The Hospitality Year in Review

Here are some memories of 2015. Thanks for reading and being part of the Kelley Hospitality experience!

O Tannebaum in the Window

“They were pretty cute, I will say,” said Melanie, my friend in all-things hospitality.

Her annual Christmas party always shows up with something new – this year it was her Peppadew® trees. Yes, we are nuts about Peppadews. No, we don’t get paid to create recipes and blog about them. However, disclaimer alert − the Peppadew company did send me a supply after reading one of my blogs. I’m shameless about creating recipes and eating those little sweet piquant morsels of good for all the blog world to see!

You’ve asked where to buy them. They haven’t gone mainstream as yet, so try the fresh olive bar in your grocery story. Some stores, especially those that carry unique items might have them. Wegmans and Harris Teeter have them. You can also order them from Amazon or from the Peppadew company.

Have fun and have a Merry Christmas! I love you guys.

Peppadew Christmas Tree Cheese Ball
“Makes two trees and serves a lot of people, if they like cheese balls.” Melanie suggests that for a small gathering, make one-third the recipe (1 8-ounce package cream cheese).

3 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Peppadew brine
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely snipped chives
1/2 cup finely chopped Peppadews (Melanie used a mix of Sweet Golden and Hot Red)
Finely-chopped parsley, about half a bunch from the grocery store
Pine nuts or sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chopped Peppadews

In a large food processor, combine the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and Peppadew brine. Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon each). Process until mixture is thoroughly combined.

Turn mixture into large mixing bowl. Stir in the chives and the 1/2 cup finely-chopped Peppadews. Divide mixture in half; put each half onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pull up the sides of the plastic wrap, and twist into a point on the top. Repeat with the other half of the cheese mixture. The mixture will be soft so you can’t really shape it at this point, but you can once it has chilled. Set the cheese blobs in a small pan, such as a layer cake pan, and put in the fridge and chill until firm.

Just prior to serving, form each half of the mixture into a tree shape (cone); roll each tree in chopped parsley. Decorate the trees with pine nuts or sliced almonds, and the 2 tablespoons of chopped Peppadew pieces. Serve with crackers.

Deck the Halls

Here’s one that really lights up the room! Red and gold Peppadews® stuffed with cream cheese are easy to make and the sweet piquante peppers add zing.

Keep these ingredients on hand and put a tray out and watch who shows up!

Easy Stuffed Peppadews®

  • Cream cheese, softened with a little milk
  • Bruchetta seasoning or mixed herbs of your choice
  • Peppadews

Mix cream cheese with seasoning and pipe or spoon into peppadews.

The Hospitality Gene

They say my father-in-law (known as “RBK”)…they say RBK’s hobby was hospitality. When you stopped by, he would dig into the fridge, find a piece of cheese, slice it up and put it on crackers and serve you a drink. He made you believe he was waiting for you to visit. He had the hospitality gene.

Be like RBK this season. Keep some cheese and crackers on hand. I like a wheel of Brie, dried cranberries or apricots and water crackers. Cut a few slices to get it started and pour on the hospitality!

I hope you enjoy the season. Give more than you get and you will!

Today is National Cookie Day

Now this is a day I can sink my teeth into! December 4th is National Cookie Day. I have no idea who declares these special days but I’ll go along with this one.

Hospitality Tool: A cookie can break the ice, say welcome or thank you, and a warm batch out of the oven makes your family happy.

Top Cookie Pin
Of all my recipes over the years, my Coconut Balls rack up a lot of Pintrest pins all year round. So here they are again, just in time for Christmas baking.

Enjoy the season and thanks for checking in.
Love to all,
Kelley Hospitality

No-Bake Coconut-Date-Nut Balls
My mom always made these cookies at Christmas. I have no idea where the recipe came from, I only know it as hers. They are easy to make and require no baking. The result is a rich coconut-date-nut ball that everyone loves. 

1-1/2 cup chopped dates
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Cook the above ingredients in a large saucepan on medium heat until thick…about 10 minutes after the butter melts and all is bubbly. Stir to prevent sticking and burning.

1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup nuts

Form into balls and roll in coconut. Chill. Freezes well.