The Personal Touch

Tim Mitchellat home with MangiaLeave a Comment

The Holidays are upon us, and all around are signs, flavors and smells of the season: colorful lights adorning our homes, the scent of Douglas fir and peppermint and hints of cinnamon coming from kitchens and candles, and the sweet memories that our family traditions bring back. We love the Christmas season at Mangia, and while we are busy helping plan your Holiday parties and events, we are also looking forward to savoring the days with our own families and friends.

One of the things we pride ourselves in most at Mangia is the personal and creative touch we put on both our food and our events. We love listening to who our clients are and how we can incorporate all of their favorites - from colors to flavors to experiences - in to their menus. And while we may not be able to sit down with all of you to help plan a Christmas with all the best personal touches, we can tell you that it is so worth it to do so.

This time of year, there is certainly no shortage of ideas for tablescapes and gift tags, and it is really hard to go wrong. But if we can welcome this season with one piece of advice it is this: take the time to make it special. Leave goodies on your neighbors' doorsteps or co-workers' desks. Put the extra strand of Christmas lights around the cabinets in the kitchen. Tell stories of your favorite Christmas memories around table, maybe enjoying a cup of hot cocoa as you do. Our favorite events to cater and host are the ones that are the most personal, the ones most unique to the couple or organization - and we love to see others bring that special touch to their own homes.

Need a simple idea for a personal touch to the season? Make Peppermint Bark or White Chocolate Reindeer Chow for your friends. These goodies are quick and easy, but delicious and wrap up beautifully for simple gifts.

Peppermint Bark

6 oz dark chocolate

12 oz white chocolate

3 tsp vegetable oil

1.5 cups crushed peppermint M&Ms (can substitute crushed candy canes)

Line the bottom and sides of an 9" x 9" square baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil.

Stir half white chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl, and heat 30 seconds at a time until melted.

Spread melted chocolate out on the parchment paper.

Place baking pan in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Melt the dark chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl.

Stir in 1/3 crushed candy pieces.

Spread dark chocolate in even layer over frozen white chocolate.

Place baking pan in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Repeat with another layer of white chocolate.

Immediately sprinkle the remaining crushed candy over the white chocolate layer.

Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of the aluminum foil.

Break into small pieces for serving, and enjoy!

White Chocolate Reindeer Chow

⅓ cup popping popcorn kernels or 1 bag white popcorn popped

9 oz White Chocolate (about 1¾ cups)

1 cup broken pretzel pieces

1¾ cups M&M's ( I used the holiday ones)

Green, red, and white sprinkles

Line a jelly roll pan with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.

Pop your popcorn in a popcorn maker or in the microwave if using microwaveable popcorn. Once the popcorn is done add it to a large bowl, removing all un-popped kernels. Add in the broken pretzels, and half of the M&M's.

Melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 30-second intervals, stirring well after each interval. Drizzle the melted chocolate into the popcorn bowl, stir until everything starts to look coated, then add the M&Ms. As soon as everything is coated sprinkle on sprinkles so that they stick.

Spread the popcorn mix onto the prepared pan and let sit until hardened and cooled.

Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

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