The Best Punch Ever, Hands Down!

The Best Punch Ever, Hands Down!

Many years ago, my mom, Mama Gabe, did a reception for my cousin’s senior piano recital. (The man has mad skills.) Anyway, she made this punch. TO DIE FOR! I have never been a punch person because it all has soda and I am one of a tiny minority of people who cannot stand carbonation. But this recipe had so much fruit in it that I could eat the “mash” (non-soda part) by itself, like Italian ice. This is no three-ingredient wonder, not that there’s anything wrong with those kinds. But oh my goodness, is it worth the effort. It is now a staple of our Yuletide season and I will never make another.

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For Your Next Brunch- Breakfast Enchiladas

For Your Next Brunch- Breakfast Enchiladas

Several years ago, I was in Michigan at the annual gathering of my college mates. Our hostess, Holly, made these delicious Southern Living Breakfast Enchiladas. Since then, I have made them for literally dozens of guests and I think I have received compliments every time. They are super easy and you make them the night before. They are great for a crowd and leftovers are perfect for a quick morning meal. Serve them with some fruit and breakfast is DONE!

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Sides for a "Big Feed"

Sides for a "Big Feed"

When entertaining large groups, we have a favorite go-to comfort food: smoked pulled pork. To be honest, THAT is a secret recipe but I will tell you that it involves, brine, rub, and about 14 hours in the smoker.  However, I am happy to share two of our favorite side dishes which help make this meal a real feast.

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Creating Community at the Table

Creating Community at the Table

When I was in high school, I had the privilege of being an exchange student in Munich for a month. My host family, the Pfeifer’s, introduced me to what became my favorite meal there, raclette. It was so simple that it was genius. It consisted of boiled potatoes, sliced cheeses, seasoned salt and the essential raclette maker. So, what is it, exactly? A raclette machine is a two-tiered electric appliance. The top has a griddle that can be used for cooking or just keeping things warm. The lower tier has a heating element and individual non-stick trays. You simply put slices of cheese on your tray, melt them in the machine, pour that over your potatoes, then sprinkle it all with seasoned salt. A certain someone in my life thinks you could just stand next to a microwave and get the same result. If your desired outcome is melted cheese, of course he is right. But I don’t get the same sense of community by waiting in line at the Radar Range. (Yeah, that dates me.)

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Who doesn’t like chocolate covered strawberries? They are pretty, delicious, romantic, and impressive. If you buy them in the store or from an online vendor, you can pay a fortune for them. But what if I told you that you can make them yourself in a matter of minutes? Seriously! You can make them as simple or embellished as you want but no matter what you choose, they will make you proud.

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Grandmama's Mayonnaise Biscuits

Grandmama's Mayonnaise Biscuits

My husband’s tribe of English, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish lineage settled in rural Georgia. Southern cooking is what is all about on this side of the tree. I have loved embracing this genre. It’s not the healthiest, but boy is it good! On a recent visit to their house, my mother-in-law made her usual feast that most people would reserve for Thanksgiving. To accompany the already ample offerings, she whipped up a quick batch of her Mayonnaise Biscuits so I thought I would share them with you.

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For the Entertaining Arsenal

For the Entertaining Arsenal

“You learn something new every day.” As much as we have entertained guests, I am always gaining new insight, adding "weapons" to my entertaining arsenal. We recently had eight overnight visitors in addition to our family of six. We do have dedicated guest spaces and four EZ beds which makes such a venture doable. But at times, we require one or two kids to give up their rooms. My first lessons come from this.

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Custom Quiches

Custom Quiches

Do you get tired of the same old, same old when it comes to breakfast, especially when entertaining? One issue is that having something tried and true is less stressful than experimenting every time someone comes to visit. But the other thing is that you don’t always want to wake up before dawn on a weekend to make a meal. I have a couple of fan favorites that I alternate between. But the one I am going to share is so versatile that it can be adjusted for just about any flavor combination.

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