Reluctant Entertainer http://reluctantentertainer.com Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:10:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Get the House Ready with Hot Buttered Rum http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/hot-buttered-rum/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/hot-buttered-rum/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:57:23 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=33173 Here’s a classic Hot Buttered Rum drink that’s been around for a long time, meant to be sipped by a fire or in a cozy setting. It’s easy to make up a batch and store in the refrigerator for last minute guests, and perfect to give as a holiday gift! Holiday entertaining is enjoyable, but […]

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Here’s a classic Hot Buttered Rum drink that’s been around for a long time, meant to be sipped by a fire or in a cozy setting. It’s easy to make up a batch and store in the refrigerator for last minute guests, and perfect to give as a holiday gift!

Get the House Ready! and Hot Buttered Rum Drinks

Holiday entertaining is enjoyable, but also a lot of work. Planning the menu, making sure the details take place, and the chores around the house get done—are why I make a list, check it twice, and cross off what I accomplish.

Inviting, planning the menu, cooking, prepping, making sure there’s plenty of ambience—preparing a warm and welcoming home, relaxing to the guests, with music, a festive tablescape, holiday decor, and a jovial spirit helps spread the holiday cheer.

Whether a big or small party, or even drop-in guests, I like to be prepared.

Here are a couple of tips for getting the house ready!

Get the house ready!

Entryway: Be sure to put away clutter and shoes, have a clean mat inside for wiping feet, and let guests know right away if your house has a “no-shoes” rule. Be prepared to take guests’ coats, and let them know if they’ll be in the hall closet, bedroom, or on a coat rack. Possibly light a candle – a yummy holiday scent.

Bathroom: Have a clean guest bathroom. Make sure it has clean hand towels, extra toilet paper, empty wastebasket and a lit candle. Make it extra special, with a fresh flower and a couple of “food for thought” or inspiring books nearby.

Music: Holiday music just sets the mood for any company coming to your home.

Munchies. Setting out bowls of nuts or snacks, with a signature drink, makes the holidays fun any time of day!

Drinks. It’s always a hospitable gesture to hand guests a drink as they get settled, after taking off coats and being greeted at the front door. A hot buttered rum is an excellent way to welcome guests when they first arrive

Continue reading: Get the House Ready with Hot Buttered Rum

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Setting a Holiday Table and Winter Green Salad with Poppyseed Dressing http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/winter-green-salad-poppyseed-dressing/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/winter-green-salad-poppyseed-dressing/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:00:01 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=33154 Today I’m sharing details about entertaining and setting a holiday table, along with a Winter Green Salad with Poppyseed Dressing Recipe. Yesterday I wrote about how we want our homes to be lived in, comfortable, yet beautiful during the holidays – a true extension and reflection of our inner personality. Last year we put up […]

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Today I’m sharing details about entertaining and setting a holiday table, along with a Winter Green Salad with Poppyseed Dressing Recipe.

Winter Green Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Yesterday I wrote about how we want our homes to be lived in, comfortable, yet beautiful during the holidays – a true extension and reflection of our inner personality. Last year we put up our tree but, with only white twinkly lights. I remember how busy I was, so I didn’t get the boxes of ornaments out. It was fine – no one cared, the lights were beautiful in the evening, and our home felt very lovely.

This past weekend I cooked prime rib for our guests, and we had a wonderful time with friends and family. Our nephew and niece brought their little boys, which worked out perfectly. We set up the television VCR (yes, VCR) upstairs and they were able to watch the movies that our kids grew up watching, like The Borrowers, Iron Giant, Toy Story, and Home Alone—classics. Our niece brought dessert, one couple appetizers and wine, the other couple a delicious salad—my favorite Winter Green Salad with Poppyseed Dressing.

Back-to-back entertaining.

Getting the house ready took very little time, since we had entertained 2 days prior. I truly love back-to-back entertaining. I used the same centerpiece for both dinner parties! I changed up the dishes a little, so the table was set in about 5 minutes.

Here are some tips to help with setting the table:

Setting a Holiday Table and Winter Green Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Setting the mood.

The style of your table décor depends largely on the season and the type of event you’re hosting.

