Woodland Winter Holiday Party

Throwing an easy but impressive
Woodland Winter Wonderland Themed Holiday Party

Spiked Eggnog
10 oz. Oberweiss Eggnog (I think theirs is the best)
1 shot of dark rum
Garnish with whip cream, peppermint sprinkles and a star anise

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
1 pound ground chicken
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/3 cup diced onion
11/2 Tbls. minced garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (or more if desired)crumbled blue cheese
1 cup Franks hot sauce sauce
¼ cup melted butter
2 green onions for garnish
Ranch dressing, I use Marzetti all natural
In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, panko, egg, garlic and onion and blue cheese; season with salt and pepper. Using a spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1-inch mini meatballs, forming about 48 meatballs.
Place meatballs onto baking sheet and drizzle with olive bake at 350 for about 5-7 minutes.
Place meatballs into a slow cooker. Add buffalo sauce and butter whisking together to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.
Sprinkle green onions over meatballs and serve with ranch.

Goat Cheese Dip on Star Shaped Bread Cutouts
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
4 oz goat cheese, at room temp
5 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pomegranate arils

Combine cheeses and rosemary, season with salt and pepper. Great with crackers too or spread on bread and use a cookie cutter to make a star shape, sprinkle with pomegranate arils.

Edible Spoons with Roasted Red Pepper Dip (quick tip buy roasted red pepper dip)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ tablespoon onion
½ tsp. garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
mayo for creaminess (optional)
cream cheese
arugula or basil for garnish
Put the nuts into a processor and finely chop. Add pepper, lemon juice, garlic and onion to the bowl and process until smooth. While the processor is running, drizzle the oil into the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and place about a teaspoon of cream cheese on spoon, then spoon over a little roasted red pepper dip and top with arugula or basil leaf also good with crackers or baguette slices.

Scotch Quail Eggs
½ pound bulk pork breakfast sausage
1 egg
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs, homemade or use panko
20 quail eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbls.Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Italian flat leaf parsley
Cook eggs in simmering water for 4 minutes, let cool and peel. Portion sausage around dry egg and completely cover. Beat egg; dip sausage-wrapped eggs in beaten egg mixture. Roll in bread crumbs; deep fry in until golden, drain on paper towel. Place in 400 degree oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking sausage, this step can also be used for making them ahead of time and heating before serving. Cut into halves lengthwise; serve hot with Dijon mayo sauce

S’mores Skewers
Bag of marshmallow
Melted milk chocolate
Graham cracker crumbs
Skewers (I used cute tree ones from http://www.pickonus.com)

Melt chocolate over a double boiler (stainless boil over simmering water)
Dip half of the marshmallow in chocolate and then in graham cracker crumbs, place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper to cool. Using a crème brulee torch; lightly brown the top of the marshmallow and skewer.

Peppermint sprinkles-Gordon Food Service; great price!
Quail Eggs-Diamond Fresh Seafood Lake Zurich 847-438-4900
Pidy Edible Spoons-World Market
Antler Place Card Holders was one holiday ornament at Wal-Mart that I took apart $1.99!

Ideas I used for the Woodland Theme
Plaid throw over the burlap tablecloth
Vases were vintage thermoses bought on Ebay for $6 and $7
Used wood pieces placed on glass vases for serving pieces, filled the glass vases with birch, cranberries and battery twinkle lights.
Used lots of pinecones and evergreens for centerpiece
Scattered woodland ornaments around the table.

Stress Free Holiday Entertaining Tips

It always seems to creep up so quickly, but we are officially approaching the holiday season! My goal in entertaining is to always to make it simple so I can enjoy the gathering, and from years of catering experience this included lots of do-ahead tips.

*Start with a theme.

*Creating a timeline keeps things organized and calm. Make a list and revise as you check things off. I post a timed cooking schedule on my refrigerator so I am on schedule for dinner.

*I like to pick 3 colors for my color scheme, think “out of the box” and have one color as your “pop” color.

*Check lighting (don’t have it too bright), arrange candles to add to the ambiance. Use votives around buffet table.

*Write menu on card and insert in decorative frame.

*Look around your house and try to repurpose items for your table décor, you’d be surprised what you can come up with.

*If you are going to invest in serving plates, buy white and use color in the tablecloth, flowers, etc.

*If you are in short supply of glasses or plates they can be rented at a
minimal cost.

*Decorate all hors d’oeuvres plates. Use paper doilies, fresh flowers and
herbs. Be creative!

*Place nice paper napkins in front of hors d’oeuvres.

*Position food so people gather in comfortable spaces; and where you want
them to be.

*Plan for at least 3 bites of each hors d’oeuvres per guest.

*Try to balance the flavors and textures of the foods.

*Let friends bring a dish if they offer, take some stress of yourself!

*Remember the whole idea about entertaining is not about impressing
people but about having fun and investing quality time with them.


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