If you've caught even just a few minutes of Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen on the Cooking Channel, you know that host Nadia Giosia is a sassy whirlwind of bouncy curls and blingy three-finger rings, stilettos and studs, sparkles and zebra print.
She's a Canadian cook who infuses her dishes with equal parts of her Italian heritage and rocker-y personality. One thing's for sure: Nadia G knows how to have a good time.
So when she offers up recipe tips and suggestions for a fun, easy holiday party, we listen.
Here, Nadia G cuts through all of the stress of holiday entertaining. Follow her four tips for a festive bash in flash.
Or, at least step away from the stove, the food processor and the cutting board before your guests arrive.
"The hostess should enjoy her holiday party every bit as much as the guests," Nadia says. "The best way to get yourself out of the kitchen is to prepare foods ahead that will taste great at room temperature."
One of her favorites? Crostini. These little nibbles feel fancy and couldn't be easier to make: Just toast thin slices of baguette, and then top with a cheese or spread and various garnishes. Nadia's version (recipe below) calls for goat cheese, caramelized onions, prosciutto and fig — an irresistible combo, don't you think?
Big bowls of punch are chic again. It's a retro idea with lots of appeal. Guests can serve themselves, so you won't have a cocktail shaker in your hands all night.
Punch has a reputation for being overly sweet and fruity, but we think you'll be pleasantly surprised that with the right punch recipe, it can be just as sophisticated as a well-made cocktail.
Before your party starts, mix up Nadia's recipe for fizzy Pomagrenade Punch (recipe below), spiked with vodka and Champagne. A couple of fresh ingredients — thin slices of red chili and mandarins or clementines — add subtle flavor and make the bowl look pretty.
There's no need to go overboard with a dessert spread — focus on a single one- or two-bite dessert that guests can eat while they're still mingling.
Small portions allow everyone to choose how much or how little they want to indulge. Nadia's Chocolate Balls (recipe below), made with butterscotch chips, peanuts and crushed pretzels, are the perfect fit.
Seal your status as a super hostess by giving guests a small but thoughtful edible favor.
You don't even have to turn on your oven. Just borrow Nadia's great idea: hot cocoa mix.
"I add a little cayenne and some cinnamon to step it up," Nadia says. "Gifted in a glass jar or a tin with a bright ribbon, it's my personal way to say happy holidays at the end of the night."
Yields about 6 cocktails
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