Hello, Bistro! Introducing the Fiesta® Dinnerware 3pc Bistro Set

New!BistroExclusive introduction offer: January 1, 2016- January 21, 2016 
only at fiestafactorydirect.com.

The Homer Laughlin China Company™ is pleased to announce the introduction of a 3pc Bistro Set to the iconic Fiesta® Dinnerware line.  The three-piece set completes a designed extension of the Bistro Bowls, currently available in 38-ounce, 68-ounce, and 96-ounce capacities, as well as the 15-ounce Tapered Mug.  The collection was designed to make casual dining functional with that Fiesta flair, no matter where you or your guests decide to sit, be it a meal at the dining table, a casual backyard barbeque or an even more relaxed movie night on the sofa.

15 oz. Tapered Mug

The 3pc Bistro Set features a 22-ounce Small Bistro Bowl, an ideal serving size for cereals, salads, soups, pastas, deserts and much, much more.

Complementing the Small Bistro Bowl are a 10 ½” Bistro Dinner Plate and 7 ¼” Bistro Salad Plate, both featuring a narrow rim and deep coupe styling.  Measuring the same as our classic plates, the Bistro Plates offer a wider food surface and deeper well to keep foods better contained.

Bistro Bowls

These items have been designed with the casual consumer in mind and feature a modern coupe shape, a design that has been trending in dinnerware over the past few years and is continuing to gain popularity.  This modern twist on the classic dinnerware set is the perfect addition to any Fiesta Dinnerware collection. 

Bistro Collection

The 3pc Bistro Set will be available in 14 Fiesta colors (sorry, no Plum!) so that you can get your hands on your favorite!

The set will retail for $47.00.  It will be available in department, specialty and outlet stores April 2016.  Open stock may be available in the future.

 This exclusive introduction is only available from fiestafactorydirect.com: January 1, 2016-January 21, 2016. Tangerine and Sage fans will need to wait a bit longer; those colors will be delayed until mid January 2016. 

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Healthy New Years Eve Appetizers

New Years Eve

The Holidays are no doubt a delicious time of year. It can be hard to not feel like the Grinch when your friends, family or co-workers offer you yummy treats and sweets during the holidays, especially if they are really proud of their creations, so of course we have to do the polite thing and try out that cookie, cake or casserole! But after almost two months of indulging (That’s a lot of cookies and cake!) ourselves, we thought that it would be fun to lighten up some of our favorite dishes for NYE.

Lasagna VS. Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

Zuchinni-Roll-Ups

 

Of course you love lasagna! What’s not to love? Cheese, noodles, more cheese and zesty tomato sauce…yum. So we decided to swap out the lasagna noodles for zucchini. Then we rolled them up and baked them making for the perfect bite sized treat to have either as an appetizer or several for a little dinner treat—perfect for a NYE appetizer. We kept the sauce on the side as well to cut out any additional calories or to control your own portions and taste.

The recipe is so easy, just prepare ricotta cheese and spices as you would for regular lasagna. Bake or grill slices of zucchini with salt, pepper and olive oil before you roll them and bake them. We made ours to be a bit like the recipe from Recipe Runner, except ours are bite sized meant for appetizers and we left out the turkey sausage. We used bread trays to serve the appetizers and appetizer plates due to their perfect portion size for individual plates.

Zuchinni-on-Appetizer-Plate

 

Sriracha Shrimp Taco VS. Sriracha Shrimp Taco Bites

Shrimp-Taco-Cups

Sometimes the most important thing about eating healthy is portion control. After all, we love the idea of still being able to eat what our heart desires, especially when socializing during the holiday season.

With this New Year’s Eve appetizer, we basically cut the portion in thirds compared to a regular shrimp taco by getting rid of the tortilla and switching out the sour cream for a nonfat greek yogurt and avocado sauce for the creaminess. Instead of the corn tortilla we used multigrain baked dip chips as our base to hold the ingredients. Then we assembled the little chip cup with some shredded lettuce, a small dollop of the avocado yogurt sauce (recipe at the end of this blog post) a single shrimp topped with cilantro, tomatoes and a little sriracha sauce for a kick. Trust us, it’s wonderful with the creaminess of the yogurt avocado sauce.

