This post is sponsored by Mondelēz International. All comments and opinions are my own.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe the holidays are here. It’s such a magical time of year and I’m already starting to decorate my home. If you have the pleasure of hosting a holiday party or your family’s traditional gathering this season, I’m sharing a few entertaining hacks that will help make sure your celebrations go off without a hitch – and without you breaking a sweat.
Create Batch Beverages
Don’t get me wrong. I love a hand-crafted cocktail (or mocktail) with bitters and beautiful garnishes, but I also know how laborious it can be to make one for guests, or on my own when I’m a guest and get into the assembly line. Consider using a punch bowl or dispenser and creating 1-2 batch beverages for your guests to enjoy. All you have to do is use a ladle or turn a knob. Having your garnishes like citrus slices, rosemary sprigs, and salts + sugars on hand will allow your guests to personalize their beverage before they sip. Need some inspiration? Check out my Holiday Moscow Mule post, where I give you the instructions for a single or a batch.
Use Fresh Produce as Decor
Do you know why I love artichokes, cranberries, oranges, and pomegranates? They’re not only delicious but they’re quite easy on the eyes, too! Like flowers, seasonal produce can dress up your table and become quite the conversation starter. You could simply throw them in an ornate bowl in the center of your table or even use them as name tags. Use a metallic marker to write your guests’ names and add one to each place setting. At the end of the meal, they can take them home to enjoy or you can. There’s no losing in this situation!
Elevate Your Favorite Appetizers
We all have the go-to holiday appetizers that we know our guests are expecting to see. Sure, keep a few traditional staples, but why not add a twist to your favorites? For instance, I elevated the normal baked brie to make it a little extra special with some orange zest, figs, pistachios, and honey. I love the added crunch and selfishly, the support that WHEAT THINS Snacks gives the gooey melted cheese. I purchased all of my ingredients at Raley’s, and it saved me so much time to find it all under one roof!
Klaus’ Baked Brie Recipe
Prep Time: 15 min. Total Time: 27 min. Makes 16 servings
- 1 navel orange, divided
- 1 wheel Brie cheese (8 oz.)
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/4 cup chopped dried figs
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary sprigs
- 15 fresh cranberries
- WHEAT THINS Original Snacks
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Grate enough peel from orange to measure 1 tsp.; reserve for later use. Remove and discard remaining peel from the orange.
- Section orange, then coarsely chop orange sections.
- Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with cooking spray.
- Place cheese on a prepared baking sheet. Use the tip of a sharp knife to score criss cross lines in the top of the cheese rind, being careful to not cut through to the bottom of the cheese.
- Combine nuts, figs, honey and 1/2 tsp. of the reserved orange zest; spoon onto the top of the cheese.
- Bake 10 to 12 min. or just until cheese is softened. Carefully transfer cheese to serving plate.
- Garnish top of cheese with remaining orange zest and a few rosemary sprigs. Arrange cranberries, chopped oranges and remaining rosemary sprigs around cheese to resemble a holiday wreath. Serve with the WHEAT THINS Original Snacks.
- Prepare using a wheel of Camembert cheese.
- Prepare using chopped almonds or pecans in place of pistachios.
Win Big This Holiday Season
Your guests aren’t the only ones that will win big once they have a bite of your brie, but you can too through the Share Your Joy sweepstakes in conjunction with Klaus, the newest holiday movie on Netflix. You can win a suite of holiday prizes including up to a $10,000 prize. Click here to learn more.
No matter the size of your celebration, I hope that you have an amazing time cutting into some baked brie with your loved ones. If you have some of your tried-and-true entertaining hacks, I’d love for you to leave ‘em in the comments.
Photos by Christina Best Photography