How to Use Budget Catering with Christmas Party Food

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The holiday party season is here so what I thought I would do is suggest some party appetizer ideas for your Christmas party food.  What you want to keep in mind to maintain a low-cost budget catering menu is to incorporate easy finger foods along with your holiday buffet. 

As the party host, be creative with your presentation of your Christmas party food and make it easy for your guests to pick up and eat.  Create an interactive buffet station by using skewers for your vegetables at the crudités station.  Make a vegetable garden presentation using skewered vegetables “planted” in wheat grass.  

At the dessert station, build your own fondue station.  Again using skewers, offer strawberries, bananas, rice crispy treats, Oreos, marshmallows, to name a few easy finger foods your guests can choose from.  If you are trying to watch your weight, select the fruit over the cookies and walk away from the dessert station before you dip into the chocolate!

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Christmas party food has a tendency to be very rich and abundant in calories so if you are trying to watch your weight, select the low-calorie alternatives.  Party appetizer ideas to watch your weight include selecting the fresh vegetable crudités versus the macaroni cheese bites.  Even though the spinach and artichoke and cheese dips are more delicious, dip your veggies into the salsas or various flavored humus dips if offered. 

As a host, serving crudités, dips and small bites is an effective use of budget catering.  To stretch your dollars further offer easy finger foods such as an anti-pasta station with sliced meats, cheeses and skewered tortellini.  (Budget Bash offers great party appetizer ideas and a menu with recipes that can be found beginning on page 80.)

Other party appetizer ideas to help keep your costs low include tray-passing heartier items such as beef or turkey sliders, pigs in blankets, shrimp cocktail and shot glasses filled with soups.  You can serve either hot soups such as the classic favorite tomato soup or a cold gazpacho or cucumber soup.  By tray-passing these items, you are able to control the portions and timing of the food.

To help maintain a low-cost budget catering menu at the bar, feature a holiday martini such as a peppermint martini.  Here is an easy recipe for a peppermint martini.  (Budget Bash features other martini recipes beginning on page 87.)

Peppermint Martini

3 parts vodka
1 part white crème de menthe

Pour ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice and shake well.  Pour straight up into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a mini-candy cane hanging along the rim of glass or prior to pouring the drink into glass, crush the candy cane and wet down the glass rim.  Then dip the rim into the bowl filled with candy cane pieces.

I hope you found these party appetizer ideas helpful for your Christmas party food.  You can keep costs at a minimum with budget catering by controlling the portions via tray-passing some easy finger foods.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

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