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Let's plan a holiday open house menu!

I'd like to host an open house for about 50 people on New Year's Day. It will be families with children. I'm thinking along my Southern lines with ham, brioche rolls to make little sandwiches, deviled eggs, pimento cheese. Egg Nog will be included. Your ideas to round this menu out are welcome and appreciated. Extra points for make-ahead ideas.

asked by Stephanie G about 3 years ago

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20 answers 1247 views
CanadaDan
added about 3 years ago

Around the holidays I always have a soup ready since December tends to get cold in Canada. I make a delicious Chicken and dumplings that can be made ahead and will sit warm on the stovetop (or on the keep warm of a slow cooker) for a long time. Yes soups and stews are tough to eat if you're not at a table but i'd be happy if I came in from the cold to a warm bowl and chicken and dumplings...

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cv
cv
added about 3 years ago

Here in California, my go-to winter open house dishes would be carnitas tacos or Dungeness crab (the latter not possible this year as the commercial fishing season has been indefinitely postponed due to naturally occurring shellfish toxins).

Carnitas are actually better if made ahead.

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Soozll
added about 3 years ago

Maybe you could add some ambrosia and your favorite black eyed pea salad. Both fit the southern theme and can be made ahead.

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Niknud
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Ooo! You have to do the Joy of Cooking's 'Egg Nog for a crowd'! It's amazing (by which I mean it has enough booze to level a musk ox). And I love doing deviled eggs with minced bacon and chipotles in adobo - with a little delicate sprig of chive on top. And although I highly encourage the egg nog, with that much heavy food it might be fun to do a pickled something or other (red onions to go on the sandwhiches) or a vinegar-based slaw to cut some of the richness. And maybe some more acidy punch - lemon or citrus based.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Sounds fun. Hoppin' John to ring in the new year, Sweet Tea, Jello Poke Cake, Quiche(s) and Pecan Pie. Also, pig candy can be made ahead.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

A huge bowl of candied pecan would be good as well.

Stephanie G
added about 3 years ago

I love the ideas! I was already thinking about the mac and cheese cups and the grits is a great idea too! I love the hopping' john idea too. Candied pecans and vinegar based slaw are genius and I never would have thought of them. Thank you! Additional ideas welcome. Would champagne punch be too much? Maybe the Ginger Sangria from food52?

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Niknud
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

I thought this one looked good: https://food52.com/recipes...

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Niknud
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

I thought this one looked good: https://food52.com/recipes...

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Nancy
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

If you're having children (and non-drinkers), consider serving two punches, one boozy and one not.
Make sure they are clearly distinguishable (different colors, one fizzy one not, etc) and maybe at two serving stations, or two ends of a long table.
Some ideas for the non-alcoholic:
1) sherbet floating on top of a fruit punch - tastes good, visually fun for the kids
2) lemonade from scratch with other fruits (use frozen peaches or berries in January)
3) hot chocolate from scratch, served hot and/or over crushed ice

Niknud
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

I thought this punch looked good - I saved it for my holiday festivies: https://food52.com/recipes...

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Niknud
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Clearly it was delicious since I posted it about 12 times.....

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rt21
added about 3 years ago

What about some mulled wine ?

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Stephanie G
added about 3 years ago

I've never made mulled wine before...does it have to be kept warm?

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Summer of Eggplant
added about 3 years ago

Stephanie - I like the way you think! I think you could easily do an assortment of ham biscuits, pimento cheese or cucumber and cream cheese w/ herbs or curried chicken sandwiches, fried chicken (easily made a head or purchased), pickled shrimp, a wild rice & pecan salad, blanched asparagus with a green goddess dip, a tenderloin with horseradish sauce, smoked trout dip, bacon brownies, red velvet whoopie pies, lemon trifle, hummingbird cake, coconut cake, baked beans, pink eyes peas, collard or kale salad, mini corn breads.

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Leah H
added about 3 years ago

Not particularly Southern but can be made ahead and very tasty - how about little picnic pies?

Use a mini muffin tin for 1 bite pies or a regular muffin tin for something more substantial. Line tin with pastry rounds (make your own or buy pre-rolled from the store). Add your favorite stuffing (optional - a little spoon of cranberry sauce), add leftover turkey or lightly sautéed chicken breast. Add a spoonful of sausage (as it cooks the juice/fat will move down the insides of the pie to keep everything moist).

Top with pastry lid, egg wash, bake at 350 for 45 minutes (use foil if they tops get too brown).

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Stephanie G
added about 3 years ago

Thank you! I love to make cake more than anything else in life. Coconut and hummingbird are very southern and delicious.

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