Easy Holiday Parties

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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This holiday season, time and money may be in short supply, use creativity to turn small splurges into celebrations. Here are holiday ideas and recipes that won’t break the bank nor leave you exhausted afterwards.

A Tree Decorating Party

A holiday party doesn’t have to be fancy; any simple excuse to gather informally, like trimming the tree or decorating the house, will do. It’s a great way to include children in the festivities. Serve up mugs of chowder enriched with Irish Cheddar, plenty of bread and Irish butter, a salad and some Christmas cookies.

Gifts from the Kitchen

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Give a gift of love and save money, too, with home-baked goods wrapped in pretty packaging. Use premium Irish butter to give everything you bake true buttery flavor and natural golden color. Kids would love to help with the decorating.

And for Every Holiday Get-Together, a Cheese and Wine Party

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A universal favorite of guests and the easiest choice for the host is a cheese board. An assortment of Irish cheeses like DublinerCashel Blue and Kerrygold Aged Cheddar with fresh fruit and chutney make a spectacular presentation.

The Family Holiday Dinner

And when all the festivities are over and energy levels are low, here is an easy dinner for two.  Keep the main course simple with a no-fuss roast. Make a splash with a festive salad featuring creamy and elegant Cashel Blue Irish farmhouse cheese. Serve on your best china.

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Potato Chowder with Pancetta and Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese
Serves:  4
Ingredients:
  • 6 oz pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 cup chopped celery, including a few leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (4 oz) Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Directions:

In large saucepan, over medium-high heat, add pancetta and cook, stirring until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1/2 teaspoon fat from pan. Add onion to pan and stir often over high heat until very lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add potatoes, celery and broth. Cover, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add buttermilk and pancetta and stir until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in the Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese, ladle into bowls and serve immediately.