Shrimp-Taco-Cups-on-Bread-Tray

Italian Sodas

Italian-Soda-Bar

Aside from portion control, sometimes you can cut back on certain ingredients when making your favorite snack or in this case drink. Italian Sodas are a fun treat for a NYE party. They aren’t something that most people have everyday and they are so easy to make. We loosely followed this recipe from A Cozy Kitchen, but swapped out the fruit syrup for sugar free syrup and used coconut milk instead of half and half, then offered a low calorie whipped cream on the side to use at your own discretion.

Full-Soda-Bar

So, whether you decide to spike your Italian soda or drink it sans alcohol, we came up with a lighter version we hope you try and enjoy.

Enjoy-a-Soda-Bar

Dessert

Clementines-Dipped-in-Choclate-with-Sea-Salt

We know how it starts. One cookie, leads to a bite of fudge, which leads to a small slice of cake and then just like that you’ve had multiple servings of dessert. We love this idea of fresh fruit dipped in chocolate! Of course you’ve had chocolate covered strawberries plenty of times, but how about chocolate dipped clementines with a sprinkles of sea salt? They offer the indulgence of chocolate with a bit of the salty fix mixed with fresh fruit. These sweet little dare we say healthy treats are a wonderful way to cut calories while still enjoying dessert.

This dessert was simple to make. Melt, chocolate melting chips in the microwave and stir every 30 seconds as it melts, then dip half of a clementine in the chocolate. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the tops then pop in the fridge to let the chocolate harden, then enjoy! We placed these beauties on a small Turquoise oval platter to compliment the orange color of the clementines.

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!

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NYE Party Must-Haves

Untitled design-16

New Year’s Eve is a time for reflecting on your past year, looking forward to the year ahead and, of course, partying! We love attending New Year’s Eve parties- everyone is dressed in their end of the year best, and the appetizers and drinks are to die for. With this being the last party of the year, you have to do it big. That’s why we’ve put together a list of Fiesta Dinnerware essentials to help you and your guests bring in 2016 right.

Appetizer Plate

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No plastic plates here! Impress your guests with our Appetizer Plates, perfect for bite size snacks. The coupe shape makes it easy to load up your plate without fear of any tasty treats rolling off!

 

Entertaining Set

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The Entertaining Set is a great way to show off your food and your style! Choose one of our color combos or make your own color creation with our individual Omni Trays.

Square Handled Tray

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Whether you’re passing out hors d’oeuvres or champagne flutes, the Square Handled Tray is your go to piece. With sturdy handles on the sides, you won’t need to worry about any slips or spills.

3 Tier Server

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This pretty piece stands head and shoulders above the rest. Our Three Tier Server makes the perfect centerpiece to a party table and a great way to display those cookies and cupcakes you’ve been slaving over all day!

2 pc. Dip Set

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Dips of all flavors are essential to any large gathering. That’s why we created our 2 pc. Dip Set! Place your Dip Set on a table away from the main spread, so that guests can satisfy their appetites from any location.

Beverage Server

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Last, but not least, is our Beverage Server. Your guests will need to wet their whistles throughout the night, and more champagne might not be the best idea. Fill up your Beverage Server with a tasty punch recipe that will appease all palettes.

 

Post pictures in the comments of your New Years Eve party spreads that feature Fiesta! We’d love to see your ideas 🙂

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A Sweet New Years Eve

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I can’t believe it’s almost 2016? Where did this year go!?

The life cycle of the New Year’s Eve celebration began with watching Dick Clark in Times Square and counting down for the ball drop, then it was all about the party which eventually gave way to sitting up with brave kids who couldn’t quite make it to midnight. Now, we love to gather with friends, play cards, and enjoy yummy food while we ring in the New Year. Does this sound like your NYE? How do you celebrate?

