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I may live in Florida, but we do still experience a “winter.” While snow might not be in the forecast, we do have cooler temperatures and chilly winds. I call it “sock season.” We can wear flip flops year-round, but you know winter is here when I break out the fuzzy socks. And, yes my friends, the fuzzy socks are ON this week. This weather inspires me to get in the kitchen to cook warm comfort foods like Marie Callender’s pot pies. Since I have guests coming in soon for the holiday season, I decided to think of a way to pair tasty pot pies with a fun appetizer. This is how the Warm and Toasty party came to be. Pair a pot pie with crusty bread and olive dip, try the DIY bruschetta bar, and enjoy the Christmas punch. This is sure to be one of the best winter menus you’ll see!
Warm pot pie and toasted baguette slices are the main attractions of this party, and the dips and bruschetta are perfect side dishes. To get started, I hit my local Walmart to find Marie Callender’s pies. They’re right in the freezer section with the other entrees.
I wanted a flavor that would go well with the Italian seasonings used in the other recipes, so I chose the Chicken Parmesan. What a pie! I definitely made the right decision, because I couldn’t have asked for a better combination.
Warm & Toasty Party
This is the kind of get together you throw for your friends and family when they’re coming over for a Sunday supper. It’s easy, cost-effective, and SO much fun to put together a DIY buffet bar with something unexpected.
Let’s take a closer look at the party details:
This warm and toasty party sign features tomatoes and olive oil images. You can also see that I used toothpicks and colorful washi tape to add to each pot pie. You can prepare these pot pies in the microwave at about 9 minutes each. This is SO simple and lets guests pick the kind of pie they want. While they wait, encourage everyone to use the bread station and bruschetta bar.
There’s a simple bread bar with olive oil, herbs, and spices.
Fresh flowers surround the bruschetta bar which has two different types of bruschetta along with a family favorite dip.
The flowers are held in green mason jars and had a bit of glitter added for extra sparkle!
The bruschetta bar is an easy way to add an appetizer to a meal for a party. Having a buffet style is simple and provides less work for the hostess! I use clear containers to separate each dip, and I added a sign to make it clear what everything was. I made two different kinds of bruschetta including a spicy version and one with red wine vinegar. I also added in spinach and artichoke dip since it’s my family’s favorite. It’s also SO easy to make (or buy if you’re in a hurry!).
So, let’s make some bruschetta!
Bruschetta is the one appetizer I always order at a restaurant. Everyone seems to make it differently, and I wanted to try my hand at my own recipe. I am the queen of using whatever is in my pantry, so this is how this red wine vinegar bruschetta was born. I added cheese, olive oil, and a basil pesto sauce to make it come together.
It was flavorful and ready in ten minutes! I sliced a baguette extra thin and toasted them for two to three minutes in the oven. If you like to spice things up, this variation is fun to try!
- 8 tomatoes, diced
- 4 tbsp basil pesto cooking sauce (try finding this near the produce)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced and toasted
- 1 tsp of habanero sauce, 1 jalapeño pepper (optional, for spicy version)
- Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Let chill for an hour or so in the refrigerator.
- To make it spicy, add in the habanero sauce and the chopped jalapeño pepper.
With a little habanero sauce and green peppers, you can upgrade the traditional bruschetta into something with a bit of a kick! I promise it goes together with the Marie Callender’s pot pies perfectly!
The shredded cheese adds just the right amount of flavor for a perfect bruschetta appetizer!
Olive Oil Dipping Station
Another appetizer option for the Marie Callender’s pot pies is this bread dipping station. This isn’t just for restaurants! Create this at home with a quality olive oil and herbs and spices.
Again, I used that baguette and sliced it very thin. I used small plates and encouraged guests to add two tablespoons of olive oil to each dish.
Add your favorite flavors. I set out parsley, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and basil.
The only cost for this appetizer was the baguette since everything else was already in my pantry!
The Main Course: Marie Callender’s Pot Pies
After a few bites of bruschetta and crusty bread, it’s time for the dish you’ve been waiting for. The Marie Callender’s pot pies can be served individually or family style, but I do like the idea of each family member getting their own “pie.” Make it fun with cake stands or pie plates! You can also dip that same baguette into your pie while you enjoy!
Marie Callender’s offers the warmest comforts of the season wrapped together in a meal made to savor. There is homemade gravy mixed with vegetables and all white-meat chicken, in a golden, perfectly flaky crust that’s made from scratch.
As I mentioned, it’s “sock season” here in Florida. With the recent cold-front moving through, pot pies are the perfect comfort food to warm you up.
Marie Callender’s pot pies have a golden flaky crust, and each bite is warm and delicious! And, you can take comfort in the fact that Marie Callender’s is supporting our troops through the Comforts from Home program. Learn more about how you can show your support on their website.
Other party details include this Christmas Punch. Mix together cranberry soda and cherry juice for a fizzy fruit beverage! Add a fruit-flavored candy cane to stir.
Need more recipe inspiration? Visit this website for more great recipes.
What’s your favorite winter meal idea? Are you going to host a pot pie winter party?
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