21 December, 2010

The Duchess Parties . . .

Still recovering, the Duchess most certainly went a bit overboard this weekend with the parties.  And Christmas and New Year's are still ahead of her! 

No doubt all of you are faced with the inevitable, but welcome, onslaught of guests this holiday season.  For the impromptu pop-over, be sure and have a bottle of something bubbly in the chiller (champs, or sparking cider for your program friends).  Throw in some thyme-toasted pecans and you'll be all set:

4 c pecan halves
3 tbl good olive oil
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp nice sea salt
1 tbl fresh thyme leaves

Warm the pecans over medium heat in a large, dry skillet until toasted and fragrant, about five to ten minutes.  Remove from heat, and add to olive oil/salt/pepper/thyme mixture.  Abundantly delicious!  Made ahead, these pecans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; return to room temperature before serving.  (Adapted from Bon Appetit, Y'all by Virginia Willis)

Now, when you are the guest and not the hostess, isn't it a trouble to find easily the perfect hostess gift?  Take a tip from the Baroness and bring along one of these Holiday candles from Seda France -- beautifully packaged and beautifully scented too.

Happy entertaining. 

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