This year is especially exciting since we’ll have our family home. I hope the games run past midnight and the conversation even longer. No celebration at our house would be complete without a dessert table with a treat for everyone.

hlc-new-years-table-2015-921

 

When Fiesta Dinnerware introduced Slate, I fell in love! It’s classy and timeless and incredibly adaptive. It was very easy to reach for the White and Slate with an accent of Turquoise; it’s a classic combination that works every time, the unanticipated bonus? It was so much fun creating only black and white desserts! Establishing these parameters was a terrific exercise in producing a cohesive and delicious dessert table for a new years eve.

Without a doubt, the star of this dessert table is the Three Tier Server in Turquoise, and why not? It’s gorgeous. This dramatic piece can be used in so many ways. From all three plates to just one plate or combining different colors of servers makes this piece one of my favorites.

Choosing which sweets to place on each tier, I went by size: smaller items on top and the largest desserts on the bottom. It looks good and feels like a natural choice. Coconut and almond bonbons on the top shelf are creamy and delicious. I baked the brownies and piped on cream cheese frosting then paired them with white chocolate covered pretzels. Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream anchor the base.

The sparkly snowflake on top came from a local art supply shop; I love how it looks and compliments the piece.

hlc-new-years-2015-769

 

When I visit with friends, sometimes they tell me, they can’t make a dessert table for a party or say they just don’t have time to make all those sweets from scratch. Well, neither do I!

It’s totally acceptable to mix store bought favorites with homemade dishes. Hosting a party is more about genuinely welcoming guests and not standing in the stress of desserts.

Let’s take a look…

hlc-new-years-2015-770

I love the versatility of the Omni Serving Trays – I don’t have to present four sections if what I really need is two. Also, every component of this presentation is store bought – graham crackers, bonbons, and sandwich cookies. And each one is a favorite – that’s a win!

I wasn’t sure how the dark cookies would look in a dark tray, but it totally works. It was fun finding a bonbon wrapped in Turquoise and knew instantly it would be the star of the Omni trays.

As I shared before, popcorn balls are the hot hot hot dessert right now. A variation on that is caramel corn, but I wanted to stay with the color scheme of black and white, so what did I do?

Say hello to my Popcorn and Oreo Gooey Delight.

It was too easy. I popped about ¾ cup white popcorn kernels (I use a hot air popper) and poured onto a baking sheet (with 1” sides). It broke my heart to deliberately break 1 sleeve of cookies and scatter over the popcorn. I melted 4T of butter in a pan, added a bag of marshmallows. Working quickly, I poured the melted marshmallows over the popcorn/cookie mix and using my bare hands (coated liberally with butter – the mix is hot, give yourself permission to use a wooden spoon, wear gloves, wait a moment, etc), I stirred until I couldn’t effectively combine any longer.

Caution: Your mileage may vary, but contents are likely to disappear upon impact.

hlc-new-years-2015-780

The White Pie Plate is sitting on top of a White Bouillon Bowl – it’s a perfect way to raise something off the surface of the table to create visual balance. These two pieces go well together based on shape, size, and silhouette.

When thinking about a theme, clocks felt like a natural choice, to symbolize the passing of time. When I was visiting my BFF in Missouri, we spent the better part of a day visiting antique malls in the area. She took me to lunch and we never stopped laughing. We spotted this larger vintage clock and knew right away I need to bring it home with me. The tag was marked, “as is”, I didn’t need it to work and the price reflected its condition. Unfortunately, a clerk wound it up and it started to tick and was still ticking as I drove myself to the airport. How does this happen with a broken clock? I love my life!

If you don’t have a BFF, find one. My life partner is everything to me. And my best girlfriend tells me when my slip is showing.

hlc-new-years-2015-932

And why not add more clock faces? How about on a cake?! I love a fancy cake. Most of my layer cakes have a simple, rustic but appealing look to them. Rosettes are so lovely for special celebrations and New Year’s Eve is one such occasion.

