I love entertaining for the holidays; I look forward to it every year. Over the years, I’ve gotten larger gatherings down to a science, and have a few helpful tips to aid you in feeling more comfortable to host this year's holiday get together.
First and foremost, write your menu and grocery list out days or weeks in advance. This is helpful to feel prepared and less stressed. The last thing you want to worry about is forgetting something at the market!
Set the table a day or two ahead of time, print out a menu and place cards for added pizazz. Battery operated string lights add a twinkle to your tablescape. Add mini pumpkins, candles and fresh flowers to make your table feel cozy and fresh. Keep the decorations low to the table, so you can see your guests.
Most importantly, make as much ahead as you can. Make pies, sides and sauces in advance to keep the day of activities light and fun. I also like to make one drink option in bulk, such as spiced cider. It's always a hit!
Lastly, have fun! Feeling prepared relieves so much stress and allows you to have fun at your own gathering.
Hi! I am Kyndra, a recipe developer and food stylist that enjoys cooking and baking all things yummy. I am a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and have been sharing my recipes, tips and tricks for more than five years on Kyndra’s Kitchen. I am so excited to release my first cookbook, “Made With Love, Not Gluten” this year and share more than 70 recipes straight from my gluten free kitchen.
Fall Apple Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette
Here’s a recipe from my upcoming book, “Made With Love, Not Gluten” that I love to serve at all of my fall gatherings!
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups baby butter lettuce
1 cup chopped fresh kale
1 cup watercress leaves
2 red apples, chopped or sliced
1/2 cup candied pecans
1/8 cup roasted pepitas
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
Parmesan or crumbled bleu cheese
1/2 cup olive oil (or combination of olive and hemp seed oil)
1/4 cup sherry or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
In large jar with a lid, combine vinaigrette ingredients and shake well. Store in refrigerator until use.
In large serving bowl, combine spinach, butter lettuce, chopped kale and watercress and toss. Top with apples, pecans, pepitas, bacon, cranberries and cheese.
Drizzle with pumpkin vinaigrette to taste and serve. Store leftover vinaigrette in refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy and happy holidays!