Yes, it’s definitely that time of year again! Holiday shopping, decorating and parties, parties and more parties! You’re probably wondering, “should I bring food to the party?” and if so, you’re thinking, “what sorts of food? Desserts, snacks, entrees? Ahh, help me!”
Then, there’s also the host who you need to be thinking about…yes, gifts are definitely in order. But, you shan’t worry, we’ll tell you what to bring to the party (food and drink-wise) and what gift to give to the host to make this year’s holiday party season more cheer and less worries!
Below, we show you 3 recipes that are pretty and perfect for small bites with cocktails. If you are not the food-making type, we have got you covered too! Lastly, we show you what gifts to bring to the host that are thoughtful and useful, without spending more than $10. cha ching!
Editor’s Note: Whitney Bond is the editor of Little Leopard Book, a food blog for great recipes! She takes you through the food making process with yummy seasonally appropriate recipes and gorgeous “Pinterest quality” photos.
What Food and Drinks To Bring to The Party:
There are 4 types of guests at holiday parties: the one who show up empty handed, the mixologist, the foodie and the over-achiever. Let’s not be the guest who shows up empty handed this year. Instead, here are some simple items to bring to the party, no matter which one of the other guests you are!
The Mixologist: Showing up with food is not your thing, you’d rather help get the party started with a bottle of wine, champagne or getting together the ingredients of your favorite cocktail! For more etiquette tips on bringing wine to the host, see what Emily Post says here.
If it’s an indoor evening party (as most holiday parties are, unless you’re lucky enough to live in LA, San Diego or Miami!), it’s a good idea to go with red instead of white wine. If you know your hosts favorite varietal, bonus points! If not, no worries, go instead with your favorite! Champagne or Prosecco is always a good idea. It’s festive and fun (let’s just steer clear of the “Andre” when attending an upscale party!) If you want to be the real mixologist of the party, bring a bag filled with the ingredients for your favorite cocktail – maybe it’s a simple vodka martini or maybe it’s a specialty seasonal drink you’ve concocted. Either way, it’s sure to be something party guests and hosts will appreciate!
Bonus Tip: if you live near a Bev Mo, they now have a weekly “50 percent wine sale”. If you have more than one holiday party to attend (and who doesn’t these days?) Pick up two bottles for the price of one and save that money for Santa’s milk and cookies 😉
The Foodie: You’re the kind of guest that wants to show off their culinary expertise by arriving at the party with a show-stopping dish that everyone is sure to love! Here are three recipes including a sweet, salty, and spicy option that are easy to transport to a party and perfect for snacking!
Sweet Recipe: White Chocolate Raspberry Phyllo Rolls
Salty Recipe: Mushroom Chickpea Bruschetta
Spicy Recipe: Black Bean and Chorizo Fillo Baskets
The Overachiever: This is the combination of mixologist and foodie. If you’re the person that feels the deep, overwhelming desire to bring both a beverage and a food dish, don’t stress yourself out by trying to make a specialty cocktail AND a specialty dish. Just stick to one specialty and one simple. For example, bring a bottle of wine and one of the aforementioned dishes or bring the ingredients to make your own specialty cocktail with some cheese and crackers.
What to Give the Host as a Gift:
Depending on the party and the host, a small gift is always a nice way to show your appreciation for their wonderful hosting skills! The key is to keep it simple and inexpensive, yet useful.
For the Foodie Host: if the host does a lot of cooking, something as simple as new cooking utensil or small serving dish is in order and always useful – plus, it can easily cost less than $10.
SHOP THIS SAMPLER SET (exact): World Market Mini Tasting Chalk Talk Sampler Set – $9.99
For the Mixologist Host: If the host is more likely to make the perfect Manhattan than the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, bring them festive holiday wine stoppers or a new set of wine glasses.
SHOP THIS WINE STOPPER: World Market Snowman Bottle Stoppers Set of 2 – $9.98