Helpful Holiday Hosting How-Tos

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Photo courtesy of Family Features

Make entertaining easy by using pre-made dishes enhanced with a few homemade touches.

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Photo courtesy of Family Features

Prepared dips can be served on their own or as part of a delicious appetizer.

With the holiday season in full swing, party planners everywhere look to answer the same festive question with their annual gatherings: How do you spread the holiday spirit among guests? While décor and music play a role, nothing raises spirits more than a memorable hors d’oeuvres and drink spread that satisfies appetites and makes guests jolly.

Here are a few tips from King’s Hawaiian for creating a sumptuous first-course spread and festive setting that will keep guests entertained:

• Deck The Halls! Create an enticing aroma and beautiful display with candles. Set them atop holders accented with ribbon and seasonal trimmings from pine and noble firs (widely available this time of year).

• Punch it up! Create festive punches with a variety of toppings so guests may garnish however they want. Use red maraschino cherries, mint sprigs or cranberries. Consider pre-mixing drinks, so that you can enjoy the company of your guests. Also, offer beverages with and without alcohol for varying guest preferences.

• Ho Ho Hors D’oeuvres Made Simple! To minimize your time in the kitchen, incorporate tried-and-true, ready-made dishes that can be created well in advance and served at room temperature. Veggie dips, cheese trays and fruit platters all work well. Professional caterers recommend having 10 to 12 appetizers total per person.

• That’s Hot! As a complement to cold dishes, serve warm recipes that can be created almost to completion well in advance of the party. Just pop them in the oven right before guests arrive so they will be served warm, with minimal fuss.

• Festive Finger Foods. Add flair to dishes with themed-toothpicks, colored sauces or decorative dips. Present them on attractive serving dishes, which display seasonal colors.

Here is an easy and elegant hors d’oeuvre recipe. Make the mixture and pour into muffin tins a day in advance of your gathering and, shortly before guests arrive, pop them in the oven to bake these simple and savory soufflé bites.

Mini Cheese Soufflé Bites

Makes 10-12 servings

1/2 a 16-ounce loaf King’s Hawaiian Original Bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick vertical slices

1-1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1-1/4 cups milk

3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Trim crusts from bread slices and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Beat eggs in large mixing bowl. Add milk, cheese and Worcestershire sauce. Mix together, and then stir in bread.

Let stand for 15 minutes.

Put 1/3 cup soufflé mixture into buttered muffin cups.

Place the muffin tin into a jelly-roll pan filled with 1/2-inch of water.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until set, about 25-30 minutes. Remove when they have puffed up and are slightly brown on top.

Sprinkle chives on each soufflé, for garnish.

For more festive recipes, visit www.kingshawaiian.com

Source: King’s Hawaiian

Elegant Holiday Entertaining Made Easy

Gathering with family and friends to celebrate the holiday season is a tradition that everyone enjoys. Finding the time to do the party up right, however, can be a challenge and then suddenly, that fun-filled evening of holiday merriment you planned for your guests becomes a stressful occasion for you. Well, stress no more – help is on the way.

Many companies, like Omaha Steaks (www.OmahaSteaks.com), for example, offer complete lines of elegant party foods ranging from heat-and-serve appetizers to richly decadent desserts, all designed for ultra-easy preparation. These options are great stress-reducers and your guests never need to know that you didn’t spend hours in the kitchen.

For those party hosts who lack the time, but really enjoy a more hands-on approach, another great, time-saving tip involves impressing your guests with party-perfect appetizers that you make simply by adding a few homemade touches to prepared products. Here are few ideas that will allow you to truly enjoy your guests, while leaving them wondering how you ever found the time to prepare all the delicious food.

Mini Spinach and Artichoke Quesadillas

Makes 30

10, 8-inch flour tortillas

1 box Omaha Steaks Spinach and Artichoke Dip

8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

8 ounces Jack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thaw dip over night in refrigerator or in the microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes.

Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Using 4-inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut 3 smaller tortillas out of each tortilla. This can be done quickly by stacking the tortillas.

Lay out 15 of the 4-inch tortillas on baking sheet.

Mix grated cheddar and jack cheese together. Place 1 tablespoon of mixed cheeses on each tortilla.

Place 1 tablespoon dip on top of cheeses.

Top with another 4-inch tortilla, pressing down lightly to flatten.

Place baking sheet on lower rack of the oven for 4 minutes.

Carefully flip over each quesadilla with spatula, returning to oven for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from oven. Cool for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to serving platter.

Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin Tips

Makes approximately 32 pieces

3 pounds Omaha Steaks Tenderloin Steak Tips

32 Omaha Steaks Precooked Bacon Slices

1 jar Omaha Steaks All Natural Seasoning (#1141)

Round wood toothpicks

Thaw steak tips and bacon slices overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sprinkle each steak tip with seasoning.

Wrap a slice of bacon around each tip and push a toothpick through it to secure bacon.

Place wrapped tips on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes; flip and bake an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Courtesy of Family Features

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