This holiday season we’re feeling inspired by the places we love most. From the glitz and glimmer of Paris to classic red London to a snow white Nordic seascape, our favorite destinations are even more enchanting during the holidays. We’ve drawn upon the essence of each to create three themed collections, giving you three more reasons to celebrate the holidays with us.
A Beautiful Autumn Table: Layering
Think of the place setting the way you would an outfit: you might layer a shirt with a sweater and add a scarf to give it some interest. Apply that same layering idea to your table. Start with a crisp linen tablecloth, combine our Holiday Branch dinner plates with our Southern Living dinner and bread plates and layer in metal chargers for extra style. Now add in color with linens and flowers. These amazing greenery illustrations were commissioned just for us—and they work double-duty as a garnish for your food.
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 (12-oz.) package frozen dark, sweet pitted cherries, thawed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups loosely packed arugula $
- 16 (1/4-inch-thick) ciabatta bread slices, toasted
- 1 (8-oz.) wedge blue cheese, thinly sliced*
- Garnish: freshly ground pepper
- Sauté shallot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add cherries (and any liquid in package) and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Divide arugula among toasted bread slices. Top each with cherry mixture and 1 blue cheese slice. Garnish, if desired.
- *Manchego or goat cheese may be substituted.
A Coastal Christmas
Whether you love the beach or live at the beach, you can incorporate beach cottage style in your holiday decorating. Simple holiday accents, such as unadorned greenery and plaid bows, make this mantel festive and charming. White sea urchins and starfish are paired with boat rope garland (also echoed in the mirror frames) for all-natural inspired color and texture from the sea.
Hot Chocolate – What Could Be Better?
When it is cold outside, the thought of a great cup of Hot Chocolate is about as good as it gets. So here is a simple recipe to make a rich and special hot chocolate that you can make in the microwave and impress your family and friends.
1 (14oz.) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ Cup of unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ½ cups hot water
Combine all ingredients except marshmallows in a 2 quart glass measuring cup. Microwave on high 8-10 minutes – stirring every 3 minutes. Top with marshmallow
Dennis Dean’s Tip
*To make the marshmallow swirl on the top, place marshmallows in A HEAVY-DUTY /FREEZER BAG –cut one of the corners of the bag off at an angle – now microwave the marshmallows for about 15 to 30 seconds – checking every 10 seconds until marshmallow is melted – remove from microwave carefully – HOT. Squeeze the bag and form a swirl on top of the cocoa – if you have a torch – you can crisp the top of the marshmallow.
This hot chocolate can stay refrigerated for 5 days – so it is always ready for your Holiday guests!