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.



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!

4th of July Playlist with a side of  Summer Corn Salad

I love 4th of July. It very well may be my favorite holiday. I’ve attached a playlist that I edit and add to every year and it’s great combination of summer holiday/party music whether out on a boat or in your own backyard.

Last night I was lucky to spend the night with my dear friend and her family. She made the perfect summer supper for us. Our husbands grilled hamburgers and she whipped up corn salad and roasted new potatoes. I will be making the corn salad this weekend to accompany boiled shrimp or as a lunchtime side. And will definitely be making and posting the potatoes in the near future.

 You can easily tell a loved recipe when it has marks on the paper. I so appreciate a good box full of recipe cards.

Whitney’s Corn Salad

2 Cans of shoepeg corn

2 Tomatoes or carton of cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 Bell pepper, chopped

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 c. Sour Cream

4 Tbs. Mayonaisse

2 Tbs. White Vinegar

1/2 tsp. each celery seed, dry mustard, black pepper

1 tsp. salt

Mix all vegetables. Combine dressing ingredients in small bowl or measuring cup. Pour dressing over veggies. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


Enjoy the tunes and corn salad! Happy 4th to you and yours!!