Saturday, November 18, 2017

4 Holiday Entertaining Tips

The holidays are officially here and it's time to take a break from the hustle bustle of life and enjoy family and friends.  No need to be stressed and overwhelmed,  just enjoy the season and make your home inviting to guests.  Here's a few of my entertaining tips to make your home a warm and inviting place this holiday season. 

Create a Welcoming Entry Door

   The entry door is the first impression your guests have upon arrival, so make yours stand out!  Lights and holiday decorations let your friends know you look forward to their visit.  Greeting guests with festive lights, and holiday décor, just sets the stage for a warm welcome!

Create a new Kitchen Finish 

Holiday guests always spend time in the kitchen. If yours is looking a little outdated, GE Appliances is bringing more wows to the kitchen with the largest selection of premium finishes on the market. Available on select GE®, GE Profile™ and GE Café™ products, owners can now choose the new black stainless, stainless, Black Slate and Slate finishes. Black Stainless is a high-gloss, tinted clear finish, the black slate offers a dark matte finish and the Slate is a matte that hides fingerprints. 

Create Welcoming Aromas

Holiday Scents like pine, and apple create an aromatic ambience that welcomes guests the moment they walk through the front door.  Every home as it's own scent, that's why I like to "freshen" the smell of my home with Air Wick Limited Edition Seasonal Scents.  They come in the form of scented oils in the welcoming scents Woodland Pine and Warm Apple Crisp. These scented oils contain natural essential oils and provide long-lasting fragrance to your home. They provide up to 45 days of continuous and long- lasting fragrance per refill based on low setting, and the scented oil warmer has adjustable fragrance settings. They’re ideal for any room in the house!  $4.88 Amazon, Walmart, Target  @AirWickUS 

Create Holiday Cooking Hassle-Free and Flavorful 

This holiday season, leave the complicated, overwhelming recipes at the door and say hello to your new best friends!

Just Mayos and Just Dressings from Hampton Creek are the must-have, hassle-free holiday food products for effortless, delicious cooking and entertaining. These chef-crafted, non-GMO and better-for-you products add instant flavor to any dish without a long list of ingredients or complicated and tiring prep work.

Hampton Creek's products are highly versatile in all holiday cooking and meal prep so you can use one product in many different dishes.

Just Mayo holds up in high heat cooking and baking which makes it ideal for whipping up a tasty, easy cake or pie crust like for my favorite, Sweet Potato Pie. Just Mayo also mixes in perfectly with one or two other ingredients for impressive apps like Crayo Dip!

Just Dressings are so much more than your everyday salad topper. Use them as an instant marinade or in this easy, mouth-watering Green Onion Ranch Biscuits recipe.

See these delicious, hassle-free holiday recipes below. For more flavor varieties and recipes, check out! For holiday cooking inspo, follow @hamptoncreek on Instagram and Facebook. 

Cranberry Mayo

Serves 14-16

½ cup (leftover) cranberry sau
1 cup Just Mayo


1.       Mix ingredients in a food processor or whisk thoroughly with a fork. Add salt to taste.

2.       Use on seasonal sandwiches or salads, or include as a dip in a holiday appetizer spreads. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Pie

Serves 8-10

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (4 oz) Just Mayo (refrigerated)
2-4 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 4-ounce stick salted butter or margarine, melted
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (homemade or canned, see note) 
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
¼ cup almond milk 
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

Pie crust

3.       Preheat an oven to 400F.

4.       Add the flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, baking powder, Just Mayo and 2 tablespoons of the cold water in a bowl or, even better, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse or mix until a loose, crumbly dough comes together. If needed, sprinkle on additional cold water by the ½ tablespoon the dough is lightly moistened enough to gather together into a ball. Don’t overmix.

5.       Cut two large pieces of parchment paper. Transfer the dough mixture on top of one piece of the parchment and pat the dough into a thick disk. Place the second piece of parchment on top and use a rolling pin to roll out to a 1/4-inch thick circle.

6.       Peel the top parchment off, then slide your hand under the first bottom piece of parchment and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim any excess dough with a small sharp knife and crimp the edges of the crust as desired.

7.       Brush the inside and edges of the pie shell with a little of the melted butter. Don’t prick the shell, but if you have pie weights or some dry beans, use them now (on top of a circle of parchment or foil in the center of the crust.)

8.       Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 350F.

Pie filling

9.       In a medium bowl, standing mixer or blender, mix together the melted butter, sweet potatoes, brown sugar, sugar, almond milk, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla until fully combined.

10.   Evenly spread the mixture into the par-baked pie shell. Put a pie crust shield in place if you have one, to keep the crust from browning too much.

11.   Bake the pie for 55-60 minutes until the center of the filling has set and the top is lightly browned. Cool to room temperature before serving, so that the pie has time to fully set.

12.   Garnish with a few toasted pecans, and serve with whipped cream topping and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.

Note: To prepare homemade sweet potatoes, roast 3 medium-sized, whole sweet potatoes in the oven at 400F until tender, for about 1 hour. Then peel and mash until smooth.

Green Onion Ranch Biscuits

Serves 9

6 tablespoons margarine or salted butter

½ cup milk (your favorite type)

1½ teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup Just Ranch, plus more for brushing

⅓ cup green onions, thinly sliced (~3 green onions)


13.   Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. While the oven is heating, cut the chilled butter into 1/2-inch cubes and freeze for 15 minutes.

14.   Make the “buttermilk.” Mix the milk and lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.

15.   Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Scatter the chilled butter cubes over the flour mixture and toss to combine. Use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut the butter into pea-sized pieces, working quickly so as not to melt them. Alternatively, you can pulse this mixture together in a food processor.

16.   Add the "buttermilk," Just Ranch, and green onions to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a moist dough forms.

17.   Scoop dough onto the baking sheet with a 1/4-cup measure, spacing each biscuit at least 1 1/2-inches apart. Flatten each biscuit slightly with your palm, so that it cooks evenly through.

18.   Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes, then pull from the oven and brush each biscuit gently with a thin layer of Just Ranch using a pastry brush. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until golden brown. Let the biscuits cool for a few minutes before serving.

Create A Self-Serve Coffee Bar Your Guests Will Love!

What could be better than the gift of great coffee this holiday season? Guests love hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate around the holidays. This year you can be the hostess with the mostess with a self-serve coffee bar.  When hosting a holiday party, set up a festive Keurig coffee bar complete with seasonal coffees, teas and hot cocoas, with popular brands like REVV® coffee and Swiss Miss® Hot Cocoa. Guests will have the beverage choices they love all in under one minute – that means less time in the kitchen and more time.

Place Peppermint spoons or sticks and honey spoons, surrounded with little jars of  toppings like marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Your guests will be impressed and feel pretty special.  I use the Keurig® K-Compact ™ Coffee

This space saving coffee maker brews your favorite beverage in under a minute at the touch of a button. Perfect for the busy host, the Keurig® K-Compact™ brewer features Smart Start technology that heats and brews in one simple process. 

Whether it is for your own kitchen or for the coffee lover on your list, the Keurig® K-Compact™ coffee maker is the perfect holiday gift that will be enjoyed year-round.  AND this coffee maker is available exclusively at Walmart and for under $50 this holiday season!

“This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GE, Air Wick, Hampton Creek and Keurig.

All opinions are entirely my own.”

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