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Party Planning - Recipes - Christmas Party Recipes

Party Resource Guide
Presented by Event & Wedding Planners

Christmas Party Ideas
Snowman Party Ideas
Winter Wonderland Theme
Holiday Appetizers

Pretty Seafood Canapés

Arrange watercress on a serving platter.

Thinly sliced white, wheat, or rye bread (crust removed). Cut bread into fancy shapes ( stars, diamonds, circles, bells, etc.) with cookie cutters. Spread with cream cheese or cheese spread, top with assorted seafood's ( whitefish, smoked salmon, salmon caviar, sardines, pickled herring, cooked lobster tail, or king crab).

Garnish with additional cream cheese put through a pastry tube. Add bits of pimiento, green pepper, or ripe or stuffed olives.

Avocado and Pine Nut Appetizer

In my opinion, just about any meal is improved with the addition of avocados, and this dish
makes the most of their creamy texture. Think of it as guacamole that went to the Cordon Bleu.

2 ripe avocados
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped pine nuts (pignoli)
1 ripe tomato, diced and drained on paper towels
2 scallions (spring onions), green and white parts, thinly sliced
1/2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 tsp (1 ml) crushed coriander seed
1/4 tsp (1 ml) hot pepper sauce, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Lime wedges for garnish

Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds. Carefully scoop out the flesh, being careful not
to damage the skins. Combine the avocado flesh and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and
mash with a fork until the desired degree of smoothness. Spoon the avocado mixture into the
empty avocado skins. Garnish with lime wedges. Serves 4.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Holiday Salad & Soup

Cranberry and Pistachio Salad

Here's a festive salad featuring the red and green colors of the holiday season.

1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced
1/2 cup (125 ml) dried cranberries
1/2 cup (125 ml) shelled pistachios
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs (45 ml) red wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon-style mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the romaine, peppers, cranberries, and pistachios in a large bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and toss with the lettuce mixture. Serves 6 to 8.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

The flesh of any winter squash, such as butternut, hubbard, or acorn, can be substituted for the pumpkin in this holiday favorite.

1 lb (500 g) pumpkin flesh
1 Tbs (15 ml) butter
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 cup (250 ml) cooked ham, diced
1 Tbs (15 ml) flour
3 cups pumpkin stock
1 bay (laurel) leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup milk or cream

Cook the pumpkin in enough boiling water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Mash the pumpkin and set aside. In a large pot, melt the butter over moderate heat and saute the tomato, onion, carrot, and ham for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and stir to combine well. Add the reserved pumpkin stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Add the mashed pumpkin, salt, pepper, and milk and bring to a boil. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Serves 4 to 6.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Side Dishes

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

3 lbs potatoes, peeled and cooked (hot)
1 8 - oz. pkg. cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt

In large mixer bowl, mash hot potatoes until all lumps are removed. Add cream cheese in small pieces. Add butter. Beat well until cheese and butter are melted and completely mixed. Mix in sour cream. Add eggs and salt to the milk, then beat into the potato mixture until light and fluffy. Place in greased casserole dish.

Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes until lightly browned. Makes 8 to 12 servings. Can be made ahead and frozen so there is no potato fuss on the day of a special meal; adjust cooking time. Note: To make this recipe low-fat, use nonfat cream cheese, skim milk, low-fat sour cream, low-fat margarine and use only the egg whites or egg substitutes.

Apple, Leek, and Sweet Potato Gratin

Here's a savory and sophisticated alternative to the candied and marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes some of us have outgrown.

1 1/4 cups (310 ml) heavy cream
2 large leeks, washed and thinly sliced
2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped fresh thyme, or 2 tsp (10 ml) dried
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A grating of fresh nutmeg
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 lb, 450 g), peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups (500 ml) grated cheddar cheese
1 large apple, cored and thinly sliced

Combine the cream, leeks, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer covered 10 minutes. Layer half the sweet potato mixture in a buttered baking dish. Top with the sliced apple. Repeat with sweet potato mixture and cheese. Bake uncovered in a preheated 375F (190C) oven for about 45 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. Serves 6 to 8.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Jansson's Temptation (Janssons Frestelse)

This classic Swedish dish is a favorite at any time of year, and many Swedes consider it an essential part of a traditional Christmas dinner.

