The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, or perhaps a “Friendsgiving” this year? Planning, delegating and cooking can be quite stressful! Something that’s often neglected in the midst of all the Thanksgiving prep is how to set your buffet table.

Well, we have your back with a “Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table” that is pretty, colorful and provides a simple flow as your guests load up their plates.

It all starts with the buffet table itself. We used a basic six-foot folding table covered with a tablecloth that complemented our color scheme. To add visual interest and height to the dishes toward the back of the table, we placed two boxes underneath the tablecloth. This not only looks more pleasing to the eye, but it makes it easier for people to reach the food that isn’t right up front.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Next, we outlined our menu and pulled the serving pieces we’d be using for each dish.

We started with a stack of dinner plates in a variety of seasonal colors: (from top to bottom) Poppy, Turquoise, Sunflower, Scarlet, Shamrock, Tangerine, Claret, and Lemongrass. It’s a good idea to place the dinner plates in the front corner where the buffet line will start.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Then we used a 3 Tier Server for rolls and other breads, followed by salad, a side dish and casserole. The salad and side dish will be served in our multipurpose Bistro Bowls in Medium and Large sizes. And the casserole is featured in a traditional 9×13” Rectangular Baker. (PS: All of our dishes can be heated safely in the oven up to 350 degree and bakeware can go up to 500 degrees.)

At the center of the feast is the star of the day: turkey! Depending on how large your bird is, we have a variety of serving platters in sizes Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. We’re planning for a lot of leftovers, so we used the Extra Large Oval Platter.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Condiments like cranberries and butter are next. We used the Individual Casserole for our cranberries and the Extra Large Covered Butter for the butter.

Napkins and flatware are best placed at the end of the line so your guests aren’t juggling them while piling up their plates.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Finally, it’s time for dessert. Yum! We made room for a pie and a cake. For the pie, we used the Deep Dish Pie Baker. For the cake, we spiced it up with a little Fiesta hack to create a “plate stand.” We turned a Hostess Serving Bowl upside down and placed a Baking/Pizza Tray on top. To serve dessert, a stack of Salad Plates finishes off the assortment of dishes.

Fiesta Dinnerware Hostess Bowl in Turquoise

http://www.fiestafactorydirect.com/c-72-hostess-serving-bowl.aspx

We sprinkled in some mini pumpkins, flowers and greenery to decorate and soften the tablescape. With the buffet table set, we’re ready for full bellies and naps!

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

We’d love to see how you like to set your buffet and dining tables for Thanksgiving. On Facebook, feel free to send us pictures or post them in the comments.

Fiesta Dinnerware wishes you and your your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving and we hope you take this opportunity to count your blessings. We certainly are thankful for you!

 

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Fall Pumpkin Alfredo Zoodle, Squoodle and Patoodle Recipe

Fall Pumpkin Alfredo Zoodle, Squoodle annd Patoodle Recipe on the Fiesta Dinnerware blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

Now that the air is getting its first hint of crispness, we are oh-so-ready for fall. It’s time for snuggly sweaters, comfort foods and of course that seasonal favorite…pumpkins. Most pumpkin recipes tend to favor the overly sweet side, but this one we’re about to share is uniquely savory and just perfect for a chilly autumn evening.Fall Pumpkin Alfredo Zoodle, Squoodle annd Patoodle Recipe on the Fiesta Dinnerware blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

The recipe combines goat cheese with pumpkin puree for a seasonal alfredo sauce that’s out of this world. So the dish is not too heavy, we put the sauce on top of a trio of zoodles (zucchini noodles), squoodles (yellow squash) and patoodles (sweet potatoes) — we made up the words squoodles and patoodles, but they kinda work right?!

Fall Pumpkin Alfredo Zoodle, Squoodle annd Patoodle Recipe on the Fiesta Dinnerware blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

If you’ve never tried making noodles out of vegetables, all you need is a simple tool called a spiralizer. Or you can simply julienne your vegetables for similar results. There are a few different ways you can make -oodles: steamed, roasted, sautéed, or boiled.

