Open House Sat. Before New Years
We just decided to have an open house from around 1-5 on the Saturday before New Year's Eve. Any menu suggestions that have been hits for you would be greatly appreciated. We are looking for a "wintry" feel (you know what I mean - we'll have the fireplace going, wear cozy sweaters etc.), but want some interesting, different menu ideas. We love to cook, but have to be careful how much we take on because we have baby twins. Thanks for your help.
A tray of mac & cheese is usually popular. So is a bagels and lox buffet, a selection of open faced Danish sandwiches, a more american sandwich buffett, a pot luck, tortilla chips and guacamole, pre-made tamales, a dessert buffet, meatballs (which can be made ahead), tea sandwiches, a hot or cold punch (such as glogg), etc. Do as much ahead (or buy as much pre-made) as possible if you know the twins will distract you or leave you with too little energy for more.
To follow on the idea of soup in recent threads, I'd come up with a smooth type soup that can stay warm in a slow cooker, and can be served up in mugs, such as split pea soup, or potato and leek, and something easy to make, such as tourtiere, using store bought crusts, unless you have the time and inclination to be making crusts. They freeze well, and can be reheated easily, as well as being kept warm in the oven at a low temp. Even better, making them up in tart shells as single servings, and just as easily handled. I'd even start making them now, using different combinations to suit alternate tastes, as some people don't care for pork, some using ground veal, and keep them well frozen.Then I'd add some finger food vegetables, and other odds and ends, pickles and olives, maybe, reducing the need for cutlery, and reducing the amount of cleanup. Provide bread rolls, and butter the guests can spread themselves. Dessert....hmm, something maple, like maple squares...? Hey, this is a French Canadian theme! One year, a friend put on a full Hogmanay spread, but I think that'd be a little too much like work, although it was fun! That'd be a scottish theme.
Have fun with it!!