Recipes and Tips for an Effortless Holiday Buffet-as seen on WGN-TV

Cherry Bomb Fizz- specialty cocktail
½ oz maraschino cherry liquor
Maraschino cherries with stems
Add cherry liquor to champagne class and top with prosecco to fill glass, drop in
cherry. Recipe for each glass served.

Chicken Caesar Pinwheels
4 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
12 slices good quality chicken (or turkey) lunchmeat
¼ cup Caesar dressing (I like Maries brand, found in refrigerated produce section)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup packaged bacon crumbles (in place of croutons, adds flavor AND crunch)
About 3 cups of shredded Romaine lettuce or for a quick and easy tip use Iceberg
lettuce shreds in a package
Spreadable cream cheese
Lay one tortilla flat on a cutting board and spread a fairly thick layer of cream
cheese all the way to the edges. Layer 3 slices of chicken top with Caesar salad
mixture Starting at one end of the tortilla, roll tightly towards the filling. Continue
rolling until the filling is tightly wrapped, the cream cheese holds the rollup
together. Continue with the remaining tortillas until all have been assembled. Wrap
each tortilla rollup tightly in plastic wrap.
Chill the wrapped rollups in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Slice each tortilla
into 6 equal pieces, Secure with decorative picks. I used snowmen and trees from Plan for about 3 pinwheels per person. Double or halve the
recipe as appropriate for your crowd.

Brie Pom Pistachio Phyllo Cups
1 package phyllo cup (there are 15 per package)
Spreadable brie cheese (comes in plastic wedge container)
Pomegranate arils
Pistachios (roughly chopped, can also buy them that way)
Place a heaping tablespoon of brie in phyllo cup. Warm in 300 degree oven for
about 10 minutes top with a few pomegranate seeds and pistachios.

Smoked Trout Dip on Crostini’s
Approx. 3-4 oz. smoked trout
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 ½ Tbls. sour cream
1 Tbls. fresh dill
1 ½ Tbls. capers
1 Tbls. lemon juice
1small baguette
Mix together all ingredients (except smoked trout) to combine. Break up smoked trout and add
to cream cheese mixture, mix to combine (I like the smoked trout a little chunky).
Slice baguette, brush with olive oil and bake 350 degrees for about 6-7 minutes so just slightly
toasted. Spread trout on baguette rounds or to make it even easier serve smoked trout spread in
bowl with crostini’s, garnish with dill sprig. Makes about 2 dozen individually topped crostini’s.
Santa Crunch Popcorn
8 cups cooked popcorn; salted and buttered
1 package red and green m&m’s
Mini gingerbread men
Mix all together serve in a large bowl with a scoop and provide small cups or
bowls to scoop into. Other ideas; add sprinkles, mini holiday pretzels or mini
Sugar Snap Pea Wreath with Cherry Tomatoes

For a regular size plate, I used 2 packages of sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes.
Arrange on plate and serve with your favorite dip (I used ranch).
Easy Chocolate Mousse
8 oz. Cool whip
11.5 oz. bag of chocolate chips (melt in double boiler or microwave)
2 Tbls. whiskey (or more to taste)
Whisk melted chocolate into cool whip, whisk in whiskey if desired. I served in
small disposable dessert cups and served with a peppermint spoon. Servings
depend on size of cup. Mini cups were about 1.2 oz cup servings.
Tree and Snowman picks-
Target-Wrapping paper runner, ornaments and wood base riser, cherries with stem
Party Store-Clear Dessert Cups (cont’d next page)

Amazon-Peppermint Spoons, plastic champagne glasses, gold 2 tiered servers,
gold foil cups for popcorn
Trader Joe’s-Mini Gingerbread Men, red Winterberries for centerpiece

Jewel- Phyllo cups

1) Start with a blank table (white tablecloth) pick a color scheme (2 colors and add a POP) I used white
and light blue and a pop of red in the Winterberry Centerpiece. Less is more, keep things simple.
White plates look seemless
2) Try a disposable runner using wrapping paper, inexpensive and there are so many beautiful options
3) Beautiful but simple centerpiece, white pitcher with Winterberry
4) Serve a signature cocktail
5) Vary heights
6) Identify dishes (I used ornaments to make cute food tags)
7) Start with plates at beginning of buffet and at the end of the buffet should be utensils and napkins (if
using I have more of a heavy appetizer buffet so not needed)
8) Opt for easy do-ahead dishes, stay away from hot appetizers that go uneaten once cold. General rule
of thumb for appetizers are 3 per person
9) Food in order:
Signature Cocktail-Cherry Bomb Fizz
Chicken Caesar Pinwheels-need some kind of hearty sandwich
Brie, Pomegranate Pistachio Phyllo Cups- 4 ingredients, served warm but still delicious at room temp
Smoked Trout Dip on Crostini’s – great do-ahead, can also serve in a bowl with crostini’s on the side
Sugar Snap Pea/tomato wreath-nice to offer veggies, this is super easy and impressive to look at
Holiday Crunch popcorn, with red and green peanut m&m’s and mini gingerbread men
Chocolate Whiskey Mousse- cheater recipe, super quick to make and so cute when served with
Peppermint spoons