Gift Ideas and Appetizers

My holiday spirit is limited this year.  My story is that if I go all out every year, I’m bound to get tired of it!  I have decorated with a few new items this year, because who has the energy to go through what we already have.  Here is Christmas from the kitchen window.  I’m calling it our tree, this year.

Christmas Maple

I’ve just finished a couple intense weeks cooking at the lodge, so want to share a couple knockout appetizer ideas with you.  First, if you’ve never tried the Mushroom Tart, it’s time to, it’s easy, and you’ll feel like you’ve won Iron Chef!  I used pie crust for the last one I made.  Also, a couple months ago, one of my friends made an amazing asparagus, roast beef appetizer.  It’s super easy, and unbelievably delicious.

Kara's Roast Beef Asparagus Roll-ups


  • Soft cream cheese (in a tub)
  • Jarred horseradish (just grated horseradish, not prepared)
  • Deli roast beef slices, thinly sliced (halve, if large)*
  • Asparagus spears, cooked to crisp tender, patted dry


  1. Combine cream cheese and horseradish to your desired spiciness. You may want to let it sit for a while, before you decide to add more, because the heat develops a little more.
  2. Smear a little of the cream cheese mixture on the roast beef.
  3. Depending on the size of the asparagus spears, roll up one or two in the roast beef.
  4. Serve cold or at room temp.
  5. *Make sure you get a great tasting roast beef. Taste them. The most expensive, may not be the best.

If you need some extra ideas for holiday gifts, Harvard School of Public Health published 17 dynamite ideas.  Click here for the gift guide.