12 Days of Christmas - Day 1 - Safe and Fesitive Holiday Hosting
Thank you for being here! It means the world to me that you have taken a few minutes out of your day to check out my blog. 2020 has been a crazy year, to say the least. Lots of great things and some challenging things. One of my challenging things is that every single one of my past blogs was erased! Although this is very much a first-world problem it has made me look forward to getting my 12 Days of Christmas Blogs back on here and to continue the tradition I started 7 or 8 years ago!
If you are new to my 12 Days of Christmas blog series, Welcome! If you have followed throughout the years, Welcome Back! I will be writing a blog-a-day filled with holiday decor, party planning (I know this is sort of illegal! Our parties will be family only!), recipes, traditions, and gift-giving tips, trick and ideas. I hope to spread as much joy as possible during the most wonderful time of the year!
Holiday Party, Covid Friendly Addition
If you are like me, you are worrying about how Covid is going to affect your holiday gatherings. I want to keep my friends and family safe and I also want to celebrate, continue with traditions and end a challenging year for many with some joy! In true Dayle Sheehan fashion, I have a plan! I am going to stick to my bubble of people and I am going to serve food and snacks in a Covid friendly way!
Let's Get Started!
Covid has changed the way we serve food. I personally am embracing it and I LOVE the added fanciness it brings. It is not only safe, but it also looks VERY beautiful and extra fancy when we serve food in personal-sized portions! Here are my favourite ways to serve appetizers, snacks and desserts this holiday season!
Hot food needs to be bite-sized and easy for guests to grab and keep moving. I had a local Calgary company (Gather Catering) create beautiful individual morsels of deliciousness for my last small gathering. I chose to serve Chicken Skewers, Yorkies and Crab Cakes. All accompanying dips and sauces were drizzled on each piece so there was no dipping in a group dip or a spoon that everyone touched. I can't recommend getting even the smallest family gathering catered. It is such a special treat!
Okay, these are veggies and dip but calling them by their French name makes them sound pretty fancy and I love that!
My number one tip when dressing up simple foods is plating them in a beautiful and user-friendly way. I love creating individual servings so guests can just grab a snack and continue mingling. This is also great for Covid friendly food services.
Serving a large cocktail shrimp in a beautiful glass filled with cocktail sauce and microgreens as a garnish is nearly effortless to create and looks beautiful and is definitely covid friendly!.
No gathering is complete without chips and dips! I will forever serve chips, crackers and dip accompaniments in individual serving sizes long after Covid is over! I used gold-rimmed cocktail glasses to keep with the colour scheme of the party and to keep my guest's hands to themselves! No more community chip bowls!
Now let's tackle the dip! There are many beautiful individual serving dishes to serve the dip in but hot dips are the most challenging so I have used mini cast iron pans to bake on a larger sheet in the oven and serve warm. Garnish with a green olive or a sun-dried tomato for a little holiday colour.
These are incredibly easy to assemble and serve. I have used a hard-boiled egg dish and soup spoons to present the skewers on. This allows me to rest the skewers of cherry tomatoes, bocconcini cheese and basil in a little puddle of balsamic glaze.
Sometimes I serve a full appetizer spread or dinner other times I just have friends over for a games night or a visit. I still want to serve something so I have started serving snacks in individual portions. Another easy tip is to ensure sweets are individually wrapped.
Milk + Cookies
Nothing says Santa’s coming like milk and cookies! This is usually a treat I put out for the kids but I often find it’s a big hit with adults too. For the holidays I like to use Shortbread Cookies but any cookie will do! Having these pre-poured and served with a cookie on top is the perfect grab and go, Covid friendly dessert!
Serving desserts in an individual serving dish is one of my favourite dinner party tips from long before covid. It just makes it look and feel so fancy. I LOVE to spoil my guests and putting in a lot of effort to serve food beautifully is a way to show people they are important and worthy of the best!
I LOVE giving a party favour and this year I will be keeping it simple! I want something that is pre-wrapped and easy to bundle into a pretty little box!
I hope that even though this is a strange and challenging year you are surrounded by the ones you love and stay safe and healthy! I will be sharing some of my favourite recipes, decor tips, and gift-giving guides over the next 11 days and I hope that you will join me!