High school? It wasn’t until college that those Christmas specials were replaced with a movie. Elf.

I remember coming home from college and talking about the movie. My mom rolled her eyes at me, but my brother jumped right into the conversation about what a great movie it was. Needless to say, Mom had to watch it with us. Several times that Christmas vacation. Thus began my newest Christmas movie tradition.

These cookies are inspired by that movie. For those of you that don’t know the movie, stop reading right now, and check out Netflix, On Demand, whatever. Watch it, and then finish reading this post. You should be picturing the scene where Will Ferrell is making a breakfast of pasta, candy, and maple syrup for his father’s wife. These cookies aren’t as sickly sweet as I imaging that breakfast would have been.Not surprisingly, I felt like I was eating a handful of candy when I ate a cookie.

I can’t wait to turn my Christmas movie tradition into a movie + baking event with my daughter!

Buddy the Elf Cookies

Buddy the Elf Cookies

Adapted from Spoon or Foon

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 1½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 14 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. M&Ms
  • ½ c. mini marshmallows
  • 1 c. Sno-Caps
  • 4 S’mores Pop Tarts, chopped

Ingredients for the Maple Glaze

  • 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper an set aside.2013_12.Weeks.Of.Christmas.Treats

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla, beating until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mixing well and scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low and add oats, Sno-Caps, Pop Tarts, M&Ms, and marshmallows. The batter will be very thick. You’ll want to finish stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure the candy is evenly distributed.
Using an ice cream scoop, portion out cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 14-16 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack (set on top of a paper bag to minimize the mess) to cool completely.
Make the Glaze. While cookies are baking, whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cookies.
Store in an airtight container.

What's_Baking_BadgeThis month is my first to participate in a blogging event called What’s Baking? Every month or two, a blogger will choose a theme, and the rest of us will bake something that fits in with the theme. It’s a great way to try out new recipes, sometimes out of your comfort zone.

This month, the theme of “Heritage Dish” was chosen by Ali from Sparks from the Kitchen. This theme couldn’t have come at a better time, as I recently saw my Polish grandparents. What’s Baking? was the perfect excuse to make something that my grandpa always enjoyed – babka.

Babka is a sweet yeast bread or cake from Eastern Europe. Growing up, my family served the Jewish version, a bread (the cake version is associated with Christian Easter and other holidays). I don’t recall anyone ever making it but it was ordered from bakeries a time or two around both Easter and Christmas.

This version is streaked with semisweet chocolate. My coworkers polished off two loaves of this bread before noon one day. My grandfather, however, was not as impressed. He reminded me every time he had a slice, that I should have used raisins in it, and that it was a little heavy. But he ate two or three slices a day, so it couldn’t have been that bad. 🙂

Baking Note: The original recipe made 4 loaves of bread. I halved the recipe below, because even though it’s freezable, four loaves is quite a lot. If you choose to freeze the dough, it can be frozen for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge 24-hours before using. Then roll out the dough, allow it to rest and rise, and bake.

Chocolate-Flecked Babka

Chocolate-Flecked Babka

Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois), p. 221

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 c. lukewarm milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3/4 Tbs. granulated yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. finely chopped or shaved semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate
  • 1/8 c. rum, divided (for soaking the bread)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together milk, yolks, salt, and butter with a wooden spoon until fairly well combined. Attach bowl to mixer and fit with dough hook. Add flour and stir on speed 2 (the highest speed my mixer could handle using the dough hook) until all of the flour has been incorporated. The mixture will be fairly loose.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), about 2 hours. (I tend to place the bread near the oven/stove, when it’s turned on to help it along a little).

When the dough has risen, brush with half of the rum and refrigerate (still covered loosely with plastic wrap) until chilled.

Here, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to a month. If using dough from the freezer, allow to defrost in the fridge for 24 hours before resuming recipe below. 

On baking day, grease a standard loaf pan and set aside. .

