Happy Holidays Party Special

DSC_0022Will you be hosting a holiday party this year? If it’s been a while, you may find a few of my Party Planning Tips helpful. A special cocktail will be a fun and festive addition to your holiday party. A Kir Royale will add a little sparkle or try my Berry Merry Martini.

And what to do about food?!? I like to provide my guests with a bunch of different options. First, I put out a platter, maybe two, for those who like to graze. Next, I pass a couple one or two bite hors d’oeuvres. And on a cold night, who wouldn’t like a little soup? Most people don’t worry about dinner after a cocktail party. A nice cup of soup will leave them both full and satisfied. If you stick to a puréed soup, you won’t need to worry about spoons. Finally, end the evening on a sweet note with a tray of Christmas cookies, homemade candies or decadent brownies.

For grazing …
Put out a platter or two. Your guests can wander about, chatting with old friends and making new ones. All the while, they will be happy to find something to nibble. May I suggest …
… beautiful cheeses with fruit or some lovely prosciutto and sausages.
… fresh veggies with some great hummusaioli and/or tapenade.
Smoked Salmon Mousse with capers, lemon slices and chopped red onion
Grilled (or Roasted) Antipasti
Set stacks of small plates (tea and espresso cup saucers work great) and maybe some salad forks with the platters.  And don’t forget to put out a bowl or two of Spicy Olives and Roasted Almonds.

For passing …
Who doesn’t like a delectable little bite? Warm or cold, everyone enjoys a tasty hors d’oeuvre. So how about …
Artichoke Leaves with Shrimp
Warm Mediterranean Shrimp
Spanakopita Triangles
Or let your imagination soar with any one or two or three of a thousand crostini … like …
Roasted Mushroom & Fontina
Caponata with a Sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano
Roasted Tomatoes with Olives & Goat Cheese

For sipping … Served in shot glasses, soup is a two or three sip hors d’oeuvre. If you want to give your guests, something more substantial, serve it in mugs. To avoid spoons, stick to purées. My favorites include …
Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasted Carrot
Wild Mushroom

For a sweet ending …
Visions of sugar plums will dance in your friends’ heads if you end the evening with a sweet treat. (A little dessert will also be a subtle hint that it’s time to go home!) Why not pass a tray of …
Snowy Pecan Balls
Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes
Sweet Dream Bars
Espresso Brownies
Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Almond Brittle
… or tiny cups of White Hot Chocolate

Cheers and bon appétit!

Berry Merry Martinis
Serves 8

1 cup vodka
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
2 1/2 cups or to taste cranberry juice
To taste sugar (optional)
Sparkling water (optional)
Garnish: orange twist

Combine the vodka, Grand Marnier, cranberry juice and sugar in a pitcher or jar, stir or shake and store in the refrigerator or freezer until very cold.

Stir again, pour into martini glasses, add a splash of cold sparkling water and garnish with an orange twist.

For a large party, quart Mason jars are a perfect fit for each batch of martinis. Keep them cold out in the snow or refrigerator until ready to serve.

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What’s your favorite holiday party treat? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get a conversation going. Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012/em>

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