Guide for the Happiest Holiday Ever

Whether you’re hosting family dinners, the neighborhood Christmas celebration, or  a New Year’s Eve bash – Heartland Foods has some stress free tips for Holiday entertaining that are sure to help this Holiday Season. 


From the tree to the mantel, simple ways to make home feel festive.


Whether it’s for 2 or for 10, make your holiday table special.


A holiday dinner menu to dazzle your guests.

Deck The Halls With Holly

Ask For Help 

Once friends and family hear that you’re hosting a holiday party, chances are they’ll shortly begin asking how they can help. Accept your aunt’s gracious offer to bring her “Famous Sticky Toffee Pudding” and your best friend’s suggestion that she arrive early to help you set up. Being open to an extra pair of hands will help you relax and enjoy the party much more.

Festive Florals

Deck the halls with seasonal florals! Simple Ilex Berry Stems add a pop of festive crimson and charm. You use them to liven up your tablescape or even add a pop of feel-good beauty small spaces. Of course, the quintessential Christmas flowering plant, Poinsettias are perfect for decorating your entryways, adding a touch of the holiday spirit to your space.

Merry Minimalist

Sticking to a minimalist color palette of neutral shades and natural greenery, but then go a little over-the-top using them throughout the house creates a softer, cozy atmosphere. Place garlands and wreaths around the front door, a statement-making sculptural garland on the mantle, wreaths on the windows in the dining room, and even a pretty evergreen swag in the kitchen. Adding candles around the house adds a warmth and ambiance to make guests feel cozy. (Caution: don’t over do-it with the scented candles.)

A Table For Gathering

Utilize What You Already Have in Your House

Before you spend hundreds on groceries and party supplies, take a look at what you might already have in your pantry, cabinets, and storage spaces. Mix and match your tableware to create an eclectic, elegant look. Use those table linens your mother insisted on giving you and you tucked away on the shelf in the closet.

Embrace Elegant Hygge

Pronounced “hoo-gug”, hygge is a Danish word that can be best described as enjoying life’s simple pleasures. The Danish believe in clearing the clutter and creating a minimalist tablescape with touches of soft fabrics, natural elements and the soft glow of candles. Birch candle holders with various length tapered candles, branches of fresh pine in a pitcher and stacks of bowls & dishes along with napkins that you planning on using are all you need to bring the coziness of the hygge lifestyle to your dinner table.

White Christmas

If you’re not waking up to snow on Christmas morning this year, why not keep the dream alive indoors. A winter white table gets a little interest and festive flair from touches of gold flatware and candle holders, pinecones and a runner of greenery (with a little more woven into the place setting just because). How’s the song go again? I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

Season’s Feastings

Cheery Cocktails: Christmas Cranberry Sangria  

Have a tray of bubbly champagne (or sparkling white grape juice) on an entryway table to hand to guests as soon as they step in the door. It will immediately set them at ease. Instead of stocking the bar having a simple bottle of wine or a pre-made punch will take the pressure off the guests having to play bartender. Our Christmas Cranberry Sangria is a blend of sweetened ruby-red cranberries, Brut Champagne and refreshing citrus that is sure to be a holiday hit. The best part – you can make it a day ahead to make your life that much easier, and just add the Champagne right before serving.


  • 2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (750-ml.) bottle of Sol De Espana Sangria, chilled
  • ¼ cup (2 oz.) Cointreau
  • 1 large navel orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 (750-ml.) bottle brut Champagne, chilled


  1.  Combine cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high; bring to a boil, stirring often until sugar dissolves and berries just begin to pop, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 30 minutes. 
  2.  Stir together Sol De Espana Sangria, Cointreau, and cooled cranberries with liquid in a large pitcher or a small punch bowl. Add orange and apple slices. Just before serving, add Champagne. 
  3.  Serve over ice with a few pieces of fruit in each glass.

Pear, Pomegranate and Spinach Salad


  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 3 oz feta cheese , crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Bartlett pears, cored and sliced
  • 9 oz baby spinach

Dressing –

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


 Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl to blend well. Place all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl, drizzle with desired amount of dressing then toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

Appetizer: Creamy Shareable Spinach Dip

Spinach dip is the perfect party appetizer. Made with just five shortcut ingredients, this creamy and flavorful spinach dip recipe will quickly become a favorite among your friends and family.


