Keeping Holidays Simple

by Cate on November 18, 2006

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be doing some posts under the heading Keeping Holidays Simple. Everyone likes to entertain, but with the holiday craziness, we still need to keep our wits about us so we can fully enjoy the fesitivies. That’s the impetus behind the Keeping Holidays Simple series you’ll be reading here; I’ll be popping it in from time to time.

Apptizers and pre-dinner munchies have always been a favorite part of the meal, for both me and my mom. Whether we’re planning the menu ourselves, or even just getting take-out, that part of the meal always gets as much focus as the main course and side dishes, sometimes more. When we order dinner from the “chicken and rice man” (aka Chinese takeout), I very rarely choose an entree. Instead, I opt for a few appetizers. Same thing with Indian food.

Appetizer parties are a great timesaver if you want to entertain during the holiday season, but keep your time with your guests, instead of in the kitchen. When entertaining, there are a lot of appetizers that you can make ahead and freeze, saving you valuable time. Appetizers are also easy for guests to eat, requires less plates and utensils and heck, is just more fun!

But if you have an appetizer party, what do you do about dessert? There are lots of different ways to go. You could keep the “just pop them in your mouth” theme and do platters of cookies and brownies and such, or you could make mini desserts. Or…. for something more fun, definitely out of the ordinary and something you won’t see at every other party you go to, how about a Hot Chocolate Bar? I saw the idea in a magazine recently and it is too cute to pass up.
Arrange thermal carafes of hot chocolate with stacks of mugs, and do-it-yourself accompaniments, like chunks of white, milk and dark chocolate, marshmallows (of course!), cinnamon sticks, candy cane sticks, fresh whipped cream and liqueurs like Kahlua, Baileys and Godiva. Fun, festive and everyone’s not doing it. Go set the newest trend in motion.

Until tomorrow…

A year ago today… last day of vacation.

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