This triple-layer Vanilla Bean Cake is filled with vanilla buttercream tinted black. Since I already had chocolate cupcakes on the table, I didn’t want to add another chocolate cake. The vanilla is crazy good and worth it to process the whole bean. And I’m in love with this cake!

The roses are made using a large open-star piping tip. I start in the center, draw the buttercream over to the 3 o’clock position, and then continue in a counter-clockwise circle until I reach the 4. Overlapping the roses just a wee bit ensures complete coverage of the crumb coat.

hlc-new-years-2015-777

 

Because things don’t always work out, my plan for Panda Cupcakes became Panda Inspired Cupcakes. I lost my panda googly eyes, which were found immediately upon completion of the photo shoot, of course. I’m sold on the look.You see pandas, right?

 

hlc-new-years-2015-952

I don’t always prepare party favors or take-home gifts, but I did this time. These little jars are stellar! There is 5.5 Tablespoons of M&Ms in each jar, which becomes the perfect snack for the bus/car/tram on the way home.

We were traveling recently and made it a point to stop in a candy store that offers every color of M&M candies. So an ombre of fun was designed.

After I got these made, I tried several different types of bows/ribbon/string – but nothing worked. I think the ombre look is bold enough and doesn’t need anything else.

How adorable is this for a wedding/shower/birthday party favor?

Go green – reuse it.

hlc-new-years-2015-786

 

All of the food – delicious! While your guests prepare their own plates, enjoy your own party. It’s a win having friends and family who like spending time together.

hlc-new-years-2015-874

How I use my Fiesta Dinnerware on a daily basis is influenced by what I’m doing – fancy or every day, the Medium Flared Vase is a staple. We have this vase on our Dining Room table almost all the time and certainly when we’re entertaining. It can anchor a dessert table without stealing limelight from the star. This vase is a workhorse and I love it.

hlc-new-years-2015-948

Celebrations mark the passing of time, seasons, change and growth. Traditions, like the NYC Times Square Ball Drop are cultural norms that bind us to a larger group. Or, family traditions like card night and ringing in the New Year cements us to our smaller, inclusive group, that says, “my people, my family”. Traditions and rituals draw us together.

When our kids started going out with friends for New Year’s Eve, I was afraid they’d make the same mistakes I had made as a young person. We’re so fortunate they haven’t done that; I’m grateful they learned from my mistakes. That’s part of change too, parenting adult kids, loving them and being present in their lives.

For now, I get to create and love and experience my little corner of the world. Time keeps on ticking…Happy New Year!

Vanilla Bean Layer Cake
A light and delicious Vanilla flavored cake
Write a review
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1tsp Baking Soda
  2. 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  3. 1tsp Salt
  4. 1 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  5. 2 2/3 Cup Cake Flower
  6. 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  7. 1 Cup Buttermilk
  8. 2 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract
  9. 6 Egg Whites
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In medium sized mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. Process Vanilla Beans - add seeds to milk, stir. Add vanilla pods to milk and gently warm up to slightly warmer than room temperature. Tend carefully if in the microwave.
  4. In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites. Add sugar – beat thoroughly until smooth. Add oil and vanilla – beat on high until frothy.
  5. Alternating…add flour mix and buttermilk; set mixer to low.
  6. Divide batter among cake pans.
  7. Bake for 22-25 minutes.
  8. Cool completely. Frost with luscious Vanilla Buttercream.
Notes
  1. Note: Batter will be thin
  2. Hot Tip: This doesn't lend itself to substituting half of the oil with applesauce - some of the sparkly vanilla flavor is lost. The cake turns out wonderfully, but the flavor is diminished a wee bit.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/

 

 

 

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Christmas Party Decor

Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’re getting in the Christmas spirit with gifting, decorating, and of course, partying! We’ve put together some festive Fiesta décor ideas for your holiday party to keep you on Santa’s nice list.

Santa Tumbler

tumbler

Whether it’s holding drinks or just for decoration, this Santa Tumbler is the perfect guest for your holiday party. Take a Scarlet Tumbler and glue black ribbon and a buckle around the middle. You can find buckles like these in the sewing section of craft stores. If you don’t have a tumbler, use mugs instead!

