recipes for entertaining

It’s December?! 🙀

And to think last week I was surprised it’s Sunday already. Where was I for the last few months?

I’m guessing last week you were all too busy with Thanksgiving and all that since we had only five (I think) top recipes. But you really compensated this week, so - long post ahead! 😅


Interesting and fun stuff

Recipe lists

Food days


Top recipes!

Vanilla Extract Recipe

SPIKED SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN PIE HOT CHOCOLATE

HOT FUDGE CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE

SLOW COOKER CREAMY TORTELLINI SOUP

COOKIES ‘N CREAM OREO CAKE ROLL

Zimtsterne (German Cinnamon Star Cookies)

GARLIC BUTTER PIZZA PULL APART BREAD

Red Pepper Sauce Pasta with Spinach and Feta

HOLIDAY SUGAR COOKIE BARS WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

THE ULTIMATE OREO CHEESECAKE

THIN MINT OREO BITES

Salted Dark Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups

SALTED CARAMEL APPLE PIE (VEGAN)

The Pizza-Inspired Pot Pie You Absolutely Have to Make

Peppermint Meltaway Cookies

Roasted Potatoes and Kielbasa (One-Pan Recipe)

Impress Your Friends With a Classic French Dessert

no bake brownie batter truffles

THICK ITALIAN HOT CHOCOLATE

SPINACH DIP STUFFED CHICKEN

Chocolate Christmas Smash Cake

Red Velvet Blossoms

Triple Layer Brownies

RED VELVET POKE CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Skinny Chocolate Peppermint Quick Bread

Authentic Homemade Indian Chai

4
HERBY ASPARAGUS POTATO SALAD + A BRUNCH PICNIC.

This post was created in partnership with Naked Juice. All opinions are my own.

In the summer, we left Hawaii. We packed suitcases and blew up inflatable neck pillows and got on planes and went places that looked nothing like Maui. The air smelled different everywhere. The trees captured a different light. In Sacramento, with my father’s family, I smelled hot plums on asphalt, juice corroding into sugar. In Indiana, where my mother’s family lived, we ate tantalizingly white veggie lasagnas, drenched with unidentifiable cheese. During these summers, I discovered fireflies. I picnicked outside in twilight. I learned about my ancestors.

Bob (or Robert, if we’re being formal), my mother’s father, was an entrepreneur and an environmentalist. He owned the first department store in South Bend, Indiana, replete with furs and perfume fountains. He tended to an orchid collection. He fished the St. Joseph River. And, in the years before he died, he established a performing arts center that became home to the annual Firefly Festival. I met him just once, when I was six months old. He and my Grandma Florie gathered everyone in the family on the Big Island as they made their way west to Japan.

Read more and get the recipe here.

4
BAKED BRIE, ROSEMARY & CARAMELIZED PEAR CANAPES.

What happens to you when you whisper the words holiday canapé to yourself? In my mind, this gallant suggestion of syllables transforms me into someone wearing lace and silk, someone with perfectly coiffed (yes, coiffed) hair, someone gliding in and out of velvet-appointed drawing rooms with crystal champagne glass in hand, someone who knows just how to be. These baked brie, rosemary, and caramelized pear canapés are the fast, easy, and effortlessly elegant embodiment of that crystalline fantasy.

Except that they take less than 20 minutes to prepare and don’t require lace, silk, hair coiffing, velvet drawing rooms, crystal, or champagne—though I’ll admit, these would be pretty perfect with a glass of bubbly. Made on Flatout Flatbread’s Rosemary & Olive Oil Artisan thin-crust flatbread, these adorable bites will transform your party menu in an instant: Flatout canapé perfection.

Read more and get the recipe here!

2

From entertaining to party-hopping, the holidays are a busy time of year. Make dinner simple with these pasta recipes that use three ingredients or less.

Spaghetti Carbonara
· Eggs
· Bacon
· Romano Cheese


Thick Spaghetti, Parmigiano Cheese and Olive Oil
· Extra virgin olive oil
· Parmigiano Cheese

5

FOOD IS FUN” -  an American Gas Association booklet from the 1950s. The cover shows a maniacally cheerful housewife cooking on a gas range stove because now, “Food Is Fun”.

I. FOOD IS FUN
- Cooking Is Like Dancing
- Kitchen Cruise (Foreign Food Touches)
- Take It Easy (Kitchen Planning)
- Nutrition Primer

II. OUT ON TOP
- Frozen Foods
- Time Chart For Vegetables
- Tips on Waterless Cooking
- Sautee to Suit
- French Fry Rates High
- Pressure Sauce Pans
- When Speed’s The Need (Speed Menus)

III. BLUE-RIBBON BROILING
- Tips For Broiling
- Time Chart For Broiling
- Broiler Dishes

IV. LET’S ENTERTAIN AT HOME
- Mixed Grills

V. ROASTS TO BOAST OF
- Tips on Roasting
- Time Charts For Roasting

VI. MOTHER IS TWO PEOPLE
- Oven Meal Guide
- Oven Dinners
- Meat Recipes

VII. BETTER BAKING
- Magic Mixtures– Basic Cake Recipes
- Tips on Baking
- Recipes for Cakes and Cookies
- Recipes For Pies
- Recipes For Bread and Biscuits

VIII. AFTER THE PARTY
- (Dishwashing)

IX. Shopping Check List

X.DREAMS FOR SALE

XI. Home Service

4
MEZZE PARTY WITH FIX FEAST FLAIR & PROBABLY THIS: GREEN TAHINI HUMMUS + FETA & CUCUMBER SALAD.

Last week, Beau and Matt (from Probably This) drove all the way from New Orleans to Los Angeles, and the best welcome Alana (from Fix Feast Flair) and I could think to give them was a mezze party. We’d been threatening to do it for months, fantasizing about the various hummuses and fetas and baba ganoushes, the pungent colors, those miraculous plates of food where everything just tastes good together. And then Beau and Matt announced their impending arrival, and Alana and I decided it was now or never. Luckily, the boys agreed to help us make our mezze dreams come true.

