Pistachio Cranberry Goat Cheese and Our Holiday Playlist!

This seems to be the week that kicks off the fun and jam-packed Christmas time!  We’ve got holiday events Wednesday through Saturday evenings. I’m tired already, but so excited. In this post you will find an easy appetizer that you can whip up quickly for any holiday get together as well as our Christmas playlist! 

To get fully into the Christmas spirit turn on our Holiday Favorites Playlist. It’s all of our favorite Christmas classics like Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday mixed in with a few newbies for good measure (NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas” anyone?!).

Press play. Then whip up this incredibly easy appetizer that’s a crowd pleaser as well the perfect color combination for Christmas.

Cheese Log with Cranberries and Pistachios

1 small goat cheese log 

1/2 brick of cream cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 c. Pistachios, chopped

1/2 c. Fresh Cranberries OR Craisins, chopped

– IF using fresh cranberries then roast them in oven for 15-20 minutes with 1/2c. of sugar

Let cheeses soften a bit then combine the two, adding black pepper and a touch of salt. Using wax paper shape them cheese mixture into a log. 

(If making the day ahead of time keep the mixture in the waxed paper and also wrap it with Saran Wrap then leave in fridge.) The day you plan to serve this app, add chopped cranberries and pistachios to the outside of the cheese. 

The easiest way I have found to do this (requiring the least amount of cleanup) is to keep everyone on the waxed paper and use the paper to roll/work the cranberries and pistachios onto the cheese. The colors really couldn’t be better for any Christmas party or just small get together with friends.



Peppermint Bark ‘Puppy Chow’

Ok, I know we’re focusing on our healthy winter recipes right now, but hey, it’s the weekend!  Everyone I know loves the chocolatey/peanut buttery deliciousness that is puppy chow, but this recipe puts a peppermint bark spin on it for the holidays.  A word of warning:  be prepared to love this so much that you’re tempted to eat the whole thing.

 Peppermint Bark ‘Puppy Chow’

-8 c. corn Chex cereal

-14 oz. bag of peppermints

-12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy and gluten free options are out there!)

-2 Tbsp butter or Earth Balance

-1 1/2 c. powdered sugar


-Place peppermints in a food processor and pulse until they’re turned to powder.  A few larger pieces are fine and that little crunch tastes wonderful

-Mix together the peppermint dust and powdered sugar and place in a large Ziploc bag

-Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until they’re melted (about a minute and a half), stirring every 15 seconds to avoid burning

-In a large bowl combine the Chex cereal and chocolate mixture, stirring until the Chex are evenly coated

-Transfer the chocolatey Chex into the Ziploc and shake until powdery peppermint and sugar mixture has covered all of the cereal mixture.  



Thanksgiving Tips

It’s the two week countdown to Thanksgiving. You can do it! These are our favorites tips for being ready for the main event.  

-Definitely delegate.  If the meal is at your house, you seriously can’t be making the bird, the sides, and the desserts so ask for help!  If you are going to someone else’s house to eat, offer to help by asking the host what you can bring.

-Shop early.  Everything that can be bought a week or so before the big day should be purchased now. For fresh ingredients go on the Monday or Tuesday the week of ,but only go early morning or late in the evening unless you are you ready to start bracing for the masses now.  You don’t want to spend the day before Thanksgiving rushing around with last minute grocery shopping. Shopping early also includes a trip to the liquor store–don’t forget this one until the day before because, just like the grocery stores, this will be packed. (Think in-laws, outlaws, screaming kids, etc. Everyone deals with this so there is really no question, liquor stores will be packed). Only save this if you want to give your husband/father/yourself an “escape” during the chaos. It will take at least an hour, but they will probably appreciate this errand.

-Set up your buffet early, not only to make sure you’ll have enough room for all of the plates and serving dishes, but also to make it a little easier for yourself as you transfer things from the oven. Using a combination of your serving pieces and post-it’s can be one of the most helpful things as far as Thanksgiving logistics go. Don’t forget your trivets for hot items.  


