Sidonie Sakula-Barry from our Health Information team previously worked as an events caterer, so has hosted a few parties in her time. She likes to be the hostess with the mostest by wowing her guests with new creations. Read on to discover her favourite World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) festive recipes and impress your guests this holiday season.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time for festive celebrations with your nearest and dearest. Inspired by my Mum, I love hosting, and I make sure I throw a Christmas party for my friends every year. Though many people like the tradition of doing the same thing and eating the same food each Christmas, after years of hosting, I want to start shaking up the menu. So, I’ve put together some of my favourite WCRF recipes that I’m serving this year – and top tips for hosting too!
Offer a drink
These days, more and more people are cutting back on drinking alcohol. And as a host, I don’t want to offer tap water as an alternative! Have some alcohol-free mocktails at hand – like our berry sparkle – which will help get your guests in the festive spirit.
If it’s cold outside, have our spiced apple warmer on the hob ready to serve.
Standing starter: canapes!
Serving canapes instead of a sit-down starter is a great way to have a more dynamic party – and avoids having a dinner slump. These are my chosen Christmas canapes:
- Whipped pea ricotta crostini with mint sauce
- Pineapple tacos with prawns, chilli and lime
- Tomato and tarragon puff pastry tart
The festive main course
Do what you normally do – whether it’s a roast chicken or a nut roast – the twist is in the sides…
This salad evokes the flavours of a Christmas roast, with carrots and orange, but has a Middle Eastern twist. I love tabbouleh – it’s a simple and delicious salad, and if you don’t have the listed ingredients, you can swap them for what you do have. Our recipe uses bulgur wheat, like traditional tabbouleh, but if you can use couscous, quinoa, brown rice or brown lentils instead.
Once again, this salad has flavours of Christmas – in this case parsnips – but you get an extra helping of fibre with the lentils in this side.
When hosting a party, dessert is something you often feel you have to serve. Instead of something big and sweet, I like to offer a few smaller things so people can take what they want and not feel pressured to finish their plate. An affogato – coffee and frozen yoghurt – is a great way to end a meal. Or why not try our new elderflower jelly recipe?
Or better yet, like a standing starter with canapes, have a standing dessert. These mince pie apples are brimming with traditional flavours but contain only about a third of the calories of a mince pie. So you really can have your pie and eat it too!