Dark Chocolate Hershey Syrup! Quickly dot or squiggle a design on dessert plates before putting the dessert on the plate. Sprinkle with a dusting of powder sugar just before serving.
Scoop single servings of pink and green peppermint ice cream into festive cup cake papers, arrange on a pretty platter and store in the freezer until time to serve. Saves time and mess. You can even use chocolate chips and small candies to make vanilla ice cream balls look like happy snowmen faces! Ice cream and chocolate brownies suddenly look gourmet.
Serve whole, buttered green beans with a sprinkle of slivered almonds and chopped, dried cranberries (Craisins). It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Use whole frozen strawberries and cranberries in chilled drinks instead of ice cubes.
Like to serve ‘sit down’ dinner parties? Mix up a mashed potato casserole ahead of time and pipe individual servings on a cookie sheet. They bake quickly and are ready to slide onto plates next to the meat entree’.
Forget dessert, serve a coffee and cocoa buffet. Brew a great pot of coffee. Put out a couple bottles of flavored syrups, a dish of ‘dried’ brown sugar*, a shaker of cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve the unsweetened cream whipped, and in a pretty bowl - it’s so much fun to spoon whipped cream into your coffee.
*Set out a small dish of brown sugar early in the day. As it dries, stir out any lumps. It sprinkles nicely and gives a great flavor to coffee. Dried brown sugar is also great for rolling strawberries that have been dipped in sour cream.
Your sanity has a price, you don’t have to have the perfect recipe if you know where you can find great food you can buy already prepared. Our area bakery and deli departments all have special things that are favorites of mine... party trays, cakes, seafood spreads, dips, salads and cheeses. Always try the samples, and keep a list of things you’ve tasted and where you found them, so you’re prepared to buy a few of those extra treats you need in a pinch.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! May your hearts and homes be ‘filled’ with love. Terri
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