Today, I’m sharing two simple recipes to take the stress out of holiday gatherings with an easy make-ahead appetizer and a festive twist on a classic cocktail.
A holiday party would not be complete without a festive cocktail in hand, however a Moscow mule (my favorite cocktail lately) doesn’t exactly scream “ho, ho, ho”, so I gave it a yuletide makeover to make it a little more festive. The Jingle Berry Mule is sweet, yet tangy but still has that unmistakable Moscow mule flavor. It’s the perfect drink for holiday gatherings with friends and family. Don’t skip the rosemary! It smells amazing and gives it a festive feel.
If you’ve ever hosted a family gathering, you know how chaotic it can get. Entertaining guests while cooking can be a recipe for disaster that everyone can do without. To take the stress out of the holiday chaos, I like to serve a few make-ahead dishes, and this Easy Baked Brie is at the top of my list. Not only does my family love it, I can prepare it the night before, and just before guests arrive, I brush it with the egg wash and pop it in the oven. It’s simple, easy and elegant, but casual enough when served with a Jingle Berry Mule.
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Jingle Berry Mule
- 3 oz. cranberry juice
- 3 oz. ginger beer
- 2 oz. vodka
- 2 wedges of a quartered lime
- 4-6 cranberries
- rosemary sprig, optional, but I highly recommend it
In a Moscow mule mug filled halfway with ice, add first 3 ingredients. Squeeze lime juice into drink and stir. Garnish with cranberries and rosemary sprig.
Not a fan of vodka? Swap it out for another spirit like gin or white rum.
Don't have a copper mug? No worries. This drink can be just as elegant in a stemless wine glass.
Hint: Freeze your cranberries and they will keep your drink cooler, longer.
Easy Baked Brie
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
- 8 oz. wheel of brie
- 1 egg
- crackers for serving
Heat oven to 400°F. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a slightly thinner consistency. Place the cheese in the center. Wet edges of pastry with water and fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim the excess pastry and press to seal making sure that seams are secure, otherwise cheese will leak out. Reserve the excess pastry scraps for decorating (optional). Beat egg and a tablespoon of water in a small bowl with fork. Place pastry-covered brie seam-side down onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Decorate with excess pastry, if desired. Brush with egg mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving with crackers.
Don’t have time? Prepare as directed without brushing with egg mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready, brush with egg mixture and bake as directed.
Hint: Want to elevate your baked brie? Top with honey and almonds or cranberry preserves after baking.