Make it easy on yourself... let us deliver the party!
It’s party season, and we’re excited for the canapés… bite-sized snackettes that blend elegance with a dash of whimsy. They’re the centre of attention at every party, but if you find making them a migraine-inducing palaver, then we’re here to soothe the festive stress levels. Let us deliver – the food and the ideas.
Some of these are on the menu right now, others can be made from Dinner Ladies staples you might have in the freezer. All will make you look like a total kitchen god or goddess when festive season visitors drop by.
It's time to party!
Keep it simple. Whip up a couple of great Christmas drinks – preferably one that can be non-alcoholic but still excitingly festive. (It’s never polite or sensible to forget the non-drinkers and designated drivers; everyone deserves a good knees-up – and they’re going to be driving any sozzled guests home!)
We’ve a couple of deliciously foolproof recipes below:
Christmas cranberry apple spritz
We reckon spritzes make a great hot-weather party drink. This one’s a lovely Christmassy red, tart with cranberries and the bitter orange of the Aperol. You can turn it into a longer drink by topping up with soda – so everyone stays tidy!
Spiced apple & dark rum cooler recipe
Warm and toasty with all the traditional festive gluhwein flavour but – genius, for a summer Aussie Christmas – it’s chilled and poured over ice.
Add as much rum as you think sensible – or keep one jugful non-alcoholic.
Duck and water chestnut mini rolls with cherry and plum dipping sauce
Bake these at home for just 30 minutes until golden – then hand around with dipping sauce. We make them with a mix of free-range duck mince seasoned with five spice, ginger, garlic, spring onions, mushrooms and water chestnut, wrapped in buttery flaky puff pastry. The plum sauce has a festive twist – with cherries and spices.
Caramelised onion and goats cheese pinwheels with beetroot relish
Ready for you to slice and bake in just 20 minutes at home. We caramelise Spanish onions until sweet and jammy, then spread – along with creamy Meredith goat’s cheese – over butter puff pastry. Top with beetroot relish and chopped chives for a perfect party canape!
Beetroot-cured salmon gravlax with dill crème fraiche
A classic dill-cured salmon is incredibly impressive any time of year – but especially during the silly season! Gravlax is simple to prepare but it does take a bit of time - and makes a mess. Best leave it to us, really.
Once the gravlax arrives in your kitchen, slice it thinly and serve on slices of cucumber or radish, crackers or blinis.
Cut the corner of the horseradish dill-cream sachet and pipe onto each canape. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill and perhaps a delicious blob of salty salmon roe.
Also perfect for Christmas morning breakfast.
Mini sausage rolls with sneaky veg can be cunningly formed into elegant party food that goes down an absolute treat with kids and big kids. Serve with a posh chutney or just old favourite (ketchup!).
Mini sweet corn and haloumi fritters bitesize, once again with a great chutney. (It’s another Dinner Ladies motto to live by: condiments maketh the meal.)
Hot smoked trout pate
This was a beloved fave on our festive menu for menu years. We don’t make it any more but, in the interests of Dinner Ladies posterity (it’s fab!), we’ve published the recipe so you can make it yourself. Plus, check out our easy ideas for turning it into elegant finger food.
Depending on numbers, one great cheese and meats platter is often all you need as a stunning party centrepiece to go with those drinks. Bamboozled by charcuterie? We’ll show you how to put together a stylish platter, here.