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Holiday Entertaining Made Easy

Dec 02, 2014 03:57AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features Food, Family Features

Whether you’re planning your first holiday gathering or you’re a seasoned host, throwing a successful bash relies on creativity and a solid plan.

“Pick one or two elements of your gathering that you personalize and keep the rest simple,” advises DIY and entertaining expert Brit Morin of Brit + Co. “With a few clever ideas in your back pocket, you can pull off the perfect party.”

Make your event the highlight of the holiday season with Brit’s simple tips:

  • Show your style. Are you going for traditional holiday decor, cocktail chic or colorful and kid-friendly? Find or create a pattern and repeat it throughout your party elements. If you go with something simple like triangles, use triangles in your decorative garlands, invites, table settings and more. Add an unexpected accent by trimming your countertops, bookshelves or chair legs with patterned tape to match your theme.
  • DIY with confidence. Don’t be intimidated by a little DIY. Make your own centerpiece by filling a rustic bucket with striped lollipops or candy canes, or a glass hurricane vase with pumpkins, pinecones or ornaments. Repurpose an old sweater to create a cozy koozie for glass jars filled with snacks.
  • Time-saving treats. Simple, delicious recipes are a life-saver. Select easy-to-prepare dishes like cheese trays, veggie plates and crowd-pleasing snacks such as Chex™ Party Mix, which you can make to match nearly any theme or flavor combination. The best part - the recipes can be made in just 15 minutes in the microwave and some are 100 percent gluten free.
  • End with a bang. Leave your guests with a lasting impression and send them home with a holiday travel kit. Create a bag with travel essentials like ear plugs, headache medicine, bottled water and snacks to enjoy during long car rides or layovers.

For more recipes and tips for creating the perfect party with Chex, visit

Brown Sugar Spice Party Mix


  • 6 cups Vanilla Chex™ cereal
  • 1/2 cup whole roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup whole roasted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup gluten-free yogurt-covered cranberries or yogurt-covered raisins


  1. Measure cereal and nuts into large microwavable bowl; set aside.
  2. In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter on high 30 seconds; stir and microwave 30 seconds longer or until butter is melted. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and spices. Heat until boiling, about 30 seconds. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.
  3. Microwave uncovered on high about 3 minutes, stirring every minute, until mixture is glazed. Cool 5 minutes; stir in cranberries. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container.

Sugar Cookie Party Mix


  • 6 cups Rice Chex™ cereal
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ounce white baking chocolate or 1/4 cup vanilla milk chips
  • 1-2 teaspoons colored edible glitter or sugar sprinkles


  1. Measure cereal into large microwaveable bowl. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.
  2. In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter uncovered on high 30 seconds or until melted. Add sugar and corn syrup; microwave uncovered on high 30 seconds, until mixture is heated and can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
  3. Microwave uncovered on high 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; mix well.
  4. Spread on waxed paper or foil. Microwave white chocolate on high 30 seconds or until it can be stirred smooth; drizzle over top. Sprinkle with edible glitter or sprinkles.

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