Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas party menu No. 1

Woe is me. Holiday menu planning has gotten more and more difficult over the years. One simple reason: access to an increasing number of recipes online. Isn't that just a trial? Don't you feel sorry for me? Ha.

Those lovely and predictable Better Homes and Gardens special occasion publications at the grocery checkout just don't cut it any more. Which is not to say I don't still rely on old favorites and traditions... I do. But this year is somewhere around the dozenth year that I've done the work-party-catering thing, and I do feel the need to shake it up a little. So no little flourless chocolate bites this year, no pesto-sundried tomato torte. There's time enough for those next year... let's do something different. Something fun! The only problem is knowing when to stop looking and just start cooking. It's a bit of a trick.

First party's on Monday. I think the time to stop browsing is now?

My go-to site for inspiration (at the moment) is I know that is over there in my "blogs I love" section, but they are incredibly similar, and I discovered the "favorite" tag on foodgawker first, so I have just been returning there out of habit.

OK, first up is a party for grown ups and kids, about 200+... so the menu needs to be a) easily maintained in a buffet setting over a few hours, and b) family friendly!

So we start out with a big display of fruits, veggies, cheese and crackers. Yummy, fresh, easy for everyone to find something they'll enjoy. Very good for the youngsters. I remember attending these things when Seth was little and he'd go straight for the cheese and crackers... actually, he still does...

Then we move on to the ubiquitous tortilla roll-up (there's got to be a more classy name than that...). Two varieties: cranberry/turkey and cream cheese, and kalamata olive/roasted red pepper and cream cheese.

I found a great recipe for a jalapeno popper dip, with chips. I can see this one disappearing quite quickly...

And hummus with baguette.

So that takes care of the non-sweet... on to the fun stuff!

I found a rockin' recipe for peanut butter "cake" truffles... I am very excited to try it. I think they will be entirely too popable! There's also an option for Nutella ones... I may have to make both...

Orange cinnamon palmiers: a twist on the traditional puff pastry favorite. (Picture above is from

Elfin shortbread bites: Don't they just sound cute. A little red, a little green, a lot of butter. Yum.

Candy cane biscotti: I discovered these last year and just loved them. Easy to make, easy to eat! I figure I'm not really repeating, since I've only done these one year... right?

Mini caramel apples. This is another big fun new experiment this year. I had this idea of dipping apple slices in caramel and coating them with nuts or chocolate or something. So I did a little online fiddling around and found that Cat Cora did something really cool on an Iron Chef America last summer, and now it's been recreated and flick'red and it's everywhere! So I'm hopeful that it will work and be as cute and creative as it seems like it might...

So that should keep me busy this week. I'll post for the next, more grown up (employees only!) party, once this one is past...

And recipes as I go! Whee!


  1. Mmm - I am hungry already. I'll definitely be saving room for a little of all of those. The mini caramel apples are already sounding like my favorite. And should you need help in the kitchen, you know who to call!

  2. Oh my - how do I get invited to this party?

  3. I think you know the drill... you can either email me a resume, or just pop one in the mail!

  4. Gingerly... I just may call... what are you doing Monday? You don't have any work work to do, do you?!


Blogger Template By Designer Blogs