We’ve tried several methods and we prefer to roast them in the oven (and PS, coconut oil worked the best for us).

Zoodles, Squoodles and Patoodles
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - zucchini
  2. 1 - yellow squash
  3. 1 - sweet potato
  4. 3 tablespoons - coconut oil
  5. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spiralize or julienne vegetables.
  3. Heat coconut oil in microwave just until melted, about 10-15 seconds.
  4. Spread zucchini and yellow squash on a baking sheet.
  5. Spread sweet potato on a separate baking sheet.
  6. Pour 2 tablespoons coconut oil over zucchini and yellow squash and toss to coat evenly.
  7. Pour remaining tablespoon of coconut oil over sweet potato and toss to coat evenly.
  8. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Roast zucchini and yellow squash approximately 15-20 minutes, turning ½ way through.
  10. Roast sweet potato approximately 20-30 minutes, turning ½ way through.
Notes
  1. Tip: Because everyone’s oven is different, you’ll need to watch your -oodles carefully the first few times you make them.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
Fall Pumpkin Alfredo Zoodle, Squoodle annd Patoodle Recipe on the Fiesta Dinnerware blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons - unsalted butter
  2. 2 tablespoons - flour
  3. 2 - garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1/2 teaspoon - thyme, finely chopped
  5. 2 cups - low-fat milk
  6. 3oz - goat cheese, crumbled
  7. 1 cup - pumpkin puree
  8. 1/8 teaspoon - ground cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon - salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon - pepper
  11. roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, add flour and stir until bubbly, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add milk and thyme. Stir constantly and increase heat if necessary until mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add goat cheese, pumpkin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, stirring until smooth and thickened into a sauce.
  3. Once thickened, remove from heat and serve immediately.
  4. Garnish with pepitas!
Adapted from Cookie and Kate
Adapted from Cookie and Kate
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
Served up on colorful Fiesta dishes, like our new 3pc Bistro Place Setting, these noodle alternatives are so much fun. If it’s your first time making zoodles, squoodles, patoodles or you’ve tried any other types of -oodles, let us know how it goes! 

Are you a sucker for all things pumpkin? Be sure to check out our other Fiesta pumpkin recipes and some fall favorites: Mini Pumpkin Pies, Pumpkin Bread, Holiday Butters, Simple Fall Desserts, Thanksgiving Sweet Treats, and Fall “Brinner.” 

Fall Pumpkin Alfredo Zoodle, Squoodle annd Patoodle Recipe on the Fiesta Dinnerware blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

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Cookie Butter Cheesecake

Cheesecake PN1If any dessert deserves an entire day of celebration, it is without a doubt the cheesecake.  Buttery rich, dense, and creamy, cheesecake is undeniably decadent, yet, somehow it ranks as breakfast appropriate in our book (nothing says good morning like sugar-infused cream cheese and eggs!). 

Cheesecake FB6Over the years, we’ve perfected our classic cheesecake recipe and let us just say, this cake is a real knockout.   It’s thick and rich, yet lighter than your average cheesecake, giving it that perfect mouth-feel.  This ideal texture is achieved through the addition of mascarpone cheese, a versatile Italian cream cheese.

Cheesecake FB1

While a plain cheesecake never disappoints, we felt like getting creative in the kitchen for this special day.  Say hello to an incredible combination you will forever crave: cookie butter + cheesecake.  If you haven’t been introduced to cookie butter yet, we recommend getting an extra jar to eat by the spoonful while making this cheesecake.  It’s that good.

Cheesecake FB5Cookie butter is essentially a peanut butter type spread made with Biscoff cookies.  Think of it as the flavor of cookie dough, with the texture of peanut butter, and no nutritional benefit to speak of.  But what it lacks in protein, it makes up for in deliciousness.

