It’s holiday entertaining season! My formula for a no fail holiday entertaining menu will help ensure all your holiday get togethers will be a success! Sharing my favorite tips and tricks to make your event a success!
This post is sponsored by I Love Ice Cream Cakes. As always, all opinions are my own.
I have people ask me all the time, “what should I serve at my party?” and I realized that perhaps many people have this question so I thought I’d share my formula for a no fail holiday entertaining menu. I use this formula for all non meal time parties or get togethers. So if you are inviting people over for dinner, this is not the menu you want to use, but if you are having people over for cocktails, appetizers, gift exchanges or other holiday festivities, this is the perfect formula to ensure no one leaves hungry!
Before I get into my no fail formula, let me share a couple tips and tricks that I use for every party. First, I never try a new recipe for entertaining. I make sure it is something that is tried and true and that I feel comfortable making. Second, I never make more than three things homemade, anything more than that, and things get stressful! For me, the cheese and cracker platter and the dessert are my two easy, store bought items, and with the quality of store bought dips improving, sometimes I go the store bought route there too!
So here is my no fail formula that works for the holidays, birthday parties, girls’ nights, etc. I use this formula for any non meal time party and it works everytime! I am (relatively) a non-stressed host and I have happy, full guests! I am excited to share this post as part of a Virtual Cocktail Party with my friends Jennifer and Vicki over at Two Bees in A Pod! Check out all the other great posts at the end!
No Fail Holiday Entertaining Menu Formula:
Cheese and Cracker Platter
Meat Based Appetizer
Bread Based Appetizer or Finger Food
Dessert (One a main, one a snack)
Dip: Pick either a hot or cold dip, depending on what your crowd likes. Some favorites include Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Ranch Dip , Loaded Baked Potato Dip, or Jalapeno Corn Dip. Serve with tortilla chips, veggies, or potato chips. Seriously everyone loves dip. It seems to be the place where everyone congregates! I know its my favorite spot to hang out! If you have a big crowd, choose one hot dip and one cold one!
Cheese and Cracker Platter: I love to pick up 2 types of cheeses and a variety of crackers. I usually go with a more gourmet cheese and then a classic, like a sharp white cheddar. Don’t forget the mustard! I love to add sprigs of rosemary for the fragrance and grapes for a pop of color! It instantly dresses up a cheese platter. Use a cutting board to display your food. It adds warmth and texture to your table.
Meat Based Appetizer: To make sure everyone leaves full, serve at least one meat based appetizer. Meatballs are usually my favorite option! Chicken Parmesan Meatball Skewers are always a hit at any gathering, and people love food on a stick! If the food is on a stick, you will save money and clean up on plates and forks!
Bread Based Appetizer or Finger Food: This option is probably my favorite. I love thinking up new finger foods. Bruschetta and crostini are my favorite. Herbed Ricotta Crostini with Marinated Tomatoes looks fancy, but is so easy. I also have a meat version with steak on it which is perfect for New Year’s Eve! Cranberry Feta Pinwheels or BLT Pinwheels are also easy, but taste great and are easy to eat while mingling! You want to keep the food compact and not super messy! People may be wearing their holiday best!
Dessert: I’ll let you in on a secret, dessert at my house is almost always the easiest item that I serve. I always do two sweets. One will be super easy and is either a dip like this Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Dip or Christmas Cookie Dip, and some cookies, store bought or homemade. Make a few batches of cookies in November and freeze them for easy serving later.
For the main item, I almost always go the store bought route. My favorite to pick up is an OREO® Premium Ice Cream Cake found in the bakery section or freezer aisle at grocery stores nationwide.
When a store bought cake tastes as good as this, there is definitely no reason for me to bake! This cake is from I Love Ice Cream Cakes, who carries delicious frozen ice cream cakes for all occasions, and their yummy and indulgent flavors are perfect for holiday entertaining!
I picked mine up at Giant Eagle and they had many different styles and sizes in the freezer aisle. The OREO® Premium Ice Cream Cake is vanilla-flavored ice cream blended with OREO® cookie pieces, plus whipped frosting topped with a large OREO® cookie wafer and even more OREO® cookie pieces.
I love that both kids and adults go crazy for this sweet treat and it is definitely my go to for whenever I need a quick, but impressive dessert for a party.
There is so much to do during the holidays and things can get stressful. I want the focus of this time of the year to be on creating magical memories for my kiddos. I want them to remember the fun traditions, fun times, and definitely the food, but not mommy being stressed out. I love sticking to my no fail holiday entertaining menu formula to ensure I stay stress free! I know you will love this formula too!
So tell me, do you have any secrets to stress free holiday entertaining? I could always use a few more suggestions! And don’t forget to check out the entertaining ideas from my friends!