Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy - Christmas and New Year's Brunch

Cedar Lane Omelet with Smoked  Alaskan Salmon

Holiday Entertaining need not be a lavish affair but you can make it extra special by serving your guests a lovely Christmas or New Year's Day Brunch. I can remember when I was growing up in Northern New Jersey, my parents and I were always invited to the most beautiful holiday brunches.
The host would appear sipping coffee in her silk robe and that's MY kind of entertaining!

The point is that it should be a relaxed get together as most of your guests (and yourself) have most likely been up late the night before. Still there are a few essentials that make for a memorable holiday brunch. Here's my easy tips to help pull it off:

Cookware, Chef's Knife & Herbs
Eggs are pretty much a given for a brunch menu so you might want to invest in some non-stick cookware, a good Chef's Knife and a few garnishing herbs. I've been using a Kyocera 3 Piece Non-Stick Pan Set and Ceramic Chef's Knife to prepare my holiday meals this season. I like the generous size of the pan set which is perfect for cooking larger quantities for guests, especially something like scrambled eggs. Even the smallest pan in the set is VERY deep. Clean up is a snap!

Kyocera 3 Piece Non-Stick Pan Set
The Kyocera Ceramic Chef's Knife is another kitchen must have as it is essential to preparing evenly cut meats, fruits and vegetables. It will literally cut your kitchen time in half as you won't have to struggle through your food prep. See both at

Kyocera Chef Knife, Pan Set and Creekside Farms French Herb Wreath

Decorative & Savory Herbs-Creekside Farms French Herb Wreath
This French Herb Wreath from Creekside Farms, CA can be a fragrant addition to your brunch buffet as it is a lovely artisan arrangement of: lavender, marjoram, sage, Santa Cruz oregano, thyme and bay. The wreath will last a year and the herbs can be used fresh or dry. The French Herb Wreath ships nationwide so visit Creekside Farms to see it and more holiday varieties.

Cedar Lane All Natural Egg White Omelettes
Cedar Lane All Natural Egg White Omelettes
Now one of the easiest ways to serve your guests is to do a whole pan of scrambled eggs. However if some of your guests are watching their fat intake, these Cedar Lane Egg White Omelettes are an all natural and very delicious alternative. In the lead photo is the Green Chile, Cheese and Ranchero Sauce variety served with Alaskan Smoked Salmon. Microwave these omelettes on high for only 4 minutes and serve. Check them out at your local Wegman's, A & P or Stop and Shop. See all of their healthy entrees at Cedar Lane Foods

Red's Burritos served with Hampton Creek's Just Mayo

Red's Natural Foods Burritos
Burritos make great breakfast and brunch foods as they are easy to serve and eat. Red's are made with natural beef and chicken raised without antibiotics and taste most like my homemade versions.
Shown here are: Steak & Cheese and Chicken & Cheese Burritos served with a little sour cream and Hampton Creek's Just Mayo Chipotle flavor mayonnaise which has no egg yolks. I found these burritos at my local Wegman's in the Finger Food section! See more varieties of Red's Burritos at Check out the Hampton Creek's Just Mayo varieties HERE.

Red's Burritos topped  with delicious Just Mayo Chipotle Mayonnaise 
Coffee, Tea & Scones
Scottish Scones are relatively easy to make as they have only a handful of ingredients. Still, these Barista Baking Company scones are pre-made to "Break & Bake" so no one need know they came from a package. They will just see them coming from your oven! Delicious yet traditional flavors like Blueberry and Orange Cranberry were our favorites. Each flavor comes with an icing packet which adds a lovely touch. See more flavors at

Scones served on Cheeky Plates.
Coffee & Tea to Go
One of the sweet things about doing a brunch is it allows guests to walk around and chat with the other invitees. You can make it easy by serving them with these Cheeky Paper Drink Cups with Solo Lids. They match the Chevron design on the paper plates which are also very light to prop on your lap. Fashionable, microwaveable and soak-proof. Check out all the Cheeky paper goods available now at Target Stores or online a

Cheeky Paper Goods for your holiday brunch.
Tasty Nibbles
Holiday Cookies and Candies round out your brunch with tasty treats your guests can enjoy after the main course.

Lance's Limited Edition Season Favorites in: Sprinkled Sugar with Sweet Creme Filling, Chocolate Nekot with Mint Filling and Pumpkin Cheesecake are perfect because packs of 6 sandwiches stay very fresh. Put them out or leave them in the package in a bowl. They will disappear. See all the varieties at

Lance Sandwich Cookies
Alter Eco Organic Sea Salt Truffles
Alter Eco Organic Sea Salt Truffles
These are Dark Chocolate Truffles made with coconut oil. Again, pour some in a candy dish and watch them disappear! Visit online.

Suggested Reading: Top 100 Napkin Folds and 150 Best Dips & Salsas

If you are new to entertaining or have hosted parties for years, here are two books you might like to check out:

150 Best Dips & Salsas Plus Recipes for Chips, Flatbreads and More by Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman - Robert Rose
The title speaks for itself and this is by the authors of 750 Best Appetizers.  Crowd pleasing favorites like Spinach and Artichoke Dip and Roasted Onion Salsa are all laid out in a very straight-forward method. Easy to follow too.

Top 100 Step by Step Napkin Folds by Denise Vivaldo - Robert Rose
If you've ever wanted to WOW your guests with beautifully folded napkins at their place settings, this is the book for you. More than 1,000 photographs, this spiral bound notebook format allows you to prop it up at the table and follow along. Going from simple to elaborate there is something for everyone's table in this book.

Find both books online at

Bavarian China - Mine
Brunch Foods prepared and styled by me and provided by the respective companies listed herewith.

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