Mary Micucci is one of the most famous caterers in Los Angeles, specializing in large events like Hollywood movie premieres. She launched Along Came Mary in 1975, working out of a Volkswagen Bug. Today, she runs a $10 million business as the largest gourmet catering company in the entertainment industry. The “Hollywood Reporter” even dubbed her the “epicurean Steven Spielberg.”

When entertaining for Christmas, “think themes,” says Micucci. “Try snowmen, reindeer or toy soldiers carried out in the decor or cut out as cookies, with fun decorations and celebratory desserts.”

Here’s Micucci’s recipe for wassail, a traditional Christmas punch, which she made for last year’s star-studded premiere of “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.” You should have no trouble finding organic ingredients at your local whole or natural foods store.

Wassail

1 gallon apple cider
1 quart pineapple juice
1 quart fresh orange juice
2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon whole nutmeg, grated
10 to 18 whole cinnamon sticks
3 whole oranges, cut in half
25 whole cloves
8 stemmed Irish coffee mugs

  1. In a large saucepot on low, heat apple cider, juice and sugar. Bring to a rapid boil while adding 10 cinnamon sticks and grated nutmeg. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Stick cloves into the skins of the 4 orange halves, placing them in even, linear rows. Turn off heat and add cloved oranges. Allow flavors to expand within the mix for 15 minutes.
  3. Using a peeler, zest 8 orange strands (4” each) from the third orange and set aside.
  4. Reheat mixture and pour into decorative coffee glasses. Garnish each glass with whole cinnamon, with orange strands twisted around it. Serve hot.

Cheers from everyone at Organic Authority!