Cheesecake FB3To create the cookie butter element in our cheesecake, we took a bit of our original cheesecake batter and mixed in the cookie butter.  We then swirled the cookie butter batter into the classic cheesecake base.  We swapped out the standard graham cracker crust for a Biscoff cookie crust, to complement the cookie butter.  The resulting flavor combination is simply sublime!

Cookie Butter Cheesecake
This classic cheesecake shines with a Biscoff cookie crust and a cookie butter swirl.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of Biscoff crumbs (1.5-8.8oz packages)
  2. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  5. 16 ounces mascarpone, room temp
  6. 2/3 cup sugar
  7. 3 eggs
  8. 1 tablespoon vanilla
  9. 13.4 ounces cookie butter (1 jar)
Instructions
  1. Grind Biscoff cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs. Mix in melted butter. The mixture should be crumbly and hold together when pinched. Press into a 9” or 10” springform pan and chill in the refrigerator while making batter.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream sugar and cream cheese in a stand mixer or with hand mixer. Beat until fluffy. Add mascarpone and beat until fully incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down the bowl after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well.
  3. Reserve one cup of batter and set aside. Pour the remaining batter into the crust. Add the cookie butter to reserved batter and beat until incorporated and smooth. Dollop tablespoons of cookie butter batter on top of the plain cheesecake batter to create a dotted surface. Then, take a knife and swirl the cookie butter batter into the plain batter in small circular motions.
  4. Place cheesecake onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until it is puffy, dry around the edge but wet in the center. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate uncovered overnight. Serve chilled.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
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My Fiesta: Michelle Stanton

Staff Picks MichelleMichelle Stanton, National Retail Accounts & Export Manager                       

Favorite Fiesta colors: Lemongrass, Poppy, and Turquoise

Favorite Fiesta items:
Tapered Mug, Medium Bistro Bowl, Dinner Plate, and the Deep Dish Pie Baker.

MichelleFavsPNA Fiesta item I have the most of:  Mugs! I love coffee and enjoy having a variety of Fiesta mugs in my cabinet to choose from.

 Most used Fiesta items: The Tapered Mug, of course. I love how these mugs hold a larger amount of coffee.

I always find myself using my 15” Baking Tray when making dinner.  It is perfect for roasting veggies that have been tossed in oil and parmesan cheese.

MichelleRoastPNAGo-to recipe for entertaining:  French Toast Custard Bake is must when hosting a brunch.  You make it the day before in a 9×13 Baker and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. Then, simply slide it in the oven and bake in the morning.

MichelleBakeFB2A I like to give my guests options to accompany this dish: fresh berries, maple syrup, and whipped cream. With a toddler at home, it’s all about effortless, easy entertaining, so make ahead dishes are key for my family.

MichelleBakeFBA 

French Toast Custard Bake
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Ingredients
  1. 8 to 10 slices day old french bread, 1 inch thick
  2. 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 3 cups milk
  6. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  7. 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Brush both sides of bread slices with butter and place in a single layer in baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks. Add milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Mix well.
  4. Pour egg mixture over the bread slices. Cover and chill overnight.
  5. Remove bake from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Adapted from Taste of Home
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
A veggie tray with dill dip is another one of my favorites. I love using the 15” Baking Tray (or the 12” Baking Tray, depending on the amount of guests) to hold an array of freshly cut veggies. In the center, I place the Medium Heart Bowl filled with dill dip. 

MichelleVeggieAFavorite foods:  It’s all about brunch:  breakfast quiches, bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese, sweet and savory crepes and gourmet cheeses.  

 Favorite Fiesta items to give as a gift:  The 3 Piece Baking Bowl Set and 2 Piece Prep Bowl Set.  Theses bowl are wonderful for kitchen prep and nest perfectly inside each other.  

Favorite holiday:  Thanksgiving.  I host Thanksgiving every year and do a buffet-style meal with all of my Fiesta dishes.

Favorite memory of Fiesta: When I hosted my sister’s wedding shower, we served her white bridal shower cake on a mix of brightly colored Fiesta Salad Plates.  All of the guests were “oohing” and “awing” over the beautiful presentation.

