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.

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20 Comments

Stephanie G. November 14, 2015
Thank you! I love to make cake more than anything else in life. Coconut and hummingbird are very southern and delicious.
 
Leah H. November 14, 2015
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).
 
Summer O. November 13, 2015
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.
 
Stephanie G. November 11, 2015
I've never made mulled wine before...does it have to be kept warm?
 
rt21 November 10, 2015
What about some mulled wine ?
 
Niknud November 9, 2015
I thought this punch looked good - I saved it for my holiday festivies: https://food52.com/recipes/32354-bowery-punch
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Niknud November 9, 2015
Clearly it was delicious since I posted it about 12 times.....
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Stephanie G. November 9, 2015
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?
 
Niknud November 9, 2015
I thought this one looked good: https://food52.com/recipes/32354-bowery-punch
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Niknud November 9, 2015
I thought this one looked good: https://food52.com/recipes/32354-bowery-punch
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Nancy November 12, 2015
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
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 9, 2015
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.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 9, 2015
A huge bowl of candied pecan would be good as well.
 

Voted the Best Reply!

inpatskitchen November 9, 2015
In keeping with your Southern theme, how about mac and cheese baked in muffin tins. Great warm or at room temperature and the kids will love them!
 
Nancy November 9, 2015
And/or.
Talking starch like mac and cheese, makes me think now is the time to introduce all those rainforest people to a classic southern dish. Grits, plain, with cheese, with garlic, shrimp and/or bacon.
Once worked in south-west Virginia with a bunch of northerners, and we mapped the USA with IsoGrit waves (like isobars in the weather report). Above the IsoGrit bar, you were automatically served hash browns with a diner breakfast. Below it, grits. Enjoy...
 
Nancy November 9, 2015
Maybe you're not in the north-west rainy area. Might have confused your profile with someone else.
Still, with a southern background, consider grits.
 
Niknud November 9, 2015
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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Soozll November 9, 2015
Maybe you could add some ambrosia and your favorite black eyed pea salad. Both fit the southern theme and can be made ahead.
 
702551 November 8, 2015
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.
 
CanadaDan November 8, 2015
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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