Office "Chrismukah" Party Tomorrow
Hello all. This is my 2nd post! In the heat of July, my office is planning a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah event. A lunch-time party with dress code, appropriate music, food and contests/games. It is extremely hot and humid here in New England, so I'm hoping for food suggestions on either theme in any category that don't require using the oven, if possible. When I get home tonight, I'll hopefully see a few replies so I can run to the store for ingredients and then I'll write back after the event tomorrow to report on how it went! Thank you for any help you can give!
I'm back to report on how the party went! The Santa Claus Crackers were a big success - - tasty, charming, and very easy to make. I just couldn't decide on which of your suggestions to make as the 2nd item and ended up doing something altogether different: A sort-of trifle. I used an unfrosted chocolate cake from the freezer - - ready to go, pushed one layer down into my new trifle dish that I was itching to use, topped that with some black raspberry jam and fresh rasberries. Then added a layer of chocolate pudding, followed by home-made whipped cream, then repeated another complete round of those layers. Went together quickly and looked nice. We had a contest for naming our dishes. I named that the "Merry Berry Choco-lukah Trifle". Although I didn't use all of your suggestions, I've made a note to use them at the next winter holiday party, which might not be for another six months, but thank you all very much!
How about a snowman made out of cream cheese dip to go with the Santa crackers? Figure on this providing enough for 15 people. If you need more than that, you can always make Mr. and Mrs. Snowman.
For the dip:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons oil
6 medium cloves garlic (or more to taste), minced
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 c. milk
Heat the oil in a skillet until shimmering. Saute the garlic and onion until fragrant and the onion has softened and barely started to caramelize. Transfer mixture to a bowl, and add cream cheese, salt, and milk. Stir well to combine.
For the snowman and decorations:
1 8-inch loaf French bread
1 5-inch loaf French bread
1 French roll
1 leaf red cabbage (the scarf)
1 carrot (the nose)
8 peppercorns (the eyes and nose)
5 coffee beans (the buttons)
2 small twigs (the arms)
1 3-inch section of a paper towel tube covered in black felt (the hat)
1 bamboo skewer (the spinal column)
1/4 c. instant mashed potato flakes (snow)
Put a small dab of dip in the center of your serving platter, and place the large loaf of bread on it (the dip acts as an anchor for the snowman). Frost the loaf with about half of the dip. Stick the skewer down through the center of the loaf. Put the smaller loaf on the skewer, and frost the loaf, leaving enough dip to frost the roll. Place the roll onto the skewer, and frost the roll. Decorate the snowman, using the suggested ingredients. Once the snowman is decorated, sprinkle the mashed potato flakes all over the snowman to coat.
The recipe I colled this from used 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of onion powder instead of the fresh onion and garlic that I mentioned.
Some grated Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs would be nice additions to the dip.
The day after the party, you can make a sort breakfast strata with the remains of the snowman. Just toss the snowman into the fridge after the party, then the next morning rip the snowman up into small pieces, and place the pieces in a greased baking dish big enough to fit them. In a separate bowl, mix 6 beaten eggs and 1 cup of milk, then pour this over the dismembered snowman. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or just until a knife inserted halfway to the center comes out clean.
Thank you peppermint pate, Katie Nell and GretchenS! All of your ideas look fabulous, and I've decided to defintely make the Santa Claus Crackers. Still thinking about which 2nd item would be best. It is sooo hot and humid today that I really would like to keep the prep cool and simple. Perhaps more suggestions will pour in as well. If only it would pour outside! Thanks again for your wonderful input!
I thought these Santa Claus crackers were awfully cute: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht... Definitely no cooking involved there!
Also, my aunt made a standard cheeseball in the shape of a snowman at Christmas this year, with a baby carrot for the nose, olives for the eyes and buttons, etc. (I won't tell you where my uncle and I stuck the carrot when she wasn't looking!!)
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!!
Chrismukah...in July? Interesting. We hosted a Chrismukah dinner this year - it was great. A few ideas that I made that don't involve too much oven time - chicken soup with matzo ball snowmen (you could buy chicken soup and just doctor it up) or a bouche noelle with Star of David candles. If you're trying to avoid the heat, latkes might not be an option, though you could maybe buy some and serve them with crispy pancetta and sour cream. Merry Chrismukah!