Holiday Decorating Ideas We Love

Make It Work Together
Work your holiday decorations around the style of your home, advises the design experts at Nell Hill’s home furnishings. Coordinate with the colors in your home so everything works together. And speaking of working together, try choosing one overall look for your decorations and then running it throughout the house. “Your mantel should reflect your tree, should reflect your table setting, and so on,” Nell Hill advises. “Then, all of a sudden, it’s a great beautiful story that envelops your home.”
 
Use What You Have
To make the decorations truly your own, “look at what you already have — not Christmas decorations,” says Kansas City home remodeler Kristin Johnson. “Pick out what you love the most. Think about how that might be adapted to more of a wintry theme. If something is inherently interesting, it’s very easy to turn it into something that’s interesting for the holidays.” Nell Hill, for example, suggests arranging interesting serving pieces together to create centerpieces.
 
Brenda Toates, a florist with of D’Agee & Co. Florist, agrees, explaining her aim when decorating homes for the holidays is to “embellish what they have.” Run garland around the mantel’s everyday décor. Fill the empty glass jars on your shelves with antique ornaments.  Pick the red and green books from your shelf and arrange on the coffee table.

Bring the Outside In
Our floral buyer, Sarah, suggests using natural elements like birch, pine cones and succulents to bring a woodsy, wintery feel to your decorating. You can literally go out in the yard and find wonderful design elements like branches, greenery, and leaves for place settings, centerpieces, mantel décor, and more!

Nell Hill suggests incorporating your outdoor garden architectural elements, like your planters, into your design. These elements are visually attractive and provide spaces for displays. So take a trip to your yard and look for interesting pieces to bring the outside in!
 
Feature Fancy Fruits
Central Market floral expert Sarah says to take a spin through our Produce section with an eye on fruits that can create an interesting touch. They can be interspersed with flowers or greens – or just by themselves in a special container.
 
Apples in multiple hues 
Citrus like oranges, lemons, limes, to create a great pop of color
Even an unexpected pineapple, the symbol of hospitality, can give a centerpiece height and interest (keep whole for freshness)
Grapes draped elegantly
Cranberries to fill vases or, of course, as garland
A variety of nuts in shells help complete the eco-friendly/neutral look
 
Spread the Centerpiece Around
Large centerpieces can be striking, but smaller, matching arrangements down the center of the dinner table will encourage guests’ conversation (and leave room for the food!). You can also identify main focal areas in your home, like the buffet, coffee table, or powder room, and use a “family” of complementing (not matching) arrangements, in varying sizes with similar flowers.

 
  photo credit:              Minimalisti     

French Dinner Parties, Wine & Champagne: Celebratory Cooking School Classes Coming Your Way

Here's a quick look at the classes to whet your appetite! Please visit our Cooking School page to find classes near you and read complete descriptions.

Celebrate with Prosecco and Ciccetti

Instructor: Domenico Scimone, General Manager, Carpene Malvolti & Cooking School Staff

Enjoy an evening of small plates paired with an assortment of Carpene Malvolti Proseccos as you usher in the holidays. 
 

An Easy, French-Inspired Dinner Party with Wine Pairings

Instructor: Ellise Pierce, aka The Cowgirl Chef; Food Writer; Cookbook Author; Culinary Instructor

Having friends over for the holidays should be easy and fun – for the host or hostess as well as the guests. Each dish in this French-inspired menu can be made in advance so you can concentrate on having fun.
 

Expect the Unexpected: Bubbles and Bites

Instructor: Shannon McCracken, Champagne Expert, Moet Hennessy

While champagne is certainly the preferred beverage for special occasions, after spending an evening with an expert, you'll realize how much you've been missing by not popping the cork on weeknights, too. 

French Dinner Parties, Wine & Champagne: Celebratory Cooking School Classes Coming Your Way

Here's a quick look at the classes to whet your appetite! Please visit our Cooking School page to find classes near you and read complete descriptions.

Celebrate with Prosecco and Ciccetti

Instructor: Domenico Scimone, General Manager, Carpene Malvolti & Cooking School Staff

Enjoy an evening of small plates paired with an assortment of Carpene Malvolti Proseccos as you usher in the holidays. 
 

An Easy, French-Inspired Dinner Party with Wine Pairings

Instructor: Ellise Pierce, aka The Cowgirl Chef; Food Writer; Cookbook Author; Culinary Instructor

Having friends over for the holidays should be easy and fun – for the host or hostess as well as the guests. Each dish in this French-inspired menu can be made in advance so you can concentrate on having fun.
 

Expect the Unexpected: Bubbles and Bites

Instructor: Shannon McCracken, Champagne Expert, Moet Hennessy

While champagne is certainly the preferred beverage for special occasions, after spending an evening with an expert, you'll realize how much you've been missing by not popping the cork on weeknights, too. 

