Its Time To Do Some Holiday Entertaining!

Hello friends!  

Are you as excited about the holidays as I am? I love to entertain during this joyful season, and do so more than during the rest of the year. If you share my enthusiasm for holiday gatherings read on. I’m sharing some of my new cocktail and finger food recipes you can add to your holiday entertaining repertoire.  

Let’s start with the cocktails of course! My Holiday Breeze is a tall drink that will refresh you and warm your spirit as well - even better, this seasonal cranberry and ginger cocktail is sooo simple to make. In my holiday 2021 article I included a chocolate and orange cocktail inspired by my hairstylist and friend, Heather Hamilton. Well Heather is making a guest appearance this year to share her Eggnog Martini, a creamy mélange of eggnog, hazelnut and vanilla flavors.

And as for some party snacks, I have three easy-to-make recipes your friends and family will love. Spinach and Kalamata Olive Pinwheels are an appealing nosh filled with a savory cream cheese mixture. Next up is my Baked Artichoke and Seafood Dip. This warm creamy dip is perfect to serve with slices of a crusty baguette. Last but not least, my Smokey Cocktail Peanuts are deliciously addictive and can be made in advance.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. As I always say, have fun in your kitchen cooking and making drinks for the people you love, and remember… it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to taste good!

Happy Holidays!


The Holiday Breeze Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce of orange flavored vodka
  • 2 ounces of cranberry juice
  • Ginger beer
  • Fresh cranberriesand orange slide to garnish

Directions:

Fill a "highball" glass with ice and pour in the vodka and cranberry juice. Stir and top off the glass wtih ginger beer. Float a few cranberries on top andan orange slice. Cheers!


Heather’s Eggnog Martini

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce of eggnog
  • 1 ounce of vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce of Frangelico Liqueur
  • Ground nutmeg to garnish

Directions:

Place the first 3 ingredients into an ice filled shaker and shaker and shake for about 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe or martini glass, sprinkle with a scant pinch of nutmeg and enjoy!


Smokey Cocktail Peanuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of raw peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine the peanuts, olive oil, spices and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Spread the nuts on the cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with additional salt if desired. Remove the peanuts from the cookie sheet when fullly cooled and store in an airtight container.

 


 Baked Artichoke and Seafood Dip

Ingredients:

  • One 13.75 ounce can of artichoke hearts drained and chopped
  • 2 cups of frozen cooked salad shrimp thawed
  • One 6 ounce can of crabmeat drained
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour into a 11x7 inch or slightly larger baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through and bubbling.

 


Spinach & Kalamata Olive Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • One package of Pepperidge Farm brand frozen puff pastry thawed
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • 1.5 cups of chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the spinach and garlic and saute until the spinach wilts and the garlic is gragrant. Set aside to cool. Place the cream cheese, cooled spinach and garlic, olives, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt in a mixing bowl and combine well. Unroll both sheets of puff pastry onto separate cookie sheets. Spread 1/2 of teh cream cheese. Starting at the wide end, roll each of the filling covered pastry dough sheets into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Unwrap the pastry rolls, cut each into 1/2 inch thick slices and place about one inch apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and cookied through. Remove from oven and allow the pinwheels to cool on the cookie sheets before removing.

 



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