Entertaining Made Easy: Food and Drink Pairings to Start the Season

By DeDe Priest
December 4, 2014
Spinach Ranch Artichoke Dip_Blog Lead

While gifts are often top of mind during the holidays, we can’t forget about what’s just as important: food. From large family gatherings to cocktail parties and making cookies with the kids, there’s something edible at nearly every celebration. There are often several occasions to plan for, so it never hurts to get a few good ideas. This Saturday, you can jot down a few of those and get your shopping done at the same time at the Taste of Entertaining event at Walmart.

From noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 6 in select stores, you can sample a variety of foods and easy recipes from our Holiday Entertaining Guide. Check out these pairings from the ingredient list to get the party started.

The holiday season just happens to be cranberry season, too, which explains why they’re everywhere this time of year – from the dinner table to festive fragrances and decorations. Work this popular fruit into your menu in an unexpected way with this new twist on a cheeseball and accompanying cocktail.

Holiday Cranberry-Pecan Cheeseball // Cran Mint a Rita

While turkey and ham are a tradition for many this time of year, others crave something different. How about spicy Southwestern? Set the theme for your celebration with some chile pepper string lights, and then get your guests going with these flavorful frozen appetizers and an out-of-the-ordinary margarita.

Chili’s Southwestern Bites // Pomegranate-Lime Margarita

Of all the sweet treats served over the holidays, candy canes are one of the most iconic. They’re also a great complement to chocolate, a delicious way to finish off any great meal. Whether you’re warming up after caroling or need a quick dessert for your next party, this cool hot cocoa and simple sandwich cookies are sure to hit the spot.

Peppermint Sandwiches // Peppermint Hot Chocolate Float

Not all get-togethers are for grown-ups. Let’s not forget who really rules the holidays – kids. Little ones love to help in the kitchen, and with these fun desserts, they’ll love the final product, too. Make these creative cookies even more special by serving them with a fun, fizzy drink the whole family can enjoy.

Melted Snowman and Reindeer Cookie Balls // Welch’s Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail

If an ideal party for you involves fancy china, but this year, you’re short on time, good news: You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to pull together a tasteful experience for your guests. These classic hors d’oeuvres don’t even need cooking, and this new wine by Giuliana Rancic comes packaged in four individual glasses. (P.S. – Love wine, but unsure what to serve it with? Check out our Wine 101 guide for a quick rundown.)

Nancy’s Deli Spirals // Xo, G Wine

Cold weather calls for serving a spicy, warm drink, and cinnamon spirits make it even more festive. Balance out the bite with everyone’s favorite party dip, and spruce up the presentation with a bake-at-home bread boule.

Spinach Ranch Artichoke Dip // Christmas Hug