Planning a Drinks, Appetizer and Dessert Party for the holidays

Last year, I had an appetizer and dessert party for the holidays. I had 5 different appetizers and desserts. I also added some homemade hot chocolate, pumpkin spice latte and rose lemonade for drinks. It took a lot of planning and almost a week of preparation to pull off comfortably. For the drinks, I kept a thermos of hot milk and the hot chocolate mix and pumpkin spice mix separately. The rose lemonade, ice and seltzer formed the cold drinks part. I only have the pictures of the dessert table which was set up beforehand. The appetizers were in the oven, to keep warm.

Dessert party table

There were around 12 people invited to the party and I grossly overestimated the amount of food that would be needed. I did not realise that one person cannot eat 5 different appetizers and 5 different desserts in a single night :) (specially since appetizers and desserts are generally so rich). I made 12-15 servings of each item. At the end of the night, I was packing food for the guests to eat as breakfast or lunch the next day. :)

So, heres what I made.

Cheesy corn dip with tortilla chips Using this recipe without the bacon and used a little less cheese
Salmon cakes with lemon butter sauce Slightly indianised this recipe for salmon cakes by removing the bacon and mayo. Added a little bit of chilli and coriander powders. Used this recipe for the sauce.
Hara bhara kabab Used my MIL's recipe
Cream cheese pinwheels Used this real easy but real tasty recipe
Indianised potato skins Adapted from this recipe Baked oil coated whole red potatoes at 400 F about an hour. Cool, cut, fill with chickpeas and bake 20 minutes at 350 F. Garnish with green and tamarind chutneys.
Thumbprint cookies Using this recipe
No bake mango cheesecake in a glass Using this recipe
Ginger bread cake with cream cheese frosting topped with walnuts Using this recipe to make two loaf cakes instead of the bundt.
Peanut butter blondies with chocolate frosting Using this recipe
Chocolate swiss roll Used this recipe for chocolate sponge. Used this recipe for whipped cream filling

I had the party on Sunday. Heres how I planned the week leading up to the party.

  1. Tuesday
    • Decide on serving bowls for each dish. Collect all tableware (plates, spoons, glasses, napkins, cups, water jug) and keep aside.
    • Prepare hot chocolate mix.
  2. Wednesday
    • Make the gingerbread cake loaves. Cool. Wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze.
    • Make pumpkin spice latte concentrate. Refrigerate.
  3. Thursday
    • Make lemon butter sauce, green chutney, tamarind chutney and refrigerate.
  4. Friday
    • Make thumbprint cookies and store in airtight container.
    • Soak chole for the potato skins
  5. Saturday
    • Make the mango cheesecake and refrigerate.
    • Cook the vegetables for the corn dip and refrigerate.
    • Make the peanut butter blondies, frost and refrigerate.
    • Make the chocolate swiss roll and refrigerate.
    • Remove the gingerbread cake and cream cheese frosting (leftover from previous project) from freezer to refrigerator.
    • Make hara bhara kabab mix and refrigerate.
    • Boil chole and refrigerate once cool.
  6. Sunday (in order from morning to evening)
    • Make chole and bake potatoes for the potato skins. Once cool, fill and set aside on a baking sheet.
    • Make corn dip using refrigerated vegetables.
    • Make hara bhara kabab tikki shapes and refrigerate.
    • Make the salmon cakes shape and refrigerate.
    • Make cream cheese pinwheels.
    • Shallow fry the hara bhara kabab and salmon cakes.
    • Bake the pinwheels.
    • Bake the potato skins.
    • Bake the corn dip.
    • Frost the gingerbread cake and decorate with walnuts.
    • Get husband to set the dessert table (cut cakes and roll into slices; blondies into squares; arrange on platters).
    • Get husband to clean up the house.
    • Make the rose flavored lemonade.
    • Set up the drinks station.
    • Place appetizers in oven to keep warm.
    • Clean yourself up and get ready to welcome the guests and enjoy your party.


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