You might be thinking that planning your Thanksgiving event was simply a dress rehearsal for the big Christmas events that are ahead of you. That may be especially true if you are hosting out-of-town guests who will be staying with you during the Christmas holidays. Whether it will be extended family members or friends who will be staying in your home, planning menus might be a big part of your preparation. From breakfast ideas to the main Christmas feast, here are some ideas that might help you to get ready for your out-of-town guests.
Simplify - If you are slaving in the kitchen, you may not have time to enjoy your guests and to enjoy your own holiday. Consider things you can do to keep things simple. For example, buy Christmas-themed paper products that are always available, not only for meals but for times your guests have a snack. Think of keeping your meals simple, too.
Breakfasts - Your guests may not come to breakfast at the same time. Think about setting up a buffet that includes things your guests can serve themselves. For example, order croissants from your bakery and offer them with things like hazelnut-chocolate spread, fancy jams and even peanut butter. Have a basket of fruit to accompany the croissants and you've got a yummy European-style meal.
Lunches - While you are placing your bakery order, don't forget to add fresh artisan breads to the list. Choose two or three different types, just to add interest to your lunch meal. The artisan breads will be perfect with gourmet soups that are commercially prepared. Or, set out a variety of cheeses and lunch meats for sandwiches made out of pre-sliced artisan bread. Christmas cookies or brownies would be a perfect dessert for lunch.
Dinners - Think about having your guests create their own small pizzas out of sliced artisan breads. Another idea is to make fancy open face cheese sandwiches, toasting them in the oven with things like black olives or dried tomatoes.
The Christmas Feast - Are you having turkey or ham, with traditional sides? Maybe you are preparing a standing rib roast or a pork loin roast? Rolls and artisan bread combined in a pretty Christmas basket will more than likely be well received by your guests. And, if you want a really sensational and different dessert, consider topping chunks of artisan bread with sliced strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and then adding whipped cream.