Saturday Night Bites

Saturday Night BitesThere comes a time when your old standby of chips and dip just won’t cut it.  Perhaps you are celebrating a successful week at work or your friend’s almost-birthday.  Maybe you just feel like getting fancy for the thrill of it.  Whatever your motives, we are here to help you plan your way out of the potato chip blues and into the reds (and yes, we mean wine!).

Saturday Night Bites Star Crackers FBStart your menu off right with some classic crunchies.  Cheddar crackers are universally beloved and these Parmesan Basil Cheddar Stars take it a step further, putting a sophisticated spin on a childhood favorite. You can cut these out in any shape you’d like, but we went with stars for a touch of whimsy.

Parmesan Basil Cheddar Stars
Yields 120
Classic cheddar crackers enhanced with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
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Ingredients
  1. 2-1/2 cups (10 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  2. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  3. 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1-1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  7. 3 tablespoons finely chopped basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Beat Cheddar cheese, butter, half-and-half and salt on medium speed in a stand mixer. Gradually add in flour Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and basil, mixing until combined.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a log. Slice into four rounds. One at a time, roll each round out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out pieces of dough with a 1-1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter and place one inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden and allow to cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack.
Adapted from Southern Living
Adapted from Southern Living
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
Saturday Night Bites Brie BlogThis next offering is a real show-stopper.  Seriously, you can’t get much more refined than Brie En Croute and, best of all, this soiree staple is surprisingly easy to prepare. We’ve dressed up our baked brie with a bit of raspberry preserves, a stunning addition when paired with our newest Fiesta color, Claret.

Raspberry Brie En Croute
Savory Brie cheese covered in raspberry jam and baked in a puff pastry shell.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  2. 1 (8 oz.) wheel of Brie cheese
  3. ¼ cup raspberry jam
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tablespoon water
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Cut puff pastry into an 8-inch square and place Brie in the center. Top the cheese with the raspberry jam. Pull the corners of the pastry dough up to meet in the center on top of the brie and pinch together to seal.
  4. Beat one egg in a small bowl with the tablespoon of water and salt. Carefully brush on the outside of the pastry and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
Saturday Night Bites BerriesRound out your menu with a few fresh items such as raspberries and red grapes.  Hit up the olive bar in your local market too.  This savory blend features both Kalamata and Manzanilla olives as well as roasted red peppers for an extra kick.

Saturday Night Bites Spread SausageA nice dry cured sausage is another go-to item for last minute get togethers.  Stay with the milder options for this one, unless you know your guests like it hot.  Don’t skimp on the carbs either! The cornerstone of any good spread, a crusty baguette is practically imperative.   

Saturday Night Bites Plate WineIf you’ve got them, toss a few more cheeses into the mix.  Uncork your favorite reds (or whites!) and have yourself a swanky Saturday night!

Saturday Night Bites Olives

Saturday Night Bites Spread 3

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Fiesta Dinnerware New Products: Foundry Collection, Holiday & Halloween

We sure have been busy at the Homer Laughlin factory! Not only did we release our new 2016 color – Claret – this week, but we’re also announcing several new items. Boy, are we excited to share them with you!

We’re casting a new light on traditional dinnerware with something completely different: the Fiesta Dinnerware Foundry Collection. Foundry has a matte textured charcoal glaze with the distinct look of a cast iron piece that has seen many meals and memories over time. It has the characteristic feel of seasoned cast iron, yet the ease of use of rust-free ceramic dinnerware.

Many people like the aesthetics of serving their meals on cast iron, but let’s be real…caring for cast iron can be high maintenance. The Foundry Collection offers the best of both worlds!

Fiesta Dinnerware Foundry Collection at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.

The Fiesta Foundry Collection will be available in the following pieces beginning April 2016 at department stores, .coms and www.fiestafactorydirect.com:

  • Skillet/Baker
  • Pizza/Baking Tray 12″
  • Rectangular Baker 9×13”
  • Square Baker 9×9”
  • Individual Oval Baker
  • Loaf Pan
  • Bread Tray
  • Ramekin 8oz
  • Jumbo Bowl 18oz

In other exciting news, there’s going to be a lot more to celebrate around the holidays this year because we’re expanding our Christmas and Halloween patterns.

