Happy Tuesday and welcome to another edition of Coffee Chat!!

To all those who have been so gracious as to join me each week to chat awhile -- let me just say you have made 2012 AWESOME!    My most gracious thanks to all, and I wish I could send each one of you a big box of home-made goodies.

But let's face it; you all know I don't really bake much, so they'd probably be store bought and that would just ruin the whole point.   Just know I appreciate all of you.

As I discussed in last week's chat - holiday tradition edition: I am now officially blogging/chatting by fire glow and tree lights!    The tree is up!   (Fairly certain if you drop by for Wordless Wednesday you'll see evidence of our grand tree farm adventure and the Oh Christmas Tree.)

 Hostess with the Mostest! 

With the holiday season upon us, the time for spreading cheer is here. It's more than likely that many of us will either be attending holiday parties, or hosting one ourselves. Share your tried and true holiday appetizer, your go-to festive cocktail/mocktail, the best hostess gift you gave or received....or even the worst.  

So, if you are up to date with the goin'-ons here at Time Out, you know I had my first holiday party of the season on Friday night:  Left Brain's office party.    You will also know that I was not feeling the best either.   Suffice to say that loaded up on cough meds, followed by a cosmopolitan chaser, and 2 glasses of wine - I had a pretty good time.    Sorry to report that there were no crazy office antics. That may or may not be related to the fact our dinner was not served until 10 pm.   No kidding.   I was pretty much ready to go home to bed afterward.   Yet, we didn't make it home until 3:30 am.

There may have been some "Elaine Dancing"......

..... but you'll not find evidence.   Which is truly ironic since I was at a police Christmas party.

But other than that, it's a pretty boring story folks.  Left Brain is blessed to work with a great bunch of people who are content to sit chatting, laughing and sampling German beer in an Irish pub until closing.   No drama or craziness;  just good times.

Despite the fact that I could barely talk come Saturday morning and had a house to clean......

.........What's that you say?  Lie down, you're sick?

Thanks for that video Meg!

Right.   Bring on the next event.
How about hosting your cousin, her husband and 2 kids for a festive movie/pizza night?
Sounds good, and easy, to me.
And once again, we are so blessed to have such wonderful family that we can get together with and just have good food and good times.   

Sunday  - ah, a day of rest.   Nope: church and tree hunt!

By the time Monday arrives, you can probably guess that when the girls asked if we go outside to play, it was a pretty short and simple, "No."  

And then the power out.
Thus, no pictures of my attempts at baking holiday goodies for you.

You'll just have to trust me that they are very yummy.

 You can find the family recipe for Whipped Shortbread Cookies (or try the cranberry white chocolate shortbread bars - so good!!), and my absolute favourite snack treat Peanutty Caramel Bars on the Recipe Page.

If you want an appetizer that will win rave reviews and is easy to serve, my go-to dish is a recipe by Pampered Chef, A-Pizza-Teaser.    It is really easy to make and tastes so good.

One of my favourite munchies to make is a twist on the old standard of chips and salsa.   Except, I make a tangy Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips for dipping.

Salsa                                                                                       Cinnamon Chips
1 cup of frozen raspberries
2 peaches, peeled and chopped                                               1 tbsp. sugar
2 kiwifruit, peeled, sliced and quartered                                 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. lime zest                                                                         4 (7 inch) flour tortillas
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 400 F.   Combine sugar and cinnamon.  Lightly spritz tortillas with water and sprinkle with the cina-sugar mixture.  Then cut each tortilla into 8 wedges and bake in oven (if you have a baking stone it is  best) for about 8-10 minutes; or until lightly browned and crisp.  Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl and mix gently.   Serve with the cina-sugar chips once cooled.

I shared the recipe for Grasshoppers on my Monday Listicles Post, but they are definitely not a taste for everyone.   If you do not like the peppermint taste - just add more creme de cacao to balance it out.

Or, why not combine every one's favourite - chocolate, with the traditional drink of the season: Egg Nog:
Mocha Nog Punch

10 parts KahlĂșa Mocha
5 parts Absolut Vanilla
20 parts eggnog

Combine ingredients and serve in a punchbowl with a floating ice block.

For those who abstain from the wobbly-pops, I make the easiest holiday punch imaginable:  cranberry cocktail (usually raspberry), orange juice, and top it off with some Sprite or Ginger ale.  Easy peasy and tastes refreshing.

So that is the short list of what goodies I would have laid out upon my freshly laundered Christmas tablecloth should you actually be visiting for a coffee chat.   There would certainly be candles burning amongst the holiday greenery over my mantle.   There is a light dusting of snow upon the ground right now, but don't let that scare you:   the fire will be burning low.  While the Christmas tree lights will be twinkling off the shatterproof bulbs and Disney ornaments (side eye - I still have a grabby youngun who can't resist touching the tree), and there will  be a blend of traditional and modern carols playing softly in the background.  

If you insist on bringing a hostess gift, I am quite easy to please, as I get crazy cravings for these this time of the year:

I don't know why....but they taste really good with after dinner coffee or tea.

And you should probably know, if you invite me over at Christmas....along with the required bottle of either wine, or cider.....you're probably getting a box too.

Which you will be serving with after dinner coffee, right?

NEXT WEEK:   What?  It's almost Christmas and I still got shopping to do!  Ain't nobody got time fo dat!  Coffee Chat will return in 2013.

Yes folks, this is the last official Tuesday Coffee Chat of 2012.   
I wish you all a very peaceful and joyful Merry Christmas!