I love the holiday season. What I don’t love is all the stress that comes with the holidays. By the time you’re done socializing it’s January 4th and all that relaxation and reflection you planned on having, is now obsolete. And by that point you now have a New Year’s Resolution to uphold, you’re just stressed out again!
Every weekend during this season seems to be a never-ending smorgasbord of family gatherings, parties, and other events centered around eating food. My favorite thing about family parties is the relative who says oh you’re not eating anything, but then also comments on how you’ve gained weight. It’s like, “uhh yeah, I know, ergo the not eating so much part. ”
Or in my Persian family:
“Vhy you are not eating?
You know you little bit chubby now, yes?”
A holiday party/holiday gathering doesn’t have to be that stressful. All you need is a plan, and there’s no greater holiday gift than when a plan comes together!
So step one of your holiday plan is figure out what you want to cook for your guests. Luckily I know just the guy who has tons of great recipes for you (see below).
Step two of that holiday plan is to devise a awesome playlist. Luckily I’ve got you covered.
Step three is to start all of your prep work ahead of time, if there’s anything that can be pre-made (think sauce) do it a day before.
Step four is to start cooking and prepare for your guests to arrive
Step five is take a mild sedative. (JUST KIDDING!)
The Real Step five is to make sure your table is set and your appetizers are out.
The last step, the most important step, step 6.
Which is, to have fun, enjoy your guests and embrace the moment. You’re literally already doing a great job because you were gracious enough to host people at your home and to bring them all together under the guise of the holiday spirit. So don’t let anyone rain on that parade.
Here is a juicy collection of great dishes you can make for your holiday party. The sections are broken into themes, I suggest pairing them together when possible. Obviously I don’t have an expansive list, but for things that I’m missing use common knowledge to piece together your menu puzzle.
If you want your appetizer game to wow your guests, you need to try one of these. I’m not a betting man, but if you make the chicken wing lollipops you’re going to have some very happy guests on your hands. I’ve grouped the appetizers by the menu theme you’re going for.
American Style Treats
Mediterranean / Persian
Once everyone has filled up with apps, it’s time for another meal! Because what would be a holiday party without more food that people in other countries would just consider another meal!?
For your main course I suggest matching the same theme you used for your appetizers so your guests can take the same culinary ride as you. Then you should probably go the Persian host route where you make more than one main course so as to completely overwhelm your guests with menu options, so much so that they all just have a seizure from the awesome options. On second thought, scrap that idea, just pick two, unless your party size is a little on the big size. Then may be a little Persian Mom wisdom wont hurt.
*A piece of advice, if you go Persian, forego the sides. Just make a lot of rice. Same thing if you go Asian.*
Persian / Indian / Mediterranean