food thursday: the holiday party

For years, my husband & I held an annual eggnog fest. Some of those parties were legendary in their own right but when we moved a few years ago the parties died down. This year – we are resurrecting the fest with a shiny new theme: Christmas Cocktails! Which brings me to the topic of today’s food post:

How to plan a holiday party
Just because it’s the holidays people think they need to come up with some sort of elaborate festivities. Not true! You can have a holiday party that is very fun, works for all ages and doesn’t involve huge effort or crazy ingredients.

Step 1: Pick a date. The holidays are crazy for everyone so be flexible – Sunday afternoon parties can be fun too you know.

Step 2: Come up with the beverages. We will be having eggnog, red martinis (cosmos and peppermint – not in the same glass, that would be gross… there will be two separate red options) and green martinis (midori). The kids will be having something equally festive like red punch. Don’t feel like alcohol at your shindig? How about hot cider?

Step 3: Plan a menu and ask your guests to pitch-in. It’s more fun that way and less work for you. My suggestion for a lively holiday party: small plates! A feast of appetizers is a great way to celebrate the holidays. Why? It’s not nearly as stressful as a meal – and this time of year, it’s nice to have something that is more focused on the gathering & celebrating than the preparing. Plus, it’s something different; it provides a variety of tastes for all palates; and it’s fun!

Here’s a menu to get you started:
For the kids (though they are welcome to share in all the goodies, most kids will want a few more kid-friendly options on the buffet): homemade chicken fingers, pizza rolls, mini pigs in blankets.

For everyone: chicken satay with various dipping sauces (don’t be intimidated by the name, it’s chicken tenderloins on a stick), meatballs, tomato bread, stuffed mushrooms, veggies, cheese & crackers.

For dessert: stick with the small bites theme – mini sundae cups, cookies, brownie bites.

We’ll be having some of the above and a few other things at my party this weekend. But the main ingredient for our party? Getting together. Our Christmas Cocktails is focused on good friends relaxing and celebrating together. You know what it’s not focused on? Worries about what to wear, trying to find a babysitter, or if we have enough fancy place settings.

Ho – Ho – Ho! Let the party begin!

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