-If you have an allergy, be prepared.  Maybe you have a family who’s willing to go with a completely allergy-friendly spread, but if I could eat dairy and gluten, I definitely would, so I don’t want to deprive my family from them!  I like to be prepared by making my own dressing and gravy (it can be done! And we will show you how).  Ask your relatives and friends if sides are safe and make sure they actually know what they are talking about, and you’ll be set!

-Background music

No one likes a house that’s too quiet, weird lulls in conversation are much too apparent. We’ve made a Thanksgiving playlist that both you and your parents will appreciate i.e. no rap, some current songs, some oldies – your typical (but cooler) easy listening. This baby is 7 hours long so you can put it on in the morning while cooking, and it will last through the main event. Plus it’s not too Thanksgiving-y so start playing it now and you will enjoy it.

Press play. Enjoy.

Hope these little pointers help make your Thanksgiving as stress free as absolutely possible!

Three Things To Do Now to Make Your Holidays Much Easier

OMGitsNovember. Halloween has come and gone. If you haven’t noticed from, well, just about every marketing campaign out right now, Christmas is apparently right around the corner.  While you don’t have to be that neighbor with the Christmas decorations up the week after Halloween (or hey, more power to you!), a little planning now can really save you in the next several weeks.  Here are just a few of our tips to get a couple of holiday stressors checked off your list now.


1.Get Cooking

Make a couple of things now to put in  your freezer and pull out for Thanksgiving, just a side or two will save you serious time and stress leading up to the big day. Even if you don’t know what you are doing for Thanksgiving yet, inevitably you will be invited to some sort of function, and this way you will already have your work done. We will be posting recipes of some of our favorite Thanksgiving sides for Tuesday’s Table during the month of November – some healthy, gluten free and dairy free options too!


2. Plan for your Decorations

Go ahead and order your wreaths and garland from Gracious Garlands. You can order online in a matter of minutes then you will officially have that checked off of the list so you don’t have to rush out in search of pretty, fresh greenery come mid-December. Gracious Garlands started in Nashville almost 20 years ago by Vicki Worsham. Her daughter, Elle, has helped her through the years and has recently taken the reigns expanding their gorgeous greenery offerings and services not only to Nashville but to Atlanta and Charleston as well. The “wreath experts” over at Gracious Garlands say the recommended wreath size for your front door is either a 20 inch or 24 inch wreath. They have several varieties of these and more sizes starting at, $26.00. If you have a glass door or French doors they have double sided wreaths, too!

They also have several types of garland, kissing balls and in Nashville they will even do a custom mailbox for you – how welcoming is that?!

Check their website, www.graciousgarlands.com for the pick up days in your area. Your orders must be placed by this Friday, 11/06. So you only have a few days, but spend two minutes playing online, place your order, and be glad you have that checked off of your (what will become a) mile long list leading up to the holidays.

I’m thinking that I will order their White Pine Garland to go around my mantle and 20″ Ultimate Holiday Mix wreath for my front door… or maybe their exquisite Magnolia Wreath. You just cannot beat the smell of fresh greenery during the holidays, go ahead and start burning your trusty Frasier Fir candle now to prepare yourselves.


3.Knock out the Gifts
One of my favorite things to do, both for Christmas and birthday gifts, is keeping a running list of gift ideas for different people in my phone and/or on Pinterest in a secret board.  Whenever an idea pops in my head for the perfect gift, I can just add it to my list without having to hope and pray that somehow I will remember it when the season hits.  When I’m running around buying Christmas presents, I can always reference my list to see who would like what.  And I feel like it’s always a good idea to keep a couple of extra gifts at home…for those friends who swing by your house with a surprise gift for you!


Get Excited!

Not only is this time of year going to be a blast, but here at Adeline Alley we’re going to be here to give you more tips on cooking and decorations all season long! ‘Tis the season.