Simple Holiday Entertaining Recipes & Ideas
The holiday season can feel like an endless cycle of shopping, gift wrapping, and cooking. Between Christmas decorating, shopping, hosting, and Christmas Day itself, there is so much to do in the last few weeks of December. Whether you’re hosting a Christmas Eve party or Christmas morning brunch, these ideas for holiday entertaining are sure to save you time and money while delighting your guests.
Christmas Party Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres
If you’re hosting a holiday party this year, one of the first items on your to-do list will be planning your menu. Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres are a cost-effective solution that allows guests to wander and relax while snacking on a variety of different foods. Here are some quick and easy ideas to get you started:
Set Up a Hot Chocolate Bar
A hot chocolate bar is a perfect addition to any holiday party spread. Start with a simple hot cocoa mix and finish it off with tons of extras and mix-ins. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Whipped cream
- Candy canes
- Caramel and chocolate syrups
- Alcoholic liqueurs like amaretto
Create a Cheese or Charcuterie Centerpiece
Planning a cheese or charcuterie board for the first time can seem like a daunting task. But you can create a crowd-pleasing centerpiece by selecting one (or several) from each of the following categories:
- Soft cheeses: Brie, feta, ricotta, camembert, chevre, and gorgonzola.
- Hard cheeses: Cheddar, provolone, gouda, pecorino, and gruyere.
- Meats: Salami, prosciutto, sopressata, chorizo, mortadella, and pepperoni.
- Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and macadamia nuts.
- Fruit: Apples, grapes, raspberries, clementines, as well as dried fruit.
- Olives: Green, black, and kalamata.
- Crackers: Butter, stone-milled, melba toast, and more.
- Crunchy vegetables: Carrots, celery, edamame, and bell pepper.
- Dips and spreads: Hummus, mustard, jam, and chutney.
Need more guidance? Check out our video on making a quick and easy cheese board — and don’t hesitate to ask a butcher or deli team member for further assistance.
Let Food Become Art
Let your hors d’oeuvres serve double duty as both food and decoration. Whether you opt for a tree-shaped pull-apart bread, popcorn wreaths, or a yule log, these holiday entertaining recipes will delight your guests and make your party even more festive.
Christmas Morning Breakfast and Brunch Ideas
If you’ve been focused on preparing for a Christmas party or are simply planning a big Christmas dinner, you may have forgotten entirely about Christmas morning. You may have guests coming over to exchange presents, or just a family of hungry kids to feed. Here are some quick ideas for delicious morning meals to make the best use of your time in the kitchen.
Slow-Cooker Breakfasts & Make-Ahead Meals
At Christmastime, the slow cooker is your best friend. Main courses, dips, and desserts can all be made in a slow cooker, and they only require a few minutes of your time to get them started.
Opting for a slow cooker or make-ahead meal means having a relaxing Christmas morning with your family, rather than being stuck in the kitchen. Check out some of our favorite easy recipes that pair perfectly with present opening:
- Make-Ahead Stuffed French Toast
- Breakfast Sausage Pizza
- Raisin-filled Pastry Bars
- Blueberry Breakfast Bonanza
Split Up the Present Opening
If your children have been looking forward to Christmas for months, but rip through their presents in a matter of minutes, consider breaking up the morning with a fun family breakfast.
After opening a few presents, invite the kids into the kitchen to cook pancakes, and then set out fruit, nuts, and chocolate to decorate them like Santa, reindeer, or any other holiday character you like.
Your kids will revel in getting a treat for breakfast and will have a chance to play with whatever they opened before unwrapping the rest of their presents.
Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas
After months of shopping and wrapping presents, holiday entertaining at Christmas dinner may be the last thing on your mind. Whether you’re hosting for immediate family or a large gathering, plan to keep things simple.
Here are a few of our favorite Christmas dinner staples:
- Baked Ham with Honey-Apricot Glaze
- Marinated Turkey Breast
- Apple, Cranberry, and Pecan Stuffing
- Herbed Au Gratin Potatoes
- Balsamic-Glazed Green Beans
While you may be tempted to do everything yourself, it’s easy to let your menu get away from you. Don’t hesitate to ask guests to bring something with them, even if it’s just a bag of ice or a plate of cookies.
Desserts and Sweets
Desserts are the star of the show when it comes to holiday entertaining. From Christmas cookie exchanges to parties and dinners, desserts are always a welcome addition to a meal. And with so many holiday flavors like peppermint, eggnog, and pumpkin, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
Check out a few of our go-to holiday desserts and sweets:
- Ice Cube Chocolates
- Apple Custard Pie
- Phenomenal Pumpkin Meringue Pie
- Eggnog Sparkle Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Pie
Ready to get cooking? Save time and energy by ordering your groceries online for pick-up or delivery from Stauffers of Kissel Hill.