I love throwing parties. It’s a great way to get all of my friends together without all of us ringing up a hefty bar tab at our favorite watering hole. (Plus, we can listen to music we like!) The key to being the hostess with the mostest is being armed with some ridiculously simple crowd-pleasing appetizer recipes that come together in minutes. That way you don’t have to stress out doing anything too complicated before the party starts, and once your friends come over you can actually spend time hanging out.
Other than my cat’s birthday, I don’t throw many parties. Most nights my husband and I are content with our quiet unsocial life and casual approach to dinner—it only has to please us. But since the holidays are here, I’ve got the urge to throw another leaf in my dining room table, get out the matching plates and invite people over for dinner.
Easy, fast and delicious: that’s my kind of entertaining. Here are a few fabulous easy quick dinners that are festive enough for a holiday dinner party:
We’ve finally reached the home stretch of the holiday season. There’s still too much holiday chaos to fully commit to my “healthier me” New Year’s resolution, but I’m ready to feel healthier and I do have a little black dress I have to get into for New Year’s…
I've made a New Year's resolution that I think I'm actually going to stick to this year—I'm going to eat healthier. I know that to make this work, I'll need to prepare meals that are packed with healthful ingredients that keep me satisfied—such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables—so that I'm not tempted to reach for junk food.
On Christmas Eve, one of my 5-year-old daughter Parker’s favorite things to do is put together a beautiful plate of cookies for Santa, complete with carrots for the reindeer and a glass of milk. A few days before Christmas, we spend an afternoon in the kitchen together baking delicious holiday cookies to give to friends, neighbors and the man in red.
At 19 months, my son Julian doesn’t know who Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob is, let alone request the yogurts adorned with their images—but I know that some of my friends who have older kids struggle with this very thing.
I love going all out for the holidays, but what I don’t love is being stuck in the kitchen at my own party. I used to think I had to slave away to be the hostess with the mostest. But the truth is the best parties are the impromptu ones, when you can whip up a few finger foods, shake up some cocktails and mingle with your friends all night long.
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’Tis the season of eggnog, Christmas cookies and decadent holiday drinks from Starbucks—at least in my house. ’Tis also the season when Americans put on half of our annual weight gain—two pounds a year—so give or take a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. (Find out my secrets to putting off the holiday pudge here.)
The other night on my drive home, I heard something on National Public Radio that really got under my skin. Some schools across the country are outlawing flavored milk. And crusading for the cause is Ann Cooper, who I must admit, I generally respect as a school-lunch-reform maven: she called chocolate milk "soda in drag." Cooper, Nutrition Services Director for Boulder Valley School District, has outlawed flavored milk from her district, just one of many other schools to do so.
I have a tight budget for Christmas this year, but my gift giving isn’t going to suffer. All it takes is little creativity to put together some holiday gifts from the kitchen. This way, I can get into the spirit of giving by delivering healthy homemade gifts that everyone appreciates without worrying too much about blowing my budget.