Beverage Server

fiesta ornaments server

If you’ve got a Beverage Server handy, then you have a perfect holiday centerpiece ready to be used! Just fill the glass server up with ornaments and you’re all done.

Bread Tray

breadtray

What’s better than a centerpiece that you can eat? Cover a bread tray with Christmas candies (we chose mini peppermint bark) and put a candle in the middle. Gusts will be happy you chose this one 🙂

Candy Cane Mugs

mugs

For smaller holiday décor, try filling up mugs with candy canes!

Flatware Stockings

flat

When it comes to Christmas dinner parties, you don’t want to miss a chance of adding more holiday cheer to the table. Use miniature stockings to display Fiesta flatware for your guests.

Stacking Bowl Centerpiece 

stack

If you don’t have one of our Three Tier Servers, you can create your own with stacking bowls of different sizes. In this decoration, we filled the Large Bistro Bowl with ornaments, the Medium Bowl with pinecones, and the Fruit Bowl with pine needles. Between each layer we put an upside down Bouillon for stacking.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

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DIY Angel Centerpiece

Angel

This angel centerpiece features our lovely Medium Vase. Customize her dress by using your favorite Fiesta color.

Body: Medium Vase, turned upside down

         Cupcake Liner glued to the bottom of the vase, under angel’s head

Wings: Large Heart, glittered

Head: 4” Styrofoam Ball

Face: Paint face with Mod Podge and sprinkle with Diamond Dust Glitter

Eyes: 3mm Googly Eyes

Mouth: 3mm Red Rhinestone

Cheeks: Rouge

Hair: Moss, hot glued in layers

Halo: (2) 6mm x 12mm Chenille Pipe Cleaners, fastened together

           3mm Strand of Pearls, wrapped around pipe cleaners

Bodice: 1.5” Satin Ribbon

Collar & Trim: 0.5” Lace Ribbon

Arms: (2) 4” 6mm Chenille Pipe Cleaners

           Presto felt for the batting in the arms
           Satin Ribbon, wrapped around pipe cleaners and felt

Bouquet: Mini Pine Cones and Berries, gathered together

                 Satin Ribbon wrapped around stems

 

To assemble the angel, first hot glue a paper cupcake liner to the bottom of an upturned vase. Then, glue a strand of lace ribbon around the rim of the vase to create a collar. Glue the Styrofoam ball onto the bottom of the upturned vase.

To make the angel’s face, paint the Styrofoam ball with Mod Podge, then cover in a fine white glitter, like Diamond Dust and allow to dry. Next, glue on googly eyes and a red rhinestone mouth. Carefully pat on rouge for cheeks on either side of the angel’s face.

Next, glue moss on top of the Styrofoam ball to create the angel’s hair. This will require several layers of glue and moss. To create the halo, twist two pipe cleaners together and wrap a strand of tiny pearls around it. Fasten this halo around the angel’s hair.

Next, wrap a piece of thick, 1.5” satin ribbon around the narrowest part of the vase to create the angel’s bodice. If you have it, use peel ‘n’ stick (or more hot glue) to adhere the ribbon. Apply a strand of lace ribbon to the bottom of the ribbon bodice and to the top (now the bottom) of the vase.

To create the angel’s arms, wrap presto felt around a chenille pipe cleaner, then wrap satin ribbon around that using hot glue to stick the ends together. Glue a small strand of lace to the ends to create sleeve cuffs. Do this once more for the other arm, then fasten to the backside of the angel, using your best judgment for placement of arms.

Bundle several miniature pinecone and berry floral picks to create a tiny bouquet. Wrap satin ribbon around the stems of the bouquet and glue to the vase, positioned between the two arms.

Finally, glue a big glittered heart to the back of the angel for her wings.

