Category Archives: Entertaining

12 Days of Christmas: Laurie’s Cranberry Chipotle Chutney Over Brie

Today, Laurie shares this simple and yummy recipe, “Cranberry Chipotle Chutney Over Brie.” For Laurie this is a holiday favorite, she serves this dish whenever she gathers with friends and family.  

Cranberries and Brie

Cranberry Chipotle Chutney over Brie



1 16oz can WHOLE berry cranberry sauce

2 Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (if you like spicy use more peppers out of can. (I use the whole can)

¾ cup dried cranberries

1 red apple peeled, cored and diced

¼ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 lb round brie (scrape off the outer layer)


Crackers, baguette slices, ginger snaps or pita chips


Combine cranberry sauce, chipotle peppers, dried cranberries, apples, sugars, vinegars & spice in saucepan, over medium heat. When mixture begins to bubble, lower heat to simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Put brie in casserole dish, pour chutney over top and bake @ 350 for 20 – 30 minutes, until brie is soft, but not melted.


Come back tomorrow, Judy will share her Christmas brunch casserole. Yummy!

For the previous staff recipes click here.

12 Days of Christmas: Molly’s Blue Cheese Chips Recipe

Need a dish for the men this holiday? You have come to the right place. Molly has found these delicious Blue Cheese Chips from the Junior League of Raleigh Cookbook. They are a hit! If you are pressed for time, the walnuts, fresh thyme and rosemary are optional. Molly even recommends throwing some bacon onto the dish too, it adds a nice flavor to the chips.

Junior League of Raleigh Cookbook


4 Ounces blue cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons tub-style cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 (5-ounce) package crinkle-cut potato chips (tested with kettle-cooked)

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons bottled balsamic glaze



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the blue cheese, cream cheese and cream in a bowl and mix until smooth. Spread the potato chips on a baking parchment-lined baking sheet, making two layers if necessary. Dollop the cheese mixture over the chips and sprinkle with the walnuts. Bake for 5 minutes. Slide the chips onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with thyme and rosemary and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

Note: Do not substitute balsamic vinegar for the balsamic glaze. You can make your own glaze by mixing 3 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Cook on the stove top or in the microwave until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Serves 8 to 10.

Enjoy ! Monday we will have Laurie’s Cranberry Chipotle Chutney over Brie. Yummy.


(image: Amazon)

12 Days of Christmas: Rob’s Rum Cake Recipe

Entertaining over the holidays? Look to the staff at Design Lines for some of our family’s favorite holiday recipes. Today, Rob is sharing this delicious rum cake.

rum cake



The rich yet airy cake is complemented by a rich combination of butter, sugar, and rum drizzled over the top.  The cake soaks it up like a sponge and it’s delicious.  Make it the night before and let it sit overnight for best results.  It’s a very easy recipe, but tastes like a million bucks!



1 cup chopped walnuts

1 (18.25 ounce) package butter recipe cake mix

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup dark rum

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup water

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup dark rum


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well. Pour batter over chopped nuts in the pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan. While letting cake sit, make glaze and pour about 1/2 of glaze into cake pan around cooling cake and let absorb 10 more min, then turn cake out onto serving plate. Brush or pour remaining glaze over top and sides of cake. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used.

To make the glaze: in a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.

Come back tomorrow for Molly’s Blue Cheese Chips! Need even more ideas? Check out last year’s 12 days of Christmas!


Judy’s Tips on Making a Holiday Flower Arrangement With Ease

Continuing with the perfect holiday decor we have a few tips to share with you on how to make a holiday floral arrangement with ease.

Flower Arrangements Design Lines (1)

To begin:  Pick up some flowers from your local grocer. We love the flowers from Fresh Market or Whole Foods. Judy selected a variety- white Hydrangeas to add some volume, some rust colored Mums for color, some Hypericum berries to add some cheer, and a few other pieces of greenery just to make things interesting.

Don’t go overboard with the variety- just sticking to three or four elements will add some unity to your bouquet.  Be sure the flowers get into some water. We used a bucket for easy arranging.

After selecting your container, utilize a grid of floral tape to add stability to the arrangement and create a visual grid to compose within.

Flower Arrangements Design Lines Ltd (2)

Then cut the stems to the appropriate length and insert them into the container.  Analyze the arrangement from every side and don’t be afraid to remove the stems from your grid and try something else.  Judy used a large hydrangea leaf in the bottom of the container to create a different feel to the arrangement.

Flower Arrangements Design Lines Ltd (3)

If all else fails- consider calling a professional.  We always enjoy the arrangements from Raleigh’s The English Garden!

My Carolina Today: Judy’s Top 6 Recommendations For Holiday Table Decor

Missed Judy’s segment on My Carolina Today, we’ve got you covered!  Here are Judy’s recommendations for your holiday table.

Holiday Table Decor Tips:

1. There must be a layer of personalization.
2. Layer plates at each place setting to give depth.
3. If serving on paper plates add festive napkins.
4. Centerpieces can be simple.
5. Establish serving pieces that you will be using.
6. Set the atmosphere and mood right a way.

Create a playlist of music to have during the party, or a stack of games for even the little ones to play with while the adults are socializing. Or bring it to a whole new level with games for adults too.

This helps in the planning process and if any guests are going to be bringing a dish. This lets you know ahead of time the proportions of space on the buffet and where every food item will be during the party. We say let the food be the focal point on the table, but if one is using a buffet table or serving area, simple candle sticks with colored tappers can do just the trick. Add greenery from your back yard to make the centerpiece even more festive. By doing this you are creating depth and personality to each place setting.  This can be a hand written place card, for the dining table to your very favorite dessert that has been baking in the oven for hours. You got to have something represent you!