With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, the holiday entertaining season has begun!
Although I don’t really host any large scale holiday festivities on my own, I have quite a few social engagements coming up to which I have agreed to bring ‘something’. Hmmm. Usually this ‘something’ would be an appetizer or sweet. This time of year, I usually like to go with items I have made before. Less stress. However, I usually cannot help myself and do make something new.
So what ‘somethings’ are my tried and trues and what items may be entering the line-up for 2009?
A few years ago, I baked TONS of cookies. I am not really sure who I was even baking them for. I have cut back on the cookie baking, but still have some favorites. Also, if you have some cookies on hand, they can easily and quickly count as that ‘something’ referred to in the above paragraph.
- Ginger Spice Cookies (I usually also add a tablespoon or so of fresh minced ginger to these cookies)
- Sugar Cookies (going to attempt some better decorating this year – I usually slop on icing and roll around in sprinkles)
- Almond Bark (I add some chopped walnuts or almonds on top to make it look nice)
- Puppy Chow (um, super easy, kind of lame – but everybody likes it!)
Possible 2009 additions:
- Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
- Macarons (Featured in December’s Food & Wine – no link available)
I am a sucker for a tasty, creamy dip. I am trying to branch out of my reliance on dips – they are just so easy though! Easy to transport and/or make ahead of time.
- Buffalo Chicken Dip – not necessarily my favorite, but people do go wild over this stuff (made with poached shredded chicken breast instead of canned and low-fat dairy ingredients and served with baked tortilla chips and celery)
- Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Bacon – (usually served with pita chips although I may try the toasted baguette mentioned in the recipe)
- Greek Layer Dip (see my recipe here)
Possible 2009 additions:
- Ina Garten’s Caramelized Onion Dip (will likely cut down the butter and oil here and use low-fat dairy – will serve with thick cut potato chips and veggies)
- Caesar Salad Cups (also from this month’s Food & Wine – no link available – basically a mini Caesar served in endive)
Another great ‘something’, particularly for a brunch or afternoon event, are the goods needed for making mimosas. A decent champagne (of course I like Domaine Chandon – a bottle can be found in state stores for under $20 – although you certainly could go lower, especially because you are mixing it) and quality OJ (TJs usually has something kind of fancy and reasonably priced) are super easy to pick up while running errands and I promise everyone will appreciate the festivity champagne brings to any event.
On that note, I also plan on attempting a cranberry based drink for some event during the holiday season. This Cranberry Gin & Tonic recipe looks promising. Over on the Chowhound boards, someone mentioned adding this same cranberry base to the Rick Bayless Topolo Margarita recipe. Sounds damn tasty to me.
If and when I actually attempt these recipes over the coming weeks, I will let you know and hopefully post some pictures.
What are your holiday favorites? Anything ambitious planned for your holiday cooking?