Holiday Recipe Roundup & Professional Party Planning Tips


Can you believe Turkey Day is only 8 days away? This month is cruising along and before we know it Christmas season will be here! For those of us beginning the hustle and bustle to prepare for the busiest time of the year, Wills Communications has taken it upon themselves to collect and share some of their favorite cocktail and dessert recipes sure to dazzle all of your family and friends. They have even included some helpful holiday party planning tips directly from the creative minds of the wonderful staff at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach.

Holiday Recipes

Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos LAVA FLO, HO HO!s
  • 1-2 generous dollops of thawed strawberry pulp
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 3 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup ice
  1. In a tall, frozen drink glass, place: 1-2 generous dollops of thawed strawberry pulp
  2. Combine all other ingredients in blender. Blend until well mixed.
  3. Pour blended mixture into the glass and top with another generous dollop of strawberry pulp. Garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and serve with a long straw.
  4. Pour blended mixture into the glass and top with another generous dollop of strawberry pulp. Garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and serve with a long straw.
Note: Please visit for more information about The Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Makes 1 serving

  • Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • Bailey's Irish Cream
  • Frangelico
  • eggnog
  • ice
  • graham cracker
  • nutmeg
  1. Combine equal parts of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Bailey's Irish Cream, Frangelico and prepared eggnog in a martini shaker with ice and shake well.
  2. Strain beverage into a chilled martini glass with a graham cracker crust rim, sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.
Note: Rock’n Fish has 3 locations in California: Manhattan Beach, Laguna Beach, & L.A. LIVE. Please visit for more information.

  • 2.2 cups of cream
  • 2.2 cups of whole milk
  • 1.05 cups of vanilla sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Dulce de Leche Sauce
  • 1 cup cream of milk
  • ¾ cup sweet milk
Dulce de Leche Mousse
  • 1 tbsp cream of milk
  • 1 cup sweet milk
  • 10 Molds for the Flan
Flan Decorative Topping
  • Fresh mint
  • carmel drizzle
  • chocolate decoration
  1. Preheat oven to 210° F
  2. Bring the cream, milk, and half the sugar to a boil
  3. In a bowl, beat the other half on the sugar with the eggs
  4. Once the cream, milk, and half sugar mixtures comes to a boil, slowly add to the beaten eggs and sugar mixture
  5. Place the mixture of steps 2 and 3 into the Flan molds
  6. Set the molds in a broiling pan and place in the over at 212° F for 40 minutes
  7. Remove and let cool to unmold
  8. For the sauce: warm the cream and dissolve in the dulce de leche. Simmer until it begins to thicken. Note that once the sauce begins to cool it will harden.
  9. For the mousse: Beat the cream, add the carmel, and fold until the desired consistency is reached
Note: Please visit for more information about The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort.

Haute Holiday
  • .5 oz Quady Elysium (muscat dessert wine)
  • .5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 4 oz Mionetto Prosecco
  • Serve in a champagne flute-garnished with a Luxardo Cherry
Merry Mint Spice
  • 1.5 oz Gentleman Jack
  • 1 oz. Domaine De Canton
  • 2 oz. POM juice
  • 5 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • In a Boston shaker, muddle 8 fresh mint leaves with the simple syrup to release the mint aromas. Add ice and add Gentlemen Jack, Canton, and POM juice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a bucket glass over ice. Garnish with mint sprig.

Professional Party Planning Tips

Whether you are charged with chairing the office or club holiday event at a local venue and/or planning on hosting friends and extended family at home, Shade Hotel offers five MERRY tips to help organize and optimize your event!

Mandate a Time, Place & Space…

As soon as you know this information, send out a “Save the Date” email ASAP, requesting your would-be guests to let you know if they think they will be able to attend. Do you need to choose an event space? Look to see what your local venues are offering to get your holiday business. For example, Shade offers a free DJ for parties scheduled Monday through Thursday, and personalized party plans groups from 10-300. After you decide on your party venue, keep the size of your event space in mind so as not to over — or under — invite!

 Excite With Your Invite & Theme

Themes help build anticipation for your party, especially when you find a creative way to communicate the theme in your invitation. For inspiration, hone in on a color (such as blue for Blue Christmas); a mood (nostalgic, possibly evoking childhood toys); music (anything from reggae to rock and roll); a holiday favorite activity (Naughty Santa gift exchange). Consider directing your guests to dress the part in your invite and provide a prize incentive for “best,” “most,” “least,” or “funniest.” Plan to carry out your theme in your party décor choices, such as for lighting, table decorations and centerpieces.

Really Pump the Festivities!

Holiday activities and attractions will get your guests’ holiday spirits surging. If you are holding your party at a venue, ask what extras are available. For example, Shade offers the choice of a DJ, Santa (naughty or nice), elves, carolers, or reindeer; a photographer or photo booth; VIP valet parking; and party favors or stocking stuffers. Event packages include a private planner, a custom mixology consultation with the option to create a personalized party cocktail, festive holiday décor, heaters for Skydeck or Courtyard celebrations, even discounted “Take the Elevator Home” guest room rates, based on availability.

Really Focus On Mingle-Friendly Foods

Calorie-counting guests will appreciate finding savory lighter fare along-side those holiday indulgences, and especially foods that can be easily eaten while mingling. Among the best bites are cheese, fruit, crackers and other foods that you can just pop into your mouth. If holding your event at a venue, ask about various menu options for special diets such as vegetarians/vegans. At Shade, you can arrange for many of the menu items to be prepared so that they are gluten-free.

You Set the Party Rhythm

Unless you prefer to let people meet, greet and socialize in open house-style, you will want to map your own timeline. When will the party start and how?  With pass appetizers and some sparkly beverages? Followed by a party game? When does the main spread arrive? Will you have a holiday toast? By determining the flow, your event will maintain energy, build to a crescendo and then end as you decide, whether with a quiet ebbing or a fun and heartfelt finale!

Note: Shade Hotel is located at 1221 N. Valley Drive in Manhattan Beach. Please visit for more information.

*All information and photos provided by Wills Communications


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