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Old 11-17-2007, 01:45 AM   #11
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Assuming this thread is still a happening thing, to me a Christmassy menu would include things like mince tarts, shortbread biscuits, fruit cake, frosted grapes, mini canapes (or damper or savory scones) with ham or turkey and topped with cranberries, a brandy cheese dip with crudites/crackers, sparkling wine mini-jellies, pinwheel sandwiches, smoked salmon with cream cheese on cucumber rounds, that sort of thing. (Pretty much it would have more seafood and fresh fruits if it were here but...) The "special occasion" nuts would come out also with lots of bubbly and bon-bons (or Christmas crackers - take your pick). I wouldn't be serving a cheese plate if it is over several hours as the cheeses deteriorate unless you are going to spend time checking on them and replacing them through the day.

As to the health component, I would have thought one of the big things about flogging good health is to make the things we all love and want to eat but in a healthier way. Just a suggestion.

Too many restaurants, not enough time...
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:30 AM   #12
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Think of what you would fix for Christmas dinner, and miniaturize everything.

Order "silver dollar rolls" (baby buns...wheat ones would be nice) from a bakery, and make little sandwiches with mayo, ham and a bit of lettuce.
Put a pick through the sandwich and stick an olive on top.

Also order miniature crescents, and make little turkey sandwiches. A healthier alternative would be to make turkey wraps with flour tortillas and slice them into rounds.
Please use real baked ham and real roast turkey for the sandwiches, not the pulverized, glued together deli stuff.

Make spinach balls...frozen spinach mixed with stuffing, rolled into balls and baked. I can give you a recipe if you need one.

Or bake dressing in miniature muffin pans. Slice jellied cranberry sauce, and cut into stars using a tiny cookie cutter. Right before serving, top each dressing bite with a star.

Make tiny pecan tarts using a miniature muffin pan.

A bowl of spiced nuts and a couple of cheese logs will be great with this.

Fill a punch bowl with warm spiced apple cider.

You could also make an hors d'ouevres tree by pinning pretty ruffled lettuce or ornamental kale to a styrofoam cone and sticking picks with assorted goodies like ham cubes, oives, cheese cubes, tiny sweet pickles, pineapple chunks or what have you, and then stick the picks into the tree. It's time consuming, but very eye-catching. If you want it to smell good, stick fresh stems of rosemary into the tree along with the goodies.

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Old 11-17-2007, 11:26 AM   #13
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I'm trying to think of things that can be both christmas-y and healthy, familiar yet fresh. It's a tough combination to think of- most of the traditional christmas foods I've grown up with have been on the heavier side. I'd say with a spa opening, you'd definitely want food that is stylish, light, and refreshing.

I think blini might be a good idea for a warm app. for you, because they can be paired with so many garnished, and they are very light, yet melt in your mouth. A christmas garnish might include a savory interpretation of cranberries; I hear cranberries and foie go well together, though that could easily become too rich.

One thing I remember from christmases growing up is making gingerbread with my grnadma. An intersting thing to do might be to make a gingerbread tuile, and form it like an ice cream cone or a piroutte, and fill with egg nog ice cream.

Shrimp cocktail always seems to be popular with my family around christmas time, but it's certainly something that's been done before. If you could find a unique interpretation on it though, it might be OK.

I'm completely out of ideas for now, but I'll be thinking about this for awhile I think. I'll let you know if I come up with anything else. Either way, it's an interesting challenge and I wish you luck.
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:42 PM   #14
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Thanks all for the replies. Yes, it is an interestign challenge. I look forward to hearing more ideas, and I will be sure to let you know the final menu.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:19 PM   #15
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Wow!Thats tough not having an idea of how many people.Plus what is her budget?Im thinking gazpacho with avocado in shot glasses,oysters on the half shell or oyster shooters in a shot glass.My thinking is along the line of Spanish Tapas plus other items like crostini and parmesan crisps grilled polenta triangles.Belgium Endive with a creamy herby cheese.Cheese plate with some great crackers and individual grape clusters.Pita chips with red pepper hummus.Dont forget the beef and chicken possibilities maybe in a kabob form.Sauteed whole mushrooms.Marinated vegetable plate including asparagus,brussel sprouts and the other usual suspects.As for dessert as much as I hate to say it chocolate covered strawberries(always a hit) and an assortment of delicate christmas cookies and mini fruit tarts, delicate to me can also mean petite.I could go on and on.But bottom line it should be little tidbits that they can just pick up and put on a plate no cutting of salmon or cheese, dipping etc.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:44 PM   #16
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rub, have you ever heard of the italian tradition for christmas eve called la vigilia, or the feast of the seven fishes?

traditionally, seven fishes are served (along with pastas) to represent the symbolic nature of the number seven in the catholic church. 7 days of creation, 7 holy sacraments, etc..

some people go as far as to only serve white fleshed fishes, to represent purity.

anyway, do a search; there's lots written about it. you could easily make up the type of menu you're looking for, to be served to a mobile crowd, and sell it as the italian traditional christmas eve meal.

in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.
beidh ar la linn.
wisdom is often in short supply within ones' ego.
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