12 Courses of Christmas Party
Updated: Dec 23, 2017
Holiday season is upon us, the most wonderful time of the year. Some may disagree with that statement, the long lines in stores can make gift shopping a nightmare, your social calendar is out of control, and the pressure of cooking can make the month of December stressful. I think as we grow older, all the added responsibilities can sometimes make us forget what the holiday season is all about: spending quality time with family and friends, following traditions, reminiscing about old memories and making lots of new ones.
Daniel and I started a new tradition with our friends this year, hosting the “12 Courses of Christmas” party. We’ve build up a reputation of always having homemade food at our parties, and we thought it’s about time to host a big potluck party during the holiday season. I named it “12 Courses of Christmas” because I thought it was a cute, creative name, considering food was going to be a big focus. Little did I know we’d end up having so much food, that it would truly turn into a feast of 12 courses. We had so much left-over food, we had to use our balcony as a second fridge (the only time when the freezing weather came to my rescue) and we sent my parents an SOS the next day to come over for dinner to help us eat left-overs and make some room in our fridge.
Christmas time is always tough being away from family, and with all of Daniel’s family back in Austria, he decided to make some family Austrian recipes for the party. Daniel has a rule to drink at least one cup of mulled wine per holiday season, and since he didn’t get a chance to go to the Toronto Christmas Market this year, he decided to make his own for the party. Personally I’m not a fan of mulled wine, because I do not enjoy hot alcohol, but I did taste it and it’s the best I’ve ever had.
He also re-created his uncle’s famous Hot Mayan Punch - yes, hot punch with an unusual mix of ingredients, but it’s tasty and perfect in the winter. Be careful though, the alcohol is well disguised, you don’t taste the strength. My input in the drinks department was a hot chocolate bar with marshmallows, Irish cream and coffee liquor. Okay, so I guess I accidentally lied when I said I don’t like hot alcohol, because I do enjoy hot chocolate & cappuccinos with Baileys or Kahlua. The problem was by the time everyone wanted to try the hot chocolate with dessert, the apartment was so warm that an iced Baileys sounded like a better idea. Maybe next year we’ll set up the hot beverage table on our balcony for a more authentic experience.
For snacks, Daniel made his famous guacamole, which disappeared within the first few minutes of the party, and three types of hummus. For the mains, he made roasted pork with potatoes, dumplings, and cabbage salad. For dessert he made tiramisu, which was an obvious huge hit - I say that because by the time we put out dessert everyone was stuffed, but somehow half of it disappeared within minutes and everyone was talking about it. I think a holiday miracle for Daniel & I would be still fitting in our clothes after the holidays.
While Daniel was in charge of food and drinks, I was in charge of decorations. My absolute favourite decorations were home-made Christmas characters I made by wrapping yarn around wine bottles. There is a rewarding experience in making your own decorations, I think I’ll make this a new annual tradition as well! If anyone has any ideas for my next year’s craft, please share!
While I was out shopping for decorations, I saw a cute winter mailbox and immediately wanted to buy it, but wasn’t sure how it would fit the party. I came up with the idea for guests to leave the hosts a message, sharing with us their favourite memory with us from 2017 or their favourite food they had at our parties. Cheesy, I know, but as soon as all our guests left Daniel and I enjoyed a glass of red wine and had so much fun reading everyone’s notes. After all that’s what the holiday season is all about reminiscing about memories and creating new ones. Reading everyone’s sweet notes was the perfect way to end the night (thank you so much for the sweet words). We hope our recipes and decorations provide you with some inspiration. Happy Holidays!