Entertaining tips for the holidays with Bick's® Specialties

Inviting family and friends over during the holidays is a wonderful way to celebrate the season. What's even nicer is when you can entertain without a lot of work. Try these easy tips from Bick's® to help make your holiday gathering a smashing success. Bick's Specialties can be the secret ingredient to help make your holiday get-togethers simple and delicious.

1. Holiday décor galore

Keep it simple by sticking to just two or three colours. Consider other combinations instead of traditional red and green, like silver, blue and purple. Add some pizzazz by filling different-sized vases on your table or mantle with ornaments in your new glitzy colour scheme. Or use fruit like clementines, pomegranates or kumquats. Weave strands of twinkling mini lights into garlands and tablescapes.

2. Candle with care

Flickering candlelight is beautiful, but if you have small children or pets try the battery-powered, flameless candles instead. They're a great holiday decorating solution to get a warm glow without the worries.

3. Traditional appeal

For a sentimental feel add a traditional element, such as homemade gingerbread men, hand-strung popcorn or a cranberry garland to your holiday decorations. Or suggest doing an old-fashioned cookie exchange. Make dessert deliciously easy by asking everyone to bring a batch of their favourite Christmas cookies, bars or loaf. It's fun to share and compare.

4. Stock your pantry

Look through your panty and stock up on essentials such as a variety of gourmet crackers, flat breads, nuts, savoury jams, and cookies. Be sure to have plenty of Bick's Specialties on hand like Sliced Beets, Hot Banana Pepper Rings, Sweet Gherkins, Wine Sauerkraut, Sour Cocktail Onions, and Hot Mix Pickles. Check out our recipe ideas below for delicious new ways to pair your Bick's favourites with flavourful cheeses, meats, and breads on appetizer trays. You can have a wonderful assortment of nibblies ready in seconds for your guests!

5. Make a big batch in advance

Whatever you can make in advance, do it! Plan your menu to include some items that can be prepared early such as many rice and pasta dishes, main course casseroles and roasts, and of course your baking. Also, try our recipe for Spicy Tuscan Vegetable Soup – make it a few days earlier and it's an easy way to serve up the delicious warmth of winter.

6. Festive season is in the air

Enchant your guests with the smells of the holidays when they arrive. Keep a pot of mulled apple cider on the stove with a delightful mixture of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Or set up a slow-cooker "potpourri" with oranges, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and allspice berries in some water and leave the slow-cooker uncovered on low.

Featured Recipes

Spicy Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Spicy Tuscan Vegetable Soup
This warm, wonderful soup is great for entertaining because you can make it ahead of time. For the perfect casual meal any day of week, just grate some Parmesan over the soup and serve with a salad and garlic-rubbed toasts topped with melted cheese. For a fun twist at dinner parties, let your guests decide how spicy they want their soup by adding as many Bick's® hot pepper rings to their bowl as they can handle!

Bick's® Specialties Pairings

Bick's® Specialties Pairings
To make tasty and colourful appetizer platters that your guests will gobble up, here are some ideas for perfect pairings with Bick's® Specialties items and flavourful cheeses, meats, flatbreads and nuts. (These ideas are also great for easy snacking during the week.)