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Need ideas for Christmas Eve Dinner

  • j

Hi all.....I am having a Christmas Eve party at my home for about 15-20 family and friends and was thinking of just doing a "heavy appetizer" dinner but am having a hard time coming up with ideas of what to serve. People will be dropping in throughout the night so I don't want to do a traditional dinner. People have also offered to bring things but want ideas. Please help and thank you!

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  1. jello, here's a link to a discussion on the Food Board that might give you some ideas.


    1. Depending on your budget there are lots of prepare ahead foods that are safe to leave out. Beef tenderloin with a horseradish sauce sliced and little buns; pork tenderloin sliced with buns; Country Ham and buns; shrimp cocktail or marinated shrimp this needs to be over a tray of ice; pate; stuffed mushrooms, little quiche; cheese tray; fruit tray; beer cheese; marinated veggies; pickled asparagus; asparagus wrapped with proscuitto ; dips with veggies; furit cake and cookies.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Janet

        I love the kind of stuff listed by Janet.

        I have a standard cocktail type spread I make that is always a hit. It involves things like good salami, cold roasted asparagus marinated in vinaigrette, marinated mushrooms and olives, prosciutto de Parma, melon (of course), various cheeses, some good bread, crackers, and fruit. It's so easy and always a hit.

        Also, suggestions depend on the types of foods you are okay with. Are you more the beef tenderloin with rolls and horseradish kind, or are things like spinach artichoke dip, tortilla roll-ups, and cheese balls okay with you (I personally love it all.)

      2. Xmas party last night:

        pulled pork quesedillas
        bbq chicken pizza
        roni pizza
        guac/salsa/dip with various chips and grilled toast
        proscutto/tomato/basil skewers
        various cheeses (trader joes) and smoked sausages brought by a friend
        chocolate fountain with several salty/sweet/fruit options for dipping
        arancini balls (last minute addition - bought at Trade Joes)

        everything was made night before/morning, last minute prep included melting chocolate, grilling off the quesedillas, cooking the pizza and arancini in the oven.


        1. A hit at every Xmas party I've brought it to.

          Boiled until "just tender" baby potatoes. (If you can't find really tiny baby potatoes, just slice larger ones thicker.) Halve & slice a TINY slice off the bottom of each to keep each half stable. Top each potato half with a small dollop of sour cream & a tiny dollop of red or black Lumpfish caviar (really inexpensive & found at ANY & ALL supermarkets). I like to line a big platter with greens & arrange the potatoes so that the red & black caviar-dotted potatoes resemble a checkerboard.

          I get requests for this every single year.

          1. Salmon mousse with cucumber sauce-easy, make ahead, mold fancy or common.

            1. Carmalized onions with balsamic vinegar on crostini with goat cheese underneath. So good...

              1. Two simple ideas that always are popular at my house are bacon-wrapped water chestnuts and meatballs in a cranberry bbq sauce.

                For the water chestnuts, buy cans of whole ones, take a bacon slice and cut in half length-wise, wrap around and secure with a toothpick. Bake in a 350 oven until the bacon is done and a bit crisp. I've also seen people doing this and brushing some teriyaki marinade on them before baking.

                The BBQ sauce recipe I got from a web site years ago, but I don't remember which anymore. It's just one can of jellied cranberry sauce, one jar of chili sauce (I usually use Heinz) and a package of dry onion soup mix. Put together in a crock pot and let it get hot and bubbly so everything blends together. You can put just about any type of finger food meat in this. I've done it with chicken wings, meatballs, cocktail franks, etc. It's best to cook the meat first, to get some of the fat to render. I usually bake the meatballs or chicken wings so they are fully cooked, and then put them in the crock pot.

                Also, a nice spiral sliced ham is always a bit hit. Just put out slices as you need them and keep the rest warm in the oven. If you pair it with mini rolls and let people make sandwiches, it's an easy thing.

                1. We are hosting something similar, and are serving (virtually) vegetarian food to give our digestions a bit of a break from the meatfest!

                  The main dish will be a large cauldron of Italian style vegetable soup which includes cannellini beans and pesto. Served with toasted slices of ciabatta and grated parmesan it's a real winner. I'll post the recipe if anyone wants it.

                  Other stuff will include Houmus and pitta, delicious quick pickled broccoli (from a CH thread earlier this year, thanks!), fruit cocktail etc.

                    1. Maybe you can help me! I'm in the same situation but this is casual christmas day after I get off work. Already planning
                      BBQ short ribs
                      Shrimp Coctail
                      Crab/artichoke dip with veggies,etc
                      Grilled chicken strips with dipping sauce
                      Mini twice baked potatoes
                      Mini Boysenberry pie
                      Feel like I need some kind of additional veggie or fruit idea.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: davismel

                        honestly, I'd just add a plate or two of cut fresh fruit... pineapple, kiwi (in season!), oranges, and well, if you insist, melons. Or, baked apples/apple crumble.