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A fun update for an ancient holiday tradition. I think one of the most fun and endearing holiday traditions is Christmas stockings. When I was a kid, it was a way to get a lot of candy. By the time I was a teen, the presents I had found in my stocking got a little more sophisticated. One year, I got my first really nice watch. That was a really happy memory. As far as the history of the stocking stuffer goes, apparently that’s how everyone got their gifts, from the earliest time when the holidays started until about the 1940s. One of the stories I read goes all the way back to the 4th Century when the European legend of the guy we know as Santa Claus first emerged. St. Nicholas, as he is also known, heard about a poor man who didn’t have enough money to take care…

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Tips for making your holiday appetizers truly appealing. Planning a holiday party? Start with all the ones you’ve seen – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Why remember the bad and the ugly? Because, we don’t want to do that! The best ones, I’m sure you’ll agree, are actually the most memorable. These are the ones where everything came together – from start to finish. The ideal way to start ANY party (holiday, birthday, anniversary, anything!) is for guests to be greeted at the door with a cocktail and a tray of hors-d’oeuvres and finger foods. It’s also important to have additional finger food out for your holiday parties so guests can snack at their leisure.  Do easy appetizers that don’t need to stay hot and taste great either warm or cold. That way it won’t matter when your guests arrive or how long the food is out (but…

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Finger Food Idea – prosciutto wrapped asparagus – it’s EASY Everyone has a favorite holiday appetizer: finger foods for the Christmas office party, New Year’s party, or any other gathering. After twenty years in the restaurant business, I’ve collected all sorts of great and easy holiday food ideas – from hors-d’oeuvre to main courses. This one is an easy finger food idea. A very dear friend of mine can’t boil eggs without step-by-step instructions. She saw me cooking this recipe and said, “Fran! Even I can cook this one!” It’s really that simple. Finger Food: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus This is the ‘hard’ part: pick your asparagus carefully. Make sure that you buy asparagus spears that have tight heads. What I mean is that all of the little buds should be tight and very close to the stalk. Wash your asparagus in cold water and break off the “woody” lower end…

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