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What are some COVID-safe ways to celebrate the holidays with family and friends?

Answer

Our holiday gatherings may be smaller, and fewer, this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate the season safely. So, fire up the bonfire, turn on the outdoor heaters and host a BYOB (“Bring Your Own Blanket”) holiday gathering with a “plant-astic” menu that’s simple, safe and all about being grateful for our friends and loved ones.

The key to a 2020 holiday gathering is to keep the food safe to serve, easy to handle, and of course, delicious. Here are six ways to do just that:

Level up a single serving crudité with homemade artichoke dip served alongside fresh-cut veggies in small, individual cups for each guest.

Serve a creamy soup that easy to sip like a curried squash or roasted red pepper. Add a slice of warm bread to each cup.

You may not be able to gather around the table for a holiday meal, but you can serve these elegant eggplant parmesan open-faced sandwiches that are easy to serve (and enjoy).

Make a savory parfait! Layer a plastic cup with creamy mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes, shredded cheese, veggies, beans or other toppings.

Share a bit of history and holiday tradition while warming guests with a cup of Wassail.

Slice and individually wrap these scrumptious brownies that are made from unexpected ingredients like sweet potatoes, avocados, and applesauce. Topped with a rich, chocolaty frosting, your guests will never know they how unique they are.

If the fire inspires roasting marshmallows, provide each family with their own “s’mores kit” of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. Or replace traditional graham crackers with dark chocolate and orange cookies that are prepared with fresh orange zest and juice.

Chilly temps and the need for safe serving takes a bit of thought. Use sterno and covered tin trays or plugin a warming tray to keep foods warm. If offering a hot beverage, consider serving it in a crockpot. Lastly, remember to place hand sanitizer on buffet table if guests will be sharing serving utensils. With preparation and planning, your guests will be able to enjoy a safe holiday gathering.

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