6 medium boiling potatoes
6 Tbs (90 ml) butter plus additional for greasing the baking dish
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
16 anchovy fillets, drained
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk

Peel the potatoes and cut into match sticks, 2 inches (5 cm) long and no more than 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick. Place in cold water to prevent discoloring. Heat 4 Tbs (60 ml) of the butter in a heavy skillet, add the onions and cook 10 minutes until soft but not brown. Grease a baking dish with butter. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish, followed by half the onions and half the anchovies. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Repeat, and then place remaining 1/3 of the potatoes as the top layer. Dot with the remaining butter, cut into small pieces, and add the cream and milk. Bake in a preheated 400F (200C) oven for 45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Serves 4 to 6.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Festive Holiday Cakes

Heavenly Walnut Cake

This cake has been on of my mother's favorites for over forty years. I dubbed it "heavenly" because of its resemblance to angel food cake.

7 eggs, separated and at room temperature
2 1/4 cups (560 ml) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) cold water
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
1 Tbs (15 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 tsp (5 ml) maple extract
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
2/3 cup (160 ml) chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp (2 ml) cream of tartar (tartaric acid)

For the topping:
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1 Tbs (15 ml) instant coffee
1 Tbs (15 ml) sugar
Walnut halves for garnish

Combine the egg yolks, flour, sugar, water, oil, baking powder, vanilla, maple, and salt in a mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form and fold into the batter. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Pour into a greased tube pan and bake in a preheated 325F (160C) oven for 20 minutes. Increase the heat to 350F (180C) and bake an additional 35 minutes. Invert the tube pan for at least 1 hour before removing the cake. Whip the heavy cream, instant coffee, and sugar until soft peaks form and spoon over cake. Garnish with walnut halves. Serves 8 to 12.

Polish Cinnamon Cake

This recipe not only makes a wonderful traditional Polish dessert, but would also impress your family and friends at the breakfast or brunch table.

12 Tbs (180 ml) butter
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
1 egg
3 tsp (15 ml) cinnamon
A grating of fresh nutmeg
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) whipping cream
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract

Beat the butter until it is soft and fluffy. Add 3/4 cup (180 ml) of the sugar and the egg and continue beating. Add 2 tsp (10 ml) of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour, and beat until well mixed. Spread about 1/3 of the batter on an ungreased baking sheet, forming a rectangle about 10x12 inches (25x30 cm) and bake in a preheated 400F (200C) oven for 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Repeat two more times with the remaining batter.

Whip the cream until stiff, and fold in the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar, the remaining 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon, and the vanilla. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on one of the cakes, top with another cake, and repeat. Spread remaining whipped cream on the top and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 12.

Russian Honey Cake

I am told that honey cakes are a Russian tradition that dates back hundreds of years. They are frequently eaten plain, but are usually sandwiched together with jam as in this recipe.

1/3 cup (80 ml) sugar
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
3 tsp (15 ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 ml) each ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground ginger
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) vegetable oil
8 large eggs
1 cup (250 ml) honey
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) warm water
4 cups (1 L) rye flour
1/2 cup jam or preserve of your choice

Grease and flour two 8-inch (20 cm) round baking pans. Combine all the ingredients except for the jam in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric beater set at its slowest speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed of the beater to medium and beat for 15 minutes. The batter should have large air bubbles; if no bubbles are present, beat for an additional 5 minutes. Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes, then pour into the prepared baking pans. Bake in a preheated 275F (130C) for 1 hour, until deep golden in color. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes. Turn out on a cake rack and allow to cool. Place one cake on a serving plate and spread the jam or preserves on top. Top with the remaining cake. Serves 8 to 12.

Vietnamese Banana Cake with Cashews

Pastries and baked goods are rare in most Asian countries, but Vietnam is an exception. In fact, some of the best French-style breads available anywhere are baked in Vietnam as a legacy of the French colonial rule. Of course, this recipe is more on the sweet side.

3 eggs
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) cream
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) flour, sifted
4 lbs (2 Kg) very ripe bananas, peeled and slightly mashed
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) coarsely chopped cashews
1 cup (250 ml) grated coconut
1 tsp (5 ml) Chinese five-spice powder*

* Available in finer supermarkets and Asian specialty shops

Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. Add the cream and stir to combine. Add the flour, bananas, cashews, coconut, and five-spice powder and stir just enough to combine the ingredients. Pour into two greased and floured 8-inch (20 cm cake pans and bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for about 1 hour, until the top is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes two 8-inch (20 cm) cakes.

