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Old 11-28-2009, 05:09 AM   #1
maslex
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I need some ideas on doing a Christmas Buffet, please!!!

Instead of doing a big traditional dinner for Christmas this year, I've decided on doing a buffet type dinner. People attending would be our family of 4 (DH, Me, DS12 & DS13), my parents and my brother with his girlfriend and 3 kids (nephew9, nephew6 and baby)

So far this is what I've come up with....

Meatballs (whether they're in a tomato sauce or swedish, don't know yet)
Baked Ziti
Sweet/Sour Keilbasa
Deviled Eggs
Shrimp Cocktail
Finger sandwiches

I would like to get a big list going of ideas so we can pick and choose what will actually be served. I'm thinking since we all have a crock pot, each family can bring a hot dish plus a little side dish or dessert.

So please.....share any buffet style dish you have!!! Thanks
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:05 AM   #2
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Mashed Potatoes or a basic rice both work well on a buffet (for a starch)
Broiled Chicken can work well as a main dish (get pieces so it is ready to go from oven to buffet)
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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If I tried this at my house I would be out of a job!

How about a big tossed salad? One or two types of dressings and some fancy toppings?
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #4
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Here are two potato casseroles I make regularly for parties/buffets (I use the oven, but my sister always does them in a slow cooker):

Party (Mashed) Potatoes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Party-Potatoes/Detail.aspx

Cheesy Potatoes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Hash-Br...II/Detail.aspx

I second the idea of a salad bar: basic fixin's in a bowl, and my divided Rubbermaid container with extras (fill it ahead with grape tomatoes, onion, sliced cukes, mushrooms, other veggies of your choice - throw in croutons, bacon bits, cheese before serving). Coupla dressings (Italian, Ranch) and you're set.

I'm test driving an easy slow cooker meatball recipe tonight for my office potluck next month - I'll let you know how it turns out.

Last edited by denisem; 11-29-2009 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Update: Thumbs down on the meatballs - back to the drawing board. ;)
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
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How about a macaroni and cheese bar

Not sure how you'd do this but I was just at a wedding that had a macaroni and cheese bar. It had all kinds of things to add to it. Tomatoes, onions, black olives, ham chunks etc. Kind of cute.
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:56 PM   #6
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My mother has been doing a buffet for the last few years . The kids could eat whatever they want and no arguing about the food.

I also have been doing this for Christmas Day. The first year I only did cold food and my fil was not happy. The next year I filled in with some hot and it worked out a lot better. \

Crock pots are your best friend here. Set them up and you can go do other things.

I would suggest some salads, I do macaroni and potato and also do a veggie tray.

Good luck. It really isn't any easier but it is nice not to have to have a sit down dinner.

The best part is the left overs. For the last few years we have invited two other families over on the 26th. They also bring their leftovers and we get to try new leftovers. It has been a lot of fun and a great way to get rid of leftovers.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:21 AM   #7
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Your menu is pretty light right now. Except for the ziti, it is mostly finger foods, hors d'oevers (sp?). I think you need a couple of good, hearty main dishes. (Especially proteins.) This way, if people want to pick, they can pick. If they need something more filling they can go for that.

Maybe use one of the crock pots for a pulled pork or a pot roast? The broiled chicken a PP recommended also sounded good. Or a hearty stew in a crock pot.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:42 PM   #8
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Here are some ideas: hot chicken salad, chicken francese, ham, hot roast beef with gravy (so easy from the deli), chicken fingers for the kids (and big kids), make ahead mashed taters heated in the crock, antipasto with lots of meats, cheeses, vegetables.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:54 AM   #9
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I would do a big pot roast ahead fo time, then slice is and put it back in the crockpot with the gravy - its especially lovely with mash! Or how about some sticky sausages or something?

You don't say what the seating arrangements are - if you have a table with spae for all (or several tables!) it gives you more options, if people will be grazing and balancing glasses etc. you'll want to avoid other good stuff like meatballs/chilli for the sake of your soft furnishings

ETA - my sister serves Christmas dinner buffet style, but we all sit down. She only does hot stuff - turkey (sliced), roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, chipolatas, range of stuffing (some sausage-based some veggie), caramelised onions, cheesy leeks, steamed carrots and green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy. Now I feel hungry........
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #10
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I stopped cooking on Christmas Day a number of years ago...I told DH I wanted to enjoy the day like everyone else. We have items that come & go all day long. It seems like yours will be much more formal than ours is though. My focus was to stay out of the kitchen except to get the food out of the 'frig & serve it.

