This post comes to us courtesy of home entertaining and lifestyle blogger Jenny Steffens Hobick.
At most times of the year I like to entertain casually — I like rustic, earthy dinner parties that are comfortable and relaxing. During the holidays I like to up the elegant factor just a bit. I prepare festive cocktails along side hors d’oeuvres and serve dinner at a candlelit table with my best china, flatware and linen. I still rely on natural, rustic elements to make the table cozy and charming.
Here is my formula for a cozy and elegant holiday dinner party:
For my table setting, instead of glitz and satin, I opt for natural and earthy elements like red stitched jute ribbon and gingerbread cookies to decorate the table. Down the center I place sprigs of cedar, boxwood topiaries tied with ribbon and chunky pillar candles. I love how all of the green on the table makes it feel intimate and cozy.
On each place setting, I wrap white linen hemstitch napkins with the red striped jute ribbon – which is actually upholstery webbing used on the base of furniture! I buy it in the sewing department of craft stores. On top of each napkin, I place a gingerbread candy cane cookie that doubles as dessert. For more details on this tables setting, visit my blog.
Holiday dinners call for a special menu with at least one really indulgent item. This menu has several! As always, I don’t like to fill my guests up on heavy dips and appetizers. I recommend starting the evening with a tray of passed Goat Cheese & Caramelized Onion Tartlets. They are great with a cocktail and won’t spoil anyone’s appetite.
For dinner, this Beef Tenderloin is a splurge, but so easy to prepare for a crowd — it is impressive, too! Little touches like adding pancetta to the Brussels sprouts and drizzling truffle oil on the potatoes dress up the simple to prepare sides.
After such a rich meal, serve these homemade gingerbread cookies with coffee — they are simple and delicious, and they taste like the holidays! For a step-by-step schedule for preparing and serving this dinner, visit my blog.
- Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Cream Sauce
- Truffled Red Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Coffee with liquor