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!



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!
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.
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.
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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