FD Christmas and Hanukkah Food Traditions

Holiday Spread

Holiday Spread

When I was small, I got to have two Christmas dinners; one was classic American, with ham and all the traditional sides, and one was an Italian version.

On Christmas Eve, my nonna would spend all day cooking, and by the time she was done, we would be treated to multiple courses. We’d start with pasta topped with fish sauce and freshly grated parmesan, and lead into a course with calamari and fried shrimp, another with breaded steak and chicken cutlets with green bean salad, squid salad, and pan-fried peas, and then finish off with one of my all-time favorite foods: artichokes stuffed with sharp provolone cheese. We’d finish the meal with milky, extra-sweet coffee (even the kids), cracked nuts, and panettone with butter or homemade frittole. To me, there is no greater meal.

By the time I was in grade school, I realized that not every family celebrated the same way, and that our tradition was truly special. That’s why I’m always fascinated by other people’s food traditions; after all, the food makes the holiday. I asked around the office and the answers were as diverse as I imagined….

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A Casual History of Eggnog

Eggnog

Eggnog and Fruit Stollen

Eggnog. It’s a “love it or hate it” thing, but I’m squarely on the side of the “love it” crowd. This is probably bad for my goal of zero holiday weight gain, but I’m sure it’s 100% good for my holiday spirits.

If you’re a lover like me, I’ll let you in on a secret: eggnog isn’t for sissies. This drink’s silky-sweet combination of egg yolks, cream, sugar and nutmeg (preferably with a jaunty shot of dark spirits) hides a long run of fame and notoriety. Eggnog is the scandalous rock star of the holiday treats world….

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Mixin’ It Up for the Holidays

Bartender

Be Your Own Bartender!

‘Tis the season for throwing holiday parties, and excellent cocktails add a level of sophistication to any festive gathering.

Creating your own cocktails, as opposed to using pre-made concoctions, will maximize both the hospitality offered to guests and the quality of the cocktail in hand. This doesn’t mean you have to spend all night as the bartender.

Check out these easy-to-prepare mixable matches for your next fête:

Double Cross Vodka with Fever Tree Tonic Water, Fever Tree Club Soda, Employees Only Bloody Mary
The silky, sophisticated expression of Double Cross Vodka will work wonders with the crisp and complex Fever Tree Tonic Water in a refreshing Vodka Tonic. Don’t like the bite that tonic offers? Make a smart and simple Vodka Soda with fresh lemon. Brunch parties will be perfect for the hedonistic pair of Double Cross and Employee’s Only Bloody Mary for a proper eye-opener….

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Turn your Grocery List into Santa’s List!

Sarabeth preserves

Give the gift of Brunch! Love these Sarabeth preserves!

Every year, I feel like my holiday to-do list keeps getting longer. Between baking holiday treats, visiting with friends and family, packing for my trip home, and buying gifts, I find that December just flies by!

This year I realized I could add a lot of gifts to my grocery list. After all, grocery shopping is perfect for the food and drink lovers on your list!  Here are some of my ideas:

chocolate

Wrap these delicious PB&J chocolate bars in scrapbook paper for a festive stocking stuffer!

For a Stocking Stuffer Idea: Take a chocolate bar (our PB&J dark chocolate bars are fantastic!) and wrap it in scrapbook paper for a festive touch!

For the budding foodie: Teach kids to grow their own food with the Back to the Roots mushroom garden.  In just a couple of weeks, they’ll have their own pearl oyster mushrooms to enjoy.

Then I decided to ask the people who know our products best – my co-workers. From sweets to beer and everything in between, they came up with a lot of ideas that will surely satisfy anyone on your gift list!…

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Festive Holiday Drinks

Champagne

For a holiday party, you can't go wrong with Champagne!

Can you believe we’re already a week into December? With the holiday season already upon us, I’m sure you’ll be serving (and enjoying!) a drink or two.

When I have a party, I always have a favorite red and white wine on hand, a bottle of bubbly, and one signature cocktail and mocktail. I also love to have apple cider and eggnog on hand because the taste and smell just evokes memories of the holiday.

For cocktails, I loved these ones developed by Tom Smith of Union Square Wines: The Gingered Apple and The Kentucky Toddy. They were perfect for Thanksgiving and are still wonderful now in the colder months.

Here are a few more beverages that are sure to make you the toast of the party!…

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‘Tis the season for unexpected guests!

Veggies and Dip

A tray of pre-cut veggies and dip is easy to put together at the last minute!

If you have a sneaky suspicion that you might have a few additional guests over the holidays, stock up your freezer with some crowd pleasing favorites and some classic staples.

A tradition in and of themselves, warm bundles of puff pastry and beef franks are delicious dipped in whole grain or yellow mustard. Make your own (to freeze ahead of time) or have these frozen pigs in a blanket available in your freeze for last minute guests. The best part? Pop them in the oven and they’re ready in as little as 10-minutes.

Cute as a button and tasty too, our mini beef burger sliders come tucked in teeny tiny sesame buns with a slice of dill pickle and cheddar cheese. Total time from freezer to table is less than 20-minutes….

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Getting Ready for the Holiday Cookie Swap!

Holiday Cookies

Holiday Cookies

I love the holiday season.  After all, it’s the season for giving and I love baking sweet treats to give away!

The cookie swap is one of my favorite reasons to get-together. Whether it’s with friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors, it’s a great excuse to bake my favorite cookies and come home with so much more!

When we asked on our Facebook page for our fans’ favorite cookie recipes, one fan mentioned Jam Thumbprints (a classic). I always bake sugar cookies for my nieces and nephews because they love all the decorations (like sprinkles) I add to them.

Here are 5 more simple and delicious cookie ideas for your holiday cookie swap:…

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