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A Tortilla Fiesta

aTortillaFiesta3Cinco De Mayo is nearly here, but we were just too excited to wait.  Our brand new Tortilla Warmer was burning a hole in our cabinet, so we threw an impromptu tortilla fiesta featuring our tried-and-true Flour Tortilla recipe.  If you’ve never tried your hand at homemade tortillas, this is the occasion for it.  Our recipe is simple but not quick, perfect for a laid-back afternoon with friends.

aTortillaFiesta8These pillow-soft flour tortillas are so warm and cozy you’ll want to roll one up and eat it as-is, which is perfectly acceptable as far as we’re concerned!  They have a nice chew to them and tremendous flavor, reminding us that tortillas are part of the meal, not just a delivery vehicle for spicy meats and melty cheese.

aTortillaFiesta7Speaking of meat, we couldn’t think of a better match for our hand-rolled tortillas than the rich and savory flavors of Beef Barbacoa.  Shredded beef seasoned with chipotle peppers and adobo sauce is a standby on Mexican and Tex-Mex menus, and our recipe couldn’t be easier.  We threw a roast in the slow cooker along with a flavorful sauce we blended together and let the flavors marinate on low for 8 hours.  It is only fair to warn you that this can be the longest 8 hours of your life if you have the misfortune of being stuck next to the slow cooker, with those mouth-watering smells wafting through the air.

aTortillaFiesta12To complete the meal, load up on fresh, flavorful sides like pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and bunches of cilantro. Shredded cheese, rice, and pinto beans round out the offering, along with the mandatory, perfectly salted tortilla chips.

 TortillaFiesta14Our gorgeous Fiesta® Tortilla Warmer held the hand-rolled Flour Tortillas at an ideal temperature for several hours, keeping the rounds soft and flexible.  If you decide to go with store-bought tortillas, the Tortilla Warmer is the perfect vessel for warming and serving those as well.  Simply line the bottom of the Tortilla Warmer with a damp paper towel or a damp tea towel and then load the tortillas on top.  Wrap the damp cloth up and around the tortillas (or cover with another damp paper towel) and then place the warmer, sans lid, in the microwave and heat on high for about 30 seconds.  Remove from the microwave, cover, and serve.

aTortillaFiesta1

aTortillaFiesta11

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
Mexican shredded beef barbecue.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  2. 3-4 pound chuck roast, fat trimmed
  3. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. Sauce
  6. ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  7. 6 cloves garlic
  8. 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  9. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  10. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  11. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  12. 4 chipotle peppers (from a can, packed in adobo sauce)
  13. 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the chipotle pepper can)
  14. 1 cup chicken broth
  15. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Instructions
  1. In a blender or food processor, blend together the sauce ingredients until smooth.
  2. Cut roast into about 8 large chunks. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt, making sure each side is covered.
  3. Warm a heavy-bottom skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and then sear beef on each side until it has browned. Place seared beef into a slow cooker and cover with the sauce. Add bay leaves and cover with lid.
  4. Set the cooker on low and allow to cook for 8 hours (5-6 hours on high).
  5. After about 7 hours on low (5 hours on high), shred the beef using 2 forks to pull apart. Stir it to completely coat in sauce, then cover and cook for 1 hour more.
Adapted from The Slow Roasted Italian
Adapted from The Slow Roasted Italian
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
Flour Tortillas
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  4. ¼ cup cold lard*
  5. 2/3 cup warm water
Instructions
  1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl or in a food processor. Cut in lard, blending until a course meal forms. Stir in water and turn the shaggy dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until soft and smooth.
  2. Divide dough into eight pieces and then form into balls.
  3. Cover dough balls with plastic wrap and let rest for about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile, start rolling dough balls out into an 8-inch round circle.
  6. Cook tortilla rounds, one at a time, in the skillet for about one minute per side, watching closely to avoid over cooking.
  7. Use a toothpick to burst any bubbles that form while the tortilla is cooking.
  8. Transfer the finished tortillas to your Tortilla Warmer.
Notes
  1. *You may substitute some or all of the lard for vegetable shortening.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/

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My Fiesta: Liz McIlvain

Staff Picks Liz FB

Liz McIlvain, President HLC Inc.

