Like Monica from Friends, I love being the hostess. Even as a kid I always wanted people to sleepover at my house. As I grew up and got my own apartment, I was always happy with having people over. I don’t mind cooking or baking and throwing parties. In fact, I get quite a lot of enjoyment out of it. And for the last couple years, I’ve wanted to throw a Christmas party. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to. And as we don’t really have the seating or table space to host a dinner party with our friends, I decided to just have a small girl’s night Christmas party. I spent weeks trying to decide what I was going to make and how I would put everything together. The flat was all decorated, we had our tree up, so I just needed to make sure everything was clean and tidy.
And then came the food. And yeah, I probably went overboard. But I personally love having options and really love having leftovers (which actually lasted all weekend long and then some). That way, I didn’t have to cook for days, which is exactly what I wanted as I spent the entire week leading up to the party getting ready for this night.
Below are the pictures of how everything turned out and links to the recipes I used if you want to make any of these in the future or for your Christmas parties and festivities. I’ve also rated each recipe and given tips on how to improve, if needed. Let me know if you have any questions!
I had no idea that the UK didn’t have sugar cookies!! Like these are the cookies every single household makes for Christmas to give to Santa. And I never realised this was an American thing until I moved over here. So I obviously had to make these for people to try. I personally love this recipe because you don’t have to refrigerate the dough which makes these a thousand times easier. And the other thing about this recipe is that you can add almond extract to the dough which gives it the most perfect flavour. For the icing, I used powdered (icing) sugar, milk, and corn syrup. I could only decorate half of the cookies because I managed to mess up the food colouring procedure and destroyed half of the icing. But they still taste good without the icing anyway so oh well!
Nothing can beat my gingerbread cookies, but these are the best sugar cookies I’ve ever made or had….
Pretzel Hot Dogs
My mom originally made these about 4 or 5 years ago, and since then they’ve become a staple in our house for get-togethers. I made these for a Halloween party this year and they went down so well, I decided to make them again for girl’s night and have enough leftovers for D and I to enjoy throughout the weekend. They take a bit of time to make as there are quite a few steps you have to take to get the pretzel bread just right but it’s definitely worth it!
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries (and other fruits)
I’m a sucker for chocolate-covered strawberries. I just think they’re so good, and so simple. All I did was buy dark chocolate chunks (or chips) and melted them in a pan over low heat then dipped the strawberries in and laid them on parchment paper to set. I had a lot of chocolate leftover so I actually dipped some green grapes and apples as well. Let me tell you, chocolate covered grapes are really really good. We ate them up so quickly. In my opinion, this is an extremely easy dessert to make and goes down so well. If you’re pressed for time, this is a great one to fall back on!
Tip: Just be sure not to make these too far ahead of time as the fruit won’t be as fresh, and it won’t taste the same.
Pull-Apart Christmas Tree
I saw this recipe on Delish and thought it would be an easy and fun recipe to make. In theory, it was a fantastic idea. In execution, not so much. You just buy refrigerated pizza dough and cut them up into slices. Then you roll them around some cheese, arrange them on a baking sheet and bake them. It sounds extremely simple and easy. Now they didn’t taste bad. On the contrary, they were good. But my problem was that I did not have enough pizza dough, I didn’t put nearly enough cheese in the center of the little balls, so when I cooked it, it wasn’t nearly as cheesy as I expected. Also, if you do click on the link you will see that the one on Delish looks much prettier and decorated. I’ll be honest: I was too lazy to add all the herbs after I took them out of the oven. And mine is a lot smaller because I didn’t have enough dough.
I tend to have some of these problems when I use US recipes with UK ingredients. I do my best to make do, but I’m still trying to get used to the different things they have here that can make a difference in cooking and baking! I would try this again sometime, but would probably double the amount of pizza dough.
I also bought a jar of tomato and basil sauce for dipping which was very good. If you’re in the US, obviously marinara would work perfectly with this, but you definitely want to include some kind of dipping sauce.
Super easy to make. Delicious. And not at all too sweet. I actually saw this recipe on Facebook and immediately decided to do this. All you have to do is put cranberries, cut up apples, halved grapes, and pomegranate in a pitcher, pour a cup of sparkling grape juice onto it, and then an entire bottle of Prosecco. Then you can let it sit in the fridge for a bit to get cold and to mix with the fruits. I didn’t find this drink to be too sweet at all. It was light and went down very well. We made a few batches of this, and even ate some of the fruit which was very yummy. We eventually decided to leave the fruit and juice out of the next ones and just enjoyed the Prosecco alone. But I really liked this and would definitely make these again. They’re so festive and extremely easy!
Other items we had (store-bought):
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions with any of these recipes or food we had. Everything was so good, so you really can’t go wrong with making any of these! If you do try any of them, let me know. I would love to see how they turned out/how it went down!