Holiday Cocktail Party Special

Christmas_MantleIt’s that time of year. Time to toss on that cashmere sweater, let out a ho ho ho and join friends for a holiday cocktail party. Whether you’ll be throwing your own festive soiree or heading out to a pot luck, I’ve got some tasty treats to suggest as well as some hopefully helpful Party Planning Tips.

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 now for the nibbles! For a small group, keep it simple. A nice platter, and perhaps a lovely mug of soup or chili. Let’s face, big or small, no one will be eating dinner after your party. For a larger do, you’ll want a nice selection of tasty treats to pass and a platter or two for grazing.

Delicious platters…
Put out a basket, a platter or two. Your guests can wander, chat with old friends and make new ones while they nibble to their hearts content. May I suggest …

• Beautiful cheeses with fruit or some lovely slices of prosciutto and dried sausages, add a basket of artisanal crackers and Cheddar-Sage Biscuits and bowl or two of Rosemary Cashews
• Fresh veggies with a great dip or three. Try my hummus, a duo of aiolis and
tapenade.
• A basket of savory shortbread and jam, perhaps Gorgonzola & Walnut Shortbread with Fig Jam
or Parmesan Shortbread with Tomato Jam.
Gravlax with Tarragon-Caper Mustard Sauce – what could be more festive?

For a nice touch, set stacks of small plates (tea and espresso cup saucers work well) next to your platters. Instead of a traffic jam at the buffet table, your friends can help themselves to a nibble or two and then mingle and munch.

Not your Nana’s canapés …
Warm or cold, everyone enjoys a tasty hors d’oeuvre, so why not add a few delectable little bites to pass.

Without a doubt, the two top fan favorites in my repertoire are Beef Tenderloin & Stilton Crostini and Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli or Lemon-Basil Aioli.

Oh, and you can’t miss with anything with cheese like my Roasted Mushroom & Fontina Crostini or Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Crostini.

For sipping … Served in shot glasses or espresso cups or a big, old mug, what could be more welcoming than piping hot soup. If you want to skip the spoons, stick to purées like my Roasted Butternut Squash, Curried Eggplant Soup or Wild Mushroom. Or pass out those spoons and give everyone a hearty mug of My Favorite Chili.

A sweet finish …
Small sweet bites are a great way to end the evening. Delight your guests with delicious Christmas cookies and Maple-Nut Sundaes. (Sound a bit daunting … you can serve them in a snap if you scoop the ice cream into small glasses or bowls in advance and store them in the freezer. When you are ready to serve, drizzle with maple sauce and sprinkle with nuts.)

Say good-night with a sweet gift bag …
Leave a happy holiday basket at the door with small bags of homemade Chocolate Truffles or my addictive Chocolate Almond Brittle.

Cheers and bon appétit!

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

What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

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