The holidays can be a stressful time, especially when entertaining guests. TV host, award winning cooking expert and food writer Kristina Vanni was kind enough to join me once again, this time to discuss simple tips to have you entertaining with ease during the holidays!
Candace Rose: What’s the first step for entertaining with ease during the holidays?
Kristina Vanni: “Well, I think the key is to be prepared and then have all of the right tools on hand so you can really go at this holiday season with confidence and with ease.
And for me, when I approach the holidays I start the day off right and start checking off that to do list is with my morning cup of coffee. It’s what I really need to get me going. I really like the Folgers Black Silk or Classic Roast coffees. Actually, right now if you go to Folgers.com/Holiday from now until January 2nd you can enter the Folgers Wakin’ Up Club holiday exclusives. What they’re doing is, is they’re giving away weekly prizes. You can win $10,000 or a year’s worth of coffee. So that’s really exciting, it’s kind of a fun thing to do around the holidays and also you can download their brand new mobile app where you can create customized holiday greetings. So a couple of fun things from Folgers which is great.”
Candace Rose: What are some of your other favorite items to keep on hand in the kitchen?
Kristina Vanni: “Well, I like to have a really well stocked pantry and so you have things on hand ready to go. So all year long and especially during the holidays I always have some 100% natural Swanson Chicken Broth because this is so great to add to potatoes. You can use it to keep your stuffing nice and moist, and of course it’s great for perking up leftovers.
Here I have a recipe for Hearty Turkey Tortilla Soup (please see video above), and that of course uses leftover turkey, and there’s some corn and cilantro, and all these really great flavors. You can get the entire recipe at SwansonBroth.com. What I love about this product and keeping it on hand is that it’s made with chicken and spices and vegetables that adds a really rich flavor to your dishes, so this is definitely a go to item you’ve got to have in your pantry throughout the holidays.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any other time saving tips for meal planning?
Kristina Vanni: “I think when it comes to meal planning it’s also really about having the right tools in your kitchen. So if you really want to just get a grip on the holiday season this year check out the DesignPro knives from Chicago Cutlery. What I love about this is the innovative grip. So what it does is it tells you exactly how to hold the knife properly because that’s going to cut down on time in the kitchen. If you’re holding your knife properly, and you’re slicing and dicing with confidence, it really just gives you superior control with this grip. They’re available exclusively at Amazon.com, so if you check that out you can find these DesignPro knives there.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Kristina Vanni: “I have an idea for a hostess gift and for an appetizer. So here I have a holiday gift basket that you fill with cheeses and nuts and crackers, and then I like to put in some of these Santa Cruz Organic fruit spreads. They have a couple new flavors this year- they have mango and concord grape. What I really like about these is they’re 100% organic, fruit is the first ingredient. There isn’t any high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors or preservatives. This is a really great product to include in a gift basket that you give to a hostess if you show up at a party.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Kristina Vanni: “Well, you can go to SantaCruzOrganic.com for these fruit spreads. Of course Amazon.com to get the knives, SwansonBroth.com is where you can get the recipe for the leftover Thanksgiving turkey soup, and of course Folgers.com/Holiday for to enter that great promotion.”