Friday, December 9, 2011

Heavenly Hostess

Do you like to entertain? I love hosting parties! I enjoy planning the menus then spending time in the kitchen preparing the food. For a holiday like Christmas, it is fun creating appetizers, desserts, etc. that are special to this holiday. I have made pinecone shaped and decorated cheeseballs and cheeseballs shaped like presents. You can prepare cookies shaped like holly, reindeer, etc. Those are some fun ideas but if you want to present your food in a swanky (my definition- a little more upscale) way. Use creative serving pieces like serving dips in large martini glasses or soups in shot glasses. One of my favorite serving dishes is a cast iron skillet. This is not just a Southern thing! I had a meal served in a cast iron skillet to me in New York City. I love to prepare mini cast iron skillet chocolate chip cookies ala mode.

For a less calorie ala mode topping, serve frozen homemade vanilla whipped cream on top.

Not only does the food need to look good but so does the hostess. Today on OpenSky, I have a special going for Heavenly Hostess aprons. Click on the link to view the special-
These aren't your run-of-the-mill aprons either. They are beautifully designed and they are also very special to me because on the tag is engraved the same scripture that I have in my cookbook which is 1 Peter 4:10. "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others..."
Cynthia Wadell, the designer behind these gorgeous aprons, has this to say about her aprons-  "I wanted the elegance and quality of the aprons that my grandmother wore with such grace during holidays and special occasions - they always looked so elegant and festive!”
Heavenly Hostess Mod Dot Cocktail Apron
Her aprons are also designed with not just looks in mind. She also wanted aprons that were comfortable and fit well.
"As a full figure woman, the aprons in the market place just don’t “cut it”, or should it be said, don’t “cover it”. There is not a single company making aprons with all sizes of women in mind." -Cynthia
Cynthia's business is also mission minded. She works with an educational center for women in Kenya.
Read all about her business's mission on her site-

Speaking of the hostess looking good as she/he cooks, she/he also needs to look good as he/she cleans. Today's gift is this festive pair of Santa cleaning gloves, great for cleaning all of those dishes from entertaining. Also included is this elegant wooden spoon glammed up with a sleek silver handle.
Today's question- When you host a party, do you make it all my scratch or have it catered? Catered can mean grabbing foods from Sams and Costco.
Include your name and email address with your answer.


  1. My family always does homemade, we love trying new recipes at holiday parties. So, when I host it is by scratch. The salads, dips, and other things from the store are ok for everyday meals when time is tight, but for special occasions they do not make the cut!

  2. - Even I love to host a party and specially because I get to be in the kitchen for the entire day. I cook with my mom a lot of finger food. Like we make cheese balls by using 3 different cheeses and red pepper etc and then frying it after dipping in flour, breadcrumbs and buttermilk.
    I also prepare variety of kebabs- bhutte ke kebab (corn kebabs) and tandoori chicken or chicken tikka and also fish tikka sometimes and serve with green chutney. There is a dish that we call "bullets" which is basically cauliflower, capsicum, beans, n bind it and shape it into large finger looking and serve with bullet sauce- garlic is added to sugarsyrup and coriander. Might sound weird but tastes awesome.

    For desserts its usually the ice cream, which we turn to a sundae by topping it with different flavors n syrups. The favorite is BANANA SPLIT where we slice the banana into half lengthwise and then in between three different scoops of ice cream is added and served with cherry on each scoop and chocolate sauce and nuts.

    -sheenam puri

  3. Every party I have hosted has had the food cooked from scrap. Whether it be by me or/and friends and family.

    Bes hosted party so far has been a full pig roast.

  4. We are doing a tasting party for Christmas Day evening this year and we always do a fondue night between Christmas and New Years and yes, we do pretty much all of it from scratch! That is part of the fun, cooking together!

  5. My husband likes to cook a lot so we always make everything from scrap. And I am always the sous chef helping.


  6. When we host parties its all homemade...began planning our Christmas menu today :)


  7. I make it from scratch. Sometimes its alot of hard work, but it also is so satisfying when its over ;)
    michele frey
    michelejoie at gmail dot com

  8. I make one or two items then the rest is Costco.

  9. To make it festive, I use a combination of homemade and use some deli items. Using your homemade pimento cheese recipe always pleases a group.

    I like from scratch for sure, but the main focus is a happy event for all involved, and that includes me the hostess.

    Susan E. Steadman

  10. I always do a little bit of both...depending on the size of the party. I usually make chicken salad sandwiches, swedish meatballs, etc. Then the larger items are from Costco! :)


  11. @Phyllis can I come to that party. I love fondue. I went to a little shop in Virginia where you could get chocolate fondue and all kinds of things to dip in it. It was chocolicious!

  12. @Sheenam I would love to try some of your recipes

  13. Typically, it's all homemade. Putting time and effort into the food makes it taste that much better. It's fun to have a Christmas Party with friends and ask everyone to bring their favorite dish too. The chocolate chip ala mode looks divine!

  14. @whitney- Its fun making the bullets and cheeseballs, Indian kebabs are really amazing. Bhutte ke bebabs and chicken tikka are highly recommended if you ever try them. And yes, I can send you any recipe you want.
    And seeing that you mentioned about fondue, I am totally in love with it too, specially the chocolate fondue served with cakes, marsh mellows and fruits. Have you tried the cheese fondue as well? It is served with a variety of breads to dip in.

  15. I grew up in a family where they didn't do things from scratch, not even for the holidays, and I have to say that when I moved out of my parents house and into my own family, I don't even glance in the same direction of non-fresh foods. I have fell in love with the fresh flavor of parsley, and roasted garlic, and beets, rutabagas, parsnips, fennel bulbs, artichokes, I never heard of these things before. Now anything homemade was never thought of at my parents, but it is in my home. For a d`lish recipe` side item, try Parsnips, peeled, and cut in to 1/4's(the big pieces) and carrots cut the same, and then rutabagas peeled and cubed. fill pan up 1/2 way, letting the veggies peep over the water, add a tbsp pf real butter salt, pepper, and garlic to taste and let it boil rapidly with a lid until tender enough for a fork to pierce the veggies. They are a beautiful fall arraignment, and super d`lish!!


  16. @Lesya you win! I will email you today!