Friday Wine Tasting… Holiday Entertaining

December 16, 2011

I love the holidays and the traditions we have set over the years. One of which is my annual cookie swap party that is always the Saturday before Christmas. I started hosting this party 11 years ago in my very first apartment in Stamford, CT, and just about every year or every other year as I moved through life and apartments the cookie party moved with me, which made it exciting for the guests as every year it was in a new place; from Stamford, to the Upper East Side in Manhattan, to Hoboken, a Lake House in CT and finally a more permanent stop at our home in East Hampton. I can’t believe the number of times I have moved in the past 10 years!

However despite the moving address the party has remained the same, and has become a favorite tradition for me and some of my closest friends and family. The holidays and weeks leading up to them are some of the busiest of the year, so for me this is a day I look forward to all season, when we can get together, catch up, celebrate and relax.

Sarah’s Annual Cookie Party Lunch Menu

  • Jamie’s Cranberry Spinach Salad
  • Two Soups (which for the first 9 years I always made myself, but last year and this year I just couldn’t resist the temptation and ease of having a master make them for me. So I asked Andrew Madsen from the Mystic Soup Co. to create two of my favorites) shhhh…. don’t tell my guests I might still be able to get credit.
  • Stuffed Breads (Buffalo Chicken, Spinach and Cheese, Pepperoni)
  • Panerra Bread (Three Cheese, Whole Grain)
  • Christmas Sherbert Punch (half gallon of minute maid fruit punch, 1 liter of ginger ale, 1/2 gallon of rainbow sherbert, you can also add Champagne if you wish)
  • Coffee/Tea

Rules of the Swap

The Details:
A cookie exchange is no ordinary party! No one arrives or leaves a cookie exchange party empty handed. For this special occasion, you must bring an assortment of things:

1. 6-Dozen Home Baked Cookies: It is best if you bring cookies that will hold their shape well. That means: NO soft icings and No refrigerator cookies, because they are likely to get smooshed in transit.

2. Based on the final number of guests attending it is best to individually bag them. I.e. with 6 dozen and 12 guests baking it would be 6 cookies per bag. This helps to keep the cookies fresh and prevent them all from tasting like each other.

3. Recipes: Please send me a copy of the recipe you will be making for the exchange as soon as you decide.

4. Please bring 15 copies of your recipe for people to take during the swap.

5. Also, please bring an extra plate of your cookies so that people could sample them before we do the swap.

Please RSVP! Let me know what type of cookie you will be bringing. I would like to ensure that there are a wide variety of cookies baked, so have more than one idea in mind in case someone has already chosen your first choice.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?  Happy Friday!

Wine of the Week…

Happy Holidays!

Yellow by Yellowglen


I am a sucker for wine labels lately and this one made me smile. I just couldn’t resist building it into our True Event gifts this year for the holidays, a sparkling wine from South Eastern Australia, it has delicious notes of ripe fruit and a hint of refreshing citrus. In other words, it’s delicious!  and with a name like Yellow how could it not just make you happy?!