Monday, December 15, 2014

Let's Christmas PARTY!

The Headlines:

Christmas Eve is a week away.

I need to get my party menu together.

If you need some ideas - try these.

I think I've been very clear over the last year… I am a planner.  So when I do a party, I think long and hard about the details.  That clearly includes the food that will be served.  I'm not a fan of going to a party and having it seem to be similar to your stroll down the Costco food aisles.  You know, you get samples of all their hot sellers - the old men (aka: my father) stand in line and block your way so they can nab the freshest taste!  Very irritating.  Sorry, love my father, can't stand his Costco "sampling" etiquette.  Now don't get me wrong, while I love most of the Costco products, when you come to a party at my house I want you to experience other foods.   Hence, the menu I labor over!

As always, I like the food to be seasonal.  Meaning I won't be serving bean dip and watermelon margaritas.  Cranberry Marg's… maybe.  But they have to fit the theme.  Much more fun that way.

Therefore, here are 2 eye catching and yummy recommendations I would add to any Christmas party list!

First, the red and green bite size appetizer.

Is that gorg or what?  So festive and yet so yummy.  It is a little labor intensive, so I only do about 30, but it's worth it.  They make a statement, and because it's healthy, people usually take just one.  Yes, partygoers love to indulge on this day and the thought of a tomato might just send them over the edge - too good for you.  People are ready to live it up on this night!  Which is great for me.  Therefore, more people get to try the master piece!

Here's what you need:

30 small, "cherry" type tomatoes
1 avocado
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbspns pesto
1 tspn lemon juice
Fresh basil

Here's what you'll do:

Wash and cut a thin slice of the tomato from each bottom.  Be careful.  They're delicate.  That's so they can stand on a platter.  Then, on the top end, with a small melon baller or spoon - scoop out the insides of the tomato.  Throw all the gunk away.  Line a baking sheet with paper towels and stand the tomato (top down) so the insides can drain.  20-30 minutes.  While that's happening, combine half the avocado, cream cheese, pesto, lemon juice and mix in a food processor.  Taste and decide if you want to add the rest of the avocado.  Then put the filling in a big baggie, cut the corner and begin to fill the tomatoes.  Almost like you're filling cupcake centers.  Place directly on your serving platter.  Serve immediately or refrigerate 4-5 hours.

Add little sprinkles of the basil right before serving.  So pretty.  These bite sized pops of flavor will not disappoint!

Next, bring on the desert.

This is so pretty, always makes a statement and so EASY!!!!  Like, so so easy.  Especially if you go store bought all the way.  I'll explain.

See, this cake could be done completely from scratch or easily arranged via "store bought stuff".  Buy your angel food cake, buy some whipped cream, buy some candy canes and assemble.  But I like to go half and half.  Meaning I buy the cake (I've made angel food cakes before and they're just a little more trouble than they're worth!), I buy the candy canes and I MAKE the whipped creme frosting!  So if you're up for that...

Here's what you'll need:

A store bought Angel Food Cake
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
candy canes (however many you feel you need)

Here's what you'll do:

Crush the candy canes with a hammer in a heavy duty baggie until in fairly small peices.  Be careful with this… don't hurt a finger or break your counter!  Then, in a large bowl, beat cream and sugar together with a mixer until soft peaks form.  Frost cake after it's placed on what it will be served on.  Sprinkle candy on top.


The key to this little diddy is timing.  The frosting won't hold forever.  As the night goes on it will start to melt.  So do this pretty close to when your party starts.  Mine held for about 3 hours last year.  Turn down the heat to your house, it helps.  People will stay warm (through all the extra body heat from your guests) and your cake won't melt as fast!  Seriously.

Anyways,  it's always a crowd pleaser.  Catches peoples attention!  How could it not?  Do one or both of these food items at your party plus supplement with some meat, dips and cocktails and your party will be memorable and fun - I guarantee it!

By the way, if you're looking for an EXCELLENT Cranberry Margarita recipe - try this one.  I put it on the blog last year for New Year's.  Can NOT go wrong.  Click here

Stay tuned… I'll have some more food items as we get closer to the big day!


  1. Both of these looks amazing... you had me a 'store bought'.. HA! ;)

  2. Oh wow, that cake looks amazing! And I agree, I would totally only take ONE tomato. :)

    1. angela and lauren - the cake is so impressive looking and yet SO EASY! go for it!

  3. I just wrote a comment. Not sure if it posted. I didn't see it:( Anywho, I think I'm gonna try that tomato recipe. I usually do something similar. This is a great alternative. Love your new blog look!

    1. thank you! i love it too! And you'll love those tomatoes girl!

  4. Great (easy) ideas, thanks for sharing. I am going to a pot luck style family party...and these just may work!! :)


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