Get the party started
You only need a few top-notch ingredients to create festive and delicious holiday bites and drinks. Go for a mix of shapes and colors—your guests will love how beautiful everything looks. (And you’ll love how easy it all is to make.)
Peach Melba Cocktail (left)
132 calories, 0g fat
Cook 2 pints fresh raspberries or one 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries over medium heat with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water 7–10 minutes or until completely broken down. Press through strainer, discarding seeds. Let cool. Pour about 3 tablespoons (1 quart total) peach nectar and 1 tablespoon raspberry puree into Champagne glasses; add chilled Champagne to fill each (2 bottles total). Garnish each with fresh-raspberry skewer.
The Golden Apple (right)
97 calories, 0g fat
Into each glass, pour 1 tablespoon vodka (1 pint total) and 1 tablespoon Calvados (1 pint total) over ice. Add sparkling cider to fill (2 bottles total) and a red apple slice.
Mini cheese mix
26 calories, 1g fat
Halve 1 pound seedless grapes, and place evenly into small foil petit-four cups. Add a small chunk of Reggiano Parmigiano (12 ounces total) to each cup.
149 calories, 6g fat
Slice 1 loaf challah into 1- x 2-inch pieces. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes. When cool, top each with 1 teaspoon Nutella and a white chocolate shaving (4 ounces total).
Hot and cool
40 calories, 0g fat
Slice 1 pound sushi-grade yellowfin tuna into 1/2-inch cubes. Slice an English cucumber diagonally, and top pieces with a small dollop of wasabi, pickled ginger, tuna, and soy sauce.
40 calories, 3g fat
Distribute 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat evenly into 30 mini crispy (or phyllo) shells. Add 1/2 teaspoon (1/4 cup total) lemon mayonnaise to each shell; garnish with avocado and a watercress sprig.
34 calories, 3g fat
Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk 8 large eggs, and add to pan, stirring about 5–7 minutes or until creamy. Portion eggs onto ceramic serving spoons; top each with a dollop of crème fraîche (4 ounces total) and a touch of black caviar (1–2 ounces total).
35 calories, 3g fat
Combine 1 1/2 cups thawed frozen peas, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper in a food processor until coarsely pureed. Spread 8 ounces Montrachet goat cheese among 30 crostini. Top each with a spoonful of pea puree; garnish with sliced watermelon, radishes, or beets.
Spice on a stick
16 calories, 1g fat
Combine 30 tail-on, peeled, deveined shrimp; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 1 tablespoon chili powder; 1 tablespoon honey; salt; and pepper. Thread 3 shrimp on each skewer and a small hot pepper (if desired); cook each side 2 minutes on an oiled grill pan.
76 calories, 5g fat
Slice 1 pound manchego cheese into thin wedges; top each with wedges of guava or quince paste (membrillo).
46 calories, 4g fat
Using 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, 1 pound bocconcini (fresh mozzarella), and 1 bunch fresh basil, thread ingredients onto skewers. Sprinkle each skewer with sea salt and black pepper; drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
66 calories, 2g fat
Spread 8 ounces hummus evenly onto baked pita chips (12-ounce bag). Shred 1 large carrot; distribute evenly over chips. Zest rind of 2 lemons; place a few pieces atop carrot.
Steak and salad
100 calories, 7g fat
Preheat oven to 450°. Rub 1 (2-pound) beef tenderloin with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast 25 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 140° (medium-rare). Let stand 20 minutes; thinly slice. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup horseradish in small bowl. Slice 1 baguette diagonally into 30 slices. Spread each piece with mayonnaise mixture; top with beef and a fresh pea shoot.
44 calories, 2g fat
Slice 1 pound sushi-grade yellowfin tuna into 1/2-inch cubes. Slice an English cucumber into rounds; top each with a small dollop of wasabi. Combine 1/2 cup each black and tan sesame seeds in a bowl; cover sides of each tuna cube. Place tuna atop each cucumber round; add a drop of soy sauce (if desired).
178 calories, 13g fat (for 1 ounce)
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine 3/4 pound assorted nuts, 4 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder, and 6 teaspoons tamari. Spread mixture on baking sheet; bake 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven; add 1 cup dried cherries.
73 calories, 3g fat
Cut 1/2 pound smoked boneless trout into bite-size pieces; set aside. Cut presliced party-style pumpernickel into quarters. Place dollop of crème fraîche onto each pumpernickel quarter, and top with a piece of trout; garnish with small sprig of fresh dill.
35 calories, 1g fat
Season 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken cutlets (pounded thin and cut into 1- x 3-inch strips) with salt and pepper. Thread onto skewers and brush with sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce; cook each side 2 minutes on an oiled grill pan.
59 calories, 0g fat
Pour 1 (720 ml) bottle chilled sake into small glasses; garnish each with cucumber spear.
Photo: Sang An (all)
86 calories, 4g fat
Whisk together 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/3 cup eggnog until smooth. In a pitcher, whisk cocoa mixture into 3 2/3 cup eggnog. Add 1 pint rum and 1 pint brandy. Pour 4 ounces into small glasses; top with grated bittersweet chocolate.