Holiday Housewalk Tour

I am so excited to share with you my recipes for our Christmas party this year. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

The Christmas Party Menu

H O R S  – D’ O E U V R E S

D E S S E R T S 


H O R S  – D’ O E U V R E S

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

This is best served in tiny shot glasses. Roasting the shrimp with the garlic gives them a punch that’s great with the spicy cocktail sauce.


Garlic Roasted Shrimp

Cocktail Sauce with Red Onion & Jalapeno


Beef Tenderloin with Rolls and Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce

I purchase my beef tenderloin at Costco. I know it’s expensive but its amazing.


Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce


Step 1

Stir together butter, salt, mustard, pepper, and garlic. Place beef on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Rub butter mixture all over beef, and chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours.

Step 2

Let beef stand about 20 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake in preheated oven until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 135°F (medium-rare), 25 to 30 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil; let rest about 15 minutes before slicing.

Step 3

Combine all remaining ingredients to make the Horseradish sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Smoked Turkey with Cranberry Orange muffins

I make these every year for our holiday party. I usually slice them and fill with smoked turkey. Some years I have even tied bows around the sandwiches … very festive but time consuming!




Martha Stewart gets the credit for this recipe. I simplified it a bit but it is basically her creation!

Smoked Paprika Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

Paprika Salmon

Line a cookie sheet (with edges) with parchment paper. Place salmon, cut side up, on sheet. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with paprika. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until done.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


BLT Tomatoes

My girlfriend Polly gave me this recipe about 20 years ago. It was a staple on the holiday party menu and then I took it off for a few years but it is back on to stay. Too many people complained and wanted to know what happened to the BLT’s!



Serves: 40 appetizer cups

Skewered Chicken with Peanut Sauce/Skewered Flank Steak with Peanut Sauce

Crab Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce

BBQ Chicken Sliders

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise. Place the bottom half in a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) rimmed baking dish. Spread the chicken evenly over the rolls, followed by the barbecue sauce, red onion, Pepper Jack cheese, and parsley. Top with the remaining rolls.
  3. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Slice into individual sliders, then serve.

Ham and Swiss Sliders

  1. Combine the honey and dijon mustard to create your own Honey Dijon
  2. Put the bottom of the Hawaiian Rolls into the baking pan and brush with the Honey Dijon
  3. Add a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese to each roll
  4. Add bit more Honey Dijon to the tops of the rolls before placing them on top
  5. Brush as much Poppyseed dressing on top as you please
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake 15-18 minutes
  7. Uncover and broil for just a few minutes to make the rolls nice and brown

Won Ton Cups with Artichoke Spinach Dip

  • 8 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 14 oz marinated artichoke hearts chopped
  • two packages of won ton wrappers
  • shredded parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and garlic with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  • Stir in parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, gruyere cheese, spinach, and artichokes
  • Cut won tons into circles with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Spray a tart shell pan generously with cooking spray. Fit the won ton in the cup and press down with a melon ball cup.
  • Fill each cup with spinach artichoke dip. Top with shredded parmesan cheese. Bake for five minutes in a 350 degree oven. 

Whipped Sweet Potatoes in Crusts with Brown Sugar Pecan Topping

Sweet potatoes

  • 22 ounces red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Mini tart shells (you can buy these or make them from pie crust)


  • 1 1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed
  • 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Make sweet potatoes:
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; transfer potatoes to large bowl and add butter. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add egg, sugar, spice and salt; beat to blend. Fill partially cooked tart shells with sweet potato mixture.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare topping:
    1. Mix together all ingredients in medium bowl.
    2. Spoon topping evenly over potatoes. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes .

Brie Cups with Pomegranates

Serves: 40 appetizer cups. We have been part of a Dinner Club for over 25 years and a caterer served these at one of our dinners. I literally stood in the kitchen for an hour trying to figure out how they were made. I think I figured it out. They have been a hit at our party ever since.INGREDIENTS



I actually bake the won ton cups in advance and then freeze them until the day of our party.

Seared Wasabi Tuna with Maple Soy Sauce

I found this recipe on the cover of Bon Appetite magazine one month and have made it many times since. It is absolutely amazing!



Maple Soy Sauce


Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Serves: 12 mushrooms

Fig, Pear and Gorgonzola (or Brie) Grilled Cheese

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. Lay four slices of bread out on a cutting board or counter top.

Spread Fig Spread over two of the slices. Top the spread with slices of Red Pear and crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese.

Place Spinach leaves on top of the cheese and then place the remaining pieces of bread over the spinach. Spread butter over the tops of the bread.

Place the sandwiches on the skillet buttered-side down and butter the remaining sides. Cook until the cheese is slightly melted and the bread is browned.

Carefully flip the sandwiches and continue to cook until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the sandwich is golden brown. Cut in to bite sized pieces.

Serve immediately!

D E S S E R T S 

Double Mint Chocolate Cookies

  1. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add both sugars, baking soda, and salt. Beat on medium 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in egg until combined. Beat in the cocoa powder and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (about 1 1/2 Tbsp. each). Working with one piece of dough at a time, cut the piece in half. Flatten each piece into a circle, just larger than the mint patty. Put a mint patty on top of one dough circle; place the other circle on top. Press the dough around the peppermint patty to seal, making sure there are no holes. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and mint patties.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until set. If desired, immediately top each cookie with a KIsses chocolate. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes. Remove; cool on wire racks. If desired, drizzle with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.
  4. This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens.

TO STORE: Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Serves: 24 pieces I think this has been the only recipe to last on the menu for all “thirty +” years at our holiday party.

Frosted Sugar Cookies

These have been a tradition at our holiday party for years. I love using my vintage style ornament cookie cutters.. You can obviously use any cookie cutter shape you want!


Sugar Cookies

Buttercream Frosting

Royal IcingClick here for the recipe.



I usually bake the cookies and then freeze them immediately. A few days later I take them out and frost the frozen cookies. I put them back in the freezer until they are ready to eat.

Coconut Joy Bars

Christmas Crack



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers.
  4. Combine butter and brown sugar into a large saucepan. Cook until just starts to boil for a couple minutes and turns caramel colored.
  5. Pour over saltine crackers.
  6. Bake crackers in the oven for about two minutes. It’s ready when the sugar mixture starts to bubble. Don’t overcook.
  7. Top with dark chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.
  8. Return to the oven for about one minute to make sure the chips have melted.
  9. Spread melted chips with a spatula
  10. Let harden in the fridge or freezer
  11. Crack into pieces

You can also replace the peanut butter chips with english toffee pieces.