Sunday, September 29, 2013

5 fantastic food stations for your Christmas Party

Hosting a Christmas party is a lot of fun and the perfect way to pump up the holiday cheer. However, anyone who has ever hosted a party knows that if you aren't careful you can end up spending you’re entire party in the kitchen. Parties are for celebrating and socializing with friends, not stressing out over the food. So we've gathered a list of some of our favorite party food stations to keep your guests happily nibbling and you away from the stove.

Baked Potato Bar – A baked potato bar takes all of the deliciousness of the mashed potato bar and makes it even easier for you! Providing a potato bar is an excellent way to give your guests a filling meal that leaves you free to join the party.  Simply pre bake your potatoes in the oven and then keep them steaming in a crock pot or disposable catering trays. The toppings are totally up to you. We like to include something hearty like chili or pulled pork and then a selection of things like queso, sour cream, crumbled bacon, corn, caramelized onions, etc. The sky's the limit really. 

Soup and Salad –Create your own buffet style salad bar and pair it with a selection of 2 or three hearty soups or stews. We like to do a creamy soup like chicken and corn chowder or lobster bisque and thinner soup like an Italian sausage soup. Simply make the soups in advance and then keep them bubbly in a crock pot. As for the salad bar –the sky is the limit. Just be sure to add some special touches to the toppings.
Sliders -Nothing dressers up a burger like making it mini. But just stop at plain beef, add something special by offering some variety. Try adding turkey burgers with all of the holiday trimmings, or pulled pork. And don't skimp on the toppings. The toppings are what make this type of food station special.
Raw Bar -Since we're talking Holiday parties, chances are you might like to go all out and do something memorable. Well, offering a raw bar is definitely one way to do that. For this type of bar, first and foremost you're going to need ice, ice and more ice. You'll also need lot's of interesting containers that can handle large quantities of ice and the resulting melt off. Personally, we love the look of galvanized troughs and wide buckets. As for food, good with a good selection of oysters, a generous pile of peel and eat shrimp, and if your really feeling generous, some halved lobster tails. Don't forget the condiments! Cocktail sauce, lemon wedges wrapped in cheesecloth, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and melted butter for the lobster. You can go as basic or as extravagant as your budget allows.
Retro Cold Cuts Bar - Once upon a time, a party just wasn't a party without a massive spread of cold cuts. The selection of turkey, salami, ham and roast beef was typically rolled into cigars and decoratively displayed on platters. There would be platters of cheese, crackers, breads and delicious spreads. Somewhere around the mid 80's this trend began to fade away. However,  we think that it's time to bring the cold cuts bar (which we tend to think of as a gourmet sandwich bar) back --with a modern twist, of course. We like to add some prosciutto to the table, a chilled bowl of shrimp salad and sandwich-friendly veggies and fruits like sliced tomatoes, pears and baby spinach leaves. Happen to have a panini press? Why not set it out and give your guests the option of gourmet paninis?

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