Continue reading: Setting a Holiday Table and Winter Green Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

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adorne® Holiday Style and Cranberry Orange Pinwheels Appetizer http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/cranberry-orange-pinwheels-appetizer/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/cranberry-orange-pinwheels-appetizer/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:00:33 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=33129 This post is sponsored by Legrand, adorne® collection of home & interior design that adds a perfect touch of beautifully designed switches, wall plates, and under-cabinet lighting. I’m also sharing a delightful holiday recipe, Orange Cranberry Pinwheels Appetizer. I love holiday hosting. It’s a beautiful thing with a great reward, to have friends over to […]

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This post is sponsored by Legrand, adorne® collection of home & interior design that adds a perfect touch of beautifully designed switches, wall plates, and under-cabinet lighting. I’m also sharing a delightful holiday recipe, Orange Cranberry Pinwheels Appetizer.

adorne® Holiday Style and Cranberry Orange Pinwheels Appetizer

I love holiday hosting. It’s a beautiful thing with a great reward, to have friends over to share a meal at the “most wonderful time of the year.” Today I’m talking about hosting a “new-to-you” party, something you’ve never done before, and leaning in to the holidays by enjoying your home!

Change it up!

I was talking to a friend the other day, about how she doesn’t like to host dinner parties anymore because it’s just too stressful–but at the same time, they miss having their friends over. I encouraged my friend to host a brunch! What a fun thing to do on a weekend, when you have plenty of time to prepare, and enough time in the morning to get it all together. There are so many ways to change up entertaining!

adorne® Holiday Style and Cranberry Orange Pinwheels Appetizer

She loved that idea. Sometimes I think we need to be inspired to try something new. What works for some people, which seems so effortless, may not work for others. What works at certain times of our lives might need changing up at others

Continue reading: adorne® Holiday Style and Cranberry Orange Pinwheels Appetizer

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Cheerful Chili Party with Reindeer Lit’l Smokies Appetizer http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/reindeer-litl-smokies-appetizer/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/reindeer-litl-smokies-appetizer/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:00:03 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=16472 This Cheerful Chili Party Menu with Reindeer Lit’l Smokies Appetizer is sponsored by Minted, who provided cute party supplies to make this party cheery and bright! Do you like having people over for the holidays, but you’re scared to death to commit? It’s fun to have friends over when the stress level is low, and I’ve […]

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This Cheerful Chili Party Menu with Reindeer Lit’l Smokies Appetizer is sponsored by Minted, who provided cute party supplies to make this party cheery and bright!

Cheerful Chili Party Party with Reindeer Lit'l Smokies Appetizer

Do you like having people over for the holidays, but you’re scared to death to commit? It’s fun to have friends over when the stress level is low, and I’ve found that prepping for an easy buffet-style meal takes very little time, and that the casual feel makes everyone feel right at home for the holidays.

When you’re busy.

If you’re busy like I am, you want to have people over, but it’s hard to fit it all in.

Cheerful Chili Party Party with Reindeer Lit'l Smokies Appetizer

Cheerful Chili Party.

My wonderful friends at Minted help me make this party really come together, by providing the Vintage Reindeer Party Decor items I want to share with you today.

Adding a “reindeer touch” to my outdoor chili party, it only took a few minutes to take these items and incorporate them into the party

Continue reading: Cheerful Chili Party with Reindeer Lit’l Smokies Appetizer

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Choosing JOY and Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/choosing-joy-make-ahead-breakfast-casserole/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/choosing-joy-make-ahead-breakfast-casserole/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:00:33 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=33081 Today I’m sharing about unmet expectations, joy, and a this delicious Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole for the holidays! Happy Monday, Friends! This is the week for me in December when things get hectic, pile up, overwhelm me, and I start to get a little grumpy! So, I’m reminding myself of this quote from my favorite […]

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Today I’m sharing about unmet expectations, joy, and a this delicious Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole for the holidays!

Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole
Happy Monday, Friends! This is the week for me in December when things get hectic, pile up, overwhelm me, and I start to get a little grumpy! So, I’m reminding myself of this quote from my favorite author, Henri J.M. Nouwen:

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Yes, I want each day this holiday season to be magic, with sparkly lights and nights {fun movies with the fam}, good food on the table, gifts wrapped, cards done, relaxing and spreading holiday cheer. But that’s not quite reality!

