Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

Yikes! Christmas is on Friday?!!! With New Year’s soon on it’s heels…

If you are as unprepared as I am, here’s an annotated list of some past posts from ‘the improvised life’ to help with the holiday crush… from recipes and gifts to strategies, and decorations…


Essential Chocolate Cake for Improvising An EASY dazzling make-ahead chocolate cake

Celery Root Puree (with Recipe) and other  Winter Vegetable Purees are fine accompaniments for  holiday roasts and game: from turkey and pork to venison and pheasant…make ahead and warm in a double boiler…

Recipe: Roasted Pears for Sweet or Savory Improvisations serve as a sweet “sauce” for game meats, pork, or poultry OR as a dessert

Recipe: New Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Coriander Seed (and Other Swell Ideas) this can be an hors d’oeuvre (using whole (uncrushed) fingerlings for guests to dip in creme fraiche and sprinkle coriander OR as a side dish

Whipped Cream with Sea Salt, and Other 2-Ingredient Discoveries perfect to accompany chocolate cake and other desserts

Recipe: Amontillado and Other Grown-Up Milkshakes a sensational dessert or pick-me up OR serve instead of egg-nog!

Sweet or Savory Cornmeal Cakes for Breakfast, Lunch + Holiday Celebrations think late-night supper or New Years celebration, OR breakfast after a night of partying

Greek Soul Food: Beets with Garlic Sauce a wonderful make-ahead hors d’oeuvres or appetizer, or forget the beets and serve the garlic sauce with crudites or potato chips

The Formula for a Satisfying Breakfast (or Lunch or Dinner) when you are running on empty and want a quick REAL meal

Conference Call Pot Luck (with Spoon Lamb Recipe) This effortless lamb dish takes almost no time to put together, then cooks itself (while you do other things) to feed a crowd

Roasted Chestnuts (and Chestnut Purees) An easy way to “chestnuts roasting over an open fire…”


Conference Call Pot Luck let everyone help put together a party and organize it by conference call

One Big Swell Table from Several Smaller Ones

How to Seat a Crowd: Chair Bench

d-i-y gift wrap some ideas and inspiration for on-the-fly gift-wrapping

Pot Luck PS: How to Haul Celery Root Puree (with Recipe)


A Perfect All-Purpose Cook’s Spoon and…

Double-Duty Gift with Heart (charity donation gift card)

Perfect Kid’s Book: Mud Pies and Other Recipes

Food Gifts: Homemade Chocolates for Improvising… easy and impressive

Our Homemade Food Gifts on “The Splendid Table” (Dried Apricots in Cardamom Syrup + Alt-Malted Milk Balls)

‘What Matters Now” for You + Everyone on Your List, Free (an amazing free e-book you can email)

The Perfect Glass (Thin, Cheap, Well-Designed) for entertaining + giving

Big Black Bag who couldn’t use one of these?

Donut Chef (kid’s book)

Urawaza: Secret Everyday Gifts from Japan (book)


Alt (Wall) Christmas Tree

D-I-Y Spring Blooms in Winter

Little Makeshift Vases

Alt Candelholders

Related Posts:
NYC Bloggers Do the Holidays: you’ll find more ideas for entertaining and gift-giving.
Our Homemade Food Gifts on “The Splendid Table”. The Splendid Table’s “Holidays” page has loads of recipes, menus and resources.

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