Favorite Fiesta colors: Sapphire and Marigold.  Lapis and Poppy from our current lineup.

Favorite Fiesta items: I love a lot of the vintage pieces, such as the Onion Soup, Comports, and Stick Handled Coffee Service and Cups.

Of our new post-86 items, I really like the new Bistro Bowls, the 9×13 Rectangular Baker, and the new Covered Casserole.

lizcookies_v-2

Most used Fiesta items: To name a few, I use my Luncheon Plates daily, as well as Square Mugs and the Rectangular Baker.

Fiesta item I have the most of: Definitely Dinner Plates.

lizcasserole_x

Go-to recipe for entertaining: Cheesy potatoes for a crowd.  I have several delicious dip and appetizer recipes and everyone loves my pulled pork.

Liz's Cheesy Potatoes
A cheesy hash brown casserole, perfect for entertaining.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs frozen hashbrowns
  2. 1 (16 oz) container sour cream
  3. 1 (10-1/2 oz) can cream of chicken soup
  4. 1 generous cup shredded cheddar cheese
  5. 1/2 stick butter, melted
  6. 1/2 cup chopped onions
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon pepper
  9. 2 cups crushed potato chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle crushed potato chips on top.
  4. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until hot and bubbly.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
Favorite foods: Everything! From Italian dishes to grilled fresh fish and veggies.  I look forward to going to the beach and being able to eat fresh seafood, especially crab claws.

Best kitchen tip: Cleaning up as I go when making certain recipes, instead of waiting until the meal is finished to clean the pots and pans I’ve used.  Sometimes, unfortunately, that’s impossible and I’m left with a mess to clean up.  Then I recruit my husband!

lizcookies2_x-3

Favorite Fiesta items to give as a gift: I love to give friends the Rectangular Baker (one of my most favorite items), but I also love giving our new Covered Casserole.  Both items are so useful when making family recipes and sharing with friends.

Favorite holiday: Although the work it entails can be massive, I do love Christmas and the whole ritual of preparing for family gatherings, baking, and giving. Over the years, my daughters and I have created our own baking tradition at Christmas time.  We make several different types of delicious cookies, place them on a plate (usually the newest color of Fiesta) and then deliver them to close friends and family.

Favorite memory of Fiesta: Believe it or not, when I was growing up, my mother didn’t use Fiesta in her kitchen.  She liked Homer Laughlin’s Swirl shape and that’s the dinnerware we ate from for years.  But, we did have several Fiesta Chop Plates and when my dad would grill out, dinner would be served on the colorful Chop Plates!  My favorite was the bright yellow plate!

lizcookies2_x-2

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Italian Easter Bread Recipe

Fiesta Dinnerware Easter Bread Recipe on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

Italian Easter Bread Recipe
(Pane di Pasqua all ‘Uovo)

We all have our traditions, and of course holidays bring out those traditions more than ever. Holiday recipes are some of the most beloved traditions in every family. The tastes, the smells. Just thinking about it takes us back to grandma’s kitchen!

With Easter just around the corner, we’ve decided to share an Italian Easter Bread recipe that’s been a secret for generations. But we feel such a close bond with you, our Fiesta friends, that we feel compelled to share it with you. However, this recipe comes with a fair warning. It’s not for the faint of heart: be prepared to set aside about half a day to prepare it. Trust us when we tell you, it is so worth it!

Fiesta Dinnerware Easter Bread recipe on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

But really, the waiting and preparation is all part of the fun when you turn it into a family group effort. They’re the moments you’ll cherish forever. 

So tie on your Fiesta apron strings, bring out your Baking Bowl Set and get ready to make a family tradition. It’s Easter Bread time!

