Spread the Joy w/ Alouette Holiday Cheese Spreads

The thing we always look forward to during the fall and holiday season are the delicious flavors. As the season gets cooler, we’re really looking forward to diving right into the amazing soft cheese spreads from Alouette Cheese. We’re already fans of their Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla Bean Soft Spreadable Cheeses, featured directly below (both of which launched last year), and we can’t wait to indulge in their new holiday 2014 launches – Alouette Brie Fondue and Alouette Cranberry Apple Spice.

Alouette Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Soft Spreadable Cheeses

The Pumpkin Spice Soft Spreadable Cheese boasts an intense flavor of nutmeg and cinnamon with a smooth and creamy texture that are perfect for frosting cakes and cookies, topping pancakes or adding a taste of the season to a traditional cracker. We love enjoying this sweet spread with salty snacks like pretzels, popcorn, and while the delectable Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Soft Spreadable Cheese is a quick and convenient way to wow your guests the classic and delicious flavor of cheesecake. It’s perfect for dipping fruits, frosting on cakes or cookies, or spreading on graham crackers.

Alouette Brie Fondue (launching holiday 2014)

A creamy blend of Brie, white wine reduction and spice that comes in a ready-to-heat, ready-to-eat container that is you can fully enjoy after only 4 minutes in the microwave. Dip chunks of french bread or apples for a delicious snack or as quick hors d’ oeuvres for party guests.

Alouette Cranberry Apple Spice Soft Spreadable Cheese (launching holiday 2014)

Celebrate the season with the flavors that exemplifies the holidays. Get ready for a flavorful blend of whole cranberries, apples and cinnamon for a twist on the holiday classic flavor that is perfect for spreading on a bagel or crackers.

Keep an eye out for these delicious soft cheese spreads from Alouette very soon.

Real Simple Holiday Pop-Up Shop

Real Simple Magazine and Citi invite you to get holiday ready at their Holiday Pop-up Shop at Citi Pond in Bryant Park. The open to the public event features holiday gifting and holiday entertaining ideas, food tastings, fun giveaways, shopping and special guests.

The Real Simple Holiday Pop-Up Shop is open December 8-13, 2011 at Citi Pond at Bryant Park with as the Real Simple Holiday Pop-Up Shop’s Charitable Partner. The opening day ribbon cutting ceremony featured Celeb Stylist & TV Personality, Carson Kressley, Good Morning America weather anchor Sam Champion, founder Charles Best, and Real Simple Managing Editor Kristin van Ogtrop

The Real Simple Pop-Up Shop will go on all week with an amazing array of activities:

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Blogger Preview (invite only)

11:00 – 12:00 p.m.
Cupcake-Decorating Demo:
Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Make Your Holiday Real Simple:
Gifts with Home Editor at Large Danielle Claro

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Make Your Holiday Real Simple:
Holiday Recipes with Staff Food Editor Dawn Perry

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Gift Wrap Wonderland:
brought to you by The Container Store

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Make Your Holiday Real Simple:
Holiday Decorations with Senior Market Editor Kelley Carter

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Cooking Demo:
Real Simple Executive Editor Sarah Humphreys talks holiday recipes with Gail Simmons, Top Chef judge, Food & Wine Special Projects Director, and author of the upcoming memoir Talking With My Mouth Full

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Gorgeous Holiday Looks for Evening:
brought to you by L’Oréal Paris

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Q&A and Book-Signing:
Dylan Lauren, author of Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Gorgeous Holiday Looks for Day:
brought to you by L’Oréal Paris

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Cooking Demo:
Todd English, award-winning chef, restaurateur, and author of Cooking in Everyday English

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Cookie-Decorating and Icing Demo:
Daniele Fiori, founder of Sweet Dani B
Great for kids! Children are invited to stay and decorate after the demo.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Cooking Demo:
Chef Ian Friedman of Celsius at Bryant Park

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Gifts for Baby:
Ali Wing, Founder/CEO of Giggle

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Q&A:
Real Simple Managing Editor Kristin van Ogtrop chats with Mario Batali, chef, restaurateur, TV personality, and author of Molto Batali

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Simple Packing for Holiday Travel:
Brad John, Co-founder, Flight 001

Guests are able to shop some amazing gifts from Vera Bradley, books by Chef Mario Batali,online on and stocking stuffers as well as sip delicious hot apple cider, get makeup touch-ups and hair consultations from L’Oreal

Cupcake Queen and Founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, Candace Nelson, was on hand at the opening to demo how to make some creative cupcakes for the holiday

So if you’re looking for something fun to do or if you’re taking a break from ice skating at the Citi Pond rink, why not hop over to the Real Simple Holiday Pop-Up Shop and indulge in the amazing activities and of course bring your camera and your holiday spirit.

