My husband and I love hosting our friends and family at our house. It’s always nice to gather with people you care about to catch up and enjoy eats and drinks together. The dishes afterwards are the worst, but the memories make up for cleaning off any grime (I’m so cheesy). This past Saturday we had some close friends over for a casual Christmas gathering and had a blast. My in-laws graciously watched our children overnight, which meant we were free birds. It was glorious. We got to be loud and didn’t have to worry about anyone but ourselves. I mean, even without the kids, we were still exhausted by 10 p.m., but the drinks and merriment kept going until past midnight – crazy!!
We normally do Friendsgiving with the group we invited, but decided to host something in December this year because our newborn would be a little bit older. It definitely worked out, and we were all in agreement that doing a Christmas party was more fun and less stress. Plus, having turkey three times in one month was enough for me the past couple of years.
For the party, we served apps, desserts and drinks and our wonderful friends all brought multiple eats and drinks for us all to enjoy. I loved doing appetizers and desserts because the prep was so much easier and I love snacking on finger foods at parties! I made the Santa hat brownie bites pictured in this post (recipe below) and the rest of these yummy foods:
- Ina Garten’s stuffed mushrooms
- Bacon-wrapped dates
- Crock pot spinach dip
- What’s Gaby Cooking’s Christmas crack
These santa hats are the perfect festive treat to bring to your next Christmas gathering! If you end up making them, don’t forget to tag your photos with #marinamakeseats.
Brownie Bites with Strawberry & Mascarpone Frosting
Makes about eight brownie bites
- 4 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 8 store-bought brownie bites
- 8 strawberries, green stems and leaves removed
Using a hand mixer, mix the mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until combined and smooth.
Spoon a tablespoon of the mascarpone frosting on each brownie bite and top with a strawberry (large side down). Place a tiny dollop on top of each strawberry and enjoy.