Author Topic: Help - I have to host Christmas!  (Read 1535 times)

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lady_disdain

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Help - I have to host Christmas!
« on: December 18, 2011, 09:19:04 PM »
Christmas has always been held in my parents' house. Except that, this year, they are in the middle of an interstate move. My newly married sister is hosting a large Christmas dinner for her new family. So it is up to me to host Christmas Eve (when we have our large meal, open presents at midnight, etc).

My apartment is rather small, but I can fit everyone in. There will be six people and I have 6 chairs - perfect (actually, I call that barely enough but I am not going to nitpick). I need to figure out some decorations and put a meal together, all on a non existent budget, since this was very unexpected. Any ideas, gentle folk?

For the meal, I thought of doing a buffet of light finger foods, for grazing (it is summer here and the family isn't very fond of big, heavy meals). I want to add some tapa style finger food as well. Can anyone point me towards some good recipes?

So far, the menu is:

Bread - ciabatta, southern biscuits, chapatti, French bread, whole grain bread (I will make the biscuits and the chapatti, and perhaps the whole grain as well)
Cheese - brie, goulda, parmesan
Spreads - tapenade, soft cheese, flavoured olive oil, a blue cheese, roasted garlic
Proteins - sliced deli meats, pulled pork for small sandwiches
Salad - a green salad, another salad (ideas, please!). I don't want to do a veggie tray because of all the peeling, slicing etc (the grocery stores here don't sell them ready made)

Dessert - no idea so far, but I need things that can be done before hand

Drinks
- beer (for dad)
- wine (for my mother)
- some type of juice
- soda for BiL (he is the only one that drinks soda)
- tomato juice
- plenty of water

What else do I need to think of? Also, any cheap but pretty decorating ideas?

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 09:39:55 PM »
If it's available where you are, a corn, black bean, and tomato salad is summery and delicious. If no corn, just black beans, scallions and cherry tomatoes works too.

Desserts made ahead are easy - cookies, brownies - and with only 6 people, you only need one batch.

decorating is simple in warm weather. a string of lights, some pretty flowers or greens on the table, a few candles...

MsMarjorie

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 11:17:53 PM »
Your menu sounds great, maybe add a pasta salad? 

For decorations you could cut out the words Merry Christmas, from wrapping paper and blu-tack it to your walls.  Christmas lights always look good draped across the tops of windows and baubles put in a glass vase for a centre-piece on your table.

Are you in Australia or New Zealand?  If so, you can't go past a pavlova for dessert!

Bijou

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 11:40:03 PM »
For dessert, I think small fresh oranges, like mandarins or tangerines are nice.  I've seen small ones called cuties and clementines that are delicious and easy to peel).   My family used to have vanilla ice cream with some kind of topping...maybe a berry syrup)
For an additional drink, Apple juice heated with some mulling spices is nice and makes your house smell great.  So is a selection of teas for  hot tea.
I've seen sliced tomatoes with fresh basil maybe some finely cut chives on a platter.  Also a bowl of little cherry tomatoes tossed with some of those little balls of fresh mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Isometric

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 11:53:49 PM »
For dessert, I think small fresh oranges, like mandarins or tangerines are nice.  I've seen small ones called cuties and clementines that are delicious and easy to peel).   My family used to have vanilla ice cream with some kind of topping...maybe a berry syrup)
For an additional drink, Apple juice heated with some mulling spices is nice and makes your house smell great.  So is a selection of teas for  hot tea.
I've seen sliced tomatoes with fresh basil maybe some finely cut chives on a platter.  Also a bowl of little cherry tomatoes tossed with some of those little balls of fresh mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil.

Yum!

A bowl of cherries or a fruit platter always goes down well. Whatever is in season where you are! We slice up pinapple, peaches, bananas, nectarines etc.

What you already have planned sounds fantastic though.

Ceallach

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 01:42:20 AM »
Are you in Australia or New Zealand?  If so, you can't go past a pavlova for dessert!

And if so, I have a spare one!  ;D   Seriously, bro asked me weeks ago what I wanted to bring, so I offered to do dessert and said "I'll bring the pav".   Yesterday I get a TXT message saying "Dad bought a pav at the shops, do you want to bring salad or ham?"   ::)   Sadly, I had just placed my grocery order.   Now we have to make a special trip to the shops instead to buy something else that we hadn't intended on bringing.  Grr.   (FTR, Dad didn't know I was bringing the pav - brother isn't the best at communicating).
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starry diadem

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 03:15:43 AM »
Can you get hold of some of the nice foccacio breads that are made with onion, or olives?  They are wonderful warmed and then just dipped in flavoured olive oils and flavoured balsamic vinegars (fig vinegar and cranberry creme vinegar  are favourites in our house).
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iridaceae

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 06:05:14 AM »
Pickles?
Pesto?  My stepmother used to serve it with crackers.

lady_disdain

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 09:29:06 AM »
Oooh! I love all the ideas. Thank you!

I think dessert will be vanilla ice cream served with a platter of fruit to top it off, a delicious Frangelico syrup and a chocolate sauce. Yumm!

I love the idea of pavlova, but I am in Brazil and they aren't easy to come by here.

mlkind1789

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 10:02:01 AM »
I would also say a pasta salad or a cucumber and tomato salad never goes to waste around my house. 

Looks good though.  Good luck!

Bijou

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Re: Help - I have to host Christmas!
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 10:21:09 AM »
Oooh! I love all the ideas. Thank you!

I think dessert will be vanilla ice cream served with a platter of fruit to top it off, a delicious Frangelico syrup and a chocolate sauce. Yumm!

I love the idea of pavlova, but I am in Brazil and they aren't easy to come by here.
Uh-oh!  I wonder if you are going to be the hostess of choice from now on!  You menu sounds wonderful...
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.