I have a succulent plant in a .77 Ikea glass on my coffee table that happened quite by accident. We had some pieces from a transplant left over and my husband stuck the extra in the glass just as some place to keep it for a short period of time. However, when I saw it I wanted to keep it...just like that.
That got me thinking that little plants are a great gift for the holidays. Instead of baking some bread or cookies, how about a petite houseplant. Here are a few photos for inspiration.
Sometimes around the holiday's when everything is a little crazier than usual it's good to pull out the fancy sandwich recipes. Eating a sandwich for dinner can sometimes feel unsatisfying, but not if it is a BLC on olive bread. This is a great way to make a fun dinner yet save that extra hour for wrapping, cookie baking or even just relaxing in front of the DVR.
In a small ramekin, combine butter and honey; set aside. Lightly toasts bread slices. Remove one slice from toaster and reserve; on the other, add a layer of cheese. Toast or broil briefly, until cheese begins to melt.
Spread the honey butter on the reserved slice of bread, then top with red pepper, lettuce and bacon. Press down to secure the filling while cutting sandwich in half.
I fell in love with these white stockings from Jones Design Company. They look so chic hanging over the fireplace and I love the idea of changing out the embellishments each year for a different look. She even says it is cheaper than making your own...wow! Check it out here
I was totally excited this week when I received a question from a reader about cheese plates! Not only was I so happy to hear from someone who reads the blog, but she asked me about my one of my favorite subjects cheese. The question was, "What cheese would you serve for a pre-dinner appetizer to be served with holiday cocktails?" Now to take this one step further there are going to be many family members from each side who have never met before. Here is what the hip hostess has to say.
The following cheeses are rated the top 4 in the U.S. according to the 2013 American Cheese Society (How do we get that job?) So, not only are you providing the best 4 cheeses for a plate: a creamy mild goat cheese, a bloomy-rind sheep's milk cheese, a blue-cheddar hybrid and an American original. But you are also providing a beautiful tray and conversation piece. I would type out and print a 5x7 menu that goes with your theme or decor to go beside the cheese that allows everyone to know what they are eating. It always makes tasting new foods that much more fun when you know they are the best of the best. It will be a little more trouble than picking up cheese at the grocery store, you will more than likely have to order them online. But it I think the holiday's are worth a little more work to make something extra special. Plus getting everyone chatting and talking about their favorites is a terrific ice breaker.
For accouterments, I would serve them with grapes, nuts and dried fruit. As a side note, Savory Spoon also won an award for a Wisconsin cinnamon-spiced panforte cake enriched with honey, spices, dried fruit, citrus and nuts which would make a great addition as well.
Here are the 4 cheeses:
1. Bermuda Triangle
Origin: Arcara, California
Milk: Pasteurized goat's milk
Notes: Hints of peppery flavor and an eclectic triangular shape. For a treat, drizzle a slice with balsamic vinegar. Also, from the maker's of the ever popular Humboldt Fog
2. Dirt Lover
Origin: Weston, Missouri
Milk: Pasteurized sheep's milk
Notes: Made from the milk of the farm's 100 percent grassfed sheep, the cheese tastes of cream with a citrus finish.
3. Red Rock
Origin: Shullsburg, Wisonsin
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Notes: Natural rind, vibrant-orange cheese that is a cheddar but with slight blue veining which adds muted blue flavors.
4. Bear Hill
Origin: Grafton, Vermont
Milk: Raw sheep's milk
Notes: One of just a few hard cheeses from sheep's milk. Milky, fruity and nutty. This one won gold at the 2013 International Cheese Awards.
Thanks for writing to hip hostess and don't forget to let me know how it goes. Good luck and happy holidays.
I downloaded a book before Portugal called Afterwards by Rosamund Lipton. Now, I've read a lot of books this year and most of them good. BUT none of them made me want to rearrange my day to catch an hour or two to read. This book is really a can't put down scenario.
The main reason that I am bringing this up because the holidays bring lots of down time. Whether it is flying or driving to your destination, cuddling up in front of the fire while snow falls outside or even the old "what are you reading" chat around the dinner table. Also, if you have a book worm in your family and are in need of a good gift this would be fantastic, either in paperback or a photo attached to a gift card.
It's a good read and while it is a suspense novel it is also includes intrigue, romance, family and great characters.
The very day we got back from Portugal I started breaking out the Christmas decorations. I love this time of year. As a matter of fact, as I write this the room is completely dark with only the Christmas tree and a few candles lit. I'm also loving the Apple TV Holiday Hits station which is playing low in the background. Here are a few ideas to help your household get into the holiday cheer mindset.
These sequined swizzle sticks are the perfect thing to kick up any party a notch. I love the color combo shown here which is perfect for New Years Eve. But you could also do red and green for the holidays. Any chance to play with sequins is a winner. Thanks for the great idea Alyssa and Carla.
No tutorial-But I like these because you could use store bought sugar cookies and then decorate with chocolate piping and M&M's. I believe they have used a dollop of stiff frosting to make the M&M stick.
I hope all of you enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving and enjoyed some R&R with family and friends. Portugal was a magical experience and we had good times and made great memories, I have some vacation blues today. But when that happens you should start planning your next vacation right? If anyone is considering Portugal shoot me an email and I'll be happy to make recommendations. Here are a few snapshots.