2019 is TOMORROW, and many of us will celebrate this fresh start with our friends or family. Window Nation wants to take a break from the vinyl windows/home improvement talk to share some exciting appetizer ideas for your New Year's Eve celebration.

Fun Fact: Did you know that eating black-eyed peas for New Years is a history-dated tradition? The concept originated in Africa, but it is believed to have spread throughout America during the Civil War. Survivors of the war depended on black-eyed peas as a major food source to get through the harsh Winter. Today, many people eat them as good luck for transitioning into the New Year. Some say you must eat 365 peas, one for each day of the year, but others believe one spoonful will do! If you don’t like black-eyed peas, don’t worry we still have you covered with some tasty recipe ideas below!

 

Delicious Buffalo Potato Wedges from GeniusKitchen.com

Buffalo Potato Wedges: (GeniusKitchen.com)

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes sliced in wedges
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • ½ cup of hot pepper sauce
  • Blue cheese salad dressing (or any dressing of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange potato wedges on sheet and drizzle with olive oil Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Bake at 375º for 30 minutes until tender.
  4. Remove pan from oven.
  5. Combine the hot sauce and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HIGH until melted.
  6. Stir to combine.
  7. Drizzle mixture over potato wedges and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with salad dressing for dipping.

 Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels recipe from KevinandAmanda.com

 

Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels (KevinandAmanda.com)

Ingredients:

  • ham and swiss cheese
  • pizza dough
  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dijon mustard
  • poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Unroll your croissant dough and press out.
  2. Add slices of cheese and ham on top.  Roll up the dough and seal the seam.
  3. Cut the roll into slices.  Place on a greased pan.
  4. Combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until the glaze is smooth and combined, then pour over the rolls.
  5. Place in the fridge for 24 hours then bake uncovered for 25 mins or until brown. Enjoy!

 

Going out to eat instead? Here are three restaurants that serve great dishes:

Fire: This award-winning Cleveland, OH restaurant serves what you need from pizza to rainbow trout entrees.

Townsend: This French-style restaurant in Philadelphia, PA has some great menu pairing specials going on for the New Year’s celebration!

The Eagle Food & Beer Hall:  If you like sticking to the basics with a little twist, this is the place for you. You’re never too old for grilled cheese or sloppy joe!

Window Nation wishes you a very Happy New Year, Bon Appétit!

Summer is gone, fall has begun, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. Stress is normal, but we need to know how to limit it and keep it at a manageable level. How can we do that with the holidays upon us and the stress already beginning to build?

Are you going somewhere for Thanksgiving and feeling overwhelmed by the plans you have to make to get there. You will need to schedule your time off with your boss, figure out how you will get there, and decide where you will be staying. You need to choose which clothes you will need to bring, how much you are going to pack, and what personal items to tuck in your suitcase. Maybe you are flying and that makes you anxious or perhaps there will be family and friends there that you are not comfortable with, or just like to avoid. Are you thinking about the long lines and delays at airports? Here are some tips to make it less stressful for you, so you can enjoy the holidays.

You should always plan on arriving early for every step of your trip. This way if the unexpected happens, you still can arrive on time and not feel hurried. You never know when you will have delays, traffic jams, lost luggage, or mishaps. Know when to travel. Consider when the traffic will be lighter or choose days that are not as busy (and not as expensive) for airlines. Also, be sure to know baggage requirements beforehand. Pack some snacks and beverages for those times there are no rest areas in sight and make sure to follow airline regulations regarding snacks while flying. Return home a day early, before you have to get back to the regular grind of work or school. Take that extra day to unpack and re-adjust after traveling. You will be glad you did. Also, don’t try to do too much in a short period of time. Schedule your holiday vacation allowing plenty of time to enjoy it.

Are you hosting a Thanksgiving dinner and feeling the pressure of all the plans you have to make? You might be thinking of whom you should invite, who will actually be coming, where your guests will be staying. Then the menu needs to be planned, food has to be purchased, your home has to be cleaned and decorated…the list is endless. Can you do it? Yes, you can! Plan early and take it step by step to make it a special celebration with the ones you love.

Here are 10 tips on how to reduce Thanksgiving stress if you are hosting:

  1. Make a list of the guests you have invited, and then add an extra 2-3 to that number.

  2. Find out if anyone has a special dish they would like to bring.

  3. Ask people to help; delegate jobs to them.

  4. Ask guests if there are any dietary restrictions or other accommodations needed.

  5. Plan a menu; be sure to include all courses.

  6. Be sure you have all the recipes you will need.

  7. Write a thorough grocery list.

  8. Write a list of other things you will need like decorations and paper goods.

  9. Plan out the days that you will shop, cook and clean ahead of time.

  10. Write down when certain foods need to be cooked etc…to keep you on schedule.

Take your time to savor and enjoy the fellowship with family and friends. When Thanksgiving comes, you will be glad that you planned ahead to make it a special time for all of your guests. You can sit back once everyone has left and feel thankful for all you have: your friends and family, that beautiful home to experience the joy of Thanksgiving in, and the security, comfort, and beauty that came with those windows and doors from Window Nation, your replacement window specialists. Happy Holidays to you indeed.