16 Party-Ready Recipes for the Holidays
I only throw two parties a year. That may come as a shock to some of you given my obsession with food and entertaining, but it’s true.
Just to be clear, when I say “parties,” I don’t mean dinners and weird football gatherings. I’m talking about parties with a capital “P”—soirées that require significant planning (TG for Logan’s love of calendar reminders), enough food and booze to sedate a small army, and multiple strategies for avoiding eviction (the downstairs neighbors are not fans of our celebrations). These much anticipated annual events are Logena Christmas and Cinco de Mayo in honor of my two favorite non-birthday holidays, and I look forward to them like Logan looks forward to BBQ Fest. They’re the best.
Unfortunately, Logena Christmas has been canceled this year due to The Dude Diet’s somewhat painful New Year’s Eve deadline, but I’ve still found myself daydreaming about holiday party menus on the reg. And since I’m sure many of you have festive plans up your sleeves for the next few weeks, I thought I’d share some of my favorite bites, treats, and adult beverages for your merrymaking pleasure/inspiration.
Pour out some mulled wine for me…
Domesticate ME!’s Favorite Holiday Party Recipes:
Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pesto. This is hands-down my favorite appetizer recipe ever, holiday-themed or otherwise. I really want to say something profound about these magical bites, but for some reason I keep picturing Buddy the Elf screaming “You smell like beef and cheese!” (Probably because that’s an accurate description of me after assembling a tray of these bad boys.)
Brie and Candied Bacon Grilled Cheese Bites. I don’t trust people that don’t like grilled cheese. Or bacon. You shouldn’t either. (Just kidding, vegetarian/vegan friends! Sort of.) p.s. Go all out and use a triple crème Brie. You won’t regret it…
Easy Edamame Dip. This trendy alternative to hummus is an excellent make-ahead option for more casual soirées. Just set it out with an array of fresh veggies and crackers and let people do da dip. (It also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, so everyone but the paleo peeps will be very excited!)
Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary. First of all, this is the juiciest, most absurdly tender beef you will ever taste. (Thanks, Ina!) I know a full beef tenderloin isn’t standard finger food fare, but hear me out. If you slice the tenderloin very thin and set it out next to some good cheeses, sliced baguettes and a little mustard, pesto or aoli, people can assemble teeny tiny tenderloin sandwiches! Trust me, it will go over well.
Sweet Potato Hummus Tartine with Toasted Brussels Sprouts and Goat Cheese. Slice these tartines crosswise into “fingers,” or make bite-size versions on crackers or toasted slices of baguette.
Manchengo Crisps with Serrano Ham, Quince and Marcona Almonds. Making manchengo crisps is delightfully simple. Just sprinkle rounds of grated cheese on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until browned. It’s so easy, yet the delicate cheesy snowflakes look wonderfully impressive, especially once you get all the fancy toppings involved.
Roasted Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Goat Cheese and Crispy Sage. Classy quesadillas are an excellent addition to any holiday fiesta. I recommend assembling them in advance and cooking them just as your guests start to arrive. (There’s nothing quite like greeting guests with something warm and cheesy in hand.)
Bacon and Smoked Cheddar Stuffed Cheeseburger Sliders with Jalapeño Relish. I imagine everyone at your party will have this reaction to these mini burgers.
Peppermint White Chocolate Brookies. In the market for a slightly non-traditional Christmas cookie? This hybrid brownie-cookie gets my vote.
Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats. If your baking skills leave something to be desired (no judgment), these treats are right up your alley. They take all of 20 minutes to assemble, and you never even have to turn on ze oven. Hallelujah!
Peppermint Chocolate Chip Blondie Bites. I know I’m not the only one with a seasonal peppermint fetish…
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Swirl Brownie Bites. A friend described these bites as “super fudgy black bottom cupcakes.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Mulled Wine. Not only is mulled wine uber cozy and comforting, it will make your home smell like a warmly spiced holiday wonderland. Everyone wants to attend a party in a warmly spiced holiday wonderland. (Duh.)
Grapefruit Rosemary Mule. I served these mules at Logena Christmas 2k14, and they were a raging success. With that said, if you wish to make them en masse, make sure you squeeze the grapefruit juice in advance. I gave some particularly sticky hugs last year.
Spiced Cider Bourbon Punch. Go conservative by mixing up a batch of this party-ready punch with regular spiced apple cider, or turn things up with a hard cider. The choice is yours…
Blood Orange Champagne Punch. It’s not Christmas without champagne. Pop some bottles and celebrate, friends!
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The sounds my friends have made upon my telling them of “Brie & Candied Bacon Grilled Cheese Bites” and “Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese & Pesto” makes me very confident that I’ve chosen the correct appetizers.
Tis the season for compliments and borderline-NSFW sounds of appreciation.
Looks like that beef tenderloin is going to be making its way into my future parties! Better start channeling your inner Olivia Pope to handle that deadline!