Classy Holiday Soirees that Include Your Kids!
I had the pleasure this week of speaking with Lulu Powers, a lifestyle tastemaker on the cool new website ThisNext.com and chef, author and lifestyle trendsetter who has worked with A-listers such as Madonna and Will Smith. She had some great ideas to share on creating a holiday party that will appeal to both adults and the kids.
Lulu has a lifetime of experience in the kitchen, she grew up in Connecticut where her mom was a caterer. She went on to run a small catering business and teach cooking lessons to support herself while living in New York. Now Lulu is based in Los Angeles and is a party-planner extraordinaire. North Texas Kids wants to say thank you to this busy lady for sharing her time and her ideas with us. Learn more about Lulu on her website at http://lulupowers.com/
Lulu is also the author of a new book this year: Food to Flowers – Simple, Stylish Food for Easy Entertaining.
Here are a few of the tips she shared to make sure the kids are kept entertained:
1. Feed the kids first (but don’t cook something different, prepare foods that kids and adults will love, like Parmesan Chicken Breasts (here’s a recipe similar to Lulu’s.)
2. Set a special table for the kids. Make it fun and festive.
3. Have plenty of activities for the kids, games are great or decorating sugar cookies. She says these sugar cookies can also make great decorations. Fill a vase with them or fill trays with with coconut or sugar and place the cookies on them. The kids will love helping to create decorations. Check out the photo of the coffee table decorations above where the cookies are standing in the glasses of sugar, gorgeous!
4. Get a teen helper or ask one of the older kids to help watch the younger ones.
5. Go to the dollar bin at Target or the Dollar Tree and get a variety of fun, silly gifts that the kids can open and play with.
6. Be prepared ahead of time!
Here are three of Lulu’s amazing recipes that will be great for creating a Classy Soiree at your house and some photos of some of her creations:
2½ ounces cranberry-flavored vodka
1½ ounces ruby Port
1 ounce fresh lemon or lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
1 thinly sliced orange round, for garnish
Shake the vodka, Port, lemon juice, and simple syrup together in a cocktail shaker. Strain and pour into a martini glass.
Garnish with an orange slice.
Parmesan Pea Dip
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: 2 cups
2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed, divided
1 cup frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed
1 cup mint
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Parmesan Shredded Cheese, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 teaspoon maple syrup or a dash of hot sauce
1. Put 2- 1/2 cup peas and all other ingredients except oil and ½ cup cheese in food processor and process until consistency is mostly smooth.
2. Add oil and then remaining 1/2 cup peas. Process until mixture is slightly chunky. (If you prefer the dip smoother, process longer.)
3. Spread on rice crackers and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
This pea dip can be served over pasta or on top of cooked fish or chicken. Sprinkle with additional cheese.
Apple Cheddar Rye Puffs
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 30 appetizers
1/2 Granny Smith apple (cored, peeled and finely chopped)
1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Double Cheddar shredded cheese
3 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 loaf of mini rye bread
Fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Cut rounds out of rye bread using a 1- 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.
3. Combine remaining ingredients. Spread on toast and bake for 10 minutes more. Serve warm.
Bake only one side of bread and then apply mixture on other side.
Make sure to visit Lulu Powers online for more beautiful ideas or check out her recent spread in Lonny magazine here.