Dress Up Your Party for the Holidays
12/08/2014 02:31AM ● Published by Family Features
Delicious food, fine wine, friends and family. These are a few of everyone’s favorite things during the holiday season.
Luckily, there are a few ways to help you host the ultimate party with family and friends this season without breaking the bank. Shoppers who switch to ALDI can save as much as 50 percent on products such as wine, cooking and baking necessities.*
A menu consisting of mulled wine and beautifully presented appetizers can make your holiday gatherings truly special. Consider these tips from food stylist and loyal ALDI shopper Janice Stahl:
- Choose a Theme: Introduce a conversation-starter and create excitement amongst guests by choosing a party theme. Host a “Winter White” party that asks guests to wear only white and offer white and sparkling wines and light-colored foods like shrimp, cheeses and shortbread cookies for dessert.
- Set the Mood: Decorate to create an ambiance that goes with your theme. Bring a winter wonderland indoors with artificial snow sprinkled on tabletops and evergreen branches painted gold and silver placed throughout to create an experience for guests that goes beyond a typical dinner party.
- Dress Up Your Cheese Tray: Put together a simple but spectacular cheese platter by providing a selection of 3–5 cheeses that have different textures and tastes. Soft cheese, like goat, pairs well with crackers and semi-hard cheese, like manchego, can stand up to the flavors of tangy jams or jellies. Serve smoked cheeses with nuts, such as walnuts, and aged cheeses, like Parmesan, with fresh, crisp vegetables such as celery or cucumber to highlight the flavors that develop during the aging process.
- Infuse European Charm: Create your own unique version of European mulled wine, a classic combination of red wine and spices that warm together to make a festive drink. Add a bit of French flair by serving savory crepes as an appetizer or sweet crepes for dessert.
- DIY Dessert: Create a candy buffet in lieu of serving dessert. Use clear glass containers to hold a variety of chocolates, sweets and hard candies, mixing and matching different shapes and sizes for an eye-catching display. Provide small bags and twist ties so guests can customize their dessert and even take some home for later.
For an appetizer, dessert or even a midnight delight, offer your guests a crepe creations station, allowing them to try their hand at creating new, interesting and fun flavors on a classic European dish.
- Offer different types of crepes by adding flavors to the crepe batter such as chocolate, toffee, lemon or even beer.
- Get creative with unique fillings like almond butter, fruit preserves or roasted pumpkin.
- Provide toppings like hazelnut spread, whipped ricotta or applesauce for the adventurous guests, but make sure to have more common toppings like powdered sugar, chocolate sauce or whipped cream available as well.
These simple tips and affordable, easy-to-make recipes will help you get ready for the holidays. Visit www.aldi.us for more entertaining ideas.
*Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.
Apple and Berry Tartlets
- 2/3 cup Millville Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 cup Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1/4 teaspoon Baker’s Corner Baking Soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt
- 1/2 cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon Tuscan Garden White Vinegar
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1 orange, zested
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 3 tablespoons Baker’s Corner Brown Sugar
- 3 tablespoons Baker’s Corner Corn Starch
- 2 tablespoons Berryhill Raspberry Preserves
- 3 cups peeled and diced gala apples, (about 3 small apples)
- 1 cup cranberries, frozen
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In food processor, process oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Add chilled butter; pulse until butter resembles the size of peas. Add vinegar and water slowly. Mix to form firm dough. Chill pastry dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- In medium bowl, combine all filling ingredients.
- Place oatmeal dough on lightly floured surface and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 24 three-inch rounds. If dough becomes too warm to work with, roll into ball and refrigerate until chilled. Place dough rounds into muffin cups.
- Prick each dough round with fork and bake for 10 minutes; allow to cool.
- Place 2 tablespoons of filling in each tartlet and bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Shrimp DeJonghe Bites
- 1 1/2 cups San Zenone Bianco wine
- 1 cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, divided
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper
- 12 ounces Sea Queen Jumbo Easy Peel Raw Shrimp, thawed and peeled
- 2 cups Chef’s Cupboard Italian Breadcrumbs
- 750 milliliter Herres Brut Sparkling bottle
- 1 package (5.3 ounces) Specially Selected Rosemary Flatbread Crackers
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In small saucepan, combine wine, 1/2 cup butter, garlic, salt and pepper; simmer 5 minutes.
- In 9-by-13-inch pan, lay shrimp in single layer. Pour wine sauce over top.
- Melt remaining butter and mix together with breadcrumbs. Press over shrimp and bake for 15 minutes or until shrimp is pink and breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
- Pour glasses of Brut Sparkling.
- Carefully place shrimp atop bite-size cracker and balance on top of champagne flute. Serve.
Fresco Cheese Crostini with Pumpkin Mojo
- 1/2 Specially Selected French Baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 cup Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Chili Powder
- 2 teaspoons Stonemill Essentials Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 tablespoon Baker’s Corner Brown Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper
- 3/4 cup Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
- 1 orange, zested
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
- 1 lime, zested
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
- 5 ounces Benita Fresco Cheese, sliced into 10 rectangles
- 2 1/2 cups SimplyNature Organic Baby Arugula
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In large bowl, combine baguette slices and 1/4 cup oil, toss until coated. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes. Reserve.
- In medium bowl, combine chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, salt, pepper, pumpkin, orange zest, orange juice, lime zest and lime juice. Gradually whisk in remaining oil. Reserve.
- Heat non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear fresco cheese on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool. Slice each rectangle on diagonal.
- Arrange baguette slices on serving platter. Top each with few pieces of arugula followed by slice of fresco cheese. Drizzle with pumpkin mojo.