KITCHEN BITCH: The Devil Is In The Details MAVIS LINNEMANN Laura and I had our second annual holiday bash this past Sunday, and overall it was a great success. As anyone who’s planned a party knows, it’s super important that the people who RSVP actually come, so the hosts don’t get stuck preparing food for no-shows. Unfortunately, out of the 25 girls who RSVPed, only 10 showed, apparently because of the weather. However, if you ask me, if you’ve lived in Chicago for more than a year, you should be more than accustomed to trekking through snow drifts to visit friends in the winter months. Hrrumph!

But I digress, because the girls who did come made this our best holiday party ever—and almost every girl who came walked away with one of our fabulous trophies or prizes (see below for a look at Laura’s serious craft skills). Laura and I made a gigantic vat of wassail, or hot burgundy wine spiced with cinnamon, allspice, cloves and apple cider, to warm up those coming in from the cold. Beside our spiced wine we served up a giant sweet basil cheesecake (recipe coming this week) as our cheese plate, two different kinds of meatballs—spicy marinara and BBQ—salami horns filled with cream cheese, mixed roasted nuts with rosemary and cayenne, cheesy Chex mix, and the hit of the party: beet-pickled deviled eggs.

In terms of our food, we were going for an old-school vibe with a gourmet twist, and these beet-pickled deviled eggs really hit the mark. First off, they’re absolutely brilliant when they come out of the beet marinade and even more gorgeous when you cut them in half and see the brilliant pink fade to white and then to the yellow yolk. I oohhhed and ahhhed at the eggs like you would a newborn, and our guests did the same when they walked in the room and saw them on the platter.

If you’re not a big fan of beets, never fear—the beet flavor doesn’t come through too strong in the egg. It’s mostly for color, and the sweet flavor of the beet is countered by the anise-like flavor of the toasted caraway seeds in the egg filling and garnish. Overall, I would say this is one of my favorite deviled eggs recipes, and it’s just perfect for holiday entertaining. With just a few extra steps, you can wow your friends with the most gorgeous deviled eggs they’ve ever seen. MORE

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