Holiday Open House food-filter™
November 27, 2005 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Each year my wife, my daughter and I have a holiday open house, where we set out a spread, play holiday songs, and meet and greet folks before the holidays. Traditionally we do Hovan™ cracker-bread "Roll 'em up" sandwiches, cookies, and crudites, and serve wine, beer, and soda. We're always on the hunt for new, easy items to add to our repast. Any suggestions?

Can anyone suggest food for our annual holiday open house that meets the following criteria:
  • Finger food... plates but no utensils
  • Needs little refrigeration
  • Easy night before preparation
  • Good for kids as well as adults
  • Good to eat as leftovers
Thanks in advance!
posted by jpburns to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Parmesan Crackers
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:49 AM on November 27, 2005

We do something similar and found chili poppers to be an unexpectedly big hit. They are chilis with cheese, breaded and deep fried. You just have to heat 'em in the oven. Kind of bubba, I know, but people like 'em.
posted by Doohickie at 11:21 AM on November 27, 2005

I made palmiers with chevre, prosciutto, chopped-up dates, and hazelnuts for Thanksgiving appetizers, and everyone inhaled them. I used puff pastry, let it thaw, rolled it out a bit, layered stuff on top of it, folded it into palmiers (though you could also roll it up into pinwheels), chilled it for a half hour, sliced it into 1/4" pieces, put them on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, brushed 'em with egg, drizzled honey over, and baked them for 14-16 minutes or so. You could use any kind of sliced meat and cheese combination, anything at all, and they're great. Easy to eat with fingers.
posted by cacahuete at 11:47 AM on November 27, 2005

1. Radishes. Serve with crock of unsalted butter for dipping and dish of sea (or kosher) salt for sprinkling. Surprisingly delicious.

2. Hand-held salads. Cut plum (roma) tomatoes into 1/4" rings. Hollow out rings. insert several leaves of red- or green-leaf lettuce into rings (as you would insert a napkin into a napkin ring). Serve with some kind of dressing to dip the "salads" into.

3. Bacon-wrapped dates. Take pitted dates. Insert almonds into dates. Wrap with bacon. Bake 'til done. Delicious hot or at room temperature. You will NOT have leftovers of these, no matter how many you make. I promise you that.

4. Good cheese, sausage and bread (or crackers) is the simplest possible thing to do for an hors d'oeuvre. When I do it I like to offer: Fresh mozzarella, aged provolone (the reallly sharp imported stuff, not the kind you find in a deli) and usually one of the softer, stinkier cheeses as well (although a milder cheddar might be a good contract, especially if there are children to appeal to, plus sopresatta (hot or sweet) and good french or italian bread.
posted by dersins at 12:09 PM on November 27, 2005

5. Also, a variety of good olives and nuts. Nuts are especially delicious if warmed in the oven.
posted by dersins at 12:10 PM on November 27, 2005

(That was not meant to sound as naughty as it did, fyi.)
posted by dersins at 1:53 PM on November 27, 2005

dersins, you're making me hungry!

Nuts are great when mixed with dried cranberries or cherries. (That was meant to sound more naughty than it did. Damn.)

To fancify olives a bit, mix them with orange or lemon zest first and let them sit for 30 mins. before serving.
posted by equipoise at 2:23 PM on November 27, 2005

Every year we go to a big multi-age holiday pot luck and every year we absolutely run out of the pigs in a blanket our kids make. They are the simplest things, just cocktail weiners wrapped in Pillsbury crescent rolls, but people love them.
posted by Biblio at 2:28 PM on November 27, 2005

In my experience, devilled eggs go over well, they're easy to make, and they're easy to just pick up and eat. The only downside is that they can't sit out indefinitely.

Based on what you say, I think you need more salty snacks, because no one's gonna want to eat cookies with beer, generally.
posted by dagnyscott at 3:14 PM on November 27, 2005

Seconding Biblio's call for mini-hot-dogs-in-crescent-rolls. For our family Christmas, we do the same thing you do, and nothing's a bigger hit than those bitty pigs in blankets.

Recipe: pre-cooked cocktail weiners, mini hot dogs, whatever you call 'em. One package of those will need about two tubes of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Open a tube, cut on Pillsbury's dotted lines, then cut each of those triangles into three triangles. Wrap each bit around a mini hot dog, put on a cookie sheet, pop in the oven until the rolls are golden-brown. Serve them hot. Fast and easy prep, and my brother and I always loved the cut-and-wrap job.

Supply along with plenty of spicy mustard, ketchup, whatever you guys like with hot dogs. I like eggnog to cut the heat/spiciness, but beer or soda will also go fine. These will be a huge hit with kids, but adults will also fight for them. Warning: In our family, the mad love inspired a year-round dinner-sized version with real hot dogs in a full crescent roll apiece.
posted by booksandlibretti at 4:25 PM on November 27, 2005

I make little toothpick-sized bites: layer sliced cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced baby bocconcini (fresh mozzarella), strips of fresh basil, drizzle the whole thing with balsamic/olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. You can even get the little bocconcini's already marinated in an herb/olive oil mix which makes the whole thing even easier. They are awesome and festive looking (red and green!).
posted by fionab at 5:49 PM on November 27, 2005

« Older How do you impress your dinner guests?   |   Make three NICs share the traffic in Server 2003 Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.