#SCBDExclusive: Holiday Entertaining

scbdexclusive

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Tis the season to be crafty! The holidays are quickly approaching and Driscoll’s, growers of the world’s finest berries, wants to inspire you to create a berry centerpiece that will amaze friends and family!

No need to spend a fortune on your holiday parties. This Very Berry Holiday Tree is a simple way to brighten up any room and get the whole family involved in the festivities!

Instructions:

  • Four 1-lb containers of fresh Driscoll strawberries
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 slice from a carambola fruit (also known as star fruit)*

Special equipment: one floral foam or green Styrofoam cone measuring 4-5 inches in diameter at the base and 12 inches high; one box of toothpicks

*Note: If you can’t find a carambola, you can use a 1-inch star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a star shape from a mango slice instead.
Directions:
1. Wash the strawberries and blot them dry with paper towels. Pull off the green stem from each strawberry. Reserve a perfect strawberry for the top of the ‘tree’.
 2. Push a toothpick halfway into the side of the cone, about 1/2 inch from the bottom edge. Secure a strawberry to the toothpick, piercing it through the stem end. Secure another strawberry right next to the first one. Continue securing strawberries to the cone in circular rows up to its top, covering the cone completely. Secure the reserved strawberry to the top of the tree.
3. Remove some mint leaves from the bunch of mint and tuck them between the berries, placing them at about 3-inch intervals.
4. Secure the star-shaped carambola or mango slice to the top of the cone using a toothpick.

Kaltbach Gruyere_NEW_parchThe culinary experts at Emmi Roth USA have put together a fool-proof plan to assemble a gourmet cheese platter that goes well beyond the traditional cheese and crackers for a gift that will be the talk – and taste – of the party.

Start with really good cheese and build around it with complementary elements, for example:

    • The fruity, nutty taste of Le Gruyère, like Emmi’s Kaltbach Cave-Aged Le Gruyère AOP, made from only the best milk,  shines on a simple cheese plate when served alongside a rustic bread, fruits like apples and pears, and salty, roasted nuts like pecans.
      • A bold red wine, like Syrah, is a great pairing option, as is a fuller-bodied beer like an amber ale or stout.
    • Emmentaler’s flavors emit a blend of intense herbal notes with a hint of earthiness, especially Emmi’s Kaltbach Cave-Aged Emmentaler,  that are suited to dried fruits and dry white wine, like Chardonnay, or a full-bodied red wine. Other options to consider are a dark beer or even black tea.
      • A hint of dark chocolate with juicy strawberries can also be a delicious, if somewhat unexpected, combination.

Add other gourmet touches that can be used with the cheese and its pairings or for other meals or recipes like artisan crackers, savory spreads, and chutneys or jams.

For the finishing touch, a cheese board or platter that can be used to serve the delicacies and represent the hostess’ style, pulling the whole look together.  A different knife should be available for each cheese on the platter.

mostarda

Photo Courtesy of Good Earth Tea

Made with Good Earth Tea

Celebrity Chef Elizabeth Falkner’s Pomegranate Burst™ Mostarda

Ingredients:

  • 3 apples, preferably golden, pink lady or gala apples
  • 1 cup cranberries or dried cranberries
  • 1 tea bag Good Earth Pomegranate Burst Tea
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  • Chop up the apples to a small dice with skin on
  • Combine the apples with all of the other ingredients in a saucepan
  • Bring to a simmer for 5-8 minutes or until apples are translucent
  • Turn off heat and cool
  • Squeeze out the tea bag and discard. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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