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Oct 19, 2006 05:40 AM

Holiday Party Advice

For the second year in a row, my husband and I would like to throw a holiday/Christmas party for roughly 40 people in our home.

Last year, we served home-made mini salmon cakes, home-made pork dumplings, California rolls, store bought mini-quiches, pigs-in-a-blanket, Honey-baked ham and crackers and cheese. I noticed the home-made food was the most popular and I would like to make as many dishes as I can myself but do you have any suggestions?? It would be nice if the dishes don't have to be served warm, are relatively simple but classy and if possible, could be prepared in advance.

I'm also looking for any suggestions for catered food...what's worth getting catered vs. doing it yourself??


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  1. I've made these prosciutto-wrapped asparagus for a cocktail party-pretty and delicious (& not difficult to make!):
    Mini quiches (made yourself) using spinach and cheese, or spanokopita (phyllo, spinach & cheese) triangles.

    1. My husband & I host an annual holiday brunch that has increased from 10 to 50-75 people... I shop Friday & cook all day (and night!) Saturday for Sunday's brunch.

      An easy item to prepare a day in advance is either a beef or pork tenderloin. Slice thinly & serve with nice rolls or home made biscuits & different sauces. Or roast a ham and serve the same way. I prefer to roast my own ham i/o a Honey Baked. Costco sells all the meats at a better price, too.

      If you also will have forks i/o only finger foods, then make quiches in 9" pie plates the day before i/o mini quiches. Serve at room temp so you have oven space for freshly cooked or baked items.

      1. I did an Open House/cocktail event last year and did several open faced, small sandwich type things...everyone was really impressed...not that difficult or creative, but presentation is everything...curried chicken salad on cocktail rounds topped with a dab of cranberry sauce...pumpernickel cocktail bread with capers and red onion in cream cheese topped with smoked salmon. I had a couple of others - something on a tiny brioche (think it was thinly sliced ham and something).... You definitely can't put these together "days" ahead, but you can certainly have things mixed up and can assemble trays a couple of hours before....worked out fine.

        1. One dish coming to mind that was wildly popular was a shrimp salad with mango chutney that I put in wonton cups. I baked the wonton wrappers in cupcake tins a day or two before and put them in a tupperware, then made the shrimp salad the day before, which is actually better so the flavors meld, and then assembled an hour or two before the party.
          Also, can you do a series of dips? Almost all dips are fine made a day or two before. Also, I made curry cheese puff/roll things that froze really well and then thawed that day. I find making things a week or two before and then freezing them really cuts down on stress levels! Sounds fun - good luck with everything!

          1. i had arranged tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella on a toothpick as a simple appetizer, and it was an absolute hit!