Blogger Progressive Dinner: Christmas Edition | The Entree

Do you remember this past summer summer when I joined four other home bloggers for a virtual progressive dinner? Well, ever since our warm weather rendezvous (HERE), we have been planning to “bring the band back together” for a holiday edition of the Blogger Progressive Dinner. The five of us will each be hosting one course each, throughout different holiday-decked rooms in our homes.


If you have arrived via the soup course Jenni at Dear Lillie hosted, welcome! For those of you just now jumping in, no worries; I will provide a link to the other courses at the bottom of the post so you won’t miss a single, delicious second. Here’s what’s on tap for the progressive party.


Our dining room sees more action during the holidays than any other time of year. You can see all the details of this room and my full home decked out for Christmas in my recent home tour HERE.


I modified the dinner table just a bit from my blue and white ginger jars. Since I knew I would be hosting at night, I brought in more candles for ambiance – I am asked all the time about mixing metals. My thoughts? Go for it.


Just as I mix silver and gold in my Christmas tree…


I don’t think twice about mixing the finishes of my candle holders.


I clipped fresh holly from the yard to complete the simple centerpiece.


I folded the napkins and wrapped them in ribbons like little gifts for each guest, and printed custom gift tags as place cards.





I prep the table in the early morning so by evening…


we are all set.




I actually broke my number one dinner party rule and attempted a new recipe before trying it on my own. Last weekend, we shelled pecans so I decided to try a pecan crusted, stuffed chicken breast, improvising as I went along. Thank goodness, it was a hit 😉


My friend, Casey, whipped up a roast with dinner grits a few years ago. Since then, I adapted the grit portion as my own; it has become a dinner side staple in our home. If you have never had grits, don’t like grits, or even if you love grits, you need to try THESE grits. Game changer. If you don’t like spicy food, omit the red pepper flakes in the broccoli – still super delish!



Below are approximate recipes I used for each dish. I mainly eyeball ingredients and as I indicated, improvised the chicken so feel free to take liberties when preparing your own. You can never go too heavy on the cheese 😉




  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 ½ cups toasted pecans
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 cups honey mustard (I like Ken’s Steakhouse)
  • ½ pkg. thawed and drained, frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  1. Set oven to 375°
  2. Pour honey mustard in a shallow, wide bowl and set to the side.
  3. Finely chop toasted almonds in food processor. Combine with bread crumbs, basil, salt, and pepper in a shallow, wide bowl and mix well. Set bowl to the side.
  4. Mix spinach and cheese in a bowl and set to the side.
  5. Pound and flatten chicken breasts to approx. 1/4″ thickness.
  6. Put approx. 4 Tbsp. cheese and spinach mixture in center of the flattened chicken breast, pinch sides up and secure with toothpicks.
  7. Take stuffed chicken and roll in honey mustard to coat well, evenly.
  8. Roll honey mustard-coated chicken breast in nut mixture until thoroughly coated; set in greased glass baking dish.
  9. Repeat with all breasts; bake for 40 minutes (check temperature to confirm readiness)


  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups grits
  • 1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese
  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Stir in grits. Bring heat to a med-low temperature. If quick-cook, cook approx. 5 minutes. If regular, cook 20-25 mins (according to package instructions).
  2. Stir in Ranch dressing mix.
  3. Stir in cheese.
  4. Serve immediately.


  • 1 broccoli crown
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove pressed/chopped garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Set oven to 425°
  2. Rinse, drain, and chop broccoli; place in glass baking dish.
  3. Pour olive oil on top and mix well, coating broccoli.
  4. Add red pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper and stir to distribute evenly.
  5. Bake 20 minutes until broccoli is crispy, tender, and has browned a bit.


Shop the Table

Shop the Dining Room


Once you’ve made it through the rib-stickin’ entree, head over to Randi at Randi Garrett Design for the next course- dessert. I have been DYING to try her cranberry bundt cake since we first set the menu! And, that little fireplace peek she’s giving below? Her stockings and mantel may be my favorite ever. You won’t want to miss this course or her gorgeous family room.


And, be sure you’ve hit each stop of the dinner- each dish looks ridiculously amazing and each hosted room is fabulously decked out for the holidays. In case you were late to the party, here’s what you can expect for the rest of the meal.


Chairs – Linen | Bar Cart12-Light Chandelier | Candle Holders | Mirror: Homegoods – (SIMILAR) | Dining Table:  (84″ in Salvaged Brown) | Buffet: (72″ in Distressed White) | Curtain Panels: (98″ in White) | Rug: HomeGoods- Calvin Klein wool (SIMILAR) | Lamps: HomeGoods – (SIMILAR) | Napkins | Silver Tea Service: Family Heirloom – (SIMILAR) | Table Runners |  Waterford Padova China | Waterford Bassano China | Chargers (SIMILAR) | Pillows: HomeGoods | Church Painting | Water Lillies Art | Paint: Lauren’s Surprise by Sherwin Williams | Trim: Creamy by Sherwin Williams | Flooring: Nottaway Hickory in Weathered Saddle

*Thank you to our dear friends Charley & Becca for joining us for this special Christmas occasion*

*post contains affiliate links*

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  1. 12.13.16
    Brandy said:

    Beautiful table, as usual Kelley! And I cannot wait to make those grits! Us New Englanders don’t get to eat them nearly as much as we should! Thank you for sharing your photos and recipes!
    Where did you buy those adorable little mercury glass votives with the scalloped edges?

    • 12.13.16

      Brandy, thank you! And yes- you MUST try those grits. I made them for my inlaws recently and they were skeptical… they LOVED them! Those came from Pottery Barn a while ago :/

  2. 12.13.16

    Kelley I want you to cook for me while I sit at your gorgeous table! Make it happen please! This is so beautiful! I love how you tied up your napkins too! So cute! Merry Christmas my friend! xo

  3. 12.13.16
    Bree said:

    Kelley! Your table looks amazing and gosh!! You’re such a good cook too! Is there anything you can’t do fabulously?! Seriously amazing my friend! Xoxo

  4. 12.13.16
    Rebecca said:

    As one of the honorary guests, I can say without a doubt that this was a truly fabulous meal and the ambiance was perfection! We had a lovely time, thank you Kelley for being such a wonderful hostess and sharing your gorgeous Christmas home with us. We love you!

  5. 12.13.16

    Dang, I want to be there in real life! The “band” needs to tour!! 🙂 Your entree looks delicious and your dining room is spectacular! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas! XOXO

  6. 12.16.16
    Victoria said:

    This looks and sounds absolutely superb Kelley, wow! You really know how to create a stunning and impactful space and that chicken looks delicious! I’m not really sure what grits are (I don’t think we make it in the UK?) but it looks fab!

    • 12.19.16

      Victoria, thank you so much. Grits are pretty exclusive to the southern part of the U.S. I believe haha. If you find some, you HAVE to try them as prepared here!!