The Stress-Free Holiday Party Plan

Step 1: Make easy, impressive food
The menu: crab and chive puffs, hot ricotta dip, maple-glazed ham with biscuits, mustard, and chutney, mini gingerbread cupcakes, olives, pickled veggies, fruit and nuts.

Step 2: Step away from the cocktail shaker
The cocktails: pineapple mint punch, tequila grapefruit splash, winter sangria, vodka cranberry cooler, spiked sparkling cider, and bourbon ginger snap.

Step 3: Manage the mood
Keep the lights dim and spread holiday cheer with some holiday party mixes.

Step 4: Work some behind-the-scenes magic
This can be done by renting a coat rack, keeping prepared food warm, soaking dirty dishes, and keeping the air fresh.

Step 5: Fun-shui your space
By rearranging your furniture you can find a new flow to your living space!

Step 6: Wind it down
You can begin this by lowering the music, brightening lights, and putting away leftovers.

Step 7: Holiday party timeline
Creating a timeline can keep things organized and makes planning a party much more manageable.

Step 8: Don’t let this happen to you
Remember that even if things do not go as planned, it is just a party, and much worse things have happened.


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Step 1: Make Only Easy, Impressive Food

This stress-free plan comes complete with do-ahead recipes (a few savories and a sweet) and delicious store-bought extras. Even better: The grab-and-go, finger-food-only menu requires no utensils, meaning less cleanup.

Crab and Chive Puffs



  1. 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce box), thawed
  2. 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  3. 1/2cup mayonnaise
  4. 1/4cup chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  5. 1tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. kosher salt and black pepper
  7. 1pound lump crabmeat


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Unfold the pastry and, using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Place them on the prepared baking sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Fold in the crabmeat.
  3. Dividing evenly, spoon the crab mixture onto the pastry rounds (about 2 teaspoons each). Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the puffs are golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with additional chives and serve.

Read the full article here.


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