Throw a Christmas Open House

Phew! How are you guys doing? You’re really in the thick of things now, aren’t you? Last minute gifts, office parties, and cookie baking. Christmas as a grown up is hectic!

Here, relax with a mug of peppermint hot cocoa and take a breather with Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots:

Okay, so let’s talk about one of our favorite topics: entertaining. Maybe you like the idea of having some friends around for some Christmas fun, but you don’t have it in you to plan another get together or dinner. A Christmas open house may be just the thing you’re looking for. Just like a real estate open house, your place will be ‘open’ for a certain period of time. Your friends and family can drop by during that time for a quick catch up and then be on their way. You can serve all kinds of cute finger foods, pour a glass of wine, exchange some gifts and show off your Christmas tree all at once. And then, everyone is gone and you can finish off the open bottle and get back to wrapping gifts.

Here are a few festive nibbles you can serve at your open house:

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables – This is basically my go-to potluck recipe since you can make it ahead of time, throw in any kind of vegetables that you want and can be served warm, cold or at room temperature. It’s always good, so it’s no surprise that it’s a recipe from my girl, Ina Garten. If you make it the day before your party, it only gets better. The lemon vinaigrette marinates the vegetables and orzo and creates a wonderful melding of flavors.

Kale and Burrata Bruschetta - What we need is more cheese. You’ll always find an abundance of cheese at my parties. But in this recipe, it’s topped with kale, so it MUST be healthy, right? This is a simple bruschetta, topped with creamy burrata and sauteed kale. If you are having a difficult time finding burrata, you can substitute with fresh mozzarella.

Pizzettes with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto – These gorgeous little pizza bites treat your mouth to a bit of everything. Salty prosciutto, sweet caramelized onions and creamy goat cheese. Take the time to make your own caramelized onions instead of buying the jarred stuff. I guarantee it’ll taste so much better with fresh, sweet onions.

Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes – These are really the simplest appetizer you can make. Just take some small fingerling potatoes, wrap some bacon around it, and pop it onto a toothpick and roast. Make sure you roast it for about 40-50 minutes so the potato is cooked all the way through.? Super easy and everyone will love the bacon.

Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki – Another tasty dish you can serve on skewers or toothpicks. The meatballs are easy to cook ahead of time and can be warmed up before your party. They’re very good at room temperature. The homemade tzatziki sauce is cool and refreshing, made from greek yogurt and cucumber. You can serve this with some sliced pita and your guests will be totally happy.

Roasted-Garlic Hummus – Homemade hummus is really easy to make if you have a food processors. This lightened recipe contains soft, roasted garlic to flavor it and just a touch of olive oil. It will go really well with the lamb recipe above or with a nice crudite platter.

Raspberry Yogurt Cake – This cake is very simple to make and uses frozen raspberries. It’s very moist since it uses yogurt as its base. I’m pretty sure you could use, thick, creamy greek yogurt to make it an even richer cake. I’ve make yogurt cakes before, and they freeze very well, so you can make it ahead of time and thaw it for your get together.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding – How cute are these little individual cups or pudding? I would put them in wee little shooter glasses or those petite cups for a party. Topped with a little bit of whipped cream and maybe some of the candied nuts in the recipe below, this recipe is sure to make your party festive.

Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts – Delicious little morsels that are super easy to make! These nuts can be eaten on their own by the handful, sprinkled on salads or added to desserts. If you get a pretty jar to put them in, they also make a terrific gift. Smitten Kitchen’s recipe combines smokey paprika with cinnamon, salt and sugar. Sounds good to us!

 

 

Pizzettes photo from: Cooking Channel TV, Everyday Italian

Pumpkin pudding from: Cooking Light. Jonny Valiant; Styling: Deborah Williams

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