It's that time of year when Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon be celebrated. I have a Christmas Open House every year on Christmas Day for family and friends. We usually entertain 20-30 people. I tried hosting a traditional sit-down dinner, but due to varying schedules of family members, limited oven and table space, it was a disaster! I couldn't have everything done at the same time so people ended up eating in shifts, which really went against my idea of a family sit-down.
The following year, I decided to have an open house. This allowed for guests to come during the time that suits them. I can prepare, cook, and serve foods much easier, and I am not in the kitchen all day, so I can spend time with my guests when they arrive. I have learned to utilize my oven, stove-top, crock-pots, and warming stations to host a wonderful buffet.
My menu planning is fast approaching and I like to use recipes from the Christmas with Southern Living books. Our libraries have copies of these books dating back to the early 2000's. I have browsed every one of these books in search of recipes for my buffets. I've found wonderful cocktail/drink recipes, delicious appetizers, savory meat and side dishes, as well as scrumptious desserts! The other great thing about these books is the decorating ideas for your home and your table. You can choose to go really extravagant or inexpensive depending on your budget and what holiday items you have on hand to use.
This Christmas, I am planning to make Merry Mimosas for a Crowd, Poinsettia Sangria, Country Ham Rolls with Orange Mustard, Cajun-Stuffed Pork Roast, Ultimate Fondue and Corn Pudding Souffle (both are slow-cooker recipes). And for dessert, I will make a Cinnamon-Apple Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze and a Sweet Potato Cake with Orange-Cream Frosting. All these recipes can be found in Christmas with Southern Living 2011.
Bon Appetit and Happy Holidays!!
Recommended by Lisa Petrecca