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Your Holiday Survival Guide

It’s just about that time, in this busy holiday season, when the shopping lists are nearing their ends and gifts are on their way, wrapped or hidden away in anticipation of the big day. Now it’s time to concentrate on holiday food. But, you’re already exhausted by the hustle and bustle of the season, the hours of shopping, the parties the kids’ events, the light shows and parades and the last thing you want to do is even think about cooking.

We have five quick easy recipes to make your holiday celebration a success without hours in the kitchen:

Candy Cane Mimosa

As your guests arrive why not greet them with an eloquent, attractive, festive and timely cocktail? Get everyone in the spirit (no pun intended) and start off (no matter the time of day) with this quick easy Candy Cane Mimosa:  (Recipe from Delish)

INGREDIENTS

9 Candy Canes (3 crushed, 6 whole)

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

6 oz. peppermint schnapps, divided

1 bottle Prosecco

DIRECTIONS

1. Pour melted chocolate onto a small plate. Pour crushed candy canes onto a separate plate. Dip rims of champagne flutes in chocolate, then in crushed candy canes to coat.

2. Add an ounce of peppermint schnapps to each glass, then top with Prosecco. Garnish with whole candy canes.

And so it begins, you have just proven yourself the official hostess with the mostess.

Fancy Finger Flatbread Pizza

Next up, onto appetizers/finger foods to prime your guests, keep them happy and fed before the big meal. This Fancy Finger Flatbread Pizza appetizer is just what you’re looking for. (Recipe by Women’s Day Kitchen).

INGREDIENTS

Cornmeal and flour for dusting

1 lb. pizza dough

4 oz. Gruyère or extra sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1½ cups)

1 large Honey crisp or other crisp red apple

1 small sweet potato (about 7 oz), peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 small red onion, thinly slice2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Let thawed pizza dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oven to 425°F. Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal. On a lightly floured surface, shape pizza dough into a large rectangle (at least 14 in. long); on the prepared sheet and sprinkle with half the cheese (about ¾ cup).

3. Thinly slice the apple into rounds. Toss sweet potato and onion with oil, rosemary, and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add apple and remaining cheese, toss, then scatter over dough.

4. Bake until potatoes are tender and crust is golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes.

Serve and wow your guests!

Pecan Glazed Brie Spread

Another great appetizer that promises additional well deserved praise is this quick easy Pecan Glazed Brie Spread. I mean who doesn’t like warm, sweet, gooey brie? (Just be sure to check there are no guests with nut allergies). (Recipe by Delish)

INGREDIENTS

1 (12-oz.) wheel of brie

2 tbsp. butter

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

3 tbsp. heavy cream

1 c. whole or chopped pecans

Pinch kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place brie in a small oven-safe skillet or baking dish.

2. In a nonstick skillet over low heat, melt butter and brown sugar until bubbly. Stir in cinnamon, heavy cream, pecans, and salt until completely coated, then remove from heat.

3. Pour pecan mixture over brie and bake until brie is melty, 10 minutes.

Yummmm! Pair with crackers of your choice and be the hit of the party!

By this time guests should be in high spirits and your delicious apps have ward off their hunger; time to sit down for the main event. Sorry, you’re on your own for this part!

Grandma’s Gingerbread

However, after the plates are cleared, the presents are open and the delicious meal you prepared is on its way to digestion this is just the right dessert for you. Beaconing bygone days, this homemade, real Gingerbread is the one my own grandmother made for us as children. I can still smell the spicy, sweet aroma wafting through the house, resting in the air as we anticipated the goodness to come. (Recipe may be from somewhere else but for me, it’s from my grandma).

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2cup butter

1 egg

1 cup molasses

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup hot water

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.

3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.

4.Bake for one hour.

Serve warm, with a healthy dollop of cool whip and enjoy!

Irish Winter Coffee

Things are beginning to wind down, there is a child or two asleep in some random chair or on a pillow beneath the Christmas tree. Friends and family are quietly meandering, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. It’s the perfect time to bring out a tray of Irish Winter Coffee. This could not be easier. (Recipe by The Spruce Eats).

Ingredients

Coffee (any kind brewed or k-cup)

Jameson

Kahlua

Irish Cream

Directions

Infuse each cup of coffee with a shot of Jameson and equal pours of Kahlua and Irish Cream.

You’re done! You made it through another Christmas! Now enjoy and have some fun!

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