Home Cooking 18

Need new recipes for an annual Xmas Eve party (early, I know!)

saintp | Oct 2, 201101:43 PM

Hi! I tend to post on the regional boards and have rarely posted on Home Cooking, but I have been reading it for a long time. I love it and have gotten some wonderful ideas.
Here's my situation: for the past 3 years we have thrown a Xmas Eve open house, from about 3-8. Each year the guests have been about 14-18 adults and about 16-18 children under the age of 10 (yikes, i know!). Most people stay for about 1 1/2-2 hours, some a bit more.
I have been trying to vary my recipes from year to year, keeping the ones that were surefire hits and adding new ones to the mix. Everything is of the appetizer sort. I also try to make a mix of cold/room temp offerings and things that are hot from the oven.

Here is my menu from last year:
Sweet and Sour Kielbasa (an oldie but goodie that always gets devoured)
Goat Cheese baked salsa with toasted pita chips (Rick Bayless)
Pinwheels stuffed with either Prosciutto or an olive tapenade (easy to make ahead)
Filo cups with mushroom saute (decadent and soooo tasty)
Roasted shrimp cocktail (Ina Garten, i think)
"cuke with a kick" finger sandwiches (cukes with a horseradish spread)
smoked salmon pate with crackers
Pimento Cheese with crackers and stuffed in cherry tomatoes (Bon Appetit Y'all)
crudites with dip

pecan balls (or mexican wedding cakes)
ginger trees
candy canes

Soooooo, what do you think? Last year, everything was eaten completely except for the salmon, the pimento cheese and the crudites.

Any suggestions for new things to try? Dishes that can be made 1-2 days ahead? Since everyone tends to congregate in the kitchen, I don't mind using the oven for a few things...I just don't want to be assembling things.

Thank you so much for any help!

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