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Food for a Holiday Open House
I am looking for some food ideas to serve at our holiday open house. This is a first for my husband & I, and we are quite divided on what should be served. He wants chili & lil smokies, where as I want veggies, fruit trays, finger foods. Any ideas, suggestions, what-not will be a lot of help. Thanks!
It sounds like you two are going to be negotiating on this. I will note that chili, or anything else that drips and stains is a less desirable choice when people are showing up in holiday clothes. But there are lots of great hot dips and spreads (Creamy artichoke/ Parmesan for example). Also, take a look at the 7 layer dip, the antipasto tray and so forth. These are meaty and heavy and balance the girlie foods. You need to tell me what time of day, how long, what beverages, what stoves and ovens, and approximately how many people and budget before I can advise well on menu ideas.
Our time line for the open house is from 3pm until 10 pm. I have two buffet servers/chafing dishes that hold three 2.5 quart dishes each, we will also have 5 crockpots at our disposal as well. I believe that overall, around 50 people will show up, although (including families) we have invited over 100. We'll be providing soft drinks, coffee, tea, cider, wine & beer, oh and plenty of bottled water as well.
OK. This is a LONG party and over a mealtime. A lot of the people who come will be making dinner/ a meal from the offerings, so you have to figure about 1 1/2 pounds total food per person. For this spread out time with unknown attendance, I might go for a buffet with soup, breads, spreads, cheeses, pates/ cold cuts, etc. Take a look at the article for a champagne lunch for 25- it is very good for quantities per 25- and consider doing 3 to 4 times the amounts with things you can save and freeze if not used. For example, slice breads as needed not before hand.

I would not try to do finger sandwiches. They dry out and aren't good left over. I might do rollups if I just had to make something ahead.

Thank you Ellen, this helps us out a lot. Once again, you've saved a party for me!! Happy Holidays!
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