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What is is about the holidays that make us nostalgic? Maybe it’s the idea of making memories, creating new traditions and keeping up with the old ones. Or it could be simply spending time with loved ones that help us recall these sweet feelings. Perhaps it’s the connection of love, laughter, kindness, and generosity that surround the season. I think it’s actually all of these things.
We all celebrate and make these memories in different ways. I personally enjoy the tradition of decorating for holidays. My favorite decorations are the old vintage ones. I love incorporating old Coke® crates, Christmas colored thermoses, and vintage mercury glass ornaments and tree toppers. I’ve collected these types of things for years now. I even display a few ornaments that were my husband’s when he was little, and some that are even older from my grandmother.
Another tradition that we began years ago after we were first married is we choose an evening, dress in our pajamas, and drive around town looking at Christmas lights. Then, we come home to a enjoy warm cup of hot chocolate.
But my absolute favorite tradition is on Christmas Eve. My entire family gathers at my parents house for a meal, drinks, and our family gift exchange. If everyone’s in town, there are 15 of us total, and even more if cousins come too (which of course we hope they do).
As for the food we enjoy at our family party, we go pot-luck style, each bringing a family favorite to share. I’ll be honest, it’s a little competitive, lol. Again, I like to pull from old traditions and use recipes that have been passed down to me. Last year I brought a cobbler that was my mother-in-laws, and candies that were my grandmothers. And for drinks, well, does it get any more traditional than Coca-Cola? It’s not only refreshing, but the red and white packaging is nostalgic as well. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy decorating with Coke® crates & bottles during the holidays. Last year, I even created little Christmas elf hats and scarfs for our Coke® bottles.
I’m already planning what food I’ll bring this year, and I think I’m going to be combining two delicious recipes- Parmesan & Bacon Monkey Bread Bites with Crock Pot Jalapeño Spinach Dip. Both are favorites of my kids, and paired with Coke® it will be the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
Below are the two easy recipes for you:
Crock Pot Jalapeño Spinach Dip
Adding the jalapeño to the dip makes a great spicy pairing with the sweetness of the Coke®.
10 oz frozen spinach, thaw & drain
1 tablespoon diced jalapeño (use more or less to your preferred taste)
8 oz sour cream
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup parmesan
1 cup mozzarella
1/3 cup feta
1/3 cup mayonnaise
6 oz cream cheese (cubed)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
Saute garlic and onions in oil on skillet until onions are transparent.
Mix all ingredients together, add onion and garlic and remix.
Add all ingredients to crock pot.
Cook on low 1 hour, stir, and cook on low about 1.5-2 additional hours.
Parmesan & Bacon Monkey Bread Bites
What I love about these is that while they’re similar in texture, flavor and execution of traditional monkey bread, you actually back them in mini-muffin tins so that they’re already pulled apart. This makes them just right to spread the jalapeño spinach dip on top of, and also for individual bite sized pieces at parties.
1 can of 8 flaky biscuits
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon garlic salt
8 pieces of bacon, cooked & crumbled into bits
1/4 cup parmesan
Heat oven to 350
Spray mini muffin tins with non stick cooking spray.
Depending how many muffins your tins will make, divide the biscuits into that many portions. (Mine made 24 so I divided my biscuits into three portions each).
Melt butter in dish, and mix in garlic salt
Roll the biscuit portions into the butter mix, and then into the parsley.
Set in muffin tin, and top with bacon bits.
Bake for 9-12 minutes until top is golden brown.
Remove and sprinkle with parmesan.
I’m excited because this year I’m in charge of bringing the drinks, and at Publix, I found Limited Edition Holiday Packaging Coca-Cola in glass bottles, and they look great displayed with my old Coke crates. I’m going to help mom decorate in an entirely vintage theme, and this will be perfect.
I found these in the soda aisle at Public. I grabbed the last three they had (but I’m sure they’ll restock with more).
There’s also a fun Shopper Sweeps, in Publix only, and you can enter for a chance to win a gift card for $50, $100 or $500! While in-store look for the text2win link/entry info.
Wouldn’t that help with family entertaining around the holidays? I know it sure would for us.