‘Til Next Year

I hope you all had a great holiday!  We ate, we drank, we relaxed…it was lovely, but passed by much too quickly.  Just one more week of quietness now before the 2012 frenzy begins.
  
I’m signing off for a short break, but will be back first thing next year with much more to share!!!
xoxo
Melissa

Holiday Entertaining {Day 5 of 5}

As we wrap up these 5 days of Holiday Entertaining recipes, I want to extend sincerest and warmest thanks to all of you who have taken time out of your day to read my daily posts, test out a recipe, or send words of encouragement.  I am truly touched by the outpouring of love and support that has come my way in these two short months of blogging.  I simply can’t express how much your enthusiasm keeps me totally motivated!  

I raise a {Cranberry Champagne} toast to you and yours and wish you all a…

Very Merry and Delicious Christmas!!

Cranberry Champagne
 ~ pour 1 oz. cranberry juice into a champagne glass ~ 
~ fill with champagne & add a frozen cranberry ~
And I’m thrilled to announce the the winner of my Holiday Giveaway…
Laura Tringale!!!

Congrats Laura!  Thank you so much for following Serving Seconds!  
A 12-month subscription to Bon Appetit is coming your way!
Much love to all who entered!!!
xoxo

Holiday Entertaining // Eton Mess

Happy was the day I discovered this yummy dessert, called Eton Mess. I often find myself opting for sweets that are on the lighter/fruitier side, especially after eating a lot of rich foods.  Eton Mess accomplishes just that.  The gorgeous raspberry also adds such beautiful color that makes it ideal for holiday entertaining.
 

 
Eton Mess is basically a trifle that is made with whipped cream, raspberry sauce, and crumbled meringues.  You can certainly make it in advance, but I wouldn’t make it too far in advance because the longer it sits, the less crispy your meringues will be.  You could also try this with firmer cookies that can sit much longer, like ginger snaps, graham crackers, or chocolate wafers.  I prepared mine with crumbled meringue about 30 minutes before my guests arrived and kept it chill in the fridge until ready for serving.  If you’re not familiar with meringues, don’t worry!  They are affordable and easy to find at any Trader Joe’s.

 

Eton Mess

You’ll need:

    • 1 lb. frozen raspberries
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/4 cup regular sugar
    • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 8 meringue cookies, crumbled

To prepare:

  1. Combine the raspberries, water, and regular sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a light boil and cook until the raspberries are broken down and the sauce has thickened.  Do this in advance and set aside until completely cool.
  2. Combine the whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on high until stiff peaks form.
  3. Once the raspberries are at room temperature, you are ready to assemble.  In individual serving cups, add a layer of meringue crumbles, a layer of whipped cream, and a layer of raspberry sauce.  Repeat, and top with a final sprinkle of meringue for garnish.

Serving size will depend on the size of your serving vessel.  I was able to make 8 servings in these adorable 3oz mini dessert cups I found at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  It was only $20 for the whole set, and they came with cute little mini spoons as well!

 

 
Signature

Holiday Entertaining {Day 3 of 5}

Amongst an indulgent holiday spread, your guests will appreciate at least one healthy-ish option.  A veggie platter is a great way to go.  Not only does it provide some beautiful color, but you can make it well in advance and have it on the table before the party even starts.  Guests can start nibbling away while your other hot appetizers toast up in the oven.
But don’t go all basic on me with a store bought platter of veggies and ranch.  No, no, no…here are a few things you can do to jazz up a standard veggie platter:
       ~ Try something other than ranch dip, like my {Meyer Lemon & Mustard Dip} recipe below
       ~ Look for an interesting variety of veggies, like baby carrots or colorful radishes       
       ~ And by baby carrots I do not mean those nubby, pre-cut carrots…we can do better than that!
       ~ Green beans or asparagus make a nice addition, but need a quick blanching first
       ~ If you absolutely must buy pre-cut veggies & dip, at least plate it up on a nice platter 
Meyer Lemon & Mustard Dip 
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grainy dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 a meyer lemon (or regular lemon will do)
1 teaspoon honey
salt & pepper
It’s easy…just mix everything together and season with salt & pepper to taste!

{PS…don’t forget to enter my Holiday Giveaway by 5pm PT tomorrow!}