A party isn’t a party without a great food selection. Whether you choose to throw a cocktail affair or a five course meal, variety is key. To continue our holiday series, I am going to dig into the menu portion of my party planning process and show you how to have a wide variety of options, while still sticking to our overall $100 to $150 total party budget.
Crock Pot Meatballs
Many stores have a great assortment of pre-made meatball selections–Trader Joes, Giant, Walmart, etc. You can either purchase these fully complete with a sauce, or you can just purchase the meatballs themselves and add your own sauce. No matter the direction you choose to go in, the prep for this food item is easy and affordable. A typical pre-made meatball purchase would cost about $8 on average. To prepare, grab a crockpot, toss in your meatballs and choice sauce, and press on. That’s it! Not only will these always be delicious, but you will have plenty of time to focus on other party elements rather than slaving in the kitchen for hours.
Cheese & Grape Tree Display
I came across this adorable food display on Pinterest and instantly fell in love. Not only is it festive, but it’s so easy to put together! You can run to either your local grocer or a warehouse store, like Sam’s and Costco, and grab large containers of red grapes, green grapes, and cubed cheeses. Find a simple serving platter, or cheese plate, and voila!
Pigs in a Blanket Holiday Wreath
Now I know you know about pigs in a blanket, a very common — and favorite — childhood snack. Similar to the dishes above, you can grab your pigs in a blanket from a nearby store and simply pop them in the oven. Once they’re done, grab a round platter and arrange the bites into a circular pattern. For the finishing touch, slice a fresh red pepper into a festive, bow shape.
The Snowball Tower is another one of my favorites! All you’ll need is a styrofoam cone, aluminum foil, toothpicks, and powdered donut holes — all very affordable items. Cover the styrofoam cone with the foil, then begin to attach the donut holes to the cone using toothpicks. It’s so easy, and yet it will be the perfect centerpiece for your holiday party dessert display.
These babies only require 3 ingredients: chocolate brownie mix (and any necessary baking essentials), vanilla icing, and fresh strawberries. Mix up a batch of brownies and bake them in a rectangular oven dish. After the brownies have finished baking and are cooled off, use a circular cookie cutter and create as many “santa bases” as needed based on your guest count. Next, apply a very thick layer of vanilla icing. Take your batch of fresh strawberries and slice off the tops to create a triangular shape. Place each triangular strawberry on a brownie “santa base.” To complete the Santa Brownies, add a dab of icing to the very top of the strawberry.
To create your own delicious batch of pumpkin dip, you’ll need an 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip and 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!). You won’t believe me when I tell you how easy this is to make. Literally add the 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree to your 8 ounces of Cool Whip and mix well. Yep….thats it! After completing the previous simple steps, you’ve created a scrumptious dip that’s sure to be a hit. The final step is to layout something sweet and/or salty, like pretzels or vanilla wafers, for your guests to dip with.
If you incorporate a spread of dishes like the ones mentioned above, your guests will have a well-balanced selection of sweet, savory, and salty treats. Each of these are extremely easy to create, and it will look like you put WAY more effort into these dishes than you actually did (…always a plus!). For more festive food selections and holiday decor ideas, visit my Happy Holidays board on Pinterest.
Click here for the perfect holiday beverages to complement the food selections above.
Photo Credit: littlebroken.com, realwomenphillycanada.com, yahoo.com, pagingsupermom.com, kidsstuffworld.com, ohsweetbasil.com, pillsbury.com