Ten Tips on How to Plan Your Holiday Menu - dummies

Ten Tips on How to Plan Your Holiday Menu

By Consumer Dummies

Holiday menu design doesn’t have to be complicated, but there is an art to it. Some consultants and chefs make big bucks deciding what recipes should be offered on a menu. Your undertaking will be smaller, but no less important — yet it can still be easy! Take a look at this list of things to consider when planning your menu:

  • What kind of party are you having? The more formal the party, the more formal the food.

  • Consider including a selection of flavors and textures. Perhaps serve something spicy, something creamy and soothing, and maybe something crunchy.

  • Always have at least one familiar appetizer, such as an onion dip. Then get as creative as you want with the rest of the food.

  • Include at least one dish that you’re familiar with preparing and enjoy eating. You’ll gain peace of mind and ensure at least one successful dish.

  • Take advantage of recipes that you can make ahead of time. That way, you can enjoy the party, too.

  • Think about the shape and color of food. If the food looks good, people will try it. If everything you offer sits on little crackers, you’re not providing any visual variety.

  • Look to the seasons for suggestions. A cheese ball just says winter holidays to some families. Also, if you buy produce that’s in season, it not only tastes better but also is less expensive.

  • Consider the calories in your menu. Include raw veggies so that anyone on diet restrictions can still nibble along with everybody else.

  • Plan from your own viewpoint. The easiest choice and one of the most common ways to make a menu is from your own viewpoint. If you enjoy eating the food you serve, most likely, the guests will, too.

  • Don’t forget the eggnog. Most holiday parties wouldn’t be complete without drinks of some sort. And what drink says the holidays more than eggnog?

    [Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/William Berry]
    Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/William Berry

    To make eggnog, mix 1-1/4 ounces light or dark rum, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 6 ounces milk in a shaker. Strain into a glass and sprinkle with ground nutmeg.