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Happy Holidays 2021! As we all prepare for the holiday season
to shift into full gear, many of us are preparing for hosting, delivering
and, most importantly, EATING an abundance of food.
I myself love trying new recipes and cooking, especially when
I can share successful new recipes or even old family favorites
with my friends and relatives.

Since this year is still looking a little different for many of us
than years past, the way that you are making and delivering
food might look a little different too. Some people will have
gatherings of a few close family and friends, and a bigger meal
complete with appetizers, a main course, and dessert might be
on your radar. Others might feel more comfortable at home,
but still want to have a bit of fun, get creative, and make something
special. Others might be in the mindset of meals that
travel well and can be delivered to family members or friends
who may not be able to travel or cook for themselves. Maybe
you are a guest, and aren’t sure what to bring your hosts. Whatever
your holiday looks like, we have some great tips, tricks, and
recipes that will cover all of your holiday meal needs. Read on
to learn more!

Apps For All: For those of you who are hosting dinner at your
house: You have a lot to think about. We are here to help! Anxious
about what to serve whilst guests are arriving? A sure way
to ease into a day of entertaining is a charcuterie board. There
are so many fun variations to do, and you can make them as
colorful and versatile or as simple and straightforward as you
want. A few fun tips: One way to get really creative is to tape
down some butcher paper on your counter to ensure that there
is lots of space for eat, drink, and talk around this crowd-pleasing
appetizer. Because it is disposable, you can easily lay out as
many charcuterie essentials as needed, and even label the different
types of cheese by writing on the butcher paper. Another
tip: You should have at least three types of cheese presented on
a charcuterie board. You may have more if you like, but it is not
necessary. Pair with some wines for your guests to try and you
are good to go!

The Traveling Dinner: For you readers who are kind enough to
drop off some pre-made dinners to those who need a hand this
holiday season, you know that things like casseroles and parmesans
are things that are great because of their ease of travel and
cooking. I have personally always had Italian food on Christmas
day, so eggplant parmesan is my first go-to. But this can apply
to delicious pasta casseroles, green bean casseroles, and lasagnas.
All you have to do is make, store in the fridge, and your
friend or family member can pop it in the oven on a night that
they need a meal. Most casseroles, parasans, and lasagnas can
be stored with ease in the freezer as well.

The Host Gift: One of the most popular things that one can
bring their host or hostess is a nice bottle of wine or some other
prepackaged treat. But do you know what else is fabulous?
Homemade dessert that can be bagged and tied in a bow for
seamless travel and beautiful presentation. I love making cookies,
stacking them, and wrapping them in festive plastic tied
with a pretty bow to bring over as a treat. I will often stack 4-5
cookies and place all of the bags in a bowl. It makes for a pretty
presentation and helps to keep the cookies fresher longer. If
you really wanted to roll up your cooking sleeves, you could
even do the same thing with chocolate truffles. They are not
hard to make, easily wow, and taste pretty fantastic.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading some tips and tricks of the
trade in cooking, baking, and hostessing for this Holiday Season!
Whatever your situation, wherever you are, and whoever
you are celebrating with, I would like to wish you all the best for
this season as well as the season to come! Happy Cooking

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