Tis the season: Invite a few friends to stop by for supper during the holidays. You can prepare and serve an impressive buffet meal by picking up a few of the already prepared foods available at your local supermarket, and I am not talking about those boring take-out party platters from the deli.
When the menu below is put together and set up on a holiday table, with your nicest serving platters, utensils and bowls; your guests will be treated to a fine supper that even Martha Stewart would enjoy. You too can be “fancy shmancy,” you just have to plan ahead.
Some Simple Suggestions:
Clean and vacuum the house first.
Remember… Presentation is everything. No tinfoil or plastic in sight when you serve the food….This is the time to use your “Good Stuff.” Be it Grandma’s china or flea market finds…. Mix and Match or Borrow.
Always line your meat platters with either salad greens or parsley. Don’t put the meat on a bare platter.
Garnish with abandon! Fresh herbs, thinly sliced citrus fruit, and grapes are fine. Buy and use some maraschino cherries on your platters. One jar will last 100 years in the fridge.
Cloth tablecloths and napkins and candles spell class.
If you dare, line cookie and cake serving dishes with paper doilies. Your guests probably won’t laugh or even notice. Like the maraschino cherries, a package of doilies will also last 100 years.
Holiday Supper Buffet Menu:
Orange Glazed Chicken with Whole Cranberry Sauce
Fancy Spring Greens Salad
Mashed Potato with Sweet Potato Swirl
Christmas Cookies and Cupcakes
Hot Mulled Christmas Cider
Orange Glazed Chicken:
*Purchase whole cooked Rotisserie Chickens at the deli food section of the supermarket, Figure on 1 chicken for every 4 people.
*Before serving, cut up each chicken into serving size pieces. Place chicken on baking sheet and heat in a 325F degree oven until hot…about 15 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and spread with orange marmalade, right out of the jar. Do not use low sugar marmalade as it doesn’t glaze. Return to oven and heat the chicken until it is glazed and shiny. Remove from oven. Cover with foil to keep warm. Remove foil before serving. Place chicken on a bed of parsley on the platter and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Garnish with orange slices and cranberry sauce or those maraschino cherries.
*Purchase enough ready made quiches for your number of guests. Follow directions if quiches have to be cooked first. To be real sneaky, find those pie plates you never use and carefully transfer the cooked quiche from those nasty tin pans they come in, to real ones. Set them out on the table. Don’t forget pie server utensils.
Fancy Spring Greens Salad:
*This is simple…Buy a couple of bags of fancy spring salad. Empty greens into a large salad bowl. Lightly pour on some nice salad dressing right before serving. Any dressing made with raspberry vinegar is good. The Paul Newman brand is a good one, and some of the money goes to charity.
Mashed Potato and Sweet Potato Swirl:
*In the refrigerated section of Publix supermarkets (near the eggs) there is an assortment of already prepared mashed and sweet potatoes that only need to be reheated. No more do you have to peel, cook and mash, or deal with those pesky instant flakes. Heat the potatoes according to directions. Put both kinds of potatoes into a large oven proof casserole dish. Dot with butter. Give potatoes a stir to swirl the colors. Keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve.
Christmas Cookies and Cupcakes:
*Bake or buy from the bakery, or do both. Set out on serving dishes. (Remember the doilies.)
Hot Mulled Christmas Cider
2qts. apple cider
5 ½ oz. package of red cinnamon candies
½ gallon of orange juice
2 tsp. ground cloves
* Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
* Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours…Smells wonderful.
Ladle the cider into punch cups if you have them, otherwise regular cups are fine.
Set up the buffet table with your tablecloth, china, holiday plates, napkins and silverware long before your guests arrive. Right before guests come, light the candles. Pour yourself a glass of champagne. Look at your beautiful table. Smell that mulled cider. Celebrate “Gracious Living.” You earned it.
Me, myself and I….Personal experience and recipes.