White Hot Chocolate

How do you feel about white chocolate?  A lot of people I know are not huge fans.  I happen to LOVE it!  I will definitely be trying this recipe for white hot chocolate.  What a great twist on the traditional.

White Hot Chocolate

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Ingredients

  • 3  cups half-and-half or light cream*
  • 3/4  cup vanilla-flavor baking pieces or vanilla-flavor candy coating, chopped
  •   3 inches stick cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4  teaspoon almond extract
  •   Slivers of vanilla-flavor candy coating (optional)
  •   Ground cinnamon (optional)

Directions

1. Combine 1/4 cup of the half-and-half or light cream, vanilla baking pieces or chopped candy coating, stick cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan; whisk over low heat until vanilla baking pieces or candy is melted. Remove stick cinnamon.

2. Add remaining half-and-half or light cream. Whisk until heated through. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and almond extract. Serve warm in cups or mugs; top with slivers of vanilla-flavor candy coating and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Makes 5 (6-ounce) servings.

*Note: To reduce fat, you may substitute low-fat milk or evaporated fat-free milk for the half-and-half.

Tip: To create the foamy layer on top, blend some of the hot chocolate mixture in a blender container until frothy, and add to each serving.

(photo and recipe from bhg.com)
 


Festive Fruit Centerpiece

I love the look of this citrus fruit centerpiece with the addition of the shiny ornaments.  It's perfect for the holiday season!  BONUS-it's easy and inexpensive too.

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What you need:


• Metal tiered tray
• Florist foam, soaked
• Lemons
• Limes
• Clementines
• Blood oranges
• Sphagnum moss
• Florist pins 

Use one third of the florist foam on the top tier and the remaining on the bottom one.  Cover the florist foam with moss, secure with florist pins.  Pierce the fruit with the picks and then secure them to the foam.  The day of your gathering, slice a couple of pieces of fruit for the display.

This would also be pretty in a glass bowl or on a cake stand if you don't want to work with the florist foam.

(photo from myhomeideas.com)


Cranberry Craze

Well my previous post got me searching for cranberry recipes.  There are a ton of cranberry sauce and cranberry muffin recipes out there... but how many of you have ever used cranberries in your appetizers?  Here a couple of yummy ones I've found so far...and of course the cocktails to go with them!

(click titles for recipes)

Cranberry Salsa

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Cranberry Apple Spritzer

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Cranberry Turkey Crostinis

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Sparkling Cranberry Blush

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Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

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Crantini

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Festive Filler

I noticed our grocery store just started carrying fresh cranberries-that means its officially holiday season!  I love anything made with cranberries.  Their bright red color is even great in decorating for the holidays. 

How about using them in your Thanksgiving and holiday flower arrangements?  What a festive touch they add to a simple bouquet.

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Just rinse your cranberries before putting them in water.  Insert your flowers.  They will also help hold your arrangement in place.


(photo from marthastewart.com)
 


'Tis the Season

of FOOD!  I don't know about you but this time of year always gets me excited about trying new recipes and sharing them with friends and family.  You will probably be seeing a few more recipes than normal around here for the next two months.  I promise, as always, they will be EASY. 

I have been wanting to make something with pumpkin.  I am not a baker so that narrows it down a lot!  I found this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread I'm going to try first.  It's simple and has my favorite holiday ingredient: cream cheese.  Perfect for a holiday brunch or overnight guests.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

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Ingredients

  • 1  8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2  cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4  cup sugar
  • 3/4  teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2  teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Makes 1-1/2 cups (24, 1-tablespoon servings). Serve with warm bagels.

(photo from bhg.com)

 


Simple Football Centerpiece

I just discovered these pictures of the football centerpieces I made for our first game celebration and thought I'd share.  They are good examples of how you can take things from around the house and turn them into party decor easily and inexpensively.

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I actually took the football from my Touchdown Lazy Susan and cut floral foam to fit inside it.  I bought an inexpensive bouquet from Publix and divided it between the three.  Voila!  Instant decor for you game entertaining.  Of course the guys don't care about them but I bet your female guests will enjoy them. 

I set mine up outside where I knew my girlfriends and I would be hanging out.

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They add just the right amount of football spirit to your everyday decor.


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Get creative!  Look around your house-I bet you have items you can transform for any occasion!


 
 


HUGE Thanks

I learned earlier today that Let's Entertain was chosen as a favorite blog in the premier issue of the new e-zine-Nesting Newbies Magazine-For Those New to Nesting and Those Who are Obsessed with their Nests!!  I am just thrilled to pieces!  

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And speaking of the magazine-what a brilliant idea it is!  It's a magazine dedicated to cooking, entertaining and decorating-does it get any better?!  Not to mention it's on line so it's all interactive and stuff.  Their first issue came out just in time to celebrate fall and boy did they.  With delicious fall recipes, cool room makeovers and harvest tablescaping it's sure to be one of your new faves. 

Big thanks to everyone at Nesting Newbies for choosing Let's Entertain as one of your favorite blogs!  I am honored!

Thanks to all of my readers also for making this possible!


Hostess Jo Giveaway

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Head on over to oh, how posh! and enter our Hostess Jo Giveaway!  We are giving away our Winter Cardinal set which includes the cheese server, glass stickems and cocktail napkins!  Its not too early to stock up on hostess gifts for all your holiday parties and this set is perfect!  Or of course you can keep it for yourself and entertain in style this season!

Also, if you haven't visited Danielle over at oh, how posh! -now is the time!  She has fun ideas, great recipes, and unique inspiration for all of your entertaining.