It’s happening. It really is. I mean it is November and all and maybe 10 years ago this moment would have come a lot sooner. Actually, I am sure of it because I remember it happening on Halloween. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas folks, snow has begun! Blanketing the streets, looking ever so light. Covering the lit up rows of trees down the Promenade as folks walk on by joyously. If only this was actually happening. Instead it is that rainy, wet, gross, sloshy snow. In which everyone feels the need to drive 20 miles under the speed limit and cringe at the thought of having to walk down that Promenade. I’m not complaining, I am in fact looking on the bright side that this is just the beginning of a lovely season to come.
With the chill in the air and the holidays coming the invitations to parties is going to be coming your way. I crave this time of year for that reason. The fact that my birthday is only a month away tends to up my holiday spirit and entertaining level as well. Gahhh I just love it! Platters of little bites spread across a long table, tea light candles, colorful décor, lighting to fit the mood, drinks with little sippy straws, pitchers of homemade sangria, goodie bags filled with the best indulgences and the happy faces that warm ones house are just some of the reason’s the holiday entertaining scene is one of the best.
It is so easy to stress out and worry about every little detail when throwing a party. Learning from the best two people I know, Mum and Dad, I have thrown my fair share of parties. A few tips for a successful party…
1. Have a theme. It is always easier to build from one idea and begin to build the food, drinks and décor from there on out.
2. Make a list a week ahead of time of exactly what you will be making and need from the store. If a guest offers to bring something, always say yes! Even if it does not fit your theme, it will be one less thing you may have to worry about.
3. Have a set schedule for the day of an event. Try and be done at least one hour before guest arrive. Showered, dressed and ready to go. Twenty minutes before guests arrive start to place out cheese trays, drinks and other apps.
4. Allow guest’s to be involved and help in the kitchen. You worked hard to throw this party, loosen up and be the director. Assign tasks to people…refill platters, keep ice stocked, clean up crew, etc.
5. Most of all, enjoy. Let the evening fall into whatever may be. The party will begin to pick up a vibe. Keep cocktails and drinks full, always. Food stocked and looking tasty. See guests out personally and thank them for attending. Goodie bags and warm wishes are always a extra plus.
This following recipe is a must at all parties. The easiest thing that can be made in bulk. The types of nuts can be switched to your liking. The only way to mess this up is if you happen to forget that the nuts are in the oven and you just happen to burn them…in which case, the deer and birds will love you.
3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
1 spring of oregano, finely chopped
1 tsp of dill
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tlbs sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbls corn syrup
5 1/2 cups peanuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with tin foil. Spray with a nonstick spray.
In a bowl combine all of the nuts and stir well. In a separate bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients. Pour the wet mixture over the nut mixture and incorporate. Spread out on the sheet tray. Place in oven and begin to roast. Take out and stir, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, every 5 minutes or so. The nuts will begin to turn a golden brown and become fragrant, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven let cool.
Place in your favorite dishes, in jars or in treat bags. These will be a hit, I can assure you that. I am SO looking forward to the holiday season. The happy faces, the gatherings, the people, the food and drinks. Nothing that makes me more happy than being able to make others happy through my passion.