Holiday Entertaining with M&M’S Chocolate

So you’re hosting a holiday party, be it your first or your annual family and friends gathering. This means planning recipes, decorating ideas, etc. Why not let M&M’s help you with that. To delight and warm up your guests as soon as they walk through your door, greet them with a smile and a chocolate cocktail like the decadent Chocotini featured below

4 pieces DOVE® Dark Chocolate
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
4 ounces vodka
2 ounces coffee liqueur
1 tablespoon instant espresso
Heat DOVE® Dark Chocolate in plastic bag in microwave until melted, about 10–15 seconds. Snip corner of bag and drizzle inside chilled martini glasses. Rim edge of glass in cocoa and chill until ready to serve. Shake vodka, coffee liqueur, instant espresso, and ice cubes. Pour into prepared glasses and serve chilled.

or the absolutely divine Sipping Hot Chocolate

2 cups lowfat milk
⅔ cup chopped MILKY WAY® Bars
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
1 ounce almond-flavored liqueur
Whipped cream, optional
Shaved DOVE® Milk Chocolate, optional
Combine milk, MILKY WAY® Bars, and cinnamon in saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring. Once hot and well blended, remove from heat and add vodka and almond-flavored liqueur. Serve in tall mugs with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of shaved DOVE® Milk Chocolate, if you like.

Wow your guests with a colorful M&M’s decorated dinner table like the one created by Jes Gordon, the Design Mentor on Bravo TV’s Rocco’s Dinner Party and author of the party planner’s guide, Party Like A Rock Star

Regarding treats, M&M’s gives you several options to make both the young and older guests very happy. Give traditional treats a M&M’s makeover like the delicious treats in these amazing recipes

You can get all of these great M&M’s recipes at but I’m going to share one or two here with you.

Cutie Cakes

Cake mix
Frosting can
My M&M’S® Faces
Prepare cupcakes per package instructions.
Cool, and apply frosting and sprinkles. Then place at least one My M&M’S® Faces candy on each cupcake. You can use two photos per order, so I’d suggest putting one of each on each cutie cake. Then place at least one My M&M’S® Faces candy on each cupcake. You can use two photos per order, so I’d suggest putting one of each on each cutie cake.

Chocolate Caramel Apples

6 small apples, washed and patted dry
1 bag (14-oz ) soft caramels
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups M&M’S® Chocolate Candies

Special Equipment:
10 craft sticks
4-cup microwave-safe measuring cup
Wax paper
Press the craft sticks into the tops of the apples and set aside. Melt caramels with water in measuring cup for 1 to 2 minutes in microwave. Stir occasionally until smooth. Dip apples into caramel, rolling to cover. Roll apple bottoms in M&M’S® Chocolate Candies and chill for 20 minutes.

So if you’re thinking of fun ways to entice your family and friends this holiday season,let M&M’s help make it an even more memorable get-together. There are lots of new M&M’s products to enjoy and I will showcase them in another post.

Robert Verdi’s Holiday Entertaining Ideas presented by Coca-Cola

The wonderful Robert Verdi invited several bloggers and other media outlets to his home to share his fun tips for entertaining at home for the holiday season. And if you did catch the live Twitter party Robert hosted on, then here are a few of the ideas:

Rather than have boring place settings at the dinner table, why not add some fun and take photos of your guests as they arrive with an instant camera, like the FUJIFILM Instax Mini 7S Instant Film Camera and use the photos as alternative place settings.

One of my favorite Robert Verdi tips, was the Cookie Christmas Tree. Get inventive by adding edible ornaments to your Christmas tree. A great company to try is Tasty Morsels Bakery, owner, Crystal L. Horton combines her love of baking with her artistic talent to create genius and delicious designs.

Another great idea is to always have perfectly chilled drinks around your home so your guests can grab one anytime. A great concept is a Coca-Cola Bar which you can keep perfectly chilled by creating snowballs out of shaved ice for a nice decorative touch


Everyone loves presents and one thing your guests will certainly enjoy is taking home a holiday gift to keep them warm and toasty , so after your fabulous party is over, why not gift your friends with Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate

For more of Robert Verdi’s standout holiday entertaining ideas, checkout the video below:

Robert Verdi’s Cool Ideas for Hot Holiday Entertaining presented by Coca-Cola from Robert Verdi on Vimeo.