Archives for December 2011

A Year in Review: Top Posts on Simple Bites

Tomorrow at midnight, we’ll ring in 2012 and a whole new season of blogging here on Simple Bites. I’ve got so much in store – new series, fun tutorials, health tips, and plenty of recipes – and I can’t wait to get started!

Just for fun, however, let’s look back at the year that was 2011 here on the blog and some of the popular articles from the 200-or-so published posts. [Read more…]

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Ringing in the New Year with Kids (Recipe: Pomegranate Sparklers)

The standard New Year’s Eve depiction features fancy parties, champagne toasts, and fretting about who is going to pucker up with you. But for those of us with small children, ringing in the new year often comes long before midnight. However, despite early bedtimes, you can still make the turning of the calendar a special event at home.

On Monday, Aimée shared many ideas for entertaining on New Year’s with ease. Those parties can easily be adapted for a family event, but for a more kid-focused bash, it’s the perfect opportunity to create a special evening interwoven with learning and discovery.

From ocean to ocean, each country celebrates the coming new year in a different way. Incorporating traditions from other cultures will amp up the fun and spark curiosity – and who knows, perhaps you’ll decide to continue a few of those traditions next year! [Read more…]

8 Fun & Simple Ways to Entertain on New Year’s Eve

This post was originally published last December, but the suggestions still hold water for your upcoming New Year’s festivities!

A New Year’s Eve celebration at home was always my preferred party mode and now that we have little ones, it’s an even more attractive way to ring in the New Year. No hefty babysitter fee, no cover charge, no late-night winter driving, just a good time in the comforts of our own home.

Of course, it’s also a great excuse to invite a few close friends over to play board games, set out some simple party food, chill a bottle of champagne in the snowbank, and set off fireworks at midnight. That pretty much sums up how we’ll be spending the last few hours of 2011.

There’s no better night than New Year’s Eve to entertain, but many of us are often worn out from the Christmas festivities and not interested in another cooking/cleaning project. The trick is to keep it simple and enlist plenty of helping hands instead of attempting an elaborate event on your own strength.

Choose one of these entertaining suggestions, customize it to your tastes, and start the new year surrounded by friends, but not completely exhausted.

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We Wish You A Merry Christmas

This week has been a busy blur of Christmas preparations, wrapping up projects, getting greeting cards out and a hundred other small tasks. Each day I packed lunches and got Danny and Noah out the door to work and school before starting on my own day, which inevitably went too fast. And on top of everything, I developed a cold. Again.

We’re ready for a break, a long one, and it starts this afternoon when Danny wraps up work for two weeks and Noah has holidays to match. We’ve planned a quiet Christmas, (no back-to-back parties, thank you very much) and I am looking forward to putting my feet up with my knitting project and a plate of cookies.

Today’s post doesn’t offer any last minute appetizers, turkey tips, entertaining pointers, or menu suggestions. I figured you had probably had enough of those! Instead, I’m sharing a little peek into our home this Christmas. Welcome!

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Easy Gluten-Free Entertaining (Recipe: Black Forest Brownie Trifles)

Even if you aren’t eating gluten-free it’s easy to entertain gluten-free guests without having to buy a lot of specialty items.

Although most of the people I know who eat gluten-free truly don’t mind if there are certain items on the table that they can’t eat, it’s nice to make the extra effort and have all the food able to be enjoyed by everyone. It’s just more fun if all your guests can partake in every part of the meal – that way there are no temptations and nobody feels left out.

It doesn’t have to be stressful to cook gluten-free. With these few quick tips, you can have a great meal on the table in no time. [Read more…]