My holiday party has become an annual tradition among my group of friends, and I think they enjoy it almost as much as I do.  I love entertaining, and it is great fun to have all of my friends in one place at the same time!  Of course it is also a wonderful opportunity for me to try lots of new recipes that I might not normally make on a regular day.  I have a lot of fun cooking and baking for such a large event, as it allows me to organize and plan every little detail, and requires me to be in the kitchen for several days in a row!  I do a pretty good job of spreading out all the work over a few days so the day of the party isn’t too crazy.  Inevitably the last few hours are fairly hectic but I actually sort of enjoy that and (nerd alert!) I pretend I am an Iron Chef, rushing to complete and plate everything before the final buzzer :)

To avoid an insanely long post including every recipe, I will simply link to those that I can.  Almost every recipe that isn’t linked is from the cookbook Holiday Entertaining by Williams Sonoma.   I will try to feature some of my favorite dishes individually at a later date.  As far as savory items go, the stuffed mushrooms are ALWAYS the most popular thing I serve and are gone in a flash.  Of the sweet fare, the favorite of the night was the cookie dough truffles.  They were a huge hit!  My menu is below.

(Note: please excuse the blurry picture.  I ran out of time before the party so Ben took the picture while I made myself presentable!)

Holiday Party 2008
Savory Appetizers:
Roasted red pepper pesto crostini
Cheese straws
Stuffed mushrooms
Fresh fruit platter (green grapes, pineapple chunks, strawberries)
Caramelized onion brie tartlettes
Crudites and dip
Panini bites (ham & swiss, turkey, pesto & fontina)
Bacon-wrapped jalapenos

Dessert Items:
Truffles: cookie dough, white chocolate cranberry
Cookies: sugar cookies with royal icing, chocolate turtle cookies, chocolate peppermint cookies
Cheesecake bites with strawberry and blueberry toppings
Peppermint bark
Chocolate peanut butter popcorn

assorted soda
a selection of wine
hot mulled cider