  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (1.8 ounce) package dry leek soup mix
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf round sourdough bread


  1. Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, spinach, water chestnuts, and dry leek soup together in a medium bowl.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator 6 hours, or overnight.
  3. Slice off the top of the sourdough round and pull out the soft interior, leaving a sturdy bread bowl.
  4. Fill with spinach mixture.
  5. Tear removed bread chunks into pieces for dipping

Main Entree: Ultimate Beef Wellington


  • 1 (1 1/2 to 2 pounds) center-cut Certified Angus Beef ® tenderloin roast
  • 3 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper, divided
  • 8 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, woody stems removed and halved
  • 3 ounces oyster mushrooms, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 large shallots, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or white wine
  • 6 slices prosciutto, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 whole egg, beaten


  1. Season tenderloin evenly with 2-teaspoons salt and 1-teaspoon pepper. Vacuum seal and sous vide roast at the desired degree of doneness for two hours (130°F for medium rare).
  2. While tenderloin cooks, prepare mushroom duxelles. Working in batches, pulse mushrooms in a food processor until they are coarsely chopped, but not pureed; transfer to a plate. Pulse shallots and garlic in processor until minced.
  3. Preheat 1-tablespoon canola oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add shallot-garlic blend and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, 1-teaspoon salt and 1/2-teaspoon pepper and continue to sear over medium heat until the mixture has released most of its moisture and becomes fairly dry, about 10 minutes. When pressed against the side of the pan, no juices should run from the mushroom mixture.
  4. Stir in thyme leaves and deglaze with alcohol, continually stirring for 2 minutes. Spoon duxelles onto a plate or sheet pan in a thin layer; refrigerate until cold (30 minutes to 1 hour).
  5. Remove tenderloin from bag and pat dry. Preheat a medium cast iron or stainless-steel skillet to high, add 1-tablespoon canola oil and sear tenderloin quickly on all sides. The goal here is to evenly brown the surface without cooking the inside. Make sure to sear both ends of the roast as well. This should only take a few minutes.
  6. Place tenderloin on a plate and refrigerate until cold, around 2 hours. Meanwhile, thaw puff pastry in refrigerator (if frozen).
  7. Lay out two 18-inch lengths of plastic wrap horizontally, slightly overlapping to create a sheet about 16-inches wide and 18-inches long. In the middle of the plastic, lay slices of prosciutto slightly overlapping them with the length of the prosciutto running from top to bottom. Ensure that the total prosciutto sheet created is the same width as the length of the tenderloin roast.
  8. Evenly spread a 1/4-inch layer of chilled mushroom duxelles on the entire prosciutto layer (there may be a small amount of duxelles left over depending on the size of the roast). Brush chilled tenderloin with Dijon mustard.
  9. Place tenderloin at the bottom edge of the duxelles topped prosciutto, roll towards the top using the plastic wrap to keep it adhered tightly to the roast. Once tenderloin has been wrapped, make sure no plastic has become tucked into the roll then tightly wrap in the plastic. Twist ends to ensure beef is tightly encased, it should feel like one cohesive piece; refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour until firm.
  10. Dust a workspace with a handful of flour, roll out one sheet of puff pastry until it is large enough to wrap the roast, the plastic wrapped roast can be used to estimate the sizing. Overlap two more 18-inch lengths of plastic (as with prosciutto) to create a large plastic sheet.
  11. Lay pastry in the middle of the plastic with the length running from top to bottom. Unwrap roast carefully, lay at the bottom edge of pastry. Wrap the roast in pastry, using the plastic to keep it tightly adhered to the roast. Brush top edge with about 1-inch of egg wash before completing the wrap. Once fully encased in pastry, tightly wrap the roast in the plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 day ahead.
  12. Preheat oven to 425°F. Dust work space with another handful of flour, slightly roll out remaining pastry sheet. Dust sheet after rolling and use lattice cutter to firmly cut marks in sheet by working from bottom to top of the sheet. Gently spread lattice apart, using a paring knife to separate any pieces not completely cut through.
  13. Unwrap Wellington and place it on a sheet pan lined with silicone mat or parchment paper. Brush with egg wash and gently lay lattice over top of roast using a paring knife to adjust any lattice openings. Cut away excess lattice with bench scraper or paring knife and brush roast’s lattice with remaining egg wash.
  14. Bake Wellington 25 minutes, rotate roast 180 degrees and bake 20 more minutes until crust is golden brown with an internal temperature is 90° F.
  15. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes or until it reaches the internal temperature of desired doneness (130° for medium rare). Roast will continue to cook while resting so make sure to monitor internal temp so that it doesn’t exceed desired doneness.
  16. Slice with serrated knife into 1 to 1 1/2-inch thick slices to serve.

