We have our last holiday party of the year tonight, and I’m so ready to be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the holiday season with my family. Tonight’s get-together is my annual book club Christmas party and book swap, and I volunteered to host—extra fun! Hosting this one is pretty easy. Everyone brings a wrapped book to swap and a delicious holiday treat to share, so as long as I have a clean family room and kitchen, hosting isn’t any harder than attending. I decided to make a couple of my very favorite appetizers tonight. I’ve been making these avocado, prosciutto, and manchego toasts from Martha Stewart for years now, and they are always super popular. They are not the quickest appetizer to make, but they are yummy enough to be worth the effort. To balance out that slightly time-consuming snack, I’m also making one of my very favorite homemade cheese ball recipes. I posted about my grandma’s Salami Cheese Ball last week, but tonight, I’m opting for the ever-popular Pineapple, Pecan, and Pepper Cheese Ball. It’s a recipe my mom has been making for as long as I can remember, and it is easy and delicious. It can (and should) be made at least a few hours before party time, so I can make it this morning and be done with it!
To balance out all those savory treats, I’m also making Swedish Jam Cakes from my book, Scandinavian Gatherings. They are basically rich, buttery shortbread thumbprint cookies filled with sweet raspberry jam or chocolatey nutella. I’ll probably make both versions because they are both so, so good. I made them on Good Things Utah last week, and you can get the recipe and watch the video HERE. And if you still haven’t bought a copy of the book, hurry and do it now! You can still order it online and get it in time to make a few fun Christmas projects and some delicious holiday treats, or to give as a gift to someone special.
Last on my to-do list for today is mailing this year’s holiday cards from Minted. We had Rachel from Rachel Haylie Photography take our photos this year, and even though it was cold, windy, and sometimes rainy, and even though the baby was being a grump the entire time, she managed to get one glorious picture of us. I knew Minted would have some gorgeous designs to match, and I fell in love with this one after spending just 1 minutes looking. Minted continues to impress me with their beautiful designs, and every year they roll out new features that make sending out holiday cards a breeze. Not only do they store your addresses for you, but they also print the addresses on your envelopes. Hooray! And they don’t just print addresses in boring, black text. They print them in gorgeous colors and lovely fonts with designs that match your cards. Double Hooray!! And this year, you can even order stamps that match your cards at the regular first-class stamp price. Triple Hooray!!! You might think that you’ve missed the boat on holiday cards if you haven’t already ordered them, but guess what? If you act quickly (like TODAY), you can still get holiday cards from Minted by early next week with free rush shipping! And if that’s just not going to happen either, they have a really beautiful selection of New Years cards too. We’ve gone that route at least twice in the past few years when we were having crazy holiday seasons and just couldn’t make Christmas cards a reality. And if you’ve gotten this far and you’re like, “Hey, Melissa, I came here for Easy Peppermint Fudge Brownies,” click HERE and find the super easy, super delicious recipe on my latest post for Julep. Happy Holidays!!