Use your leftover ham to make this holiday appetizer spread!
- 1 cup Smithfield ham, finely chopped (or replace with turkey)
- 1 pkg (8 oz.) garlic and chive cream cheese
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¾ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- Combine ham, cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard and cayenne pepper in food processor and pulse until ham is minced. Do not over process.
- Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in parsley and chives.
- Spoon into a shallow decorative bowl and refrigerate until firm.
- Garnish with chives.
- Serve with your favorite crackers or flatbreads.
- 1 can (11 ounces) Mandarin oranges
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 2 small wheels (about 8 ounces each) ripe Brie
- 1 can (16 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- Drain juice from Mandarin oranges into a medium bowl.
- Stir in raisins, cover, and let it sit for 1 hour. Drain.
- Heat oven to 300°F and place wheels of Brie on a baking sheet or in 2 pie plates.
- To prepare the relish, chop Mandarin oranges. Add to soaked raisins. Stir in cranberry sauce and orange zest.
- Put the relish on top of the Brie and bake for 20 minutes or until they feel soft and are warmed in the centers. Transfer to serving plates and serve with a variety of gourmet crackers
Good for 12 servings. Serve with a side of crackers.
- 2 cans (13 ¾ ounces each) artichoke hearts in water, drained
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced chilies, drained
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Chop artichokes into small pieces.
- Mix artichokes, Parmesan cheese, chilies, mayonnaise, and garlic I a small oven-to-table baking dish.
- Spread the top evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve with festive red and green tortilla chips
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 2/3 cups softened cream cheese
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/3 cups sun-dried tomatoes, drained
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- ¾ cups crumbled crispy bacon
- salt and pepper to taste
Layer 1: Place 2 cups cream cheese and bacon in the food processor, using blend until smooth, season with pepper.
Layer 2: Chop the garlic in a food processor. Mix in basil, lemon juice, pine nuts, and olive oil. Process until well blended. Mix in 1/3 cup cream cheese and blend using pulse setting until almost smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
Layer 3: Coarsely chop sun-dried tomatoes in the food processor. Mix in tomato paste and 1/3 cup cream cheese. Blend until smooth.
- Lightly grease a mini loaf pan. Line pan with plastic wrap so that the wrap extends over sides of the pan.
- Evenly spread ¼ cup cream bacon mixture in the prepared dish. Layer alternatively with ½ the sun-dried tomato mixture, ¼ cup bacon mixture and ½ the pesto mixture. Repeat layering.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight. To serve, carefully invert pan onto a platter and remove plastic.
For more information on Mark’s Easy Breezy Summer Entertaining, click here!
Memorial Day is THE party kick-off event of the summer entertaining season. Get the party started right with my Summer Entertaining Essentials for Summer entertaining on-the-go or on demand.
I will share my picks for this summer’s entertaining must-haves that will take you through every summer holiday and every day summer entertaining whenever they pop up. Also, I will ensure that you’ll be entertaining in style as he brings the latest fashions to your tabletop with his “colors of the season” entertaining décor tips… And throw away those paper plates, for good, because I have great tips on environmentally friendly, sustainable entertaining for your summer eco-taining arsenal.
Setting the table for the perfect summer entertaining on-the-go or on demand is as simple as 1-2-3!
First, start with the perfect bag of party tricks! I believe that keeping all your Summer entertaining essentials in one convenient and easy accessible place is key. My go-to Summer tote is make of Land’s End canvas and is the perfect eco-friendly Summer carrying bag made by Lands’ End. It is water resistant with plenty of storage for all your essentials.
Beach towels do double duty as picnic blankets or tablecloths. Fun vintage inspired pattern help set the festive tone. This beach towel, provided by Lands’ End is the perfect Vintage pattern tying in the color palette from the entire table.
Second, throw away those paper plates, for good! and opt for Bamboo plates, silverware, and serving pieces. These items, made by Core Bamboo, are made from 100% organically grown bamboo. They are finished with natural oils to make them food safe and the lacquer comes from natural cashew trees. If and when you do throw them away, they are 100% biodegradable and compostable, leaving you guilt free!
Thirdly, bring the hottest fashion colors to your Summer party with re-usable and disposable napkins. MY DRAP tear-off napkins are the only 100% cotton napkins on a roll that come in a variety of colors and sizes that can be mixed and matched for a mega dose of fashion colors. Guests get the feel of cloth napkins in a disposable that are good for the environment, making you “look marvelous” (and feel marvelous too)! The best part about these napkins is they can be washed and reused up to six times!
The perfect compliment to the MY DRAP napkins is the Table Chameleon Napkin Rings, which I designed and produced and are the perfect summer entertaining essential! The Table Chameleon Napkin Rings are designed to bring a bit of character to your table in whatever way you please with a variety of colors and styles. Easy to use, the 3/4″ thick hand-cut acrylic rings are held together with magnets and feature inserts in four different designs – London, Ada, Saturn and Miami – in the colors, red blue, orange, and green. To switch out the inserts, there are four simple steps: slide, slip, snap and create! All you have to do is slide the pieces apart, slip in the insert, snap the two pieces together and create the look you want for your table! For more information or to purchase The Table Chameleon, go to my website!
