simple

BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Julie Blanner with A Simple Holiday Table Setting

Hi! I’m Julie Blanner, the voice behind Coordinately Yours, a blog about effortless entertaining, do-it-yourself projects and more! I like to keep entertaining relaxing and enjoyable. As a seasoned event planner, I love an elaborate table setting, however, that requires ample storage, a lot of set up and even more clean up. Food and conversation take precedence when table settings are simple. Nothing fussy, just plenty of room for great food and drinks.

simple & beautiful holiday decor BHG

This table setting works well all winter long! I started with a few yards of osnaburg to create the perfect neutral palette. It’s my go to fabric because it’s pretty, inexpensive and looks linen without the required care. Pinecones found in the front yard grace each place setting along with washed linen napkins. You’ll notice that I used my everyday white porcelain dinnerware, making cleanup a breeze.

easy ideas for holiday entertaining

effortless entertaining - a simple Christmas table setting

A velvet pillow warms the space while adding comfort to the table and is the perfect compliment to the birch wood vase centerpiece filled with berries. Branches create an easy centerpiece anyone can create. Start by determining the height you want the centerpiece to be and cut the base of stems to the desired length. Then, snip branches so that they’ll hit just above the base of the vase. Twirl them until they create a full look.

diy birch vase and pretty holiday decor

I personally enjoy hosting small, informal gatherings often versus elaborate gatherings occasionally. What’s your preference?

simple Christmas table setting

 

Happy holidays and happy entertaining!

Coordinately yours,

Julie Blanner


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Doughnut Hole Cake Pops

 

Living in the Northeast, I like to take advantage of the warm weather and spend as much of the summer as I can outdoors. This means I’m always looking for ways to lessen my time in the kitchen. I was so excited when I discovered these doughnut hole cake pops from Better Homes and Gardens. After making my individual dessert trifles a few weeks ago, I didn’t think dessert could get any easier. I was wrong.

First things first, BHG has a half-dozen ideas for these doughnut hole pops. You can find all of the recipes here. Today, I decided to try the Honeybee Doughnut Pops and the Candy Bar Doughnut Pops. To get things started, you’re going to need some plain cake doughnut holes. Once you have those, it’s time to have fun in the kitchen.

The frosting for the Honeybee Doughnut Pops is really quick to mix up. It’s softened butter, powdered sugar, honey, and a little milk. That’s it.

Once it’s whipped up, just spoon it on top of your doughnut holes and add a wooden stick and an adorable candy bee! I found both of these items at a local superstore.

Once those were complete, I tried the Candy Bar Doughnut Holes. To make these, just dip each doughnut hole into some warmed-up, store-bought frosting. Then just add a little piece of candy, sprinkles, peanuts, or shredded coconut. The options are endless.

I told you this was simple! In less than 15 minutes, I created two desserts that are not only delicious, but so adorable.

Aren’t those little bees the perfect finishing touch?

Again, you can find the recipes for these doughnut hole pops here. What fun combinations are you going to try?

Hope you’re having a fabulous summer!

Cheers,

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm


Erin Gleeson

ingredient obsession: mint pesto crostini

Hello! Erin from The Forest Feast here, with an easy appetizer idea. I have oodles of mint in my garden right now, so I whipped up some Mint Pesto inspired by this BHG Homemade Pesto recipe. I used mint instead of basil for a fresh spring taste, and pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds) instead of pine nuts because they are nutrient rich and much less expensive. This mint pesto is also great on pasta!

Mint Pesto Crostini
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch (about 1 cup  firmly packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup  grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup  piepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 5T  olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set this pesto aside. Toast several slices of baguette and toast on a baking sheet in the oven until golden brown (approx 3 minutes under the broiler). While bread is still warm, spread a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese on each slice. Top that with a spoonful of the mint pesto, and garnish each with a couple pepitas. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Forest Feast is a blog by Erin Gleeson full of simple, colorful vegetable based recipes with photos and watercolor illustration. After working for many years as a food photographer in NYC, Erin moved to a cabin in the woods where she is currently working on The Forest Feast cookbook. Follow Erin on Twitter and  Instagram, @theforestfeast.