ALL POSTS IN Entertaining

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We’re in the midst of the holiday season, so it’s time to plan out your party menu. Dessert and drinks are must-haves, along with delicious starters like a cheese board and soup. Serving soup as part of the menu is great because you can make a large batch and it will fill your guests up without having to serve a fancy entree.

This sweet potato pear soup is filled with fall flavors and is easy to eat when served in glasses. Set up a soup toppings bar or sprinkle them on before serving. We sprinkled ours with roasted butternut squash seeds, paprika and shredded coconut.

Sweet Potato Pear Soup ShootersPhoto by Jason Kisner

 Get the Full Recipe Here>>

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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From the decorations to the food, planning for a holiday party can be pretty stressful, but it can also be fun and rewarding. But where to begin? Follow our simple steps to help you get started on throwing the best holiday party of the year.

Step 1: Start with a theme. It can be a cookie swap, an elegant dinner party or even one for your pup!  Once you figure out your theme, picking out decorations and a menu will be a breeze.

Cookie Swap Holiday Party

Holiday Party Theme Ideas>>

3 More Holiday Hosting Tips

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This is the only time of year you can completely indulge in your guilty pleasures and get away with it. If you want to eat 5 cookies after a big dinner, go for it. That’s what the holidays are about — gathering around your loved ones and eating delicious homemade food. Fudge is one of my all-time favorite holiday desserts. It’s a crowd-pleaser, cheap and easy to make and satisfies my chocolate cravings. What’s not to like?

Make big batches and use cute wrapping to gift to friends, or make a small batch for an intimate family gathering or maybe even for yourself (why not?). Our recipe only requires 5 ingredients and 5 steps. Give it a try!

Simple Homemade Fudge Recipe

Homemade Fudge

 

Ingredients:

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Directions

Instructions:

1. Line a square 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Over low heat, in a medium sized pot, add the chocolate chips, condensed milk and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until chips are melted.
3. Remove from heat and add the vanillas. (If you don’t have vanilla paste, just double up on the vanilla extract.)
4. Pour into the parchment lined baking pan and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.
5. Serve as needed.

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So far, we’ve shown you how to decorate, dress yourself and prepare a cheese board for the holidays. It’s time to move on to the dessert table. This may be the most important part of your party (other than the bar, of course) — especially if you’re having a sweets-only get together.

To help you get started on your dessert table, I’ll share this very simple chewy gingersnap cookies recipe with you. You can make these a day or two in advance because they will still taste fresh come party time! Pair the cookies with an even simpler pumpkin pie dip recipe that’s dangerously delicious. Spread the dip on top of each cookie or spread it between two cookies to make a sandwich. Yum!

Gingersnap Cookies With Pumpkin Pie DipPhoto by Jason Kisner

Get the Full Recipe>>

Check back soon for more dessert recipes, how to style a dessert table and other inspiring holiday ideas.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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Mmmmm…butternut squash. Sure, it’s delicious when roasted or blended into soup, but have you ever considered incorporating butternut squash into your fall decor? Add this oblong squash to your table in a new way this Thanksgiving — as an easy-to-make, inexpensive vase.

Butternut Squash Vases

It just takes a few minutes to make your own. To make an arrangement like you see above, you’ll want three or five butternut squash in varying heights. The smaller, the better; larger butternut squash have thicker flesh that makes them slightly more difficult to work with. I got these at a local farmers’ market.

Cut and Hollow Out Butternut Squash
After first trying a pumpkin-carving saw, I found that the best tool for hollowing out the squash was a long-handled spoon. Make a circle at the top of the squash’s oblong stem, leaving about 1/2 inch of flesh around the edge. Continue scooping chunks of squash until you reach the seeds. Scoop out what you can, then rap onto a cutting board a few times to remove remaining seeds.

Fall Butternut Squash Centerpiece
Next, add the flowers of your choice. I went with dahlias, sunflowers and cockscomb in purples, yellows and greens. Then, add water and display on your Thanksgiving table!

