A holiday party.
Have three nicer or more frightening words ever been written?
It’s ironic that such a mix of anticipation and anxiety accompanies hosting a holiday get-together. The planning, the cleaning, the invitations, and the food preparation – not to mention deciding what to wear – and the refrigerator isn’t big enough for all the food.
What do I do? First, I freak out. I say, “I can’t do it” and “I’ll never survive the experience.” Then I shop, clean, and obsessively check Pinterest. I gather all my trusted cookbooks and kitchen gadgets until I’m armed to create a delicious, delightful, delectable affair.
Here are some great tools to help make your holiday party a complete success.
Hint: These also make great hostess gifts!
Whether you spell it pierogi, piroghi, or pierogie, authentic homemade pierogies are a delicious treat and a Pittsburgh tradition. Here in Pittsburgh, we eat 11 times more pierogies than any other city in the nation. Pittsburgh native Casey Barber takes a familiar wrapping and stuffs it with a host of unconventional, innovative, and decidedly non-traditional fillings. With 60 sweet and savory recipes that include everything from the classic Polish cheddar and potato to American-inspired Reuben pierogies and fried apple “pie-rogies” to worldly fillings like falafel and Nutella, there’s a pierogi for every party and every palate. Each recipe comes with a charming story from Barber’s extensive explorations in pierogi flavors.
Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cookbook
Enjoy a full-color collection of 40 creative recipes starring everyone’s favorite condiment. Heinz tomato ketchup stars as the savory-sweet key ingredient in recipes ranging from the traditional, down-home casual (Fiery Barbecue Marinade) to the unexpected (Fragrant Vermouth Mussels).
Ketchup-loving cooks will learn how to take this refrigerator staple from a humble condiment to a versatile addition in starters, soups, salads, entrees, and baked goods. Historical anecdotes and trivia from the Heinz Company round out this colorful collection of recipes, photography, and vintage advertising art.
As Pittsburgh native Mark Brewer explains in his introduction, “Beer is one of the oldest beverages known to man . . . and woman”.
Starting with an introduction to the history of beer, this A to Z dictionary takes a humorous and educational look at the various types of beer and common beer verbiage. Covering everything from Abbey to Aging, Hops to Head Retention, and Skunky to Stout, Mark Brewer’s “Brewology” is the go-to resource for serving the perfect beer at your holiday party and also makes a great gift for the beer-lovers in your life.
From homemade root beer to hard cider, fresh-squeezed ginger lemonade to handcrafted Irish cream, do-it-yourself beverages are gaining interest and intrigue across the culinary spectrum. Professional mixologists and amateur home cooks alike are looking for beverages to inspire and satisfy, sourced from a variety of natural and seasonal ingredients. “Quench” offers the solution, covering the entire beverage range with hot, cold, fermented, infused, and cured offerings. There’s something here for every palate, occasion, and need. “Quench” promises to help you pour a glass sure to please at any holiday gathering.
Detailed, in-depth chapters cover hot toddies, mulled wines, and mulled ciders; spiked hot chocolates, eggnogs, coffees, and teas; punches and pitchers for serving a crowd; and chilled winter cocktails that have a magical warming effect. Foolproof recipes for infused liquors, simple syrups, and from-scratch ingredients like fresh tomato juice and homemade sour mix make it easy to craft drinks from the bottom up. Plus, you’ll find ideas for elegant cocktail party bites that make pairing drinks and snacks a snap.
Waiter’s Friend Corkscrew
There are a variety of techniques used to wrestle your way into your favorite bottle of wine. You can whip the top off a bottle of champagne with a sword or even get in with a drill. But if you want to do it properly, time and again, you need a waiter’s friend.
Waiter’s Friend Bottle Opener from the Gentlemen’s Hardware Range by Wild & Wolf is a quality brushed stainless steel corkscrew that features the quote “One good turn deserves another.” Presented in a vintage style Kraft box, this tool makes it easy to open a bottle of wine perfectly each time. This easy-to-use corkscrew helps you to impress guests with your skill and expertise.
Up All Night Cocktail Shaker
Making cocktails at home doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’ve caught the craft cocktail bug and want to make elegant drinks at your next holiday party, it’s time to consider your tools. Every bartender needs a good shaker.
This clear-glass shaker is printed with measurements and the words “Up All Night,” plus the recipe for a perfect espresso martini to ensure the party goes into the wee hours. The cap doubles as a 50ml measure.