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A Christmas Dessert Table

 

A Dessert Tablescape

I love this time of year and I’m so happy to be back with a Christmas post full of sweet delights! I have wonderful, sweet memories of kids when they were younger and stockings and decorating a tree. And, there are certainly the memories of our early married years which includes Christmas mornings featuring upcycled toys, hand-stitched gifts, and stockings with more fresh fruit than chocolate candy.

No matter where we are today, it’s the time together that matters most for me. This year is an especially exciting since all our people will gather together and those with a partner are bringing them along for the fun.

What’s a family gathering without delicious food and a dessert table to pick from all day long? This year, I wanted to focus on the fun of Christmas and created a mixed bag of desserts to choose from while incorporating the new 12 Days Of Christmas sets.

I am crazy about the new Fiesta Twelve Days of Christmas Salad Plates and Java Mugs! This first in a series of three is gorgeous and functional – which is right in my butter zone. My favorite feature of this design is the liberal use of color I can pair with it – Lapis, Sunflower, Scarlet, Shamrock, Slate, and Tangerine.

The Lapis Luncheon plate looks amazing with the four Calling Birds. Right away, the start of the dessert table begins with a personal-sized Cherry Pie baked directly in the Bouillon Bowl. I love baking in this shape and the ramekins for portion control and ease of serving.

Individual Pies in Bouillon Bowls

 

So much of the fun of being a kid at a family gathering during the holidays – nobody is paying too much attention to a houseful of children running through the place.

This Lollipop Tree is an ideal distraction from the chocolate and offers an alternative to some common allergies. It’s made with a Styrofoam cone hot-glued to a round piece of cardboard (I used a cake board) and stuck with nearly four pounds of DumDum pops. It’s a party all by itself! A shiny bow on top finishes the look.

I sat the tree on a Shamrock Luncheon plate and hot glued it to an upended Shamrock Tapered Mug. Later when you want to take these two apart, let them soak in a sink of hot soapy water or pop the whole thing into the dishwasher, if you have one.

Sugary Shrink Tip: If you need to take a dish to a community holiday gathering – take one of these! I’ve seen one get destroyed in less than 10 minutes, it was amazing.

(Caution: watch for choking hazards with the wee ones.)

 

A Christmas Dessert Table

 

 

!2 Days of Christmas Set

I think the star of this table is the Scarlet Tiered Serving Center with a Red Velvet Cake on top. From top to bottom, this focal point is filled with fun and deliciousness.

This structure is pieced together with Hostess Serving Bowl as the base, 12” Cake Tray, Ring-handled Mug, and a Luncheon Plate.

The Triple-Layer Red Velvet Layer Cake is filled with Cream Cheese Buttercream and finished with a light crumb coat. I topped it with everything but the kitchen sink! There are three snow-covered trees with red ornaments: ice cream cones, buttercream, and mini-M&Ms. Yogurt covered pretzels, Hershey Kisses, Peppermint Bark, and a few Raffaellos complete the look.

When contemplating the fussiness of the top compared to the simple frosting I realized the look was quite balanced.

The Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream will keep that family member happy who says, “Just give me chocolate and everything will be ok.”

Remember, to cover the buttercream with the sprinkles connect with the frosting, treat each cupcake immediately after the swirl. Don’t wait until you’ve piped a whole tray, the buttercream will likely set and the sprinkles will slide off not sticking to the frosting.

A Christmas Cake from the Sugary Shrink

 

Popcorn balls and cupcakes

Popcorn Balls is this year’s hot, hot dessert. One thing I love about making popcorn balls is that you can get creative! Add in your favorite candy, nuts, dried fruit, crushed pretzels, toffee bits, etc. Don’t be afraid of this classic. In the past I was nervous about boiling sugar, but a few successes with my candy thermometer helped reduce the anxiety.

Another option is to treat the popcorn like you would Rice Krispie treats and make the popcorn balls with butter and a bag of marshmallows. Did you know you can do that!? It’s simple and easy and your family and friends will go bonkers wanting more.

If adding chocolate, wait until the marshmallows are fully integrated and the pan has begun to cool – just as it’s time to start forming the balls.

