The season is bustling with excitement and I’m happy and grateful for the days ahead that will be filled with celebration and love. This year, we’re celebrating more than ever, and I’m just so thankful. Tomorrow we head north to kick off the Christmas festivities at my mom’s house. Side by side my she and I will be cooking up classic Christmas fare including an antipasto platter, stuffed mushrooms, a beautiful filet roast with all the fixings and champagne, of course. For a perfect roast every time, check out this recipe for meat and this recipe for a classic red wine sauce compliments of Eric Ripert. Pearl onions, green beans, sage roasted potatoes and the like will make an appearance before we devour desserts from a favorite bakery of L’s mom.
If I can suggest anything for first time hostesses its: plan, delegate and enjoy! Don’t create a menu that takes away from your guests. Instead, pick one challenging dish and keep the rest simple and elegant. Make ahead dishes are a huge bonus especially if you have one oven (my (unnecessary) dream= dual ovens, yeah?). Don’t try to do it all on your own. Guests love to contribute something so let them! Dessert is a perfect thing to encourage others to bring-it’s time consuming and folks love to bake up a good treat. Enjoy the party and don’t sweat the details. At the end of the day, no one will remember that the gravy was lumpy or you left the salad in the fridge. They’ll remember your glow and happiness and the overall feel of the party.
For a holiday that’s quite ‘gift-centered’ it’s oh, so easy to get pulled into the panic of it all. For those of us who are still looking for some last minute sure-to-please gifts, my go-to solution is a basket of store bought or homemade treats.