It’s getting to be the holiday season. I love this time of year! I love family gatherings with people I don’t see often enough, dinners with friends who are so dear to us (especially being so far from both of our families), hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold night while Home Alone plays and we decorate the tree.
I love planning the menu for a dinner party, large or small. Sometimes I like to go with traditional – like for Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t want to try something new, I just want the same thing every year. But, for the other events, anything can go.
Here are some ideas for a menu for a holiday dinner or party.
The Intimate Dinner Party
The idea is a small-ish, sit down dinner party. You can let guests bring something, if you’d like. And whatever you end up preparing, most of the ideas for this party can be prepared at least partway the day before.
You could serve a Crudité Platter, Nuts and Seeds, or a Cheese Platter for guests to snack on while you put the finishing touches on dinner.
Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup for a light appetizer (serve it in small bowls so guests don’t fill up before the main course)
Chicken Pot Pie made with seasonal veggies (one of my all-time favorite foods)
Baguettes served with Herb Butter (mix some seasonal herbs with unsalted butter and a pinch of salt) or Honey Butter (mix 1 t, or more, honey, with a pinch of salt, and 1/4 C unsalted butter)
The Buffet Style Dinner Party
Let guests bring dishes to share. Or, take care of the main two or three dishes, and let guests bring the appetizers, desserts, and sides. Make sure you have warming dishes or crock pots, so hot food stays at a safe and yummy temperature. Below are some ideas for things that you might want to prepare, or suggest to guests who need help with ideas. Having a variety of foods will ensure that there’s something for everyone.
Fish Wellingtons (make them minis) (another one of my favorite foods)
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cherry Tomatoes (switch out tomatoes for veggies that are in season, like brussels sprouts, cabbage, or fennel)
Vegan Fruit Crisp (use fruit that is in season, like apples, pears, or persimmons)
Trio of Soups
Soups are a wonderful, easy, comforting way to feed a crowd. Make three of your favorites and ask guests to bring the bread, wine, and dessert. Or, make your favorite and ask a few others to bring theirs. Other guests can bring bread, wine, and dessert.
The Everyone You Know Holiday Party
Make this a tapas party. Let guests bring an appetizer or dessert to share. Depending on how many of each you want to have, you could split the alphabet and have guests on one side bring the sweets, the others the appetizers.
Spicy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes (cut them in to bite-sized pieces before roasting, follow regular instructions, just on a smaller scale)
However and whatever you are celebrating this holiday season, I hope it’s filled with great food, wonderful friends and family, and lots of laughter!
I’m taking some time off this coming week to be with family, but I’ll be back on December 1st, with persimmons and bacon.