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How to Throw the Perfect, Quaint Holiday Celebration this CoVid Season , holiday recipes

How to Throw the Perfect, Quaint Holiday Celebration this CoVid Season

by Deborah Cruz

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Anyone else in full-on fun, old-fashioned Christmas mode? The kids are finally on winter break. We’re all fully vaccinated and 3 of the 4 of us are boostered (come on 15-11-year-old age group) and we’ve all been home long enough to relax and be present. I don’t know about you but I’m basking in the glow of some Christmas lights right now, myself.

Christmas doesn’t look like it used to because so many of our traditions and celebrations are tied to getting together with friends and family and as we’re all painfully aware, CoVid has been renewed for yet another season. Omicron is coming in hot this holiday season.

Disclosure: This is a compensated post in partnership with S.Rosen’s Baking Company. But all opinions and love of fancy cocktails and food are my own.

I knew there would be no “normal” ugly holiday sweater party this year but I was hoping for at least a “new normal”-ish holiday get-together. I was really looking forward to small gatherings with family. I thought that if we were safe and most of us were vaccinated we’d be okay. But last week, my friend lost his father to CoVid and it was a cruel reminder that CoVid is still here and still just as dangerous as it was when this all first started and I’m still terrified of accidentally killing an unvaccinated person (especially one related to me).

Then this surge came and, as anybody with teens knows, it’s almost impossible to be 100% safe when teens are involved. They’re in school and they drive. They’re attached at the hip with friends and, at this point for many, boyfriends and girlfriends have entered the picture so it’s really hard to keep your kid unexposed.  You try your best but know that you can’t be 100% sure they haven’t been exposed, even in the best-case scenarios.

This means we absolutely cannot be around people who are unvaccinated for fear they will pass it to us or worse, we’ll pass it to them and they could die. I can’t take that kind of added pressure to my holiday celebrations so some awkward conversations are going to have to take place and there are some people that I’m not going to get to hug this Christmas.

On the other hand, that doesn’t mean we can’t still safely celebrate “new normal” style with an intimate gathering of vaccinated and boostered only family. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re celebrating small but make it fancy and fun. I’m thinking tiny sandwiches, fondue and some cocktails a la Madmen pairs nicely with my Masters in marketing that I’m pursuing right now.

Here are a few holiday celebration recipes I’ll be using this holiday season. Perfect for Christmas, New Year’s eve or even those 6 crazy days and nights between when no one knows what day or time it is; where we all exist in our pajamas, nap and eat to our heart and stomach’s content.

How to Throw the Perfect, Quaint Holiday Celebration this CoVid Season , holiday recipes, whiskey recipes

Merry Meatballs


  • 32 oz. Frozen meatballs
  • 10 oz. Steak sauce 
  • 1 Can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. Hot sauce (more to taste) 
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika

For Serving:

  • Sharp cheddar cheese spread
  • S.Rosen’s Party Entertainer Rye Bread
  • Diced parsley


1. Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a slow cooker. Stir to evenly coat. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

2. Serve with the party rye and cheddar cheese spread on the side so your guests can build their own sandwiches.

How to Throw the Perfect, Quaint Holiday Celebration this CoVid Season , holiday recipes, whiskey recipes

Fun with Fondue


  • ½ lb Gruyere (don’t use pre-shredded)
  • ½ lb Gouda (don’t use pre-shredded)
  • 2½ Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 Cup lager beer
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion powder
  • ½ tsp. White pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. Rye whiskey
  • 1½ tsp. Dijon mustard

For Serving:

  • S.Rosen’s Party Entertainer Rye Bread
  • Diced apples
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cured meats


  1. Shred the cheeses and toss with the corn starch, trying to evenly coat.
  2. In nonstick pot over medium heat, bring the beer and lemon juice to a simmer. At this point add the dry seasonings.
  3. Add the shredded cheese a handful at a time, using a whisk to combine.
  4. Once smooth, add the, rye whiskey, mustard, and nutmeg.
  5. Serve in a fondue pot with plenty of options for dipping.

Snowman Cheese Ball


  • 12 oz. Cream cheese
  • 8 oz. White cheddar, shredded
  • 8 oz. Havarti, shredded
  • 1 tsp. White pepper
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¾ Cup crushed macadamia nuts


  1. Combine the cream cheese, shredded cheese, seasonings, Dijon mustard, and 6 Tbsp. of crushed     Macadamia nuts in a large bowl. Mashed the ingredients together. 
  2. When the mixture is well combine, coat your hands in olive oil (to prevent sticking) and form 3 balls on a plate to form a snowman.
  3. 3. Coat with the rest of the crushed macadamia nuts, add nose, eyes, and buttons.
  4. Serve with S.Rosen’s Party Entertainer Ryes Bread.
How to Throw the Perfect, Quaint Holiday Celebration this CoVid Season , holiday recipes, whiskey recipes

Mini Rye Melts


  • 2 Yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • S.Rosen’s Party Entertainer Rye Bread
  • 14 oz. Package li’l smokies
  • Gouda cheese slices
  • Yellow mustard
  • Diced parsley for topping


  1. To caramelize the onion, start by melting 3 Tbsp. of butter in a small pot, then add the onions. Gently cook over low heat for about 60 minutes, stirring regularly. Raise the temperature slightly toward the end to promote some browning. Take off heat and allow to cool. Can be made the day before.
  2. Assemble the sandwiches on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Start with a spoonful of caramelized onion spread on the bread, top with 2 li’l smokies with each being cut in half to they lay better. Top with a ¼ of a slice of Gouda cheese. This can be done earlier in the day, just cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to heat and serve.   
  3. Heat oven to 350◦F and bake for 8 minutes.
  4. Top with yellow mustard and diced parsley. Enjoy!
How to Throw the Perfect, Quaint Holiday Celebration this CoVid Season , holiday recipes, whiskey recipess

Retro Rye Cocktails

We’re taken some retro cocktails and given them seasonal/modern twists to complement our rockin’ rye appetizers. We use rye whiskey in these drinks, but bourbon works as a substitute.

Happy Highball!
Combine 2 oz rye whiskey and 1oz. cranberry or pomegranate liquor then top with 4 oz. ginger beer.

Apple Manhatten
Combine in a cocktail shaker: 2 oz. Rye whiskey, ½ oz. apple brandy, ½ oz. sweet vermouth & 2 dashes bitters. Shake, strain & serve

A Festive Fig Old Fashioned


  • ·2 oz. Rye whiskey
  • ·2 tsp Fig syrup (recipe below)
  • 3 Dashes orange bitters
  • Orange peel for garnish

To Make the Fig Syrup: Combine ½ cup of water, ¼ cup of fig jam and ¼ cup of brown sugar in a small pot, gently simmer until well combined. Remove from heat, strain to remove the seeds and allow to chill.

To Make Drink: Combine the first 3 ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well chilled then strain into an old-fashioned glass over a large ice cube. Garnish the orange peel.

The most important thing to remember this holiday season is to be kind to yourself and enjoy what you can do and don’t linger too long worrying about the things you can’t. It’s all temporary and there is no rule that says we have to celebrate in a certain way. Look at it this way, you’re stepping out of your box and making new traditions. Happy holidays!

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