Lightly flour a work surface with flour. Remove dough from fridge and cut dough in half. Dust with flour and shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the below around to the bottom. Roll out into a rectangle, approximately 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle the entire piece of the dough (including edges) with half of the shaved chocolate (1/2 c.). Roll into a log, starting at the short end. Fold the ends of the log into the middle, so that the ends meet. Place in prepared loaf pan and allow to rise and rest, about 2 hours.

Repeat with the second portion of dough, if you’re baking both at once.

Shortly before before baking, ensure that a rack is in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and firm.

Remove from the oven and brush with rum. Allow to rest for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve at room temperature.

Store, tightly wrapped, at room temperature.

I’m a bit behind in my holiday posting and am playing catch up. This week, stay tuned for some holiday menus – be sure to bookmark or pin them for next year!

Holiday Party 2013

Menu: Holiday Party 2013

Savory:

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs
Bacon, Leek & Cheddar Mini-Quiche
Parmesan Artichoke Pesto and Tomato-Almond Spread
Rosemary Wreath with Marinated Olives and Bocacchini
Fresh Bread

Sweet:

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Pecan Pie Truffles
Buddy the Elf Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
Seven Layer Cookies

Beverages:

Assorted wine, beer & sodas

Hot Chocolate Bar: Peppermint Schnapps (an nod to this Liquid Thin Mint we all love), Kahlua, Candy Canes, Marshmallows, Thin Mints, and Pirouette Cookies

Holiday Party 2013

The above menu was planned for 30-40 people. In addition to the above, guests brought Guiness Bailey’s Cupcakes (similar to this recipe), Christmas crack (saltine toffee), brownies, and macarons. Almost all of the savory items were gone but a good number of sweets remained. Note to self: more savory items next year!

Merry Christmas!

This holiday season is a full house for my family. The hubby and I spent the holiday with my family up north. For a week, we had friends and family in and out of the house every couple days. It made for a fun week, although a bit chaotic. It was hard to keep up with so many people coming and going, everyone at a different times. As a result, we kept our meals fairly informal and flexible. We stocked the pantry to accommodate a couple extra batches of cookies, and the freezer, which was full of ready-made appetizers and breakfast goodies that just had to be popped in the oven. Finally, family members volunteered to make a couple quick trips to the grocery store so that we could add two requested items (from this blog!). I just went with the flow (and tried to get Mom to relax and do the same).

In the end, the following ended up being the menu for the week – for most of the main meals. In addition to the below, we also had cranberry scones, orange pecan biscotti, and blueberry scones for breakfasts throughout the week.

CHRISTMAS EVE EVE (THE FRIDAY BEFORE)

Lunch for 9: Chicken Noodle Soup & Butternut Squash Soup

Dinner for 11:  Chicken & Eggplant Parmesan, Penne with Homemade Marinara Sauce, Warmed Italian Bread

Dessert/The Week’s Sweets: Seven Layer Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Babka

CHRISTMAS EVE

Dinner for 11: Crab Cakes, Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta, White Rice, Roasted Asparagus

Dessert: Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce, Cranberry Pear Tart

CHRISTMAS DAY

Appetizers (for 5-11): Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Baguette, Assorted Cheese & Crackers, Mushrooms Stuffed with Pancetta

Cocktails: Champagne Cosmopolitans

Dinner for 11: French Onion & Fennel Soup Gratin, Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce, Twice Baked Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables

Dessert: Leftover cheesecake, fruit tart, and cookies. Tiramisu, an Italian cookie platter, and a ginger-pear pie, compliments of our guests.

THE MONDAY AFTER

Leftovers & Chinese food. Mom and I finally get a break from the kitchen!

THE TUESDAY AFTER (round two of visiting family)

Appetizers for 18: Spinach-Artichoke Dip, Baked Fontina

Dinner for 18: Crown Roast of Pork with Apple Stuffing & Cider Bourbon Sauce, Roasted Vegetables

Dessert: Leftovers (Sadly. I’ve been dying to make a coconut cream cake, but we just had way too many sweets in the house to make it).