The Christmas Tree collection is in its tenth year of production (can you believe it?!) and continues to grow in popularity. We’re adding the following pieces:

The first set in a series of three of the Twelve Days of Christmas collection was introduced last year, including Days 1-4. This year, we’re introducing the next in the series, Days 5-8, in a Set of 4 Mugs and a Set of 4 Salad/Dessert Plates:

And Halloween’s getting much spookier with the addition of Ghosts and a Trio of Skeletons:

The Halloween collection will be available for purchase in July and Fiesta Christmas Tree and Twelve Days of Christmas will be available in early August at better department stores, .coms and www.fiestafactorydirect.com.

Keep checking www.fiestafactorydirect.com and our Fiesta Facebook and Pinterest pages for more information. ‘Tis the season for Fiesta new product introductions!

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Shrimp & Grits Recipe

Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.Mardi Gras is coming next Tuesday and to celebrate, we thought it only fitting to share a true southern classic recipe, Shrimp and Grits. We found a recipe posted by one of our favorite bloggers, David Leite, from the blog Leite’s Culinaria. One look at David’s many blog posts or Instagram page and you’ll see he’s an avid Fiesta collector, so we’re always happy to support one of our own! 

Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.This recipe David adapted from the true southern belle herself, Paula Deen, so you know it’s full of cheese, butter and bacon, y’all. And that just means it’s absolutely delicious! There’s a slight tang of lemon balanced out with some garlic, parsley and green onion. Trust us, this is how you want to celebrate your Fat Tuesday. It is the ultimate decadence. 

We filled our little Fiesta Ramekins with individual servings. And there’s plenty for seconds, or thirds, in the 90oz Large Covered Casserole

Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.So, run on over to Leite’s Culinaria and check out the recipe here. And if you make it yourself, let us know what you think! Also, be sure to share some recipes you like to make to celebrate Mardi Gras. We’d love to hear from you.

Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.

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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?

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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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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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Mexican Hot Lava Cakes

Hello! I’m Stephanie from the food lifestyle blog, Oh So Delicioso. We love food, and pretty things for our food, so we’re all super excited to be working with Fiesta–we have loved their dishes! I’ve been dying to make some chocolate lava cakes so when I got to choose some things to try, I was all over the ramekins.

For the holidays and the often chilly weather and cozy parties, I thought I’d do a Mexican Hot Lava Cake, with cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne. And chocolate, because, well, chocolate…!

 

Mexican-Hot-Lava-Cakes-with-Oh-So-Delicioso-2  

These are so simple to make! First gather all your ingredients, chop your chocolate for melting in the microwave. 

In glass bowl, microwave chocolate and butter for 1 minute. Stir until melted. Add powdered sugar, spices, vanilla, salt. Whisk in eggs with a whisk until well-incorporated. Stir in flour until just incorporated.

Mexican-Chocolate-Lava-Cakes----Oh-So-Delicioso

Butter 4 ramekins. Pour batter into ramekins and bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges and very top are set, but middle can still be jiggled. Remove from oven and set to cool.

Mexican-Chocolate-Lava-Cakes----Oh-So-Delicioso-2[1]

Invert cakes onto serving dishes. Garnish with cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne, top with whipped cream. Serve hot. 

Mexican-Hot-Lava-Cakes-with-Oh-So-Delicioso-4

We hope you enjoy and utilize your ramekins over the holiday season! For complete recipe instructions, see below.

Mexican Hot Lava Cakes
A ooey gooey chocolate and spice treat.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 oz. quality chocolate, at least 70% cacao, chopped
  2. 1/2 c butter
  3. 1 c powdered sugar
  4. 1 t cinnamon
  5. 1/8 t chili powder
  6. 1/8 t cayenne
  7. 1 t vanilla
  8. 1/4 t salt
  9. 2 whole eggs
  10. 2 egg yolks
  11. 6 T flour
  12. whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In glass bowl, microwave chocolate and butter for 1 minute.
  3. Stir until melted.
  4. Add powdered sugar, spices, vanilla, salt.
  5. Whisk in eggs with a whisk until well-incorporated.
  6. Stir in flour until just incorporated.
  7. Butter 4 ramekins.
  8. Pour batter into ramekins and bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges and very top are set, but middle can still be jiggled.
  9. Remove from oven and set to cool.
  10. Invert cakes onto serving dishes.
  11. Garnish with cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne, top with whipped cream.
  12. Serve hot.
Adapted from Kraft
Adapted from Kraft
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
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12 Days Of Christmas Styled Four Ways

 

12-Days-Of-Christmas

We’re so excited this holiday season to have a collectors’ series available to add to your holiday traditions. This year, we launched our 12 Days of Christmas collection with this first set of four java mugs and four salad plates. They’re the first in a series of three to complete the collection of 12 java mugs and 12 salad plates over the next three years.

