(Family Features) If the very notion of holiday hosting has you feeling a bit overwhelmed, get organized with these simple ideas that can help you serve up a successful holiday celebration.
Entertainment: Ensure guests enjoy a good time by offering entertainment that is suitable for their personality types. If your guests are more drawn to energetic activities, choose light-hearted, competitive games like charades. For guests who are more laid back, organize classic board games. There are many popular games available in special holiday editions for extra-festive fun. You can also simply play holiday movies and music in the background for crowds that would rather just mingle.
Beverages: Stock up on refreshments all ages can enjoy. Keep a kid-friendly favorite like lemonade on hand, and tea is a traditionally well-received option for the grownups. Put a special holiday touch on your drink menu with a recipe like this Holiday Hot Tea featuring Milo's Famous Sweet Tea, which has been fresh brewed from custom-blended tea leaves with no added acids or preservatives for generations.
Favors: Send guests home with a sweet memory of the event, such as an ornament that connects to the party’s theme or a bag of seasonal treats like homemade cookies or candy to nibble on during the trip back home.
Simple Snacks: Building your menu around simple snacks and finger foods guests can nibble on while they mingle is perfectly acceptable for almost any type of holiday gathering. Include options that can satisfy all the taste buds. You can even combine sweet and sour with a seasonal crowd-pleaser like this Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread, which draws its flavor from a secret ingredient: Milo’s All Natural Lemonade.
Find more holiday hosting ideas and recipes at drinkmilos.com .
Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- 1 can cranberry sauce
- 3/4 cup Milo’s All Natural Lemonade
- 1 orange, zest only
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In large bowl, mash cranberry sauce into small pieces. Add lemonade, orange zest, vegetable oil and egg; mix until blended.
- In separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Combine wet and dry ingredients; mix until batter is formed.
- Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake 1 hour. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Holiday Hot Tea
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- 12 cups Milo's Famous Sweet Tea
- 2 cans (12 ounces each) frozen limeade juice concentrate
- 1 orange, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 12 whole cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup ginger ale
- raw sugar, for garnish (optional)
- In large slow-cooker, combine sweet tea, limeade concentrate, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, cranberries and ginger ale; stir.
- Heat on high 30 minutes then reduce heat to low for 2 hours, or heat on low 2 hours then reduce setting to warm overnight.
- Invert moistened glass rims in sugar then fit orange slice over rim, if desired.
Note: For easier serving, place cloves in tea ball or double layer of coffee filters sealed with kitchen twine.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread)
Source: Milo’s Tea Company
(Family Features) If you are looking to host an unforgettable holiday cocktail party, punch can make a memorable impression on your guests and bring your get-together to the next level.
Punch reached the height of its popularity during the Victorian Age. Originally made with alcohol, it ultimately became a non-alcoholic drink largely due to the preference of Queen Victoria. Over the following decades, it faded in popularity, briefly regaining favor in the 1920s when champagne punch was a hallmark of parties and celebrations.
Now, as new generations are reinvigorating old favorites and enjoying the art of mixology, punch is trending again.
Start by making punch a visual centerpiece at your holiday party. Consider a charming drink dispenser, an unusual punch bowl or an elegant glass pitcher. Let your personal and unique style shine through with your choice of glassware and table decorations and offer a variety of garnish selections for your guests to further personalize their glasses.
Typically, punches start with a blend of sweet and tangy, and you can get that "swangy" taste with an option like Tree Top's 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider as a base. For inspiration, take a mixologist's approach to creating a memorable punch. Lemon, cinnamon and cloves not only spice up the flavor but can also double as decorations. Try ginger beer for a nice fizzle, and for an adult-only punch, consider adding vodka or rum.
Your punch table can be a place to gather and reconnect with loved ones while enjoying a trending holiday beverage. Find more recipes perfect for entertaining at treetop.com.
Swangy Cider Punch
Servings: 10 (8 ounces each)
- 1 bottle (64 ounces) Tree Top 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider
- 16 ounces ginger beer
- 2 oranges, juice only
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 cup vodka or light rum (optional)
- 1 sliced Granny Smith apple
- 6 star anise pieces, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- frozen cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- colored sugars or ginger crystals, for garnish (optional)
- In punch container, combine apple cider, ginger beer, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice and vodka or rum, if desired, for an alcoholic version.
- Decorate container with apple slices, star anise pieces, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
- Personalize each serving with additional star anise pieces, frozen cranberries and sugars or ginger crystals, as desired. Serve cold.
Photo courtesy of Alamy
Source: Tree Top