Southern Blondie

Tips for Hosting Holiday Guests

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It's the most wonderful time of the year, and the most stressful! Whether you're having guests, or you're going to be one, I have some fun and easy hosting tips for any gathering. 


KRUPS SAVOY EC415 Coffee Maker

Having lots of guests? You're going to need a lot of coffee. To save time and money, check out the SAVOY Turbo coffee maker from KRUPS.

The SAVOY Turbo EC414 allows users to brew their coffee 35% FASTER using the Turbo function and offers several other great features including: A built-in aroma tube on the underside of the carafe’s lid ensures optimal diffusion of rich coffee flavor, Bold setting for a richer taste, two auto-on options, keep warm setting with varying temperature and time options, 1-4 cup option for small batch brewing and more.
Buy it here: KRUPS SAVOY Coffee Maker 


T-fal Ingenio Hand-Powered Rapid Food Chopper


Ths holidays mean lots and lots of cooking, but all that chopping doesn't mean you should be in the kitchen for long periods of time.
Manually powered and doesn't require electricity, this gadget makes chopping, dicing and pureeing easier than ever. The patented system features two independent blades that provide efficient and progressive chopping in 5 seconds or less. Ideal for making salsas, fruit purées, salads or simply chopping an onion WITHOUT the tears!   
Buy the T-fal Ingenio Hand-Powered Rapid Food Chopper


Explore Cuisine Bean Pastas



No matter which holiday you’re celebrating, one thing we all have in common is a love for pasta! But sometimes these holiday meals aren’t as healthy as some would like them to be. Explore Cuisine understands that and has a number of healthy options for you and your family to try! Each of Explore Cuisines’ pasta products are loaded with protein and are vegan and gluten-free. This holiday season you can still enjoy those yummy meals without the guilt of eating unhealthy! (Check out a recipe below!!) 
Buy the pasta here. 

WELCH'S Mixed Fruit Snacks


Hide the 4 count Welch’s Fruit Snacks Christmas themed box throughout stockings in the house to keep the kids entertained. The Fruit Snacks are individually packaged, making them a quick and easy snack to serve the kids. Welch’s® Fruit Snacks feature fruit as the first ingredient, so they taste delicious.
Buy the Welch's Fruit Snacks here. 


Gaea Dirty Martini Juice


Gaea Dirty Martini Juice is specially formulated to accompany either vodka or gin. Made with previously discarded olive brine from Gaea's olive production, imbibers can stir things up with Dirty Martini Juice for Vodka, which contains olive brine infused with sweet and hot red peppers. Gin aficionados can enjoy Dirty Martini Juice for Gin, made with olive brine blended with coriander.


Brooklyn Crafted’s Ginger Beer

Non-Alcoholic, Fun-Sized Ginger Beer!
Cased in 7 fluid ounce bottles, Brooklyn Crafted’s small but mighty ginger beers are the perfect size for kids to enjoy on their own, or for adults incorporate into festive cocktails this holiday season. Made with 100% fresh ginger pieces you can actually SEE in each bottle. (Flip bottle upside down to see!) Available in four trendy flavors including Traditional, Earl Grey, Lemon & Lime and Mango.
Buy the Ginger Beer here. 


Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva


This intense ruby-colored wine is characterized by vigorous tannins and fresh acidity, followed by an aroma of forest fruits and sweet spice against a backdrop of herbs and autumn leaves. Find more about this at  www.wine.com   



Gluten Free Green Bean and Pasta Casserole Recipe



Ingredients

·       Kosher salt
·       1 (8 ounce) package Explore Cuisine Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccini
·       1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
·       2 tablespoons butter or dairy free butter substitute
·       8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
·       1 cup gluten free chicken or vegetable stock
·       1 cup heavy cream
·       2 cups (7 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
·       Black pepper
·       Vegetable oil
·       6 shallots, thinly sliced

Preparation

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.     Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes. Add the beans to the pasta and cook for another 4 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta and green beans.
3.     In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to brown, about 6 – 7 minutes. Add the stock and cream, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese then add the pasta and green beans. Add kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Add a little pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Pour the mixture into a 9 inch by 12 inch baking dish and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
4.     While the casserole is baking, prepare the shallots. Line a plate with paper towels. Pour enough oil into a large skillet to come up ¼ inch. Heat over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots and let cook for 12 minutes, the shallots should be quite soft. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring often, until the shallots are well browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on the paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. The shallots will crisp more as they cool.

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5.     When the casserole is done, scatter the shallots over the top and serve.

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