With the colorful eggs and sprinkles in this recipe, it really is quite Fiesta-y. We like to coordinate the sprinkles with the color of the eggs and our Easter tablescape. For a Fiesta enthusiast, it’s kind of a dream come true.

Fiesta Dinnerware Easter Bread recipe on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

After you dye your eggs, it’s time to activate the yeast and get to the bread baking. If you’ve never made bread using active dry yeast, don’t be afraid! It’s not nearly as daunting as it might seem. 

After some mixing, setting and rising, the next “challenging” moment, if you haven’t done it before, might be kneading the dough. If you don’t have an experienced aunt nearby who can show you the art of kneading dough, a simple look up on YouTube will have you well on your way. 

Easter Bread Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 5 eggs
  2. 2 packages active dry yeast
  3. 1/2 cup warm water
  4. 1/2 cup warm water
  5. 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  6. 3/4 cup shortening
  7. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  8. 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  9. 1 cup sugar
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 2 eggs
  12. 1 egg white
  13. 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups sifted flour
  14. 1 egg yolk
  15. 1 tablespoon milk
  16. Tiny multicolored candies
Instructions
  1. Lightly butter a Fiesta Pizza/Baking Tray.
  2. Dip 5 uncooked eggs in food dye to color (follow directions on package) and set aside.
  3. Soften 2 packages active dry yeast in ½ cup warm water (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F). Let stand 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile pour 1/2 cup warm water into a large bowl and blend in 1 ½ cups sifted flour.
  5. Stir softened yeast and add to flour-water mixture, mixing well. Beat until very smooth. Cover bowl with waxed paper and towel and let stand in warm place (about 80 degrees F) for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  6. Cream together until shortening is softened: ¾ cup shortening, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel.
  7. Add gradually, creaming until fluffy after each addition, a mixture of: 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt.
  8. Beat until thick and piled softly: 2 eggs and 1 egg white. Add beaten eggs in thirds to sugar mixture, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add yeast mixture, mixing well.
  9. Measure: 4 ½ to 4 ¾ cups sifted flour. Add about one-half the flour to yeast mixture and beat until very smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface.
  10. Select a deep bowl just large enough to allow dough to double. Shape dough into a smooth ball and place into a greased bowl. Turn dough to bring greased surface to top. Cover bowl with waxed paper and towel and let dough rise until doubled (about 1 ½ to 2 hours).
  11. Punch down with fist. Divide dough into two equal balls. Let stand covered for 10 minutes.
  12. Roll each ball out into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 to 1 ½ inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Place on the prepared Fiesta Pizza/Baking Tray. Place colored eggs into the spaces of braid. Cover loosely with towel. Set dough aside in a warm place until doubled.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  14. Brush bread with a mixture of: 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk.
  15. Sprinkle with tiny multicolored candies.
  16. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or more or until bread is golden brown. (Eggs will be hard-cooked.)
Adapted from Italian Cookery
Adapted from Italian Cookery
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/

Fiesta Dinnerware Easter Bread recipe on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

You’ll notice a lot of downtime during this process, which is perfect for family games or making Easter baskets. If you do end up making Easter Egg Bread a part your Easter family tradition this year, please share photos with us on Facebook and tell us about some of your Easter traditions too!

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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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A Guide to Registering for Fiesta Dinnerware

A Guide to Registering For Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.

Getting married is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s lives. But it’s also a time full of a lot of decisions! From wedding planning to registering, it can set your mind spinning with all of the choices. 

Even if you think you’ve narrowed down one aspect of your planning — for instance the casual dinnerware on your wedding registry — to colorful Fiesta Dinnerware, you then need to decide which colors to pick, how many place settings you’ll need, and which accessory pieces to request. Where do you begin? 

We’ve created a handy guide to make the process a little simpler for you or the betrothed couples you know. All of the dishes, bakeware, serving pieces, and more for a lifetime of love, entertaining and Fiesta together!  

To register for Fiesta Dinnerware, visit here: bit.ly/FiestaWeddingRegistry.

A guide to registering for Fiesta Dinnerware on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

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