Chocolate Date Cake

This rich, moist cake was my father's choice for his birthday dinner for many years. It keeps well for up to a week, and is great served with a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or all by itself.

Step 1:
4 oz (110 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 egg yolk
1 cup (250 ml) chopped dates
1 cup (250 ml) chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup (250 ml) milk
2/3 cup (160 ml) sugar

Step 2:
2 cups (500 ml) sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable shortening or butter
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk mixed with
1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice or distilled vinegar
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Combine the ingredients in step 1 in a large saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is slightly thickened. Let cool. Stir in the remaining ingredients, folding in the beaten egg whites last. Pour into a greased 8-inch (20 cm) square cake pan and bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serves 8 to 12.

Cake Recipes Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

Worldwide Recipes, the world's largest daily recipe service, delivers a free recipe by email every day - a complete gourmet menu every week. Subscribe by sending a blank email to or by visiting It's easy, and it's FREE!

Holiday Punch Recipes

Lime Punch

4- 6 oz. cans frozen limeade concentrate
4 bottles (12 oz. each) lemon-lime soda, chilled
6 cups water
2 cups lime sherbet

Mix limeade concentrate, cold water in large punch bowl. Slowly add lemon-lime soda. Spoon scoops of sherbet into bowl. Serve immediately. About 30 1/2 cup servings. 

Cranberry Punch

2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
1 can ( 6-oz.) lemonade concentrate (thawed)
1 quart sparkling water, chilled

Combine cranberry juice cocktail and lemonade concentrate in large punch bowl, gradually add 1 quart sparking water, just before serving. Stir. Serve immediately. Makes about 25 1/2 cup servings.


This wine punch is much loved all over Scandinavia. Use white grape juice or apple juice in place of the wine for a non-alcoholic version.

1 quart (1 L) dry red wine
1 quart (1 L) dry white wine
The zest of 1 orange, peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler
1 cup (250 ml) raisins
6 whole cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
A 2-inch (5 cm) piece of fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
About 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) whole blanched almonds

Combine the wines, orange zest, raisins, and spices in a stainless steel pot and let stand covered at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Just before serving bring to a simmer over moderate heat - do not boil. Stir in the sugar to taste and add the almonds. Serve in mugs. Serves 6 to 8.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

Worldwide Recipes, the world's largest daily recipe service, delivers a free recipe by email every day - a complete gourmet menu every week. Subscribe by sending a blank email to or by visiting It's easy, and it's FREE!

Decorating Holiday Cookies

Prepare dough as directed for your favorite Sugar Cookies recipe. After rolling out dough, cut into assorted shapes with cookie cutters or cut around a pattern traced from a coloring book page. If desired, cut small appliqués of dough and press on cookies. Cookies can be decorated before baking using this Baked On Decorators' Frosting or afterwards with a Creamy Decorators' Frosting. Use colored sugars, sprinkles and nonpareils and your imagination!

Baked-On Decorators' Frosting

Mix 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened, until smooth. Stir in 1-1/2 tsp. hot water and, if desired, 2 or 3 drops food color. Place in decorators' tube with #3 writing tip. Outline, write or make designs on unbaked rolled cookies. Bake cookies as directed in recipe. Cool; store carefully, separating layers of cookies with waxed paper. Enough for 2-3 dozen cookies.

Creamy Decorators' Frosting

Beat 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and about 1 tablespoon water or 1 to 2 tablespoons half-and-half until smooth and of spreading consistency. Tint with food color if desired. Enough for 3-5 dozen cookies.

Tips and Recipes to Ease Meal Planning During Holiday Hustle and Bustle

(ARA) - Whether tackling last-minute shopping, trimming the tree, baking sugar cookies for your kid's classroom, or heading off to a company holiday party, the festive, yet hectic, holiday season is upon us. Cooking homemade meals can certainly be a challenge during these busy times - and it's tempting to order in pizza or race through the drive-thru in between the holiday pageant rehearsal and your aunt's annual cookie swap.

However, by adhering to some simple tips and keeping a collection of easy recipes at your disposal, you and your family can enjoy delicious meals round-the-clock while allowing you to slow down and enjoy the special holiday season with your family. King's Hawaiian, the nation's leading and original baker of Hawaiian sweet breads and dinner rolls, has developed the following tips and recipes for you to create "ease like an island breeze" when tackling the hectic needs of your holiday schedule.