THE WEDNESDAY AFTER

Dinner for 18: Spaghetti & Meatballs

And because I can’t resist, a few photos of my favorite Christmas gifts :

1. A set of children’s books wine glass charms. I’ve never seen any book-related wine charms – can’t wait to try these out at the next book club dinner I host!

2. A gorgeous wreath made of pages from Jane Austen novels.

3. An ice cream maker with a copy of The Perfect Scoop – since my ice cream bowl for my KitchenAid began to ooze blue stuff this summer

4. From Plate to Pixel – so that I can work on my photography this year

This weekend was our annual holiday party. As usual, it was a fabulous time! We loved seeing everyone and are so grateful to our friends who took the time out of their very busy holiday season to spend a few hours with us.

This year’s menu was pretty much all new recipes for me. I know you’re not supposed to try new recipes out for company, but I always have cheese and crackers stashed away and grocery store down the road in case a recipe flops. I lucked out this year – everything got rave reviews. In fact, I think it turned out even better than usual. For the first time ever, almost everything was eaten!

A couple recipes are already posted (and linked to) and I linked those recipes that I won’t be posting, probably because I forgot to take photos. Any recipe without a link is something that I plan on posting in the next week or two. (Please let me know if you’d like any recipes sooner than others!)

Happy holidays!

2011 Holiday Party Menu

Savory

Sweet

Nibbles around the House

Drinks

  • Assorted White & Red Wine
  • Assorted Soft Drinks & Lemonade
  • Assorted Liquors

Serving Notes: I made double batches of the rocky road bark, the cookies & cream bark, the meatballs, and the crab cakes. This menu was designed serve approximately 50 people. We probably had closer to 60 people, many of whom look forward to this event and might save a lot of room in their tummies for whatever “The Bakery” might serve. I had had 5 cupcakes and a couple pieces of chocolate leftover – everything else was gone.

If you’re looking for more menu ideas, check out the 2009 Holiday Party or 2010 Holiday Party menus.

Christmas time is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. The tree goes up as early as the hubby will let me. In fact, because of a crazy couple weeks, we put up the tree just before Thanksgiving this year. I think I drove the hubby crazy because we returned from Thanksgiving with Christmas presents from my parents – I immediately arranged them under the tree and then asked, every day, if we could open presents. The pile has been growing as I’ve finished Christmas shopping – wrapping the presents and adding them to the pile (I even had a wedding gift and birthday present under the tree!)

I also love to celebrate with our friends and family at our annual holiday party. Its our one huge party of the year where everyone is invited. I’m probably pretty annoying, asking friends whether it’s on their calendar well before the party. I start planning the menu in October and start cooking and baking in November…. but its well worth it. The party is always a ton of fun!

So, without further ado, here’s this year’s menu.

I’ll be posting links to more of the recipes this week, but for those of you still searching for ideas for your own holiday parties, I wanted to get this out sooner. If you’d like a recipe before it gets posted, please just let me know and I’d be happy to send it to you.

2010 Holiday Party

Savory

  • Create Your Own Ham Slider: roast ham, swiss cheese, mustard, and dinner rolls
  • Duo of Pesti: Artichoke-Parmesan Pesto & Sun Dried Tomato Pesto served with freshly baked french bread
  • Honey-Apple-Brie Bites (thanks to K for bringing these tasty bites and for sharing the recipe!)
  • Cheddar and Bacon Mini-Quiche

Sweet

Nibbles around the House

Drinks

  • Assorted white and red wine
  • Sam Adams Winter Lager
  • Assorted Soft Drinks
  • Assorted Liquors

Note: This menu served approximately 50 people.

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out the 2009 Holiday Party Menu.

Disclosure

Books n’ Cooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Some links on Books n’ Cooks may be affiliate links – links books and kitchen supplies that I love and would recommend. If you click on the link and purchase, I make a very small percentage (at no additional cost to you!) which goes towards maintenance of this blog. Thanks for your support!

Sunday Supper Movement