Thanksgiving Leftover Macaroni & Cheese

Ingredients
1 pound cooked elbow macaroni
1 pound shredded turkey meat
3 cups medium sized sweet potatoes, diced then cooked in salt water until tender
1 cup cooked peas
1/2 chopped onion
5 sage leaves, minced
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup cranberry relish
1 1/2 quart milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup grated fontina cheese

Directions
1.    In a large pot add butter, onion, sage and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. 
2.    Add flour, whisk and cook for another 5 minutes.
3.    Add milk and continue to whisk till milk comes to a boil and thickens. 
4.    Whisk in the mascarpone, fontina and one cup of the cheddar cheese.
5.    Once cheese in melted and sauce is smooth, fold in the turkey meat, sweet potatoes, peas and pasta.
6.    Season with salt and pepper.
7.    Transfer to a baking dish, cover with remaining cheddar cheese and bake at 350F for 20 minutes until browned on top.
8.    Serve with a tablespoon of cranberry sauce.

Or pick up puff pastry on sale at Central Market, wrap up and bake your leftovers into Thanksgiving handpies…and have a one-handed meal so you still have one free hand for the TV remote!

Recipe and photo credit: Food Republic

Don’t Forget the Little Things in the Holiday Home Stretch

Meats

  • Turkey-less, by chance? Don't fret. Come raid our selection of fully-cooked options — and, hey, no one says you have to serve turkey. Our Foodies can help you put a wonderful meal on the table, no matter your tastes and no matter the time. 

Sides

  • Pick up delicious holiday sides available by the pound in our Chef's Case. Dressings, Stuffings, Family Salads, and a table-full of unique, flavorful sides like Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Butternut Squash with Sweet Citrus, Pecans, and Cranberries.    

Breads and Desserts

  • Fresh-baked breads and rolls, like fluffy, buttery Brioche Dinner Rolls. 
  • Just In Time Gourmet baking mixes for top quality dishes in a snap.
  • Cat Island Cookies – great for dessert, snacking, or as a gift on the pillow of your guests.
  • Bread Crisps 
  • And don't forget to top your fresh bread with Brownwood Farms Fruit Butters. Try Cherry, Apple, Pumpkin and Jalapeno Cherry. They're made in Michigan with fresh, local fruit and hand-stirred in small batch kettles. 

Dairy/Frozen

  • Whipped toppings
  • Ice cream
  • Fruit toppings for desserts
  • Pie crusts – Or just choose one of our fresh baked pies, throw a little flour around in your kitchen, and take the credit. Way easier. 
  • Butter – You can never have too much butter. 
  • Sour cream, cream cheese, coffee creamer, half and half
  • Frozen breakfast goodies, like RoRo's Cinna Rolls

Beverages

  • Katz Flavored Coffees
  • Hot Cow Cow Hot Cocoa
  • Tea 
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Regular and diet sodas
  • Cold Pressed Juices
  • Champagne (because why not?)
  • Wine, beer, and ciders

For the Kitchen and the Table

  • Hand towels
  • Pot holders
  • Extra tablecloths 
  • An apron 
  • A handcrafted vase arrangment from our Floral Department 

Condiments

  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Marshmallows
  • Salad dressing – Look for White Oak Dressings in gourmet flavors like Gorgonzola Pear, Artichoke Parmesan, and French Provencal. 
  • Croutons

Snacks

  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Martin's Handmade Pretzels – Handmade Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels with a SERIOUS crunch and rich, toasty flavor. 
  • Chips – Don't miss Pipers Crisps in flavors like Cheddar & Onion, Wild Thyme & Rosemary and Sweet Chili. Britain's best-tasting potato chip! 
  • Cheese – you KNOW we've got you covered here!
  • Dips

For Leftover Storage

  • Plastic containers
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Kitchen twine
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels

For You

  • A gorgeous Signature Seasonal Bouquet 
  • … and we already mentioned the glass of wine.

If you need last-minute recipe, ingredient, serving or pairing ideas, just ask our Foodies. We're here to help make your holiday a stress-free success! 

Don’t Forget the Little Things in the Holiday Home Stretch

Meats

  • Turkey-less, by chance? Don't fret. Come raid our selection of fully-cooked options — and, hey, no one says you have to serve turkey. Our Foodies can help you put a wonderful meal on the table, no matter your tastes and no matter the time. 

Sides

  • Pick up delicious holiday sides available by the pound in our Chef's Case. Dressings, Stuffings, Family Salads, and a table-full of unique, flavorful sides like Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Butternut Squash with Sweet Citrus, Pecans, and Cranberries.    

