12 Days of Feasting

How to get your party going and keep it going in a dozen delightful ways

From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa to New Year’s Eve, it’s a season of nonstop celebration that tends to make our heads explode at some point. Instead of getting overwhelmed, why not give in and celebrate the season in a decidedly foodie fashion via “The Twelve Days of Christmas”? You know, that ubiquitous English carol worming around in our heads that adds, verse upon verse, increasingly more lavish gifts? It describes beautiful birds, scores of people, loud music and tasty foods, which sounds like a pretty fun party. It inspired us to round up 12 appetizing party suggestions to bring you and your loved ones together this season.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Bambara’s spiced pear tartlet

A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Spiced Pear Tartlet
“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me” … a spiced pear tartlet. The lyrics may be altered, but when Bambara adds a new dessert to the menu, you must give it a try. Spiced poached pears neatly top a round graham cracker crust. The pears are then covered with a sweet mascarpone crème, candied citrus peel and a pear jus reduction. A light dusting of powdered sugar embellishes the dessert. Should a lover or friend wish to share this treat, you should gracefully decline. In Chinese, the words for sharing a pear—fen li—are pronouced the same as the word for “separation.” To avoid separation, tradition dictates that the pear never be divided. Oh well, more pear tartlet for you. (Eleni Saltas)
202 Main Street, SLC

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … … Red Butte Cafe’s Turtle Cheesecake, back, and Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake

Two Turtle Doves
Turtle desserts
The Red Butte Café offers not one, but two tempting turtle cakes! The Turtle Cheesecake is practically irresistible, studded with chocolate chunks and candied pecans. The Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake features a base of gluten-free chocolate cake that’s layered with caramel and pecans and is then topped with chocolate mousse and chocolate shards.
This east-side café was originally in a smaller space, but when the bakery next to it closed, Red Butte Café adopted the space as well as a few of the recipes that were left behind, which is how these cakes came to be on Red Butte Cafe’s menu.
Take the stress out of holiday hosting and order a cake from Red Butte Café. (Caitlin Hawker)
Red Butte Café
1414 S. Foothill Drive, SLC

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Gourmandise the Bakery’s (back to front)Chicken Milanese Salad, Curry Chicken Sandwich and Crisped Chicken Cutlet

Three French Hens
Chicken dishes at a French bakery
Chicken Milanese Salad, Curry Chicken Sandwich,
and Crisped Chicken Cutlet
Let a French chef do the cooking for you during the holidays and try any one of these délicieux chicken dishes. Gourmandise the Bakery’s casual atmosphere is suitable for gatherings large and small. Clay Campbell, director of culinary operations, says that their goal is to make food that “hits home and warms the heart.” Further, he says that the winter menu is designed to feed the soul and is inspired by cuisine you would bring to family events. So, if you’re looking for a charming French cafe with a whole lot of heart (and hens), vous êtes arrivés. (Caitlin Hawker)
Gourmandise the Bakery
250 S. 300 East, SLC

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Spoons ’n Spice bird-shaped cookie cutters

Four Calling Birds
Bird-shaped cookie cutters
There’s nothing more homey than pulling fresh cookies out of the oven. Even more appealing is when those cookies are cut into beautiful shapes. Spoons ’n Spice features some of the most original cookie cutters in town, and these four birds called out to us for holiday baking. Whether you’re trying out a new recipe, making a time-honored favorite, or buying a roll of frozen dough from the store, these cookie cutters will elevate your baking and let your creativity take flight! (Caitlin Hawker)
Spoons ‘n Spice
2274 S. 1300 East, Ste. G-9, SLC

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Five golden cocktail rims

Five Golden Rings
Golden Sugar Cocktail Rims
Ring in the holidays with glamourous golden rims on glasses filled with your favorite festive beverage. These DIY stunners will make any party sparkle. Here’s how it’s done:

Golden Cocktail Rim Sugar
¼ cup sugar
Yellow food coloring
½ teaspoon edible gold
1 egg white (or wedge of fresh lime)

Add ¼ cup of sugar into a food processor and begin by adding 3 drops of yellow food coloring, adding more if needed until desired color is achieved. Then, add ½ teaspoon edible gold powder for even more color pop. Run food processor until color is evenly mixed and there are no clumps. Spread sugar mixture on a plate and allow to dry.
Pour one egg white onto a separate plate. Dip glass rim first into egg white, then carefully into sugar mixture—give it a good twist for greater coverage. Set aside and allow to harden before pouring in your beverage. As an alternative: Wipe the glass rim with a lime wedge, then dip glass into sugar. (Caitlin Hawker)

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Sweet Tooth Fairy white-chocolate pumpkin Cakebites

Six Geese a-Laying
Cakebite ‘Eggs’
Geese can be such a nuisance. They hiss, chase and, even if you keep your distance in a park, plug up the bottom of your running shoes with their droppings. What geese do have going for them is the fact they lay beautifully large eggs, that, like hen eggs, can be poached or fried, and offer a greater nutritional value. Plus, goose eggs have a longer shelf life. For those not keen on indulging in such a delicacy, we have another option for you: The Sweet Tooth Fairy, winner of The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2012, offers cakes, cookies, brownies, and more. Order a dozen ($19.95), or a half dozen of their famous Cakebites® for a sweet Christmas treat. The small bites come in different flavors and are dipped in smooth white or dark chocolate. Our favorite holiday flavor is the white chocolate pumpkin. Though small, they look like pretty, edible eggs. (Eleni Saltas)
Sweet Tooth Fairy
Multiple locations

