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Wine & Cheese Holiday Party ideas

I'm having a wine & cheese holiday party next weekend. I will be serving cheese and meat platters, along with crackers/bread, dried fruit, nuts, jams. Also going to make lavendar truffles for people to take when they leave (I got that idea from fellow CH's, so thanks!!) I think I need to serve some other appetizers...I don't want to worry about stuff getting cold, so would prefer things served at room temp. Any ideas?

I'm considering a few types of bruschetta -- possibly portabella mushroom/tomato and maybe something with artichokes.

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  1. I've held a few wine/cheese parties and have served app's also. I read that you shouldn't serve artichokes w/wine - something about flavor combinations - I'm sure it's a matter of personal taste, tho. One of my go-to app's that gets rave reviews is parm. walnut salad on endives from epicurious.com - nice and light. I would add a seafood app for variety - I've done cocktail shrimp wrapped in snowpeas w/mustard and red currant jelly dipping sauce - yummy! Finally, I would put out a big platter of chocolates and choc. dipped strawberries toward the end of the evening. Enjoy!

    2 Replies
    1. re: sillysully

      The walnut salad w/ endive sounds delicious; I think I'll try them. The recipe is easy and something I could make ahead of time.

      I also forgot to mention I was planning to make candied cashews & almonds.

      1. re: sillysully

        Sillysully -- the walnut salad in endive was a such a HUGE hit at my holiday party. Thanks so much for the suggestion -- it was the first thing to go!

        I also made mushroom/tomato bruschetta, edamame dip with baby carrots & cucumber.

      2. I'm not seeing any fresh veggies though maybe you didn't mention them...a fresh veggie tray with some kind of healthy dip like hummus or the like might be a good addition.

        1. A perfect pairing for wine is gougeres! Gorgeous little baked cheese puffs (gruyere). Very easy to make and can be made slightly ahead of time. They are very festive and a nice alternative to buschetta.

          1. instead of artichoke, i'd do an eggplant caponata for the other bruschetta option.

            fondue might def be a good way to go, if you have a pot already

            mini-mushroom tartlets or phyllo wrapped chopped sauteed mushrooms with onions and sherry and tarragon

            sage sausage meatballs - brown onions and add balsamic vinegar, spicy mustard and apricot preserves, combine sausage and sage, and add some of sauce to the meat, make meatballs and roll in bread crumbs... bake and serve with leftover sauce

            spiced and/or candied nuts

            brie and raspberry or cranberry preserves wrapped in filo

            1. Pancetta, goat cheese and pear apps

              Bake sliced pancetta in an oven (350-ish) until crisp. Carefully spread some goat cheese on it (they can be a little brittle, depending on the thickness). Place a slice of pear on top of the cheese - it should be about the same size as the cheese, but thinner.

              Serve with pinot noir. :D

              1. How about a simple fruit platter for your guests to cleanse the palate between the nibbles? Grapes and strawberries should go well with the w & c, pineapple slices might be pushing it even though I personally like them with cheese too.

                If you think someone in the group might have a sweet tooth, maybe you might even consider chocolate-dipping some of the pieces too, or present it towards the end of the party.

                1. A good recipe on the nuts-end is the cashew bacon recipe that recently appeared in the Times. I made it for a party on Sat and people LOVED it. Also easy to make in advance. I made the spiced cashews a few nights ahead and cooked the bacon same day but way before guests arrived.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: abud

                    Whoa... that is a serious combination! I'm so excited... what's not to love, nuts and bacon? So, tell me, how did you serve it? Just the crumbled bacon tossed w/ the nuts? I wonder if it wouldn't be better to crisp up the bacon before roasting the nuts. Then, crumbled the bacon and toss it w/ the nuts and their goop during the last 5 minutes of roasting. That way, the bacon sticks to the nuts.

                    You're thoughts?

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      I put it in a bowl with a spoon and had guests dip some into their napkins.
                      I made the nuts a few days beforehand and the bacon day of. My suggestion is to make sure the bacon is really crispy and drain very well or else the mixture gets pretty greasy. In the end, the bacon bits were pretty dry, no goop anywhere, and everyone LOVED it.