* Create a Weekly Meal Planning Calendar - Each week, sit down and review your family's schedule, plan out your menu for the week and let your plan be the basis for your shopping list. You'll know that you have all the ingredients at your disposal to satisfy your family and friends' hearty appetites. And, you'll be able to put more money in your Christmas shopping fund as fewer trips to the store means less budget-hindering impulse buys!

* Keep a Well-Stocked Kitchen - Make sure that your kitchen is stocked with all the essentials - from eggs, milk, and cheese, to pantry staples such as pasta, sugar and holiday spices. Also, select recipes that only feature a few ingredients and take advantage of your pantry. King's Hawaiian offers an array of recipes at that are six ingredients or less and require as few as three steps - make it easy on yourself!

* Know When to Use Convenience Foods - Supermarkets nowadays are filled with a variety of healthful convenience foods that can ease meal preparation. Stop by the deli and you'll find that most supermarkets have meal-deal programs allowing you to buy pre-cooked turkey, fried chicken or rotisserie chicken with side dishes and King's Hawaiian dinner rolls. For sweets, purchase some packaged sugar cookie dough, as well as red and green candies and icing - you'll be armed for any quick holiday dinner party dessert!

* Two-for-One Deal - In many cases, preparing one meal is just as easy as making two, so double your recipes for mealtime ease. For instance, if making spaghetti meat sauce one evening, use that same sauce in eggplant parmesan later that week. Or, shred tonight's leftover pork roast for spicy pulled-pork sandwiches, a fun Saturday lunch with the kids.

* Make Room for Nibbles - The holiday season is notoriously filled with late-nights and surprise drop-by guests. Stock your kitchen with easy-to-serve, but elegant, snacks, such as artisan cheese, marinated olives, quick bread mixes or frozen mini desserts. To pair with turkey or ham leftovers, keep an ample supply of King's Hawaiian dinner rolls for quick snacks or mini-sandwich platters (they're offered now in four flavors for different pairings: Original Recipe, Honey Wheat, 100 Percent Whole Wheat and Savory Butter).

King's Hawaiian bread and rolls are a holiday staple that is a delicious accompaniment or ingredient at any holiday gathering. To help in the holiday hustle, they've developed following quick and easy recipes using everyday pantry staples and only a few fresh ingredients, so that a delicious homemade creation can be prepared at a moment's notice. Whether it's an impromptu brunch, a late-night snack or a family Sunday dinner, these recipe solutions will steer you from "holiday humbug syndrome" to holiday island-style paradise.

King's Hawaiian Original Recipe French Toast
1 loaf King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Slice bread crosswise so that each slice is about 1-inch thick. Cut slices in half. Combine remaining ingredients. Quickly dip slices (do not soak) in egg mixture and cook on hot buttered or oiled griddle until golden brown on both sides.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warm syrup.

Makes 4 servings.

King's Hawaiian Grilled Aloha Ham Sandwich
4 (3/4 inch) center slices King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread
8 slices (4 oz.) cheddar cheese
6 oz. shaved deli ham
4 slices canned pineapple, drained

Place 2 slices of cheese side by side on 2 slices of bread; top with ham. Layer 2 pineapple slices side by side over ham, then add remaining cheese. Top with remaining bread slices.

Cook over medium heat on a grooved stovetop indoor grill until cheese is melted, turning once. Cut each sandwich in half; serve hot.

Makes 2 servings.

King's Hawaiian Island Coconut Bars
1 loaf King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Lightly coat cookie sheet with nonstick spray (do not use dark metal pan). Set aside.

Form bars: Remove crust from loaf. Cut loaf horizontally into 4 layers. Leaving layers stacked, make 3 vertical cuts down through loaf, about 2 inches apart. Turn loaf one-quarter and cut again vertically in half. Each resulting bar will be about 4 X 2 X 1/2 inches.

Pour milk and coconut into two separate shallow pans. Dip one cut side of bread bar into milk to coat. Press same side of bar into coconut. Transfer to baking sheet with coated side facing up. Repeat with remaining pieces.

Bake in center of pre-heated 375 F oven for 10 to 11 minutes or until top and bottoms are lightly golden brown; watch carefully. Immediately remove from pan and cool.

Makes 32 bars.

Courtesy of ARA Content



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