Our typical buffet also includes:
breakfast casserole
orange muffins or coffee cake muffins
fresh fruit - pineapple, clementines, strawberries
WL Strawberry Banana Bread
cold shrimp
smoked cheeses & crackers
ring bologna (don't know if you can get that in NE...it's kind of a PA Dutch thing I think)
veggies & spinach dip in a bread bowl
Christmas cookies
Chex mix
mini cream puffs (I buy them frozen in a tub)

One thing I don't do for Christmas but have on other occasions is to make a turkey ahead of time. Cook it long enough that you can shred it...like pulled pork. Store it in the broth from the roasting pan. (I often add water to the bones & simmer several hours so I have enough.) It can even be frozen like this without drying out the meat. Defrost, toss in the crock & sit it on the buffet table with some kind of roll (we like hard ones so the broth doesn't make them too soggy to hold) & horseradish sauce. Very tasty! When I do this I season the turkey with a homemade rub & slip orange or lemon slices under the skin. I'll add the "recipe" for this at the end of the post.


Oh - and something else I've done is to make crab rangoon & keep them warm in a crockpot on the table.

If you're looking for a good recipe for meatballs, I really like this one:
Company Sausage & Meatballs

2 lb hamburger
½ c Parmesan cheese
¼ c bread crumbs
½ tsp garlic powder
dash pepper
1 c oatmeal
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
½ tsp oregano
30 Jimmy Dean links, skinless
32 oz catsup
¼ c brown sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp mustard
¾ c BBQ sauce
½ c cider vinegar
1½ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
garlic, minced (opt)
onion, chopped (opt)

Combine hamburger, cheese, crumbs, garlic powder, pepper, oatmeal, eggs, salt & ½ tsp oregano to make meatballs. Use a melon baller to make meatballs. Microwave meatballs on HIGH ~ 20 at a time – cover with wax paper. Repeat with sausages ~10 at a time. Combine remaining ingredients & simmer with sausage & meatballs 6 hours. Serve with noodles, rice or good bread. Yield: 60+ meatballs & 30 sausages

Shredded Turkey

Kosher salt
½ - ¾ tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp ground celery seed
½ tsp lemon zest (I use dried)
¾ tsp orange rind (I use dried)
2 – 3 oranges or lemons
½ c orange juice or
¼ c lemon juice
Cut 1 orange (or lemon) in half & squeeze juice over outside of bird. Set the squished pieces aside to toss into the cavity after rubbing with spices.
Rub inside & out with Kosher salt.
Combine spices & rub this mixture inside & out.
Toss squished halves into cavity.
Slice 2 oranges (~¼” slices) & slip under the skin on breast & legs.
Squeeze any remaining orange slices into the cavity (to remove juice) & then toss the squished slices in there - including the end pieces.
Add juice to the cavity. (For lemon, I use the frozen Minute Maid lemon juice.)

Cover roaster & roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 & roasted a couple hours – until it is falling off the bones.

I leave the roaster on top of the stove (turned off) while I pull the meat off of what was left of the carcass. It starts to fall apart when you remove the meat. I put the meat in a container & refrigerate it. Then I poured a couple quarts of water in the roaster, positioned it over 2 burners & turned it on medium low for a couple hours. I left the skin & oranges in with the bones. The longer it cooks the better - I like to do it at least 4 hours if I have time.
The meat can be shredded as soon as it's cool enough - or the next day. Once the broth is "done" I wait until it's cool enough to touch the bones when I pull them out. I end up straining the broth to get out all of the disintegrating bones - but there's usually still some meat in there that I pull out & keep. I'm too cheap to just toss it with the bones, skin & stuff.

I usually store the meat IN the broth and I skim off the fat once it had cooled & separated.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:28 PM   #11
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How about a sprial sliced ham and a pan of scalloped potatoes. That is more of a hearty base to go with the munchie type foods.

This is what I'm thinking of doing:

Sprial sliced ham
Scalloped potatoes
Pineapple stuffing
Macaroni Salad
Deviled Eggs
Jello mold of some sort
Rolls
Meat Platter
Veggie platter
Spinach Dip in a bread bowl with bread for dipping
Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Pickles/Olives/Variety of cheeses - crackers

Jello poke cake
Tons of christmas cookies and fudge that I make each year
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:14 PM   #12
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At Thanksgiving we had baked potatoes and had a "fixins" bar- everyone loved it and requested the same for Christmas!! Very easy and you can have everything ready ahead of time.
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