It's that time of year again. Your heart is either content with the notion that Christmas is near or you're like me - a little more anxious than usual, definitely a little more grumpy than on the average day and the anticipation of heading into a crowded shopping centre, where people are literally knocking each other over to get all of their shopping done has me a little more nervous than usual. With all of this pent-up excitement, or more realistically anxiety, one thing that shouldn't be an issue is hosting a Christmas dinner. Whether it's for your friends, family, co-workers, associates, etc., it's possible to host a relatively "stress-free" occasion if you do it right and you keep in mind that this is really a wonderful time of the year. People are happy to see out another year and are thankful for the things in their lives.
Photo credit: Soul Advice
Remember, even if you aren't a Michellin-starred chef, that the folks at your Christmas gathering are excited to be somewhere on the holidays, surrounded by good people and mostly they are excited that they didn't have to do the majority of the cooking or any of the hosting. Also remember that they are so excited to not have to host that they will be more than willing to bring anything and everything that they can, so make things easy on yourself too. Traditions can be started by someone bringing a particularly appetising dish that will be requested again and again in the years to come. It's a process of elimination from year-to-year to see what people like and dislike. A few years in and you'll have Christmas dinner dialed down to a science. Here are a few quick recipe ideas for an easy Christmas fiesta that are less traditional but make the occasion fun and different.
Not everybody likes a big chunk of beef or swine on Christmas and so this will make everyone happy. Christmas is a celebration and your guests will feel fancy that they are eating lobster at your house while you're in the kitchen chuckling to yourself about how easy the lobster salad was to make. The fancier the rolls, the fancier your guests will think the dish is too.
Photo credit: Quality Seafood
Your guests will lose their minds over this salad. It's healthy, delicious and aesthetically pleasing. If you don't like a salad with beets and crème fraîche in it for Christmas, than you just might be Scrooge. Just saying...
Photo credit: Food 52
There are so many good holiday cookie recipes, this is just one example of a recipe that's really appreciated during the holidays. The recipe isn't too difficult or time consuming and the results are scrumptious!
Photo credit: Gabriele Stabile
I know you've probably made burgers a thousand times but give this recipe a shot. It's easy and your guests will feel like they just indulged in a fancier burger than normal. Also, they are a perfect option in case a few of your guests will lose the ability to breath if they were to consume the shellfish roll. Not many people are allergic to beef so better safe than sorry and it's always good to have multiple protein options to make everyone happy.
Photo credit: Fine Cooking
There's no recipe here. You can make your own cheese if you've got the time but even if you buy it, get a wide assortment of different cheeses. Make sure they are served at room temperature or even heat them up a little bit and serve them with an assortment of crackers (rice, wheat, etc. to cover your butt for food allergy sufferers) as well as some fruits, meats, and veggies. Very little work equals a nice reward for you and your guests and everybody loves a little appetiser before the smorgasbord of delicious items for dinner.
Photo credit: Central-Market