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Orson H. Gygi Co.’s Wild Tale Swedish dishcloths

Seven Swans a-Swimming
Wild Tale Swedish dishcloths
Though the “The 12 Days of Christmas” melody was arranged by English composer Frederic Austin in 1909, the themes for the carol were drawn from diverse sources. It’s little wonder that this song includes swans, especially in reference to a loved one. Swans have come to symbolize love and long-lasting relationships in both folklore and history. That’s why they have a cheerful significance appearing on these natural, compostable dishcloths, which have become a staple in Scandinavia with their eco-friendly design. When holiday dishes start to pile up, and the surfaces in your home need to be wiped down, turn to this Swedish dishcloth with its pair of charming swans to help with the mess. (Anna Kaser)
Orson H. Gygi Co.
3500 S. 300 West, South Salt Lake
801- 268-3316

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Dolcetti Gelato’s eight holiday flavors

Eight Maids a-Milking
Gelato Holiday Flavors
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean we lose our love of cold desserts. Dolcetti Gelato changes up its holiday menu to include some of the most unique flavors imaginable. Regular flavors to enjoy around the holiday season include Dolcetti’s inspired Coconut Sticky Rice, Honey Lavender, Olive Oil Rosemary and Pistachio. But be sure to sample Dolcetti’s wintery batches such as Masala Chai or Cassata Siciliana (a fruitcake-like gelato), or go for classic holiday favorites such as Eggnog and Gingerbread. Dolcetti’s flavors are constantly changing, so you may have to stop in multiple times to catch them all. Any way you spade it, Docetti has (at least) eight flavors sure to make your holidays creamy and delicious. (Anna Kaser)
Dolcetti Gelato,
902 E. 900 South, SLC,

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Cedars of Lebanon’s belly dancers

Nine Ladies Dancing
Cedars of Lebanon belly dancers
Cedars of Lebanon is more than just a delightful Mediterranean eatery. This family-owned restaurant features belly dancing performances on Friday and Saturday night, so be sure to catch a show. Throughout the evening, expressive dancers entertain admiring diners with their flowing movements. All are welcome and encouraged to join in on the fun. But first, fill up on favorites like the smoky baba ghanoush and succulent kebabs, and perhaps a specialty wine to loosen up the limbs. The art of belly dancing along with a spicy meal bring a wave of contentment that makes for a memorable evening. (Eleni Saltas)
152 E. 200 South, SLC

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Christiansen Family Farm’s lard

Ten Lords a Leaping
Eat lard
We know lard doesn’t leap. However, once you use the lard from Christiansen Family Farm, you may exclaim, “Oh, Lardie!” and give thanks for it. Nestled in the valley to the west of Utah Lake, Fairfield is the quintessential Utah small town you’d expect. And out of this rural community comes the best lard that pie makers can get their hands on. Christiansen Family Farm has an amazing selection of high-quality pork and beef. These animals are pampered—as in open range, no GMO and grass-fed—and the product speaks for itself. But one of their most sought-after items is their lard. Many younger cooks may not know the many uses lard has and may steer away from it, but, for at least the good of your holiday pie crust, consider this lard. Lard can be used to fry and bake, and it has many non-food-related uses such as seasoning cast-iron pans. For Utah locals, one 4-pound tub of lard is only $18. Get a-leaping for this fat deal. (Anna Kaser)
Christiansen Family Farm
1599 N. 17790 West, Fairfield

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… Spoons ’n Spice’s Cuisinart piping set

Eleven Pipers Piping
Cuisinart piping set
Maybe in your world, “piping” means playing a pipe. But in the world of Devour Utah, “piping” means decorating a cake. Ruffles? We’ve got ’em. Frosting roses? You betcha. And although piping (in both forms) takes some practice, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out of your comfort zone a little and have some fun. With this piping set, you have 12 tip options so you can follow inspiration wherever it takes you. Just like baking or cooking in general, cake decoration is an art. It’s also somewhat therapeutic, a kind of meditation. Hosting large groups of people can often create more stress than enjoyment, but if you’re having fun with it, some of that stress melts away. When holiday parties roll around, and you’re not sure what to make, wow the crowd with your own artistic creation. Maybe even pipe some pipers piping with your own piping set. (Anna Kaser)
Spoons ’n Spice
2274 S. 1300 East, Ste. G-9, SLC

On the twelth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
… 12 baked drumsticks

Twelve Drummers Drumming
Baked Drumsticks
‘Tis the season of decadence with plenty of eating and even more spending. It’s OK to turn down a party invite to dine at home with friends and loved ones. You might even march to the beat of your own drum by baking a satisfying chicken dinner that doesn’t break the bank nor expand the waistline.
Start by coating 12 drumsticks in a mixture of flour and your favorite seasonings, such as a combination of paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper and set aside. Then, line a baking sheet with foil, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the coated chicken on the sheet and bake at 400 degrees F, until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 45 minutes. Serve warm to awaiting guests and relish the accolades you’ll receive from your entourage with each bite of crispy chicken. (Eleni Saltas)

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