In true LA fashion, I welcomed Matt and Beau with flaming margaritas and a mariachi band on the night of their arrival. I’d like to take responsibility for either or both of these kitschy wins, but alas, I am not that skilled (nor that culturally appropriative). I left it up to the magic of my neighborhood Mexican dive to set the scene for the moment when I’d finally get to squeeze these two lovebirds who have filled my internet and my heart with such sweet inspiration, humor, and friendship over the past year.

Read more and get the recipes here!

SERVES 6 TO 8  PREP 5 MINUTES  BAKE 10 MINUTES

Orange Honey Walnut Baked Brie

A warm slice of baked Brie is a welcomed appetizer at holiday parties. It’s easy to dress up this classic with a twist of delicious citrus. In this recipe, the cheese is topped with a mix of navel orange juice, orange zest, honey and walnuts. It’s baked until the walnuts and sugars are beautifully caramelized and the cheese is soft and warm.

SERVINGS: 6 to 8

TIME TO TABLE:
5 minutes prep, 10 minutes baking

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Zest of 1 navel orange
Juice of ½ a navel orange
0.75 to 0.80 lbs. Brie cheese (wedge or wheel)

PREPARATION

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the walnuts, honey, brown sugar, orange zest and orange juice.

3. Place the piece of Brie in a baking dish. Spoon the orange honey walnut mix over the top of the cheese.

4. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the walnuts begin to brown and the cheese begins to soften and ooze slightly from the sides. Serve warm.

4
CARDAMOM PISTACHIO ICE CREAM WITH ROSE MARZIPAN SWIRL.

This year has absolutely flown by, accelerated, swept past me at a speed that has left me mostly breathless, wide-eyed, and entirely exhausted. I spent the better part of three weeks sick in bed, and am just now getting back on my feet, back into the kitchen, back into the swing of work and email and life. Back to busyness. Away from the stillness.

As frustrating as it was to wake up morning after morning and still feel the congestion rattling around in my chest, there was something I relished about the quiet. It took me back to the things that soothe me: Listening to stories, talking to the people I love most, reading, taking baths, listening to music. Stillness.

It was a lonely period, too. I live alone, and there were many, many moments when I wished there were someone in the living room, someone to bring me a glass of water or take my temperature or make sure I wasn’t going to die. I exaggerate, but the loneliness was—and is—real. And being sick, it’s magnified.

But throughout this period, I was also getting some of the kindest texts and check-ins from a group of folks that have, this year, become some of my best friends: My fellow bloggers.

Read more and get the recipe here.

4
ROASTED FENNEL & BURRATA TOAST FROM ON TOAST.

When I finally made it home—my Maui home, my Ulupalakua home, my home in the middle of nowhere on the slopes of Haleakala—I completely collapsed. I stopped answering texts. And phone calls. And emails. I cooked for the first time in two weeks. I cooked without documenting, without a recipe, without a plan. I cooked because I wanted to. And then I slept. I slept long and hard and when I woke up I was almost more exhausted than the night before. I cancelled all my plans to see old friends and I laid on the couch and watched Fifty Shades of Gray and cried in my exhausted, jet-lagged, premenstrual state. It was glorious. I napped dreamlessly and I only woke up when Susan came home. Hours of sleep later, I began to feel something like human again.

I walked outside, barefoot, to the place we once said had the strongest concentration of plant spirits. I stood in this fluttering vortex of green leaves and sunlight and shadows and insects and spirits seen and unseen and I let everything fall away, slough off like dead skin cells in a fierce Korean spa scrub.

Read more and get the recipe from Kristan Raines’ new book On Toast here!

4
MINI PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE TARTS!

Eep! These tarts are the cutest little peppermint chocolate mousse tarts I’ve ever made. And despite the fact that they’re the only peppermint chocolate mousse tarts I’ve ever made, this should get you pretty pumped. Because not only are they light and fluffy and chocolatey and tiny, they’re also topped with essential oil infused peppermint bark. And you know how I feel about that, right?! #BARKYEAH!

This week is all about peppermint bark—Williams-Sonoma’s peppermint bark, to be exact. When they came to me wanting a recipe, I had just one thing in mind: Topping adorable, creamy little chocolate tarts with crunchy layers of pepperminty Guittard dark and white chocolate all dressed up in candy cane chunks. In a world of chaos and confusion, these mini-tarts are a definitive YES.

Even more of a definitive yes? This awesome mini tart pan, dough cutter, and press that makes tart baking a million times easier. Mini tarts are super easy to make, I promise—and you can let your culinary artist freak flag fly in decorating them, too.

Read more and get the recipe here!