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Were having an early christmas party next week for family who are visiting and not being much of a cook, need some simple but good looking/tasting Christmassy ideas (ESP since its dh's family and they all credit themselves to be regular delias)
Saw Lorraine Pascale today and she made some lovely puff pastry things which looked easy to make - sausage rolls and some fancy sundried tomato and rosemary yummy things - you can probably check her stuff out on iplayer.
I'd also do smoked salmon and blinis (sp?) with creme fraiche/dill/lemon.
Nigella does pigs in blankets, which are sausage rolls but with frankfurters and shop bought puff pastry, make a dip with creme frache, Dijon mustard and whole grain mustard. They go down well and are very easy to make.
Mini pizzas using puff pastry, use biscuit cutter, pasta sauce and tiny bit of cheese.
Mince pies but buy the pastry and make your own mincemeat (the hairy bikers have a v quick and simple recipe). Everyone I've done it for is always amazed (so its an impressive con).
I also do a fridge bar with digestives, white chocolate, pistachios, cranberries and dried apricots. Again simple but looks very beautiful and is rich enough that people only want a small piece.
If its nibbles I would go for five savoury (cheese on biscuits is always a favourite) and 3 sweet options.
I've got a really easy sausage roll recipe here http://www.toddler-recipes.co.uk/pork-apple-and-thyme-sausage-rolls.html. I'd add some salt and pepper for grownups! You could also make v easy puff pastry mince pies: buy a sheet of puff pastry, use a medium cookie cutter to cut out x no of shapes then use a small cookie cutter to mark out an inner circle in each shape. Put a teaspoon of mincemeat and bake for approx 10 mins at 180. Also I made a really lazy version of these yesterday, v tasty http://www.mumsnet.com/Recipes/i/3214-Nigellas-Cheese-Straws (I did 50g flour, 40g butter and 80g grated cheddar) Good luck!
Madame, i do a lovely puff pastry thingy, use the jus rol puff pastry, the long one, put it on large tray ( like swiss roll type tin ) spread some pesto on top about half a jar, scatter all over with thinly sliced onions, then scatter baby toms cut in half, grate all over with cheese ( up to you what cheese you use, mozzerella etc ) i always use chedder, pop in the oven for 15 ish mins, cut into small squares or fingers, delish!!!