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I hosted a couple of Holiday cocktail parties this year, and took note of the Holiday Cocktail Party Ideas that sold and the ones that didn’t.  I live in the south, and although most if not all of my guests also do, we are a mixed bag from all over the US and even abroad.  Here is what my typical appetizer selection consisted of:

Some of these recipes may be found on my blog, just click on the link to access the recipes.  The best sellers across the board were:

  1. Shrimp – no surprise there!  If you’re doing heavy appetizers, plan on three shrimp per person.  If your appetizer list is light, plan on as much as six shrimp per person.
  2. Deviled eggs – this one surprised me, as I’m not a big deviled egg person.  People LIKE deviled eggs!  Plan on one to two (halves) per person.
  3. Roast beef – again, no surprise!  For smaller parties, I go with roast Tenderloin.  For my larger party, I went with a top sirloin roast.   Both turned out well and were cooked in a similar manner.  The top sirloin was trimmed but I trimmed it a bit more, and there is a bit of gristle to get rid of when slicing.  It is difficult to slice thinly but it still was delicious.  The price difference is amazing.  The Choice grade tenderloin was a great find at $13.69 per lb at my HEB grocery store.  At the same store, I bought the top sirloin for $5.99 per lb.  Whoa!  Plan on 4-6 oz of beef per person.  The tenderloin will be a sell-out, so splurge and go with 6 oz per person if  possible.
  4. Christmas cookies were a hit.  The best seller was the vanilla crescents.  I broke down and just turned the crescents into rounds for my final party and they were still a big hit.  Shape makes no difference!  Plan on two to three cookies per person.  For fun, at one party I made “lumps of coal,” essentially rice krispies treats with oreo cookies and black food coloring.  They were a great conversation starter and tasted great too!  Lots of recipes available for this on the web.

Middle of the pack:

The cheese board is a staple at any cocktail party, and most people really like good cheese, especially with a glass of wine.  The salumi that was included on the board was gobbled up.  I personally love including a jelly or a quince paste on my cheese boards, but mostly I’m the one that enjoys it the most . I included olives once and they also disappeared.

The artichoke and feta dip was a pretty good seller.  I will consider this recipe a keeper, it was my first time making it.  I could eat it all day long 🙂

Not a big seller:

Although I personally love asparagus, and love prosciutto, this appetizer didn’t really sell ever.  I added cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls on a frill pick with balsamic glaze, and they were pretty good but also did not disappear.

The spinach balls didn’t sell either.  Oh well, only I want to be Popeye. 



Head Cook

 I’ve always loved cooking, and spent many years working on the food & beverage side of the hospitality industry, which served to increase my interest in food, wine and entertaining.