- Start with a blank table (white tablecloth) pick a color scheme (2 colors and add a POP) I used white and light blue and a pop of red in the Winterberry Centerpiece. Less is more, keep things simple. White plates look seamless.
- Try a disposable runner using wrapping paper, inexpensive and there are so many beautiful options.
- Beautiful but simple centerpiece, white pitcher with Winterberry.
- Serve a signature cocktail.
- Vary heights.
- Identify dishes (I used ornaments to make cute food tags).
- Start with plates at beginning of buffet and at the end of the buffet should be utensils and napkins.
- Opt for easy do-ahead dishes, stay away from hot appetizers that go uneaten once cold. General rule of thumb for appetizers are 3 per person. (Read our blog post on professional appetizer presentation for tips on how to best present your appetizers.)
½ oz maraschino cherry liquor
Maraschino cherries with stems
4 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
12 slices good quality chicken (or turkey) lunchmeat
¼ cup Caesar dressing (I like Marie’s brand, found in refrigerated produce section)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup packaged bacon crumbles (in place of croutons, adds flavor AND crunch)
About 3 cups of shredded Romaine lettuce or for a quick and easy tip use Iceberg lettuce shreds in a package
Spreadable cream cheese
Brie Pomegranate Pistachio Phyllo Cups
1 package phyllo cup (there are 15 per package)
Spreadable brie cheese (comes in plastic wedge container)
Pistachios (roughly chopped, can also buy them that way)
Place a heaping tablespoon of brie in phyllo cup. Warm in 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes top with a few pomegranate seeds and pistachios.
Smoked Trout Dip on Crostinis
Approx. 3-4 oz. smoke trout
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 ½ Tbls. sour cream
1 Tbls. fresh dill
1 ½ Tbls. capers
1 Tbls. lemon juice
1 small baguette
Mix together all ingredients (except smoked trout) to combine. Break up smoked trout and add to cream cheese mixture, mix to combine (I like the smoked trout a little chunky).
Slice baguette, brush with olive oil and bake 350 degrees for about 6-7 minutes so just slightly toasted. Spread trout on baguette rounds or to make it even easier serve smoked trout spread in bowl with crostini’s, garnish with dill sprig. Makes about 2 dozen individually topped crostini’s.
Santa Crunch Popcorn
8 cups cooked popcorn; salted and buttered
1 package red and green m&m’s
Mini gingerbread men
Mix all together serve in a large bowl with a scoop and provide small cups or bowls to scoop into. Other ideas; add sprinkles, mini holiday pretzels or mini marshmallow.
Sugar Snap Pea Wreath with Cherry Tomatoes
For a regular size plate, I used 2 packages of sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes. Arrange on plate and serve with your favorite dip (I used ranch).
Easy Chocolate Mousse
8 oz. Cool whip
11.5 oz. bag of chocolate chips (melt in double boiler or microwave)
2 Tbls. whiskey (or more to taste)
Whisk melted chocolate into cool whip, whisk in whiskey if desired. I served in small disposable dessert cups and served with a peppermint spoon. Servings depend on size of cup. Mini cups were about 1.2 oz cup servings.
Tree and Snowman picks – www.pickonus.com
Target – Wrapping paper runner, ornaments and wood base riser, cherries with stem
Party Store – Clear Dessert Cups
Amazon – Peppermint Spoons, plastic champagne glasses, gold 2 tiered servers, gold foil cups for popcorn
Trader Joe’s – Mini Gingerbread Men, red Winterberries for centerpiece
Jewel – Phyllo Cups
Entertaining Expert Carol Mackey