For a dessert table, I chose to form smaller treats – a bocce sized ball instead of a traditional softball size.

My Omni Trays look like a Wreath this year!

Shamrock is such an amazing color and ideal for creating a wreath with a Scarlet center with the Omni tray. This combination is a classic and makes for a perfect platform for all those Christmas Cookies scored at your annual cookie exchange.

I didn’t attend one this year, so I decided to fill the trays with some of my favorites – mostly homemade goodies.

Holiday treats in an all Shamrock Entertaining Set

In the 12 o’clock position are two amazing donuts I found at the bakery – tinted glazed donuts. They were stunning and almost too pretty to eat.

The Rice Krispie Trees are one my favorites – the design is very approachable and the result is Christmas fun. I used a triangle cookie cutter, piped on very thin buttercream, sprinkled the non-pareils, and chocolate-glued a wafer cookie on for a trunk. I promise you these will disappear.

The Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Star) Cookies are a classic in Germany. The cinnamon goodness gets even more delicious year after year. The light glaze is just enough sweetness to this very moist and slightly spongey cookie.

The Sugar Cookie Marzipan Wreath is a new one for me this year. I’m not much of a cookie baker at all. I can prepare of pan of dropped cookies or no-bake yumminess – but I begin to fall apart at the step “roll dough flat.”

My cookies have a more ‘rustic circle’ quality to it, so I needed some cover-up. Marzipan holly leaves worked great as a cover and a wreath was born. Each cookie only needs a few mini-M&Ms, which means anything remaining is a reward for yourself, just some of the perks of baking.

Sugary Shrink Tip: Don’t be stingy with the tinting gel, be bold and your creations will be the talk of the party.

Cookie-Wreath with Marzapan

A Fiesta Wreath full of sweet treats

The Java Mugs are intended to coordinate perfectly with the Christmas Dessert Plates. I love the level of detail in each design – the clear colors, numbers, and aesthetic of each day represents the quality of the work that has gone into this new series. Who else is anxious to see the next set?!

A Christmas classic in a non-drinking household is hot apple cider with extra cinnamon. It’s as if these mugs were made just for me! And of course for you too! Nothing says holidays in the cold like coming into a warm kitchen with apple cider on the stove.

12 Days of Christmas Mug Set

I couldn’t find a real Poinsettia plant anywhere, however, this silk arrangement looks terrific in my Sunflower Large Disc Pitcher. The colors coordinate with the Twelve Days of Christmas and looks incredibly Christmassy.

A holiday arrangement of Poinsettias in a Sunflower Vase

There was room on my 15” White Baking Tray for a few brave Christmas Trees. These inverted ice cream cones are covered with buttercream and sugar pearls to make these adorable Christmas Trees. I then placed them to sit on a chocolate cupcake with a base cover of white vanilla Buttercream. Aren’t there always-young ones running around who would gladly tackle this beauty?

Christmas Tree Cupcakes full of Buttercream

 

As many parties as I’ve attended, slicing the cake is the tell-tale sign that “desserts have started!” My favorite aspect of slicing and serving a cake is watching my family and friends jab their fork into that first bite and returning with “hmm…mmm… oh yeah…mmmm.” It’s cake talk for, “how soon is too soon for seconds?”

12 Days of Christmas Plate Set

I simply love all the color on this Christmas dessert table. It’s welcoming and inviting, but mostly sweet thanks to the desserts and the family that will share them with us.

The holidays are loaded with individual, family, and cultural traditions. I know we each carried the traditions of our youth into our new family and we had an opportunity to start our own traditions. Now, it’s very rewarding to watch our family develop some of their own Christmas traditions.

I love that Fiesta has been and continues to be a part of our holiday celebrations – right alongside the Christmas Tree with too many ornaments, the Christmas present that was put away in a “safe place” in August that no one can remember where, and the regifted decorative candle.

I appreciate the relationships I enjoy with our people and do not take them for granted. Mostly, I am joy-filled in my walk today.