Breads and Desserts

  • Fresh-baked breads and rolls, like fluffy, buttery Brioche Dinner Rolls. 
  • Just In Time Gourmet baking mixes for top quality dishes in a snap.
  • Cat Island Cookies – great for dessert, snacking, or as a gift on the pillow of your guests.
  • Bread Crisps 
  • And don't forget to top your fresh bread with Brownwood Farms Fruit Butters. Try Cherry, Apple, Pumpkin and Jalapeno Cherry. They're made in Michigan with fresh, local fruit and hand-stirred in small batch kettles. 

Dairy/Frozen

  • Whipped toppings
  • Ice cream
  • Fruit toppings for desserts
  • Pie crusts – Or just choose one of our fresh baked pies, throw a little flour around in your kitchen, and take the credit. Way easier. 
  • Butter – You can never have too much butter. 
  • Sour cream, cream cheese, coffee creamer, half and half
  • Frozen breakfast goodies, like RoRo's Cinna Rolls

Beverages

  • Katz Flavored Coffees
  • Hot Cow Cow Hot Cocoa
  • Tea 
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Regular and diet sodas
  • Cold Pressed Juices
  • Champagne (because why not?)
  • Wine, beer, and ciders

For the Kitchen and the Table

  • Hand towels
  • Pot holders
  • Extra tablecloths 
  • An apron 
  • A handcrafted vase arrangment from our Floral Department 

Condiments

  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Marshmallows
  • Salad dressing – Look for White Oak Dressings in gourmet flavors like Gorgonzola Pear, Artichoke Parmesan, and French Provencal. 
  • Croutons

Snacks

  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Martin's Handmade Pretzels – Handmade Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels with a SERIOUS crunch and rich, toasty flavor. 
  • Chips – Don't miss Pipers Crisps in flavors like Cheddar & Onion, Wild Thyme & Rosemary and Sweet Chili. Britain's best-tasting potato chip! 
  • Cheese – you KNOW we've got you covered here!
  • Dips

For Leftover Storage

  • Plastic containers
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Kitchen twine
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels

For You

  • A gorgeous Signature Seasonal Bouquet 
  • … and we already mentioned the glass of wine.

If you need last-minute recipe, ingredient, serving or pairing ideas, just ask our Foodies. We're here to help make your holiday a stress-free success! 

Oh, Tannenbaum!

Fraser Fir
These elegant firs have a deep lush green color with soft silvery needles. They are fantastic Christmas trees because they have lots of sturdy, nicely spaced branches to hold ornaments and will hang on to their needles for a while if kept watered. Frasers also grow to perfect “Christmas tree shapes,” sure to look lovely in your home. We have 7-9 foot Frasers and decorative 2-4 foot Frasers, as well.
 
Nordman Fir
These beauties are the European Christmas tree of choice and are native to the mountains of the Black Sea. Nordmans are extremely pretty with soft, dark green, glossy needles that won’t drop off quickly. Like Frasers, they’re a very symmetrical tree, if that sort of thing is important to your decorating eye. Nordman Firs are also not very fragrant, making them a good choice for folks with allergies or sensitivities to strong aromas.  We have them available in 6-9 foot heights.
 
So head up to the attic and haul down the decorations, then come find your family’s favorite Fir and kick off the holidays with a gorgeous tree from Central Market!   

Oh, Tannenbaum!

Fraser Fir
These elegant firs have a deep lush green color with soft silvery needles. They are fantastic Christmas trees because they have lots of sturdy, nicely spaced branches to hold ornaments and will hang on to their needles for a while if kept watered. Frasers also grow to perfect “Christmas tree shapes,” sure to look lovely in your home. We have 7-9 foot Frasers and decorative 2-4 foot Frasers, as well.
 
Nordman Fir
These beauties are the European Christmas tree of choice and are native to the mountains of the Black Sea. Nordmans are extremely pretty with soft, dark green, glossy needles that won’t drop off quickly. Like Frasers, they’re a very symmetrical tree, if that sort of thing is important to your decorating eye. Nordman Firs are also not very fragrant, making them a good choice for folks with allergies or sensitivities to strong aromas.  We have them available in 6-9 foot heights.
 
So head up to the attic and haul down the decorations, then come find your family’s favorite Fir and kick off the holidays with a gorgeous tree from Central Market!   

Thanksgiving Breakfast

 
Central Market Quiche –  Bring a French fave to the table with little more effort than turning on the oven to heat it up. Impressive, special-occasiony, and already whipped together for you.
 
RoRo's Cinn-A-Rolls (pictured)  Warm cinnamon rolls spiked with vanilla and handmade with love. Careful or you won’t have room for turkey! Just warm and serve. They’re the perfect companion to morning milk and coffee. Available in Frozen.

