Linnea Johansson Blogs About Her A-List Clients’ Holiday Party Food & Drink Tips
Celebrity event planner and chef Linnea Johansson knows how to throw a party. She's worked with such A-list stars as Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Justin Timberlake and released her second book, Perfect Parties – Tips and Recipes from a New York Party Planner in October. Now she's lending her expertise to PEOPLE.com with two blogs geared toward your holiday party planning. Cheers!
This holiday season, why not incorporate one of the newest food trends?
Three words: Meatballs are back. First came the BBQ craze, then the burger trend and now meatballs are making their own comeback. Meatballs are great at parties – they offer many varieties from many nationalities, easy finger food and who doesn't love a meatball?
A little fun meatball gossip: I have planned quite a few parties where Donald Trump's been a guest. He loves Swedish meatballs, and with me being born in Sweden and all. I had to of course make my grandmother's Swedish meatballs for him. (Scroll down for the recipe!)
It’s always fun to surprise guests a bit, and give them a fun twists on food and something a bit unexpected. This holiday season, I am all about boozy donuts. The best part is that you actually shoot in your favorite drink into the donuts.
Donuts are the new cupcakes, and this is an easy way to spruce-up a plain, store-bought donut from afternoon snack to fun dessert.
½ cup of sugar
3 oz. liqueur of choice
Tip! Everyone likes to watch when there’s fire involved. So if you have a brulee torch, burn the sugar on top of the donuts until it becomes a hard sugar topping. Let your guests watch – you’ll look like a pro and their mouths will be watering just in time for a warm donut!
When throwing parties, I always like to batch up cocktails so people don’t get stuck behind the bar too long. When entertaining at home and you don’t have help, it’s a must. Pre-making larger pitchers is easiest, and one of my favorite “pitcher drinks” also happens to also be Kim Kardashian’s.
A pitcher drink
I put together an event hosted by the Kardashian sisters in L.A., and we wanted to make a signature drink for each sister. For Kim, I heard her favorite cocktail was a drink called Xante Berry created by bartender Ricky Broni, so of course we made the drink for the party. After spending the spending the evening drinking KK’s favorite it’s now one of my favorite “pitcher drinks” as well.
1 ½ oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
Let it sit until you’re ready to serve, then add ice, and strain into your guests’ glasses. No mixing necessary.
Tip: Simply take the recipe and multiply by as many cocktails you want to serve; estimate about 10 drinks per pitcher.
This recipe is total Swedish-ness on a plate, and my family has been making these meatballs for generations!
1 garlic clove
1 yellow onion
½ cup bread crumbs, non flavored
½ cup milk
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp butter for frying
The secret is definitely in the sauce and you can’t eat Swedish meatballs without a cream meatball sauce.
2 tbsp flour
2 cups of half and half
½ vegetable bullion cube
3 tbsp sherry wine
1 dash of Worcester sauce
Salt and pepper
Serve up the sauce with the Swedish meatballs, and of course, for extra Swedish flavor, serve with a spoon or two of lingonberries!
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