Party food and snacks

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Below are few ideas for pre and post Christmas cocktail parties. They are all very simple and work well for easy entertaining. The most important thing is to keep them small and neat, so they are easy for your guest to handle, because it is most likely that they will be eating with a drink in one hand and trying their best to keep their new frocks free from unwanted dribbles of food.

I suggest making a selection of 4-5 different canapés and present them on large plates. All of the canapés below are best served at room temperature so try to plan ahead and have everything ready so when your guests arrive you can spend quality time with them instead of being stuck in the kitchen and missing all the fun. All of the ingredients listed below can be purchased from good supermarkets, making your party preparations a doodle.


These are simply baguettes cut into slices at an angle, drizzle very lightly with extra virgin olive oil and baked for 5-6mins at 140c or until brown and dry. The advantage of these canapés is that they can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in an air tight container, just leaving them to be topped when required. Any topping can be used, but below are just a few simple ideas. All of the ingredients below can be purchased in good supermarkets

Topping suggestions;

Pesto and goats cheese
Tomato, basil and mozzarella
Slices of melon wrapped with Parma ham
Smoked salmon, cream cheese and chive
Turkey and cranberry jam (Great for a Boxing Day party)
Pate and Cumberland sauce
Cheddar cheese and Branston pickle
Anchovies and black olives


Throw away your crisps and tortilla chips, these pita triangles are a great and healthy alternative to are party favourites. Just simply toast the pitas under the grill until crisp, cut into triangles, dust with salt and a little cayenne pepper. These can then be made 2 days in advance and kept in an air tight container.
Serve with a selection of dips.

Dips for the crispy pitas;

Tomato, red onion and coriander salsa
Yogurt with cucumber and mint
Crème fraiche with chilli and basil
Sweet chilli sauce


Kebabs are a fantastic and fun way of using up any extra ingredients that may be in your fridge. They are so versatile that any meat, fish or vegetables can be used to make them. Skewer the ingredients onto toothpicks and marinade in soy sauce, sesame oil, a little sugar and fresh lime juice. Leave to marinade for 6 hours. When ready to cook the kebabs place them under a hot grill and cook on each side until cooked through. Serve with satay sauce and sweet chilli sauce.

Kebab suggestions;

Chicken and roast pepper
Pork fillet and mushroom
Prawn, cherry tomato and basil
Aubergine, tofu and courgette
Roast pepper and halloumi cheese
Beef and onion
Salmon, roast pepper and coriander


These are just small pastry cases filled with a selection of different fillings. The cases can be bought from most supermarkets and this will save you a lot of time in the kitchen, select 3 or 4 different filling from below.

Filling suggestions;

Smoked chicken, pesto and crème fraiche
Peppered mackerel, apple and horseradish
Prawn, coriander and mayonnaise
Bacon, onion and mushrooms
Smoked salmon, chive and crème fraiche
Roast pepper, olive and parmesan
Roast cherry tomatoes and tapenade


Frittatas are Italian style omelettes.  They are very simple to make and are best served at room temperature, any flavour can be added, which make them ideal for party food.
The basic recipe is; whisk 4-5 eggs together and add a little salt and pepper and grated parmesan. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and once it starts to bubble add the egg mix. Stir lightly until the bottom sets, when the frittata is half set place under a pre heated grill and leave to cook until completely set. Remove from the grill and turn out of the pan, when at room temperature cut into wedges or squares. The flavourings for the frittata can either be cooked in the pan before the egg is added or added to the egg mix before it goes into the pan.

Serving suggestions;

Potato, onion and rosemary
Tomato, basil and mozzarella
Bacon and cheddar cheese
Smoked salmon and horseradish
Roast pepper, pesto and olive

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