Unmet expectations.

I tend to be unhappy, disappointed and let down when I can’t get everything on my list accomplished, or when my expectations are not met. I hate it when this happens, so this is when I reach deep within and pull out a little JOY.

It’s a peace that is experienced when the mental chatter of the mind is silenced–expectations, negative thoughts, worry, doubt, perfectionism—the things that rob us! It takes a little focus, so this is where “choosing joy” comes in

Continue reading: Choosing JOY and Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole

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Merry Christmas $150 Minted Giveaway http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/minted-giveaway/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/minted-giveaway/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:00:09 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=33066 Friends, to start the week off right, I’m sharing our 2014 Christmas card and a $150 Minted Giveaway! –contest is closed! Just in time to  sit down and relax with a cup of tea, and make my Christmas card list this weekend, a lovely box came in the mail from Minted with our sparkly new Christmas cards! […]

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Friends, to start the week off right, I’m sharing our 2014 Christmas card and a $150 Minted Giveaway!

–contest is closed!

Minted Giveaway

Just in time to  sit down and relax with a cup of tea, and make my Christmas card list this weekend, a lovely box came in the mail from Minted with our sparkly new Christmas cards!

Perfect timing! I love the simplicity and design!

We recenlty had fun in Sunriver, Oregon over Thanksgiving, where we took our family photos in the great outdoors. I love the smell of the high desert mountains!

With Minted, there are so many designs to choose from. They also help with party details. Soon I’ll be posting about our Cheerful Chili Party and showing you how Minted helped me add a special touch!

So my job began … but a Christmas task that I love!

Minted Giveaway

I like to address the envelopes the old fashioned way, but you can send Minted your card list and they’ll print the addresses for you!

They will also add your return address onto the back of the envelope. Sweet!

Continue reading: Merry Christmas $150 Minted Giveaway

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Alexian Pâté (+ Le Creuset) Gourmet Giveaway with Truffle Mousse Puff Pastry Bites http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/truffle-mousse-puff-pastry-bites/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/truffle-mousse-puff-pastry-bites/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:00:17 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32866 Enter to win this Alexian Pâté (+ Le Creuset) Gourmet Giveaway today ($200 value), and enjoy this delicious Truffle Mousse Puff Pastry Bites recipe! I love entertaining during the holidays, and a simple party to host is an Appetizer Party! Using Alexian Pâté award-winning, fresh, all-natural and sinfully delicious gourmet products, I’m showing you how […]

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Enter to win this Alexian Pâté (+ Le Creuset) Gourmet Giveaway today ($200 value), and enjoy this delicious Truffle Mousse Puff Pastry Bites recipe!

Truffle Mousse Puff Pastry Bites

I love entertaining during the holidays, and a simple party to host is an Appetizer Party! Using Alexian Pâté award-winning, fresh, all-natural and sinfully delicious gourmet products, I’m showing you how to set up an Appetizer Station by creating some decadent appetizer ideas for the holidays!

Alexian Pâté products are all-natural. They’ve made a commitment to preparing pâtés and mousses in a completely natural manner, sacrificing preservatives, additives and unnecessary fillers. Alexian Pâté products are also gluten free with no added flavor enhancers or hydrolyzed plant protein.

Truffle Mousse Puff Pastry Bites

4 party stations.

One idea for holiday hosting is to set up various stations. The 4 most popular food stations are: Appetizer, Main Course, Dessert, and Drinks.

Today I’m focusing on the Appetizer Station, bringing nature in with natural decor, setting out the drinks, plates, napkins, and several styles of appetizer platters

Continue reading: Alexian Pâté (+ Le Creuset) Gourmet Giveaway with Truffle Mousse Puff Pastry Bites

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How to Wrap up a Party {Etiquette} and Cranberry Stuffing Appetizer http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/cranberry-stuffing-appetizer/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/cranberry-stuffing-appetizer/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:00:23 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32994 Today’s post has etiquette tips for ending a party with style and grace, along with a delicious Cranberry Stuffing Appetizer. Can you believe how quickly the holidays arrived this year? They are here, and we are hosting twice this weekend, which I’m excited about. One party is with our friends who turned 80 this year! […]

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Today’s post has etiquette tips for ending a party with style and grace, along with a delicious Cranberry Stuffing Appetizer.

