FWandD had an amazing time this weekend surrounded by loved ones for a tree-trimming cocktail party with us in the country. Everyone was dressed up in their season's best, kids were screeching with joy, food and wine flowed with abundance and, best of all, guests overjoyed us with the most unique and beautiful ornaments for the tree that we'd ever seen. Each one provided a wonderful insight into the personality and style of the person who brought it; take for example the couple who made an ornament out of an antique toy block! And the couple who selected a mini Swarovski crystal snowman! FWandD also had a great time collecting branches to make "rustic" Christmas tree decorations as a centerpiece for the hors d'euvres table and smaller versions to place throughout the house. We enjoyed sweet, delicious Holiday White Russians (find the recipe in the Recipes section of www.foodwineanddesign.com). Our menu consisted of shrimp cocktail, retro-style deviled eggs, potato puffs, mini pizzas, veggie egg rolls, mini crab cakes, stuffed mushrooms, crudite' and platters of crackers & cheese. We served a J. Lohr cabernet, a New Zealand sauvignon blanc from Starborough and a selection of beers including Stella of course (yum!). One special guest made an amazing cream cheese, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and kalamata olive dip to die for! For parting gifts, we filled mini Christmas stockings with a selection of holiday chocolates. We can't wait for next year!