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Home for the Holidays: DIY Catering Tips for a Cozy Celebration

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and, of course, delicious food. If you're planning to host a festive gathering at home, why not make it extra special with a touch of professional catering flair from your friends here at Pure Joy?

We'll share some of our favorite DIY holiday catering tips for a cozy celebration that will guide you to create a memorable event in the comfort of your own home.

holiday mixing

Plan Ahead for Success

The key to stress-free catering is planning ahead and looking at the details, including shopping, prepping, and cooking. Give yourself plenty of time, and ask yourself what can be cooked ahead of time, or what decorations are set up early. Don't forget to delegate! Kids love to add their special touch to the decorations and can help set the buffet or put out the plates getting everyone involved.

Wrapping Paper Rolls & Scraps Make for Best DIY Decorations
Wrapping Paper Rolls & Scraps Make for Best DIY Decorations

Elevate Presentation

Even simple dishes can become culinary masterpieces with the right presentation. Serving platters, festive tablecloths, and decorative centerpieces help to create a visually stunning spread. No need to break the bank, we recommend a swap with a friend who needs a little revamp on the decorations as well. Local small businesses have great, affordable finds and DIY crafting makes for some of the best decorations and holiday traditions.

infused beverages

Homemade Infused Beverages

Elevate your beverage selection with homemade infused drinks. Create flavored water stations with combinations like cranberry-mint or citrus-rosemary. For those who prefer a kick, whip up a batch of festive sangria or mulled wine.

Baked Artichoke Bottoms with Lemony Parmesan Filling
Baked Artichoke Bottoms with Lemony Parmesan Filling

Mix and Match Appetizers

Impress your guests with a variety of bite-sized treats. Choose a mix of cold and hot appetizers that can be prepared in advance. Think cheese platters, stuffed mushrooms, and savory tartlets that are sure to keep your guests satisfied as they mingle.

hot chocolate bar

DIY Hot Chocolate Bar

Create a DIY hot chocolate bar for a sweet and nostalgic touch. Set out mugs, hot cocoa in a thermos or your nanna's pot she handed down with a ladle on a warming plate, marshmallows, and a variety of toppings like crushed peppermint, caramel drizzle, and whipped cream. Let guests customize their perfect cup of cocoa.

cookie decorating

Cookie Decorating Station

Invite guests of all ages to channel their inner pastry chef with a cookie decorating station. Bake a batch of sugar cookies in festive shapes and provide an assortment of colorful icings, sprinkles, and edible decorations. Don't forget the milk!

Recipe for Vintage Style Holiday Butter Cookies 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 pound butter, softened

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 pinch of nutmeg

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

colored sugar sprinkles and yummy frosting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. With mixer, cream butter, sugar, and nutmeg well. Add yolks and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and gently fold in sifted flour mixture. Blend just enough to incorporate. Don't overbeat flour. Fill cookie press and pipe out cookies in desired shape onto dry cookie sheet. Decorate with sugar sprinkles. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; edges should be firm but not brown.YIELD: 36 to 40 cookies

gourmet grazing table

Gourmet Grazing Table

Transform your dining area into a stunning grazing table filled with an array of cheeses, charcuterie, fruits, and artisanal bread. Our Farmer's Market Grazing Table is one of the most popular for our events. A great time to put out that Fig Jam that your great aunt Susie gives you every year. This not only looks visually appealing but also encourages guests to explore and mingle.

Enjoy the Celebration

Finally, remember to enjoy the celebration! With careful planning and these DIY tips, you've created a memorable experience for your guests. Take a moment to savor the festive atmosphere and the joy of sharing good food with loved ones during this special time of year.

holiday cheer

Written by Shayna Cogan


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