With the holiday season upon us, award winning cook, Kristina Vanni joined me for an interview recently to dish on how to throw an elegant holiday party!
Candace Rose: How can we impress our guests this holiday season?
Kristina Vanni: “I think this time of year is when you want to take things to the next level, maybe elevate some of your cuisine because this is when you’re entertaining your friends and family. One trick that I have- I love these natural gourmet nut sea salts. So what you can do is any dish- for example here (please see video for details) a sauteed chicken breast, but I used the Northwest Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt…so that infused that smoky flavor into the dish and I served that with just a fresh salad, which I finished off with a little bit of the Himalayan Pink Salt. That pink color actually comes from some minerals in the salt. These various salts can take a dish and elevate it and take it to the next level. They have a wide variety so you can pair it with a wide variety of dishes. These are so great they’d really be good for a hostess gift as well.
Another thing that I like to do is in my freezer, I keep these on hand throughout the holidays are these light and flaky mini fillo shells from Athens. And what’s so great about these is you keep them in the freezer, you can take them out of the freezer and use them right away…you don’t even have to bake them. You can fill them with anything hot or cold – they can be used for appetizers, all the way through to desserts. Here I created elegant bite sized desserts (please see video above or image below for details) – there’s dark chocolate in there, fresh raspberries all inside these mini fillo shells. These are really elegant and fun and bite sized, and really impresses your guests.
And then finally whether you’re hosting a party or you want to bring a hostess gift to a party that you are attending, you really can’t go wrong with Hickory Farms…everybody loves them, and always puts a smile on people’s faces. A couple of the boxes they’re offering this year are: The All The Cellars Best Box and that is using their Reserve collection which is filled with all natural cheeses and some artisanal dry salame. And here is the Party Planner gift box (please see video for details) now what is so fantastic about this gift is this holiday season for every one that’s sold, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry campaign, so that’s up to $500,000…so this is a gift that when you give it, you know that you’re sort of paying it forward. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. These are some ideas that I think will really help you throughout the holidays.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you, Kristina! Where can we go for more information?
Kristina Vanni: “I would check out my blog: BetterRecipes.com. I’ll be updating it every day!”