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Holiday party menu feedback

Hi everyone,

Throwing a very informal get-together for about 13-14 friends Saturday. I'm nervous because some of them have never been to my new house! What do you think of this spread of appetizers/christmas sweets? These are quite good friends who are also work colleagues, and we are sort of like one big happy family. We're also all drowning with work right now and Saturday needs to be a stress-reliever and laid-back fun.

Budget is a major concern--recent window replacement and unexpected car crisis has left us a little cash-strapped this month. Also, several of our friends (including my husband) have heart/health issues, so I also tried to avoid too many saturated fats (hence no cheese plate and the relatively healthy cookie recipes, and the healthy versions of traditionally sinful/trashy recipes).

sweets:
1. candied orange peel (some dipped in bittersweet chocolate)
2. peppermint bark (the layered kind with white and dark chocolate, I think from epicurious though I just make it up as I go along now)
3. oat bran-molasses cookies (http://www.recipezaar.com/Molasses-Oa...
)4. triple ginger cookies (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
)5. PB cookies (the eggless and flourless recipe: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

)

savouries:
1. white bean dip (just white beans, garlic, red pepper flakes, evoo)
2. bagna cauda (warmed in fondue pot) (the martha stewart recipe from her appetizers book)
roasted root vegetables, cubed and skewered on toothpicks for mini kebabs (to be dunked in the bagna cauda)
3. caramelized onion dip (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
)4. baked artichoke dip (101 http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
) 5. crudites, crackers, chips, etc

Thoughts? Anything I should add or omit? I've already made the candied orange peel and peppermint bark, so don't say those...but anything else is fair game, haha! Thanks in advance!

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  1. to many dips, I would add some type of shrimp and maybe an antipasta platter with some meats olives veggies , maybe also something like a fruit kabob,At the moment your plan is dips and cookies and candy this is not enough food if your serving cocktails. Maybe some type of slider or empanada.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Analisas mom

      I like the idea of fruit kebabs ... that will add freshness to the menu and the sweets.

      My grocery store sells yummy marinated cippolini onions ... I believe the marinade is olive oil and balsamic. Similar to the caramelized onion dip, but if you don't do that ...

    2. I agree to many dips, but i have another question

      Is this a mid-afternoon party 2-4PM where people will have had lunch come over and then leave for dinner? If this is a dinner style party you have nothing of substance imo.

      If you get back I can offer some budget minded solutions (nothing fancy), otherwise if it's the afternoon deal, cut back on dips and you will be fine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RetiredChef

        Please post your budget-minded solutions! :)

      2. Yes, too many dips. They are hard to eat with small plates, I find, then everyone is just crowded around the dip bowl. What about spinach balls?
        2 boxes frozen, chopped spinach
        2 c. Pepperidge Farms stuffing mix
        2 onions finely chopped
        6 beaten eggs
        ½ t. pepper
        2/3 c. melted butter
        ½ c. parmesan
        2 t. salt

        This is sort of a 70s thing, but they are always good and reasonably healthy.
        Stuffed mushrooms? I've also done a cute nibble where you buy crostini (the long, stick-like kind), put some butter or goat cheese (or Boursin) on the end inch or so then wrap in prosciutto. You can present them in tall glasses. Olives would be good, as would nuts (the Union Square Bar Nuts recipe is one I swear by-- it's in a Nigella cookbook but could also be online).

        1. If you cut back on the dips, you should add something else like a bruschetta (roasted red seedless grapes, caramelized onions & feta is good) or stuffed baby red potato halves (use spinach or a chopped salad)...another healthy meatball would be ground turkey or pork baked off and put into a BBQ sauce with cranberry sauce or something like that....

          1. I've got to agree and say there are too many dips. You want a little more contrast . Keep one hot and one cold dip, but consider adding something bready and something meaty. This could be anything from stuffed mushrooms to crostini to spring rolls or a cheese platter.

            With the respect to the sweets, there are a lot of strong, spicy flavors. I would omit the ginger cookies. I'd consider also salting the PB cookies to make them stand out a bit.