Sides: French Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients :

  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into fourths
  • 1 teaspoon salt (for boiling water)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Optional Garnish:
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • black pepper


  1. Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces in a large pot, cover with cold water and add 1 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Boil 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. 
  3. Cook the onions in the butter on low heat until onions become a caramel color (about 15 minutes.)
  4. Drain the potatoes and put them into your mixing stand bowl. 
  5. Add butter, salt, pepper, milk and cream cheese. Blend until whipped and creamy. 
  6. On the lowest setting, blend in the Gruyere Cheese and the onions.
  7. Serve with optional garnish of fresh parsley and pepper.

Sides: Roasted Green Beans with Bacon


  • 6 slices Hormel Black Label Bacon, diced
  • 10 ounces Cascadian Farms Organic Green Beans
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • sea or kosher salt to taste, if needed


  1.  Heat a 12” skillet over medium high heat. 
  2.  Add bacon and cook until crisp, 6-7 minutes. Remove bacon using a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour all but 2 tbsp bacon from the pan. 
  3.  Return the pan to medium high heat; wait about 30 seconds for the bacon grease to heat up again. Add the frozen green beans and toss to coat in the fat. Cover and saute the green beans, stirring occasionally, until charred and just about bite tender, about 6 minutes.
  4.  Add garlic and saute, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Return the bacon to the skillet and saute, stirring frequently, for a further minute.
  5.  Remove from heat. Add the cracked black pepper and toss. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.

Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding


For the pudding

  • 7ounces dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 7 ounces soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces  plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

For the toffee sauce

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4½ ounces light soft brown sugar
  • 3½ ounces dark soft brown sugar
  • 18 ounces heavy cream

For the custard

  • 7 ounces whipping cream
  • 2 ounces whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2½ ounces sugar

Directions :

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease an 8in square cake pan and line the base with parchment baking paper. 
  3. Place the dates and 5 ounces of water in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes, until softened and beginning to break down. Allow to cool slightly, then blend to a paste in a food processor.
  4. Stir in the baking soda and leave to cool. 
  5. Cream the butter and soft dark brown sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time, then the vanilla extract. Fold in the flour and baking powder and finally, the cooled date mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until cooked through. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out fairly clean.
  7. Make the toffee sauce. Slowly melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the sugars and stir until dissolved. Finally, stir in the cream and simmer for 3 minutes.
  8. Custard: heat the cream, milk and vanilla extract in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan until bubbles form at the edges. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour a little of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring all the time, until thickened (the mixture should coat the back of a spoon). 
  9. To serve, turn the pudding out onto a plate and pour over half of the toffee sauce, reserving the rest to be served in a jug alongside. Cut into squares and serve with extra toffee sauce and custard.

Final Touches

Don’t Forget the Music 

One detail that can be easily overlooked and forgotten is the music. By creating a playlist ahead of time you can help set the mood and take the worry out of having to skip over any non holiday tunes. If you’re looking for holiday-themed songs, you can use an app like Spotify or Pandora to play a fitting playlist. That way, you don’t have to think about what to play—and you’ll always have melodies on in the background to enhance the festive mood.

Make It Meaningful

Being more present  is worth more than all the presents in the world. By creating family traditions you are giving the lifelong gift of memories for your family.  Here are a few of our favorite family traditions that we hope your family will treasure for years to come.

-Give a little joy to the world by donating to your local food bank or Toys for Tots.

-Snuggle up together and create a Christmas campout underneath the tree complete with sleeping bags and mugs of hot cocoa. 

-Create your own Polar Express. Print train tickets, pop some popcorn and take your children on a drive to view lights around your neighborhood. Don’t forget the hot cocoa! 

-Let your little ones embrace their creativity and make a gingerbread house! Buy a pre-made house so you can skip to the best part—getting creative with all the sweet and edible décor.

Happy Holidays!

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