 Cranberry Stuffing Appetizer

Can you believe how quickly the holidays arrived this year? They are here, and we are hosting twice this weekend, which I’m excited about. One party is with our friends who turned 80 this year! They are so special to us, and we’ve invited another couple to join us. I love multi-generational dinner parties! Another party is with … well, 3 lively couples. It will be a blast.

Holiday Dinner Party Menu.

I’m also a guest at RecipeGirl’s today with a delicious Holiday Menu! I’ve created a beautiful tablescape with silver and blues, and together with Lori menu with our recipes for a dinner party. Basically, we’ve done all the preparation for you!

Lori’s asked me to be an entertaining expert writer for her blog, so stay tune for more exciting dinner party ideas and menus!

Recipe Girl Holiday Menu

When the night goes too long.

When it comes to hosting, I wonder how many of us worry about the night going too long. What is the polite way of ending a party, when you’re exhausted and ready for your guests to leave, and how do you do it all with class and ease

Continue reading: How to Wrap up a Party {Etiquette} and Cranberry Stuffing Appetizer

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Winter Wonderland Edible Centerpiece + Giveaways and Sweeps! http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/winter-wonderland-edible-centerpiece/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/winter-wonderland-edible-centerpiece/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:00:34 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32862 This Winter Wonderland Edible Centerpiece idea I’m sharing today is part of a paid SocialMoms and Hostess blogging program, with giveaways and sweepstakes! This past weekend my daughter and I put together a tasty holiday table, because for at least one family meal, it’s fun to change up a traditional table setting and make it fun […]

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This Winter Wonderland Edible Centerpiece idea I’m sharing today is part of a paid SocialMoms and Hostess blogging program, with giveaways and sweepstakes!

Winter Wonderland Edible Centerpiece #HostessHoliday #HostessHolidaySweeps

This past weekend my daughter and I put together a tasty holiday table, because for at least one family meal, it’s fun to change up a traditional table setting and make it fun for the entire family, of all ages!

Memories are made around the table, and I promise, today’s details you will love!

Included in the center of our table was a giant holiday tree of Hostess products (purchased at Target), surrounded by snow, smaller trees, and a train on its track–all edible!

Winter Wonderland Edible Centerpiece #HostessHoliday #HostessHolidaySweeps

Winter Wonderland Edible Centerpiece:

I have to admit, it was fun making something new. I think we can get in a holiday rut by doing the same thing year after year, so creating some edible magical memories for families, especially the little kids, not only makes everyone linger around the table a little bit longer, but on this particular night, we didn’t even have to make dessert!

Continue reading: Winter Wonderland Edible Centerpiece + Giveaways and Sweeps!

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Holiday Hustle and Sweet Garbanzo Bean Flourless Cake http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/sweet-garbanzo-bean-flourless-cake/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/12/sweet-garbanzo-bean-flourless-cake/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:00:16 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32943 This Sweet Garbanzo Bean Flourless Cake is the perfect party cake for the holidays, and is also gluten-free. It seems that it’s a whirlwind out there, what I like to call the holiday hustle. I don’t do it very well, so when I decide to head out to shop and run errands, I make a […]

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This Sweet Garbanzo Bean Flourless Cake is the perfect party cake for the holidays, and is also gluten-free.

Sweet Garbanzo Bean Flourless Cake

It seems that it’s a whirlwind out there, what I like to call the holiday hustle. I don’t do it very well, so when I decide to head out to shop and run errands, I make a list and I stick with it, so I can quickly get back home to my nesting place.

I love our home, and inviting people in for the holidays.

Our tree is up, and Haggis (our Cairn Terrier) is ready! I bought him a new Rudolph sweater, which he’s not too crazy about, but is tolerating well. (I bought this for $7.97 at WalMart.)

Haggis McStitch

I also have 5 Easy Entertaining Tips that help me stay focused and on task, and avoid the “holiday hustle,” to help me not become a stressed out hostess

Continue reading: Holiday Hustle and Sweet Garbanzo Bean Flourless Cake

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