Holiday Handbook - Recipes and Tips for Entertaining

1.  My first rule about having a party is to remember that it's all about doing something nice for people you love!  No one really cares if everything isn't perfect!  I always try to make something delicious and hope it turns out the way I want it to, but if you've got a good bottle of wine and feel relaxed about things, everyone will have a good time!  You can always order a pizza in a pinch!

Get the recipe for my delicious Stuffed Chicken Breasts here!  These chicken breasts can be stuffed the night before and baked before serving!

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

2.  One way to be sure you'll feel relaxed is to prep what you can in advance.  Chop veggies, wash your herbs and measure any ingredients.  Store everything in small containers in the refrigerator.  Give yourself plenty of time to prep...it always takes longer than you think!

3.  Make sure you know about any dietary restrictions.  Gluten and other allergies are a real thing and people can get very sick if they eat something they're not supposed to.  It's important to find out in advance and plan your menu to accommodate your guests.  This delicious recipe for Brussels Sprouts is a crowd pleaser and great for the holiday season!

Brussels Sprouts

4.  Plan on 4 - 6 ounces of meat or fish per person.  Make sure to have plenty of veggies and grains for those who have larger appetites.  One of my favorite main dish recipes is for savory Chicken with Leeks and Lemon

Chicken with Leeks and Lemon

5.  Don't hesitate to oblige when guests ask what they can bring.  It's especially nice to have an extra bottle of wine and don't hesitate to suggest what type of wine might go with dinner.  Champagne goes well with everything and Rosé is delicious with rich foods.  To find out all about Rosé, click here.  You could also suggest a particular type of cheese or ice cream to go with dessert.

Holiday Handbook

6.  It's nice to start with a cocktail and then serve beer and wine for dinner.  Click here for a great holiday cocktail idea!  This way you can plan how much liquor you need to buy and save a little money as well.  Make sure to have at least one bottle of wine per person...

7.  Consider entertaining on Thursday evening or Sunday for Brunch (check out this post for delicious recipes for brunch) People are winding down on Thursday and anticipating the weekend so you will probably have better attendance.  Sunday brunch is nice for people because they still have the rest of the day to prepare for the week ahead.  Tomato Pie is delicious anytime of the year!

Tomato Pie

8.  Serve a hot soup as a first course and keep it simple by serving a big salad with your meat or fish.  This way you don't have to worry about keeping so many things hot at once.  You'll love this recipe for Carrot and Ginger Soup!  It's great for any time of the year and one of my all time favorites.

 Photo by Sara-Anne Photography

Photo by Sara-Anne Photography

9.  Invest in a set of simple white dinnerware.  It goes with everything and you can change the look by using different color napkins, placemats and serving platters.  I think cloth napkins are a must at a dinner party.  It's a simple touch that makes your guests feel special.

Fall Table Setting

10.  Keep your flowers simple.  It's nice to have a beautiful arrangement, if it's in the budget, but simple arrangements in small vases are perfectly beautiful.  Whatever you do, make sure that your guests can see the person sitting in front of them.  Line the table with your small vases, include greenery and votive candles to set the scene.  Always make sure the candles are unscented.

11.  Last but not least...always serve after dinner coffee with Bailey's if desired and relax with your guests.  The dishes will wait.  For an easy and show stopping holiday dessert, make this rum saturated Walnut Rum Cake!  I made a great video for making a Mexican Mocha that you can watch here and an At Home Brewing Coffee Video that you can watch here!  I have a YouTube Channel with lots of videos on fashion, food and entertaining!  I hope you'll check it out!

Walnut Rum Cake

The boutique below is filled with things that would be great hostess gifts as well as items that every host needs for a great dinner party!

I can't believe it's Day 10 of my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!  To enter the contest, you MUST leave your email in the pop-up on the blog, follow me on Instagram and tag 2 friends!  The prize today is a tin of Williams Sonoma Salted Peppermint Bark!  It's delicious and very addictive!

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

I hope you've enjoyed this post!  Thanks so much for reading, and as always I welcome your comments and suggestions!