Instead of planning a formal dinner party, throw a casual open-house-style cocktail party that's low on stress yet still full of sparkle and style. No stuffiness involved here -- just finger foods, quick cocktails, easy decorations, and plenty of holiday spirit.
Obviously, last-minute parties don't allow time for snail-mail invitations. However, there's no need to sacrifice sending a little something special -- online, that is. We've got you covered with e-mail invites in classic holiday designs you can send to everyone on your guest list.
In place of a fussy centerpiece, arrange white vases and fill them with white spider mums, seeded eucalyptus, and blue Atlas cedar branches lightly frosted with silver floral spray paint. Line them up across a mantel, along a windowsill, or down the middle of a table.
This appetizer combines sophisticated flavors and super-simple prep work.
Thaw and roll out store-bought puff pastry according to the package instructions. Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut into 4-inch squares. Brush with olive oil. Add toppings, bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, and serve.
Ground marinated peppers, baked and topped with white anchovy
Thinly sliced fingerling potatoes and thyme, baked and dotted with caviar
Thinly sliced orange, sage leaves, and salt, baked and drizzled with honey, Gorgonzola, and sliced scallion
These chewy molasses-spice cookies are a snap to make and look like you spent hours in the kitchen. The best part is you don't have to ice them, cut them, or decorate them to hand them out as beautiful favors -- just package them in jars and tie them with ribbon and you're all set.