 

DIY Fiesta Tiered Cake Stand

 

 

 

 

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Hot Chocolate Bar

cocoa bar main 2‘Tis the season for cold weather comforts like cozy sweaters and crackling fires. Topping our list of warm indulgences is a tall mug of silky sweet hot chocolate.  Marshmallows?  Yes please!  Whipped cream?  But, of course!  When it comes to hot chocolate, the more the merrier. 

cocoa pourWe served our cocoa piping hot, straight from the spout of a gorgeous Fiesta Teapot.  Double the fun with two pots, one filled with classic hot chocolate and another with creamy white cocoa.

cocoa bar cups 1

Fun mix-ins make for a truly unique cup of cocoa, tailored to the tastes of each guest.  We went with two sizes of marshmallows, crushed peppermint candy, and caramel drops.  Soft peppermint sticks and chocolate hazelnut pirouette cookies serve as stirrers. 

cocoa bottlesTo top it all off, we went with the classics: whipped cream, caramel sauce and chocolate syrup.  For a more polished look, decant the sticky syrups into clear plastic squeeze bottles and adorn with a lovely label. We elevated our selection on a Baking Tray perched atop an upturned Utensil Crock.  Good old duct tape keeps the stand steady.

cocoa crate 2For an easy table topper, we wrapped thick yarn around a Styrofoam cone to fashion a warm, fuzzy tree.  The tree is trimmed with silk flowers and a Fiesta Ramekin serves as the trunk. 

While you can certainly host a party just for the sake of indulging in hot chocolate, don’t hesitate to set up this cocoa bar at your annual holiday gatherings or even for a cookie swap!

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A Fiesta Dream Come True

 

Do you dream of Fiesta? Then we have a Fiesta dream come true for you. Fiesta has a new bedding collection and it’s here just in time to add to your holiday wish list. Wrap yourself in the warmth of Fiesta’s signature colors with comforters and duvets in a variety of pretty patterns. Complementary sheets, blankets and window treatments round out the product assortment.

The sets are available in the followings colorful patterns.

Cozumel

The Fiesta Cozumel pattern features Scarlet and Turquoise with accents of Tangerine. The comforter set is reversible and includes shams and a bedskirt.

Fiesta Comforter Set - Cozumel www.alwaysfestive.com

Torrence

The Fiesta Torrence bedding is a colorful paisley pattern featuring Turquoise, Sunflower, Scarlet, Lemongrass, and Tangerine on a crisp White background and reverses to a paisley on a Turquoise background on the reverse side. The comforter set comes with a Turquoise bedskirt.

Fiesta Comforter Set - Torrence www.alwaysfestive.com

Salaya

Bright bands of Fiesta colors will make any day a cheerful one if that’s the first thing you wake up to. Featuring Scarlet, Poppy, Turquoise, Lemongrass, and Sunflower set against a White background, the comforter set includes a Lemongrass bedskirt.

Fiesta Comforter Set - Salaya www.alwaysfestive.com

Classic Duvet Sets

Clean and classic, Fiesta Classic Duvet Sets are 200 thread count cotton in crisp White finished with bright Fiesta colors. They’re available in five different colors: Sunflower, Lapis, Scarlet, Lemongrass, and Turquoise (shown here). Each set comes with a duvet cover and shams.

Fiesta Classic Duvet Set - Turquoise www.alwaysfestive.com

Blankets

Fiesta Cotton Blankets, made of cozy 100 percent ring spun cotton, are available in the following colors: Lapis, Sunflower, Lemongrass, Scarlet, White, Ivory, Sage, and Slate.

Fiesta Cotton Blankets www.alwaysfestive.com

Fiesta window treatments, accent pillows and solid color 300 thread count sheets are sold separately.

Fiesta Curtains www.alwaysfestive.com

Fiesta Sheets www.alwaysfestive.com

Fiesta linens are available online at department and specialty stores, including Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Belk, Bealls, Bon Ton, and Stage Stores.

How do you plan to add some Fiesta color to your bedroom this winter? Be sure to share pictures with us!

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