To be the ULTIMATE Eco-tainer, make sure you party like a Local-vore!
A local-vore is a person dedicated to eating food grown and produced locally. There are a lot of reasons to eat locally grown and produced foods.
- Less resources (primarily fossil fuels) are expended packaging and easy transporting from Farm to Table.
- It supports the local economy – more money remains in our local community.
- It is healthier – processing and preservatives are less important since the food doesn’t have to travel so far.
- It is safer and thus local-vores are less susceptible to foodborn illnesses.
- It is more honest – honesty in terms of the food source and the growing/producing process.
- And last but not least – it tastes better!
Here are a few examples for shopping for like a local-vore that I incorporated into this segment by shopping right here in NYC:
Asparagus – NJ Native
Tomatoes – NJ Native
- 2 lbs Green Seedless Grapes (washed and separated)
- 2 lbs Stilton (Blue Cheese)*
- 8 oz Cream Cheese
- 1 ½ cup of shelled and chopped Pistachio Nuts
- 1 ½ cup of chopped dried Cranberries
- Pick and wash grapes, dry completely.
- Combine the Stilton and cream cheese until smooth
- To make cheese balls, evenly coat each grape with the cheese mixture.
- Roll in pistachio nuts and dried cranberries to completely cover, you can roll them individually in the nuts or cranberries or a combination mixture.
- Chill in the refrigerator until cheese has hardened.
- Serve slightly chilled
- If you don’t like Stilton, replace it with goat cheese.
For more of Mark’s Luxurious Holiday Destination Party ideas and recipes, click here!
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- 2 lbs Green Seedless Grapes (washed and separated)
- 2 lbs Stilton (Blue Cheese) *
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 3 cups of shelled and chopped pistachio nuts
Pick and wash grapes, drying completely. Combine the Stilton cheese and cream cheese until smooth. To make cheese balls, evenly coated each grape with the cheese mixture, then roll in pistachio nuts to completely cover. Chill in refrigerator until cheese has hardened. Serve slightly chilled.
*if you don’t like Stilton, replace it with goat cheese and try coating fresh or dried fig quarters and roll in chopped dried cranberries or dried cherries.
For links to all The Golden Harvest recipes and tips, click here!
This is Mark’s signature party fondue: a twist on the classic Swiss version with a few “secret” extra ingredents to kick it up a notch.
1 clove of garlic, halved
1 1/2 cups of dry white wine
1 tablespoon. Lemon juice
1/2 pound of Swiss cheese
1/2 pound of Natural Gruyere
1 rounded tablespoon of flour
Fresh ground pepper and nutmeg to taste
2 loaves of crusty Italian or French bread
(1) Shred or grate Swiss and Gruyere cheese. You can do this in advance and keep the cheese refrigerated in a plastic bag for several days. Lightly coat the cheese in flour. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. Each cube of bread should have crust on one side so that the cubes don’t fall off the Fondue Forks.
(2) Vigorously rub the inside of the fondue pot with cut garlic clove. Pour the wine into the pot and heat the pot over medium flame until (wine is hot but not boiling). Add the lemon juice.
(3) Add cheese one handful at a time, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until all of the cheese is melted and the cheese-wine mixture has the appearance of a light creamy sauce.
(4) Add pepper and nutmeg to taste. Bring to a boil, and then remove the pot and place on a burner on top of table. Adjust the flame of burner so fondue will continue bubbling very lightly.
(5) Serve each guest a handful of bread cubes from a plate or a basket. Spear fork through soft part of bread first, securing the prongs in crust. Dunk the bread to bottom of pot and stir well. Remove fork and twist off the excess over pot.
Winter can be harsh on your body. Your doctor would likely advise a string of supplements to combat the cold weather. I would prescribe a mix of warm swiss cheese and French baguette pieces– a prescription that is sure to put a kick back in your step. Now imagine two full weeks of this cold-fighting melting pot. Don’t look much further: Fondue February is in session!
In the mid-1960’s, fondue was brought to the United States after American tourists discovered it in Switzerland. Growing from a small following five decades ago to becoming a common family treat, cheese fondue is back big time!
Fondue may come in a variety of flavors and combinations, but each dish is unified under its ability to put a smile on any partaker’s face. Some of the more popular flavors include cheeses like Gruyère, Emmental and Appenzeller, or even sweet treats in combinations of chocolate, coconut, honey or caramel.
Because this is a “communal” dish, it comes with a small set of etiquette guidelines to follow. To eat cheese fondue, spear a piece of bread using a fondue fork and dip it into the pot. Twirl the bread cube gently in the cheese to coat it. When you put the bread in your mouth try not to touch the fork with your lips or tongue because the fork does go back in the pot. You can also use a dining fork to slide the bread off the fondue fork then eat it with the 2nd fork. Although, doing this may be more cumbersome than necessary.
One of my favorite versions is the grandfather of all fondue recipes: the classic Swiss fondue. This recipe is easy, but, best of all, satisfies even the most sophisticated of taste buds. So roll up your sleeves and be ready to explore this versatile comfort dish from my classic savory Swiss cheese fondue. Serve with Champagne and great wines to make the experience all the more fulfilling and festive!