I've been on the holiday party circuit the past few weeks, with three soirees under my belt and a few more on tap this week.
No wonder they call Christmas "the most wonderful time of the year!"
And you know good parties lead to good food, so I've had plenty of that, too.
There was a buffet of piping hot pizzas and taps of cool exotic beers during a private party at Pies & Pints. There were delicious nibbles and nice wine with friends just down the road. Then there was an impressive full dinner spread at the wife's office party this past weekend.
Smoked Alaskan salmon and halibut, a tender beef roast, brown sugar-glazed ham, creamy mashed potatoes, green beans simmered with pork, warm rolls . . . the choices went on and on. Then came an array of homemade desserts including a rich chocolate cake, lemon-blueberry cheesecake and more.
All I want for Christmas is seconds!
n n n
Because bite-size snacks and finger foods play a starring role at most holiday parties, I thought I'd share a few ideas and recipes for those planning their own holiday and New Year's Eve parties coming up.
And here are a few other party snack ideas I've collected from readers and other sources . . .
Reader Linda Sapp sent in a link for delicious looking bacon cheddar tomato bites (see recipe) that couldn't be any easier to throw together. You simply stir together five ingredients and scoop the mixture into filo cups to bake for 15 minutes.
In fact, you could create countless combinations of different fillings to bake inside filo cups for similar results.
Corned beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing for mini Rueben cups. Chicken, hot sauce and bleu cheese for mini wing cups. Crumbled sausage, marinara and mozzarella for mini pizza cups. Pulled pork and slaw for mini barbecue cups. You get the picture.
Finally, Oak Hill reader Brad Anderson sent in a recipe he found on Food Finder that really piqued my interest.
Hollowed out strawberries are coated in chocolate and then filled with a mixture of Godiva liqueur, vanilla vodka and chocolate sauce for a dessert shot in an edible glass.
After last week's ode to grilled cheese goodness, reader Fyrn Frame wrote in to recommend one she loves.
"You should try Johnny Mac's in Ripley. They have a grilled cheese that will leave you wanting more. Also hamburgers (fresh ground beef) that rivals big cities!"
Bacon cheddar tomato bites
3 packages filo pastry cups
1 can diced tomatoes, partially drained
1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
1. Mix all ingredients together until well blended, then scoop into pastry cups.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Recipe courtesy Rotel Tomatoes