Friday, January 15, 2010

Comfort Food Potluck Party

Get Comfy!

With the weather still very chilly outside, it make me want to stay home any eat things that are warm and comforting. So, how about a Comfort Food Potluck Party.

Here is a list of the Top 25 comfort foods:
• Apple Pie• Baked Beans• Banana Pudding• Beef Stew• Brisket Pot Roast• Chicken & Dumplings• Chicken Pot Pie• Chicken Soup• Chili• Chocolate Chip Cookies• Corn on the Cob• Fried Chicken• Gelatin• Green Bean Casserole• Hot Dogs• Ice Cream• Macaroni & Cheese• Mashed Potatoes• Meatloaf• Potato Salad• Pumpkin Pie• Shepherd's Pie• Spaghetti• Tomato Soup• Tuna Casserole.

Have each of your guests bring a dish from this list or have them bring their own favorite comfort food.
The list is endless as far as what type of invitation to send depending on the amount to time you have. Some suggestion are: A cutout of a bowl of chicken soup with the information about the party in the middle. Wrap up a chocolate chip cookie in a small cellophane bag with a tag tied to it with all the party details.
You can go one step further and have your guests arrive in their most comfortable clothes (sweats, flannel pants, pajamas, robes, slippers etc...)
For the table, keep it simple. Use a very warm colors to set an soothing ambiance. If it is a girls friends gathering occasion, create a spa like ambiance with lots of candlelight, soft colors of orange, yellow, light blue, soft pink etc. Fresh flowers could be a nice touch too, but don't over do it.

The whole idea of this gathering is to create a warm and cozy ambiance for your guest to enjoy while they are warming their sole with comfort food.
Send us your favorite comfort food idea or recipe!

Stay tuned to more ideas on gathering during the winter season. Visit us at for table setting and entertaining ideas.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Warm up With Hot Cocoa

The weather in Northern California has been constistently cold for weeks. So what better way to warm your body and heart with good ole hot cocoa. Here are some of the recipes we've tried and like.

Mocha Hot Cocoa: Phyllis Hoffman
3 cups milk
3 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup expresso powder
1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
Garnish: Whipped cream, expresso powder, chocolate covered coffee bean.
In medium saucepan, combine milk and half-and-half. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in cocoa mix and espresso powder. Add coffee liqueur, stirring to combine. Garnish, if desired.

Fluffy Hot Chocolate:
• 8 teaspoons sugar
• 4 teaspoons baking cocoa
• 4 cups milk
• 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: In a saucepan, combine the first four ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until the marshmallows are melted, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Ladle into mugs.

Hot Chocolate: Barefoot Contessa
• 2 1/2 cups whole milk
• 2 cups half-and-half
• 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
• 1 tablespoon sugar • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
• 4 to 5 vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Directions : Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and espresso and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and serve immediately. Use a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to garnish each serving.
We hope these help ease those cold winter days. Happy sipping!