|Preparing the Christmas Party Buffet|
Here are 5 Helpful Hints:
- Serve lots of "cold" items with only a few things that need to be served warm.
- Make as much as possible the day before.
- Serve no cook items such as cheese/olives/spiral ham/fruit/etc.
- For the warm items, select something that can simmer in a chaffing dish or crock pot for hours and still taste delicious.
- Select naturally attractive ingredients to create a beautiful buffet table. For example, line trays with leafy lettuce and place veggie or fruit on top. Select a nice pineapple as a centerpiece or dramatic flowers. Brussel spouts on the stem (see below) are natural decor for a buffet table.
|Dramatic Flowers, Leaf Lined Tray|
At this year's party we served just under 50 people. Here's my easy Christmas menu that can be done by one person in 8 hours. (not including shopping.)
|Crock pots make serving warm food easy!|
- 6 quarts of Clam Chowder served with French bread (cooked and kept warm in a crock pot)
- Spiral Cut Honey Baked Ham (Smithfield or Trader Joe's Brand are both amazing) with 50 dinner rolls and 3 types of spreads - no cooking involved
- 6 different types of French cheeses served with olives, grapes, and fruit spreads. If possible, go to a cheese shop (fromagerie) and have an expert select the cheese for you - more on this later)
- 4 cups of Hummus with Bread (easy substitute recipe - see below) (made the day before)
- Salmon Pate (quick style - see below) served on top of sliced French bread (made the day before)
- Veggie Plate with store bought dressing (made the day before)
- Fruit Plate with papaya, pineapple, strawberries, and blackberries (made the day before)
- 75 dinner size meatballs in hot and sweet sauce kept warm in chaffing dish (recipe below).
- 60 large asparagus tips wrapped in Serrano ham (broiled for five minutes)
- 4 cups of snow peas - lightly steamed to remain crisp, salted and mildly seasoned, served cold
- 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes (made the day before)
- 1 pumpkin cheesecake (store purchased)
- 3 dozen assorted chocolates (mine where handmade at a candy making class - you could simply buy yours)
- 2 dozens chocolate covered donut holes (handmade - recipe below)
- 3 bowls of mixed nuts
|Guests Enjoying the Buffet|
- 2 pitchers of punch (find easy punch recipes).
- 2 cases of various wines
- 3 cases of beer (could have gotten by with only one)
- A variety of popular liquors for mixed drinks
- 40 cups of coffee
|Guests Enjoying Cocktails|
Don't have a local cheese shop? No problem, many stores have a nice variety around the holidays. Depending on how large your party, select anywhere from 3 cheeses to 7 or 8.
Select one cheese that everyone is familiar with (a nice cheddar perhaps). Next go for a soft cheese such as a triple cream, brie, or goat cheese. Serve this whole with a spreading knife along side a cranberry sauce if desired. Finally, serve a hard cheese with a bit of bite such as a Cheshire or Gloucester.
Easy Hummus Recipe
2 Cans of Garbanzo Beans
3 Cloves of Crush Garlic
3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Tahini (roasted, crushed sesame seeds) see below for easy substitute
Salt to Taste
Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached. You may need more Olive oil or Lemon Juice depending on your taste.
Quick Salmon Pate Recipe
4-6 ounces of smoked salmon for pate
4-6 ounces of smoked salmon for topping
1 large red onion (minced)
2 (8 ounce) bricks of cream cheese
1 (6 ounce) jar of capers, plus 2 tables spoons of caper juice
Place all ingredients in a food processor and plus until creamy. Spread over slices of French bread and top with an addition slice of smoked salmon.
Meatballs in Spicy and Sweet Sauce
2 bags (approximately 75) meatballs from the freezer section of your grocery store
1 jar of grape jelly
2 jars of bbq sauce (your favorite variety)
2 tablespoons of Rooster sauce (hot sauce)
Put all ingredients in a crock pot or on the stove top and cook until warm throughout. Keep warm in chaffing dish.
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