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Vanessa Druckman

Vanessa, also known as Chefdruck, is a foodie, writer and mom living in Chicago with her husband and four children. Whether you're planning a holiday dinner party or small impromptu get together with friends, Vanessa has easy menu ideas and helpful tips to minimize your time in the kitchen so you have more time to spend with your friends and family. Vanessa's personal blog can be found at chefdruck.com

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Progressive Holiday Party Idea

Holiday Party Idea

Does the thought of hosting a holiday party sound fun but a little exhausting? This year, instead of hosting the same old party, organize a progressive party. Team up with two or three other neighbors and host your holiday party together. Choose a date, combine guests lists, and plan the party menu. You’ll save money, make new friends, and have more fun.

How to Throw a Progressive Holiday Party

For a typical progressive party there is a different course served at each house on the party route. I would suggest a three-house party, with one house serving appetizers, the next serving the main course, and the last serving dessert. Around the holidays, it might be easier to serve heartier, finger foods at the main course home instead of doing a formal sit down dinner. The host of each leg of the progressive party should coordinate their party menu with the overarching party theme.

A progressive holiday party doesn’t necessarily need to revolve around dinner. You could have a progressive dessert party, featuring sugar cookies in one home, fruit desserts in one home, and chocolate in a third. Or, have each home feature a different country, with different holiday dishes, decorations, and traditions.

Progressive Holiday Party Recipe Ideas

Typical appetizers could include Pecan Cranberry Spread and Warm Brie Crackers. I’ve also included a Strawberry Crackers appetizer below for a sweet and fruity addition to your appetizer menu. Main courses should be dishes that are served buffet style and are easy to share like Family Favorite Chili or Town House Meat Loaf. Getting inspired for the dessert menu will be easy with recipes like Eggnog Cheesecake Bars , Minty Grasshopper Pie, or my No-Bake Truffles Recipe (directions below).

Progressive Holiday Party Hosting Tips

When people are having a good time, they won’t want to leave. The key to a successful progressive party is to set your guests’ timing expectations and to stick to the schedule. Using a bell can be helpful to keep everyone moving. Of course, you should expect that the party at the last house will last longer, as your guests will want to keep the fun going late into the night.

Finally, here are a few tips to guarantee your progressive holiday party is a success:

  • Agree on a budget with the other hosts to truly share the costs equally, and keep the amount of food and drink consistent at each stop
  • Walking distance is best - try to partner with other homes in the neighborhood
  • Plan a little extra time at the appetizer home to allow for latecomers and a lot of extra time at the last home
  • Budget a little travel time between houses
  • Provide a map on the party invitation
  • If you need to drive between locations, encourage guests to carpool with designated drivers to make parking easier and transportation faster

I've included two party pleasing recipes for your enjoyment. Happy holidays!

No-Bake Truffles Recipe

no-bake-trufffles-lg

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, crumble the Fudge Stripes cookies. Add the cream cheese, cut into chunks. Pulse until completely blended together into a moist dough.
  2. Spoon mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Shape into balls and refrigerate again.
  4. Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
  5. Drop each ball into the melted chocolate and coat it in chocolate carefully by moving it around with a spoon.
  6. Very carefully grab the ball out with a spoon and put it on a cookie sheet.
  7. Once all the balls have been chocolate covered, put the cookie sheet back in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden. When not serving right away, keep the balls in the fridge in a covered container to prevent them from getting soft.

Hazelnut Chocolate Strawberry Crackers Recipe

chocolate-strawberry-crackers-lg

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Rinse strawberries and pat them dry.
  2. Cut strawberries in half.
  3. Pick the prettiest strawberries out and set them aside in a bowl.
  4. Set your crackers on a platter and top each with a smear of hazelnut chocolate spread.
  5. Lay the strawberries on each Town House cracker, and arrange on a decorative plate.

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