T here is nothing I enjoy more than host- ing a holiday at my house. I love preparing seasonal boards, cooking a handful of main dishes and sides, and dec- orating the space with cozy touches. One of my favorite holidays to host is Christmas. It’s casual, lively, and encourages a table fi lled with seafood (feast of the seven fi shes) and modern, luxurious touches like caviar. Plus, it’s the perfect way to kick off the sea- son with family and friends. During the holidays, I usually prepare a long table (buffet-style) and present an as- sortment of starters: a solid caprese salad, shrimp cocktail, roasted nuts, arugula and fi g salad, warm brie dip - the list goes on. As a rule of thumb, I’ll have some gluten- free, dairy-free, and keto options for those leaning into their new year resolutions a bit early. Look at your guest list, ask for allergies & preferences, and go from there.
Let’s be real, no party would be complete without a charcuterie board, and a cheese & fruit board. I have invested in an assort- ment of beautiful olive wood boards, some engraved, all perfect for hosting at the house. Generally, I’ll look to experienced food stylists and Pinterest boards for inspi- ration. Get creative! I usually add dried fruits, fresh fruits, olives, sweet and spicy peppers, fresh honeycomb – the list goes on and on. Also, incorporate your holiday into the board. Lastly, I’ll always include caviar on one (or all) of the boards – it screams holiday season. Main dishes can be easy if you opt to use your favorite cooking vessels such as the crockpot, Instant Pot, and/or broiler. For me personally, I use 2-3 crockpots and prepare a roast chicken, or a less traditional meat sauce. Easy cleanup, fun delivery, and buffet style. Once again, get creative – and work
with your guests’ preferences. This is the perfect time of year to gather with family and friends and spend time to- gether. Get creative with the menu, décor, and presentation. Remember to ask your guests if they have any allergies or prefer- ences in advance and look to experienced food stylists and bloggers for inspiration. Most important – have fun!
Joanna Adduci Reed is a Northport resident, currently working as a Marketing & Social Media Specialist. She has a B.S. in Journalism from St. John's University and is active within her community as a writer and mentor. She enjoys cooking, traveling and singing in her Long Island-based cover band, Next Generation. Joanna can be reached by email at LISAVORYEATS@gmail.com.
ET MAGAZINE - DECEMBER 2022
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