Turn Butternut Squash Into a Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Get full instructions for this project here, plus find even more Thanksgiving ideas on HGTV.com.

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A couple of weeks ago I showed you how to make your very own Wood-Burned Cheese Board (you’ve made yours by now, right?), and now, with Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, it’s time to shop for the right things to top it with. After all, you don’t want to end up with a plate full of pre-cubed cheddar on the big day, do you? Not that there’s anything wrong with cheese cubes, but why not treat your dinner guests to a perfectly crafted cheese feast?

Just watching that made me hungry! This cheese plate would be a great appetizer while waiting for the turkey to finish roasting, or you can serve it with dessert for any of your guests who aren’t in the mood for pie. As long as you stick to our formula, you’ll always have a perfectly balanced (and gorgeous!) cheese board for your guests.

The Perfect Cheese Plate

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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When Briana asked about the white pumpkin trend in a recent Defend the Trend post, a whopping 81 percent of you said you loved the look. I’m with the majority here — I adore the elegance a white pumpkin brings to the (Thanksgiving) table. Whether you have leftovers from Halloween or are picking up a few just for Thanksgiving, here are 7 of my favorite ways to use these fall gems.

Turn White Pumpkins Into a Fall Succulent Planter
Pint-sized white pumpkins make an adorable vessel for single succulents. Kelly Smith Trimble from DIY’s Made + Remade blog inspired me to use these as take-home place markers at a recent fall dinner party. She used the adorable succulents as part of this modern tablescape filled with assorted pumpkins, squash and sprigs of eucalyptus.

Fall Tablescape With Mini White Pumpkins

More Ways to Decorate With White Pumpkins

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, because I have the most wonderful family to spend it with. Plus, there are some recipes my grandmother and mother only pull out once a year. Annual traditions are what make the holiday so special to me. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? What are some you hope to start this year?

Mood Board Monday: Thanksgiving InspirationCider | Natural Decor | Apple Pie | Centerpiece | Cake | Chain of Thanks | Friends | Cranberry Jelly | Table

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Home for the HolidaysI hope you’ve enjoyed following along as we share our holiday entertaining ideas straight from our own festive gathering with the DIYNetwork.com Made + Remade team. Each week we’ve focused on a particular area, from the fireplace to the table and now to the bar. You saw the inspiration behind the bar — lots of sparkle, a magnolia garland and an assortment of cocktail ingredients and garnishes within reach. Now, take a look at how the bar came together.

Home for the Holidays: Bar

Made + Remade contributor Hannah prepares our signature drink, the Pleasant Evening cocktail.

Home for the Holidays: Evergreen Swag

We framed some of our childhood Christmas photos (I’m third from the right in the gift box), attached velvet ribbon to the frame and hung each from twine behind the evergreen garland. This served as a perfect backdrop for our bar area. Learn how to make the magnolia garland at Made + Remade >>

Home for the Holidays: Bar

We stocked the bar with a variety of liquors, spirits and garnishes, something every hostess should keep in mind when prepping for an event.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

We wanted to separate the wine and champagne by setting up a bar cart. Here, we set out fun garnishes like candied cranberries, rock candy and starfruit to dress up champagne coupes.

Check back for more ideas on setting up a bar for your upcoming holiday parties.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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There’s nothing like the threat of company — especially parents, grandparents and mother-in-laws — to create that extra motivation needed to finish those lingering home improvement projects. (Guest bedroom, I’m coming for you.) If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, it’s likely you’ve spent some quality time at the local paint store.

Once the drop cloth is up and the rollers cleaned (or safely stored in the garage…no judgement here), why not use up that collection of paint sticks? That’s the humble material this copper-coated herringbone runner started out as:

Make Paint Sticks Into a Herringbone Table Runner

Give them a second life — kind of like Grandma’s vintage coat — as a table runner that will last from Thanksgiving all the way through the holiday season. Read on to learn how to make this chic and affordable table accent.

How To Turn Paint Sticks Into a Table Runner

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