Festive Cranberry Brie Appetizer for Your Holiday Party

Cranberries are not only a symbol of the holiday season—they’re tasty, too. These delicious little bites combine the tart juiciness of fresh cranberries with sweet jam, creamy brie, and salty crackers. They’re colorful, classy, and oh-so-easy to whip up. Check out how to make them after the jump.

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Three Easy and Cheesy Bites

Goat Cheese and Apple Tartlets

Goat Cheese and Apple Tartlets

Thanksgiving crept up on me really quickly, and I was completely unprepared for the holiday. Well, not this time!

With those other holidays coming up (anyone else notice that the 25 days of Christmas have already started?), I decided to put together three easy and cheesy bites to help alleviate the stress and prep of holiday entertaining.

Goat Cheese & Apple Tartlets
These are a light and flaky treat that will delight your guests, and leave you with plenty of time to enjoy happy hour.

Ingredients:
2 Tart Apples (I used granny smith)
1 1/2 oz. Chevre Goat Cheese
1 lb (1 package) Puff Pastry Dough at room temperature
Honey (optional)
1 Egg
1 tbsp Milk
Makes approximately 24 tartlets

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3 Easy Bite-Sized Dessert Ideas

Mini dessert

Mini desserts

Good things come in small packages, right?

Recently, our bakery department launched a new mini dessert category, featuring bite-sized versions of some of our favorite sugary treats—brownies, cookies, macaroons, banana bread

The mini sizes are great in lunch boxes, as an after-school treat, or as a moderate way to have a sweet fix after dinner without going overboard.

They also make party planning easy—get a pack of blondies, some double chocolate chunk cookies and assorted macaroons and make your own little party platter. (We also have our own mini platter coming soon—for the nights when you don’t have time to do it yourself.)

If you’re entertaining kids or a crowd with a sweet tooth, here are 3 fun mini dessert ideas:…

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Southern-style Brunch at Home

brunch

Brunch at Home

Do you prefer to dine in or go out?  There are so many great brunch places in NYC, but sometimes, it’s just nice to have a casual affair at home instead.

Recently, I decided to have some friends over for brunch.  It was wonderful – no long waits and we could stay and chat as long as we wanted.

I wasn’t sure what to make so I checked out President’s Picks for inspiration.  I can be notoriously indecisive so sometimes I just go to President’s Picks and make decisions for what I want to cook based on what’s on sale for the week.  That particular week had our Wild Patagonian Red Shrimp on sale.  I knew our seafood guys had just come back from checking out these shrimp in Patagonia and had mentioned how wonderfully fresh and rich they were so I had to order them. Plus, it helped me decide on serving shrimp and grits (polenta) for a Southern-style brunch….

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Fun Easter and Passover Recipes for Kids (and Kids at Heart!)

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

Are you getting together with family and friends for Easter or Passover? If so, we’ve put together some fun recipes to enjoy before or after your Easter egg hunt (decorated deviled eggs) or at the Seder table (tuna boats).

For Easter, how about decorating eggs – on the inside? With our “Mild Mannered Deviled Eggs” recipe below, you and the kids can have fun making bunnies, funny faces, and more. If you don’t mind colored egg whites, you can even use up your excess Easter eggs.

Keep this activity child-safe by having the adults do the knife work while the kids can have fun piping the yolk mixture into the egg halves, applying the decorations, and using floss or thread to ‘cut’ the egg in half. …

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And the Award Goes To…

Caviar

Our Caviar platter is perfect for an elegant awards-viewing party!

Getting your circle of movie critics together for the Academy Awards and secretly nervous you won’t make the nominees for best host this year? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

First – you’ll need a printable ballot listing all the nominees. You can find one on here:  http://oscar.go.com/nominees

Next, you’ll need some sort of prize. You could ask each guest who wants to participate to donate $5 toward a potluck prize – then whoever gets the most answers correct on their ballot wins the loot. Make sure to task someone with writing down all the right answers! Other prizes? You could find a small statue and make the winner give their own speech to receive their “golden” token but a gift certificate or a box of chocolates, work fine too.

Selecting your food is really easy with FreshDirect’s catering platters. Just click and unwrap, leave the messy prep work and schlepping of heavy drinks to us. Whether you’re looking for sophisticated appetizers or tasty finger foods, we’ve got it, ready to roll.

Here are some sample menu choices:…

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N’awlins-inspired Recipes for Mardi Gras

Gumbo

Shrimp Gumbo is a perfect dish to celebrate Mardi Gras!

Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)  February 21st marks Mardi Gras this year, but those who embrace the Carnival season celebrate from mid-January until midnight on the “Fat Tuesday” prior to Ash Wednesday… the dawn of Lent.

For me, I fell in love with New Orleans through her food. From spicy gumbo to addictive sweet beignets, there was so much to enjoy!

Mardi Gras is a great excuse to enjoy a Southern-style dinner, with N’awlins-inspired cuisine on the plate and a breezy cocktail in the glass.  Here are some recipes to help you bring a touch of New Orleans to your table!…

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Celebrate Mardi Gras with a Pancake Party

Vanilla Soy Pancakes

Vanilla Soy Pancakes

Mardi Gras (aka Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday) is upon us; if you’re gearing up for Lent, a good way to celebrate your last hoorah is with a pancake feast. I don’t personally need an excuse to eat pancakes, but it’s nice to know there is one available annually.

One of my favorite ways to eat pancakes is for dinner, so if you don’t have time for a Tuesday brunch, why not have people over for an evening pancake buffet? Starting with a basic recipe (such as these vanilla soy pancakes), you can churn out the homemade pancakes, and your family or guests can add their favorite toppings. It’s an easy way to have fun with the kids or bring out your friends’ inner children.

Chocolate chips and blueberries are always crowd favorites (inside or on top), but there are tons of other toppings, batter additions, and combinations thereof to help you start experimenting:…

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Ideas for a Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home

Fondue

Chocolate Fondue is an easy and fun Valentine's Day dessert.

Looking to avoid cramped restaurants, predictable menus, and make this Valentine’s Day a truly memorable event? Then you’ll have to create a special meal with stellar ambiance at home. Fortunately, that’s easy.

For starters, you’ll have to set the mood. Dim the lights or replace your bulbs with lower wattage. You can also simply light some candles. A strategically-placed strand of holiday lights can also create a whimsical feel to any room.

Next, you’ll need to make your usual dining spot look like a romantic nook. Ever consider moving your table to a different part of your living room or apartment? Even turning the table to a slight angle can create a whole new look. Then find a solid color table cloth to give your placemat-friendly eating spot a facelift. If you have a lace tablecloth or runner, place it over your solid table cloth for an extra special touch. A few freshly cut flowers can instantly complete a look.

Now – the food. This is where it gets tricky, right? Wrong. Whether it’s a full meal or simply tantalizing dessert, we’ve got you covered….

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