1 It was quite cold, but fortunately, the weather held out for my holiday party.
2 Preparation was all hands on deck. This is Carlos, my driver, who juiced lemons and oranges for the citrus punch.
3 Even Daisy, my makeup artist, helped Thomas, who did all of the baking, by making the lime glaze for the pound cake. This is the baking kitchen/flower room.
4 The lime-glazed pound cake
5 Thomas Joseph, from the television kitchen, baked hundreds of cookies.
6 The carolers arrived just before the guests - JJ Hudson, Samantha Guevrekian, Andrew Fuchs, Jamie Bernstein, Risa Renae Harman, and Tim Long, my nephew and a fabulous musician.
7 All of the serious food was prepared and served in the Winter House by Chef Pierre. The Winter House is my main residence.
8 Paul Scordino helped Pierre prepare the food.
9 Pierre found gorgeous shrimp for.....
10 A most elegant shrimp cocktail.
11 Sarah Mastracco, from television, also helped Pierre in the kitchen.
12 There were stuffed cabbage leaves with rice, sauteed vegetables, and currants.
13 Blini with creme fraiche and red caviar
14 Roasted turkey breast
15 A really great ham
16 Pierre slicing the ham just before guests started to arrive
17 Serving tip - Cut into the ham crosswise in a couple of places before slicing. This way, smaller pieces will fall off for easier serving.
18 There were tender and juicy lamb chops cooked to perfection.
19 Creamy scalloped potatoes
21 And wonderful pâtés
22 Tiny cheesy herbed stuffed potatoes
23 Pierre filling individual ramekins with his superb cheese souffle - The souffles only took about 12 minutes in the oven and were very, very popular.
25 Cornichon, pickled vegetables, and peppadew peppers
26 Biscuits, toasts, and bread
27 The buffet
29 Stacks of FireKing plates
30 Flatware for the buffet
31 Flaky cheese straws
32 Toasted bread for the French onion soup
33 Paul at the stove making potato pancakes, which were served with sour cream and pink applesauce.
34 One of the nice things about this type of party is that Pierre could interact with the guests.
35 With my friend Judy Steinhardt
36 Being served a French onion soup by Pierre
37 Pierre's onion soup is so rich and delicious and he tops it with a combination of cheddar and gruyere.
39 Dr. Harvey Sloane and Kathy Sloane
40 I received so many lovely gifts.
41 Dan Slater and my niece, Sophie Herbert
42 Nikki Elkins' 8-month-old daughter, Lucy, and her husband Kent Motland
43 Susan Magrino and her sister, Allyn
44 Ralph Lauren and Andrea Raisfeld
45 Pilar Guzman, Editor-in-Chief of Living
46 Richard Gere was crazy about the stuffed potatoes.
47 The kitchen was the place to be.
48 People kept eating and eating.
49 Pierre slicing foie gras
50 Three different white wines were poured.
51 The servery
53 Festive chocolate creations
54 Brittle and candied nuts
55 The green parlor
56 Virginia Diner peanuts and pistachios
57 More cookie creations
58 Fancy candy
59 The brown room was warm and inviting.
60 The fire was blazing.
61 Guests loved that there were so many different Christmas trees.
63 Posing with Reika, who wore a traditional Japanese kimono. She looked so lovely.
64 The amazing wait staff came from M&J Events - Brad Swanick, Bryan Dewitt, me, Matt Perella, Corrinne Crewe, Travis Wolfe - Their sweaters were courtesy of J C Penney.
65 Lisa Gersh, our COO and her daughter Maddy
66 Members of the Lauren family - Dylan, Ricky, Ralph, Lauren Bush Lauren, David, Paul Arrouet, and Vivaldi the cat
67 My friend, Mike Comisac, donated the live outdoor trees. G.K. didn't mind the cold one bit.
68 We had my large iron cauldron blazing away between buildings.
69 The Summer House, which rarely gets seen on this blog, had caroling and silver tray desserts & eggnog.
70 A nice shot of me with Susan Magrino, my publicist
71 With my friends and neighbors Michael Citro and Laura Blau - Laura, by the way, loves my blog and reads it every day.
72 Shortbread rounds topped with lemon curd and meringue
73 Kouign-Amann, or Breton cake - layers of flaky pastry with caramelized sugar
74 Mini brownies with ganache icing
75 Pistachio nougat
76 Little bear cookies cut from a ricotta cake
77 Chocolate pots de creme
78 A buche de noel
79 Sour lemon cake - a lemon pound cake topped with candied citrus slices.
80 Christmas stollen
81 Stollen was my mother's favorite holiday dessert and she made a fabulous one!
82 Little tiramisu
84 The carolers, all professional singers, sounded so amazing.
85 Emily Borgeest, my intern, helped serve the eggnog. This bowl was the non-alcohol version.
86 As opposed to the potent potable
87 This eggnog is made with bourbon, rum, and cognac with plenty of eggs and heavy cream.
88 Michael Steinhardt being served a cup of eggnog
89 This eggnog is unbelievably decadent and potent.
90 Each cut of eggnog received a fresh grating of nutmeg.
91 Sharing a laugh with Bruce Corbett
92 The desserts were served on the marble-topped bookshelves.
93 Muffin Dowdle and her friend, Lorna
94 I was so happy that David Rockefeller, Sr. could make it to the party. He loved the eggnog.
95 Singing with the carolers
96 Jim Klinko speaking with Ralph Robbins
97 Jim and Muffin laughed a lot.
98 One parlor
99 And the other
100 The Tenant House was decorated with a stuffed bear theme. I can't show you any photos of the decor, because it will appear in Living as a story.
101 Mulled apple cider
102 A citrusy punch
103 Maryann Vanderventer's son, Hayden Daleck, 7 years old, thought the candy was 'out of the park.'
104 Nikki Elkin, from the television kitchen, came with her family. Her 2-year-old son, Will Motland, liked the warm cider.
105 Nikki Elkins
106 Chocolate truffle cookies
107 Hazelnut linzer cookies and chocolate chip cookies
108 Molasses cookies
109 Lemon sugar and chocolate-chocolate chip cookies
110 Little gingerbread men
111 Donkey cutouts made by from culinary artist Dani Fiori, who showed how to make a Nativity arrangement on my TV show. http://www.sweetdanib.com
112 And Dani also made these adorable little lambs.
113 Iced bears
114 Francesca and Sharkey looked so festive in their PetSmart sweaters.