We provided four different ways to incorporate the first set of the series with your existing Fiesta collection.

Go Glam

Our first table idea is paired with sleek Slate. Slate is such a fun color because it can really be dressed up and that’s just what we did here. We paired the first day of Christmas with lights and a Cobalt napkin and a dressed it up by tying some shimmery tulle to create a beautiful bow to make it extra special. #1-Final

 

Go Bright

For the second day, we incorporated all four sets with a colorful and bright collection of Fiesta Dinnerware. We paired the set of four java mugs and four salad plates with Scarlet, Turquoise, Tangerine and Sunflower with the Fiesta celebration flatware. We used the same complementary colors in all the placemats and fringe napkins.

#2-Final

 

A Country Christmas

The cute French hens really spoke to a fun classic country Christmas look. This set coupled perfectly with a Sage dinner plate and Sage salt and pepper shakers. We added in some pine cones and a Christmas tree sprig decorated with holly to match the Scarlet flatware and the Fiesta soiree plaid tablecloth. Doesn’t this setting feel warm and cozy?

 

#3-Final

 

Scandinavian Inspired Setting

For the fourth day setting, we were inspired to create a Scandinavian theme with Poppy and Tangerine colors to complement the blue birds in the salad plate and the java mug. We used the tree branches to put together a small wreath the size of the dinner plate. We added in colorful felt flowers for an added pop of color. We kept the linens simple with just a placemat and napkin because the wood grains of the table added to the whimsical Scandinavian theme.

#4-Final

 

We hope you love the new 12 Days of Christmas collection and incorporate it into the your family holiday traditions for years to come. Share how you have incorporated it into your personal collection of Fiesta Dinnerware on social media and use hashtag #FiestaDinnerware for the chance to have your image featured on our official Fiesta Dinnerware Facebook page!
Happy Holidays!

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Holiday Butters

Holiday Butters This season, we’ve put together four compound butters, all boasting festive flavors that are perfectly paired with holiday fare. From savory roasted garlic and fresh herbs to creamy pumpkin and bright cranberry, each flavor is just as at home on freshly carved turkey as it is on a plush dinner roll.

Crescent Roll

And don’t forget about leftovers!  Every leftover turkey sandwich deserves to be slathered with cranberry butter.  In fact, these butters can be used throughout the day.  Toast is made merrier topped with pumpkin spice butter and vegetables shine with rich garlic butter.

These butter recipes are tailor made to fit in our infinitely useful 8 ounce Ramekins.  If you’re trying to get extra fancy though, go for our Two Piece Dip Set, which includes a matching butter spreader.

Herbed Butter

HERBED BUTTER
Mix 1 tablespoon of minced parsley, 1-1/2 teaspoons of minced sage, 1 teaspoon of minced rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of minced thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of softened butter.

Cranberry ButterCRANBERRY BUTTER
Place 4 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries, 2 tablespoons of water, six strips of orange peel, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and ¼ teaspoon each of cardamom and nutmeg in a saucepot. Simmer over low heat until the berries soften, for about 4 minutes after it begins to simmer.  Remove from heat and extract orange peel.  Allow to cool to room temperature before mixing into one cup of softened butter.

Pumpkin Butter

PUMPKIN SPICE BUTTER
Mix 3 tablespoons of canned pumpkin, ¼ teaspoon each of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of sugar into 1 cup of softened butter.

Garlic Butter

ROASTED GARLIC BUTTER
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice the tops off of two heads of garlic and drizzle with a bit of olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in the center of a sheet of aluminum foil and bring the sides up to form a pouch.  Put the pouch in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, until garlic is softened. Allow to cool slightly and then squeeze out the garlic cloves.  Allow the garlic to cool completely before chopping and mixing into one cup of softened butter.

 

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