holiday dinner party ideas?

Hosting a party for co-workers in our house, a dozen folks or so next weekend. Not a formal dinner but eating in our living room. Looking to impress but not slave over the stove. Ideas for recipes? No particular theme, something holiday-ish. Like Tom Hirschfield's hot smoked salmon recipe... what else might we serve? Thanks!

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Nancy
Nancy December 12, 2014

People get a lot of and a lot of fancy food at the holidays. You want to impress but not slave. Put these two together and I get counter-intuitive ideas. Make something simple, that you like, that's a family favorite, that you've made a million times. Your guests will get something extraordinary - not your usual holiday spread. You will be relaxed. And you can all have a great time. And, oh, how to make it holiday or Christmas-worthy? Make it with the best ingredients you can source, the most indulgent garnishes, luxurious (in whatever way you define) appetizer and dessert. There - no menus, but a theme! Enjoy!

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luvcookbooks
luvcookbooks December 12, 2014

The something simple could be beef stew served over egg noodles. Very homey and good winter food, not too rich... a tossed green salad with dried cranberries and orange slices, or you could use pomegranate seeds instead of cranberries... the colors are holiday-ish and it's not too heavy. Then all you need is gingerbread and a spicy whipped cream for dessert, or maybe creme fraiche with chopped candied ginger. Clementines for sugar abstainers. Coffee and hot spiced cider with rum or brandy.

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ChefJune
ChefJune December 12, 2014

It's hard to suggest to you, because I don't know what YOU, your family and friends like. I love Nancy's suggestion to make something YOU love and love to serve. Then decorate your house festively for the season and welcome your guests. You'll be so much more comfortable/less frantic, and everyone will relax and have a great time.

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girlwithaknife
girlwithaknife December 12, 2014

thanks for the ideas! Love the dessert ideas -- I will totally do that and pile the clementines in a pyramid too!

after some browsing, I decided on the following:
smoked salmon platter with capers/ dill cream (easy)
chicken wings w/ ginger scallion sauce (easy, previous win at parties)
miso-creamed kale (looks SO GOOD)
crudites w/ white bean & artichoke dip (easy)
baked brie (or, if prep gets hectic, will just serve it plain & warmed)

Feedback welcome!

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