The holidays are a time for entertaining, spending time with family and helping those in need. Lifestyle expert, Parker Wallace joined me for an interview this week to dish on her favorite appetizers, how we can make things easier on ourselves this holidays, and more importantly how we can help those in need this holiday season.
Candace Rose: How can we make things easier on ourselves this holiday season?
Parker Wallace: “This season entertaining really goes into overdrive, and whether you’re going out to a party or entertaining at home with your friends and family, I’ve got some really quick tips so you don’t feel overwhelmed and you don’t have to let things get expensive, so you can save on your budget too.
We’re all about putting the ease back into entertaining. My first tip is to always start with quality ingredients in your pantry like Pompeian Olive Oils. They have a new smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is so mild on the palate and it pairs beautifully with their robust extra virgin olive oil. Both of these are USDA quality monitored with a seal of approval so you know you’re giving your friends and your family a top notch item. What I love about these olive oils is they’re so versatile, so you can use them for salad dressings, you can saute with them. I love to put a little dipping station out and have artisan breads, so it’s like a great start to your party. Your guests can dip into the various olive oils, you can flavor them with garlic, with jalapenos and they really take on the flavor of whatever you season them with.
Have everything set up and ahead of time, so when you’re ready to make the meal, everything is ready to go right into pan, so it makes for easy cooking and for easy cleanup.
When it comes to bringing a meal to a party, because as you know it’s all about potluck season and people want you to bring a delicious meal – don’t get stressed…pick up a box of Minute rice. This is my go-to dish this season, it is a cranberry holiday salad with pineapple and bits of pecans. You get a little bit of crunch factor. This is the multigrain medley rice (please see video above for details) which has four 100% gluten free grains including quinoa. You get so much flavor, so much texture and more importantly, it’s so easy, Candace. Only 10 minutes because they come with these pre-portioned pouches, so you save on prep time and you don’t have to sacrifice flavor.”
Candace Rose: The holidays are also a time for giving back. How can we help out?
Parker Wallace: “They are, and there many things that you can do including thinking about the most important cause this holiday season where one in five children are actually hungry everyday in America. Unilever is giving back by donating one million meals this holiday season to their partnership with Feeding America. We’re trying to get people on board to do the same and match that million. There are two easy things you can do. The first is cut out a coupon from your local paper and use that to buy a Unilever product like Knorr, Lipton. The second thing you can do is share on social media with the hashtag #ShareAMeal and Unilever will donate a meal on your behalf in either case. You can go to BrightFuture.Unilever.US for more information on how you can help the cause with childhood hunger. You can also go to my website: WhatsOnParkersPlate.com for lots of delicious recipes and holiday entertaining ideas.”