Fresh Cut Fruit – Take a spin through Produce and select from a mix peak-of-season fruit that’s great on its own or with yogurt and granola.

Muffins…and MORE – Our made-from-scratch muffins are made with buttermilk batters and real fruit. They're big enough to share, but delicious enough that you won't want to. You can also delight your family with Scones, Croissants, Bagels & Cream Cheese — We’ve got ‘em all and they’re all delicious. Personal fave: Jalapeno Cheddar bagel with plain cream cheese.

Idea: Set out a variety of fresh bagels and an assortment of Melanie's Medleys cream cheeses that come in a wide range of tasty flavors such as Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry, Honey Pecan, Cinnamon Toast, Blueberry, Garlic & Herb, Scallion…and more!   

Breakfast Bread – Start your morning right with a warm slice of our Breakfast Bread full of apple chunks, golden raisins, toasted pecans and dates, and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
 
Cold Pressed Juice – Tons of flavors, freshly made. Setting your breakfast table with these juices is an effortless way to take things up a notch. Add sparkling wine to the mix and say a toast of gratitude with a mimosa in-hand! Read more about making mimosas here. 

And don't forget: 
Our Housemade Tortillas make wonderful breakfast tacos with filling such as eggs, bacon (our Market is full of specialty bacons such as beef, duck, boar, and turkey) cheese (you knoooow we have , chorizo, green onion, jalapenos, potatoes, and tomatoes.

A twist on your favorite PSL
Now here's something I bet you haven't tried before: Pumpkin Spice Coffee "Creamer"* made with real pumpkin and almond milk. This recipe makes about 2 cups and you can put as much or as little into your coffee as you wish.  
 
INGREDIENTS
·      15 oz. Pumpkin Purée (1 can of pumpkin or roast and food-process a pie pumpkin)
·      1 cup Almond Milk
·      ¾ cup Coconut Sugar
·      1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
·      1 tsp. Pumpkin Spice
 
INSTRUCTIONS
1.    Whisk everything together (minus almond milk), till evenly combined.
2.    Transfer to a small pot and heat over medium for about 5-8 minutes, whisking frequently to avoid burning.
3.    Pour your pumpkin mixture into a high-speed blender and slowly add your almond milk while blending. Increase the speed and blend until smooth.
4.    Feel free to add more or less almond milk, depending on your pumpkin intensity preference.
5.    Let sit to cool if adding to cold coffee.
6.    Pour over coffee of your choice, enjoy!

NOTES
Will keep in an air-tight container refrigerated for up to 1 week, so this can be one of your make-ahead items before Thanksgiving day. 
 
 

*Recipe from Plant Strong Vegan & image from RoRo's Baking Co.

 
 
 
 

It’s High Time We Talk Pie Time

Looking for Something Different? 
Now if you have been searching recipes for a pie that speaks to you and haven’t yet found “the one,” or simply like to try something new every year like me, here are a few of our pie recipes we think will end your hunt and bring tremendous applause (and requests for seconds) from your guests. Don't bet on any leftovers.
 
Apple Almond
With sliced almonds and almond paste for added crunch and an unexpected new layer of flavor.
 
Pumpkin Pecan
The best notes of pumpkin and pecan pies blended together making one super incredible dessert.
 
Harvest Pumpkin
With fresh pumpkin, honey, and heavy cream for a sweeter, creamier filling.
 
Ginger Pumpkin
With ground and crystallized ginger, gingersnap cookies, and brandy for a flavor pop like your pumpkin pie has never had before. Set this one out for anyone who gives pumpkin pie a pass and dare them not to love it!
 
Baking? Eh. 
Or, maybe you're not really the recipe type and would rather leave the pie-baking to our expert Bakers. Totally get it. That's what we're here for! And even if you’re a pie-baking wiz, it sure doesn’t hurt to take some of the stress off your shoulders with so much else going on. Simply log on to holiday.centralmarket.com and order pie from our Holiday Hotline. But hurry – Nov. 22nd is last day to submit Hotline orders.
 
On the Hotline, in addition to classic Pumpkin and Traditional Apple, we have everything from Wild Maine Blueberry and Pumpkin Cream Cheese to French Chocolate Silk, Freestone Peach, and Salted Caramel Apple.  So log on to holiday.centralmarket.com today and order your pies.
 
One more idea for you: Apple Bundt Cake. Watch this easy video and pick up on-sale Granny Smith apples today. This cake can be the star of the show or pair it up with a pie for a celebratory one-two munch. Either way, a Bundt cake makes for a lovely presentation on a holiday table that your family and friends are sure to appreciate. 

Remember, you have until Nov. 22 to order your pies and pick up apples and pastry on sale. It's high time you headed to Central Market — or holiday.centralmarket.com!