Want a creative twist to brighten up your table for the holidays? Try our Christmas Ice Cubes for that perfectly festive glass of iced tea the whole family can enjoy, along with our tips for the ultimate holiday cheese board in this post in partnership with Lipton and Food Network. It’s the perfect accompaniment for a meaningful meal, whether with family, for a holiday party or a night with friends!
I think cheese is my love language. Seriously.
For my youngest son, food is his. Okay more specifically, snacks. For my older son, it’s sugar… in any form. And for me? It’s most definitely cheese. And bread. And chocolate. Somehow, our feelings of love heighten around these foods, and they do a little dance, swirling around us in the kitchen.
So when mealtime comes, whether it be for a family meal at home, a party with friends and loved ones coming by or even a girls night in, my headspace does its own little tango around the idea of cheese. It’s no surprise that a cheese plate comes easy to me now, and I usually have at least a few of the items needed in my refrigerator at any given time. I’ve learned how to make it family-friendly as well, adding in items that my kids love (although they’ve adapted a pretty great palate for the cheese tray) and can throw something together in no time. So, if you need an appetizer, a simple meal or a way to wow your guests this holiday season, think “ultimate holiday cheese board” and read on for tips to assemble!
But FIRST, we’ve got another stunner for the perfect twist on a home staple. Christmas ice cubes.
THE CHRISTMAS ICE CUBES
We always are game for something that brings our family around the table. With four kids, there are days when it feels like herding cats to get them all together in one place at the same time, but I will say, something good on the table always does the trick! I don’t always want to serve different drinks to each person to suit their needs, so something that absolutely everyone likes is tea! We’ve been keeping Lipton Sweet Tea flavored iced tea and Lipton Peach flavored iced tea on hand because it pairs along with any meal for any occasion! To up the ante at our table, we add in some Christmas ice cubes and our holiday game is strong.
My kids always love something fun and with a little twist on tradition, so even reimagining something as simple as our ice cubes helps awaken me to the moments that matter, these moments spent together. These moments of seeing the curiosity and excitement on their faces. These moments where we can detach from the busy world around us (electronics are not allowed once we gather ’round the table). These moments where the little things matter. Because really, it’s the little things, every time.
Needless to say, we LOVE sipping our tea to these cubes.
Pro tip: If you KNOW the drink you’ll be serving for your next dinner or party, use it in the ice cube tray as well. For example, if I know I’ll have Lipton Sweet Tea as the perfect accompaniment for our next meal, I’ll use it instead of water to make our cubes and then the drinks won’t get watered down!
TO MAKE THE CHRISTMAS ICE CUBES
- Add festive fruits like cranberries, raspberries or strawberries to an ice cube tray
- Add greens; rosemary, mint, spearmint, cucumber, etc.
- Top with water or other drink and let freeze.
THE CHEESE BOARD SETUP
A cheese tray is a holiday staple in our home, okay, it’s just a staple any time of the year, but especially for the holidays! The perfect mix of creamy cheeses, cured meats, and garnishes will leave your guests astonished. The best part? There’s no cooking involved and clean-up is easy too! Plus, you can purchase and prep ahead of time.
- Something Soft; goat cheese, brie, camembert
- Something Firm; cheddar, manchego, gouda
- Something Aged; asiago, vintage gouda, parmigiana, pecorino
- Something Blue; gorgonzola, roquefort
- Dried Salami
- Cold Cuts
- Toasted baguette
- Nuts; walnuts, cashews, almonds
- Bagel Chips
- Artisanal Crisps (cheese crisps)
- Veggies; carrots, celery
- Seedless Red Grapes
- Sliced Fruit; apples, pears, figs, strawberries
- Fig Jam
- Raspberry Preserves
- Dried Fruit; apricots, raisins, cranberries, prunes
THE TABLE SCAPE
Now that your glasses are filled with the stuff of merry making and the cheese board is making you do your happy dance, we can’t forget the table. Or should I say, it’s easy to makeover your table for the holidays, and should do this first! Keeping it simple, I gathered items I already had on hand, like a small garland we use every year and a few pinecones from our bowl on the counter (I usually sprinkle with a few drops of essential oils to use as potpurri for the season). To this I added in some fresh greens and it elevated the entire thing! Mixing in just a bit of live greens helps the entire decor of the table look fresh and more expensive, when really the base is an old garland we’ve had for years! Then adding in our drinks and cheese board, some gold cutlery and a stack of plates, and our table is ready for whatever entertaining lies ahead.
What kind of holiday entertaining do you have planned this year? I’d love to see if you make these Christmas ice cubes! Just tag me @tabithablue or use #freshmommycooks on social so I can see and share!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lipton. The opinions and text are all mine.