Don't be scared to host a holiday party. With a little planning and creativity, one can easily throw together a fabulous shindig. A holiday open house is ideal because it doesn't involve making a complete meal, and it's less formal than a cocktail party. Begin the open house in the afternoon or late evening. Offer a couple of uncomplicated but classic apps alongside store-bought nuts, olives, and charcuterie. Chicken skewers are always a hit, and they're delicious fresh from the oven or at room temperature. Puff pastry pinwheels are one of my go-to recipes during the holidays. Fill with cheese and herbs in advance, then slice and bake as needed.
Lastly serve an assembled hors d'oeuvre, like bacon wrapped apricots, which requires nothing more than a quick bake in the oven. Interested in these recommended recipes? Keep reading.
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice Serves 4. 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed Serves 6-8. 24 small fresh sage leaves Makes 24.
1 orange, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 teaspoons peeled grated fresh ginger
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch wide strips
Oil, for grill grate
Skewers (soaked in water for 20 minutes if wooden)
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
1/3 cup roughly chopped roasted, salted peanuts, for serving
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and/or parsley)
24 large dried apricots
8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
toothpicks, for serving
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
24 small fresh sage leaves