Dinner Parties & Entertaining

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Since traveling to Switzerland some years ago, I find myself craving hot spiced wine whenever I come in from the cold. (Or maybe I’m just a wino.) The soothing fragrance of the cinnamon and its mulling companions is like a cozy blanket for my chilled bones, and now that we’re in the thick of the holidays, I’m up for any reason at all to get that pot of wine on the stove!

There are many variations of mulled wine, from Glühwein in Switzerland and Germany to Glögg in Nordic countries and hõõgvein in Estonia. Whatever the name and combination of ingredients, this comfort-laden beverage is sure to be a hit for your holiday entertaining. I found some variations online and came up with my own potion, so I encourage you to use the recipes below as a starting point and experiment to suit your tastes.

Glühwein (this is what we sipped in Switzerland)
Glögg (this one’s interactive!)
Mulled wine (including historical information and oodles of variations)

I love to share sumptuous treats and a glass (or three) of something very special with my friends and loved ones for the holidays; if I’ve crafted the goodies myself, it elevates the experience for me. Such things are the very alchemy of love. I suppose that’s also why I’ve got dishpan hands from days of cooking, baking and candy-making, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Whatever holiday you celebrate — or if you don’t celebrate anything in particular, just celebrate celebrating! — I hope you’ll take the time to share a glass, a bite, and a toast with the ones you love. To those who celebrate my holiday, Merry Christmas, Buon natale, Joyeux Noël, Happy Christmas, and all the others I can’t pronounce or spell!

From my chaotic, love-filled house to yours, I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

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Cocktails, Anyone?

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The origin of the term “cocktail” itself is rife with rumor and speculation, so we’ll leave that to the drink historians.

Hors d’Oeuvres: Little Bites of Heaven

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Hors d’oeuvres can encompass a wide variety of foods, and range from casual finger foods to elegant nibbles.

Southwestern Thanksgiving Menu

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If you are hosting the Thanksgiving festivities this year, perhaps you’re feeling the need for a little twist on tradition.

Harvest Celebration Dinner Party

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At last, the season of entertaining and gathering indoors is upon us. I like to think of it as the modern version of gathering round the hearth; a shared table gives us common ground, and humans, after all, like to be nurtured.