Ever feel like you never get a chance to truly enjoy the holidays? Could it be that you’re so busy working to make the holidays special for everyone else you wear yourself out in the process, never really savoring the season?
I’m guilty, so this year I sought some simple solutions…shortcuts, if you will. I enjoy entertaining friends at home, especially this time of year, but I often run out of time and patience to make it happen.
A friend recently offered some great advice–when entertaining keep it simple! There are ways to do that and wow your guests at the same time. Check out the beautiful Charcuterie display in the photo below—a show-stopper right. You can see how to assemble your own on Goodtaste.tv.
Charcuterie – a big word that basically describes cured meats – is an assortment of salamis, dried ham, sausages and such mixed with delicious cheeses and other condiments. It can be put together with one stop shopping in the deli department, and the results can be stunning.
The stars on a good charcuterie board are the accompaniments—garnishes like cornichons that are acidic and pair with the heavy meats or sweet touches like chutney to compliment the rich cheeses. I recently discovered some delish products that are made right here in Texas that are perfect to pair with the goodies on a charcuterie board.
The brand is Taste Elevated and features yummy creations like spicy candied kumquats and roasted eggplant with red peppers. My favorites, so far, are the Candied Oranges with Rosemary, the Sweet and Spicy Mustard Seeds and the Booze Thyme Cherries. I use the items straight from the jar—they’re that good! You can find them at Whole Foods and Central Market. And as you can see, they elevate any presentation.
If you prefer to let someone else do all the work, there is no shame in take-out. Or, you can always get a local restaurant to cater your soiree, even if it’s small. On a recent TV segment I featured some delish items [above] that are available as take-out from Liberty Kitchen. Their catering menu is quite large and includes things like peppercorn crusted tenderloin or their famous deviled eggs with bacon jam. If you want to really step it up a notch, Liberty Kitchen even offers their caviar service and raw oyster bar as a catering item.
Liberty Kitchen is just one example of the many wonderful area restaurants that can do the hard work for you, so you can relax and enjoy your guests. Backstreet Café also has an incredible holiday take-out menu as does Hugo’s and Goode Co..