Thursday, December 10, 2015

Host a Soup Party Open House for the Holidays

Lakehouse Lyn Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

(check out my post January 7, 2014 for this easy recipe)

With schedules busy all year long, we don't see our friends and neighbors as often as we would like.  Hosting an Open House during the holiday season is the perfect way to throw a party that is less stressful than a sit down meal.  Winter months in the Midwest are brisk to say the least, so I thought it would be a great idea to throw a Soup Open soups to warm the hearts of even the chilliest attendees.  I love soups for many different reasons.  Easy to put together and can be made ahead of time and frozen if needed.  
They can be made in and served from slow cookers.  Three or four varieties of soups are nice offerings.  Spicy chili, a chowder, a minestrone or vegetable, and a creamy soup are a good selection to choose from.  Borrow slow cookers or rent (let's face it..who has 4 slow cookers in their home?).  

Have a toppings and bread area set up so your guests can individualize their soups and select a bread side of their choice.  Croutons, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onions and parsley are nice toppings choices.

Who doesn't love a hearty bread to soak up that last bit of soup in your bowl?  Sourdough is classic for creamy soups like chowder or tomato.  Another popular choice would be a crusty baguette, sliced before guests arrive in a beautiful or festive basket.

Set up a small coffee bar.  Set up a single cup coffee maker like keurig and put your K cups in a basket so guests can make their coffee as they please.  This time of year I always make sure I have starbucks Christmas Blend .  It taste delicious and looks so festive!  Let's not forget the great creamers offered in grocery stores for Christmas.  Peppermint and Eggnog!  I keep them in my fridge throughout the entire holiday season.  

Dessert offerings should be simple.  Fresh fruit, brownies, cheesecake or ask friends and neighbors to bring a small variety of Christmas cookies they have baked.

** Helpful Tips** 
 Set aside a bedroom or closet for your guests coats and purses.  
Make a play list of holiday music to go several hours.
Light candles, turn on outdoor Christmas lights, dim the inside lights.
Keep drink selections simple.  Prosecco, is a nice bubbly offering, always delicious and festive. Pinor Noir or Shiraz wines are popular too. Take it a step further and create a "signature cocktail"  with a festive tone.  
Check out local rental companies in your area for bowls, plates, flatware, glassware.  
Is plastic acceptable?  Well made, sturdy bowls and plates can be found in party stores, such as Party City and they ship and deliver.  Checkout your local goodwillstore store in your area for very cost friendly glassware.
Consider serving soup in coffee mugs (easy to carry)
Leaving the soups in the slow cookers on "warm setting" allows people to wander in to the kitchen and gather.  Set up small eating areas if you can with snack tables and chairs or guests will mingle and talk while sipping their soups.  

  Find a few minutes each day for yourself and enjoy time with your family, friends and neighbors.  Have a good weekend. 

Happy Birthday Ellen xo

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