Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Playing Hostess: Christmas Holiday Luncheon

Christmas dinner - been done.  Cocktail hour - done.  Christmas morning brunch - also been done.  But what about a Christmas Eve luncheon?
Turkey, Brie and Strawberry Salsa Sandies on Rosemary Bread

Kickin' Holiday Chicken Balls in Spicy Pomegranate Sauce
I got this idea because so many of our friends and family arrive into town on Christmas Eve and are looking for something to do.  Granted, we host a big Christmas Eve dinner, where we open stockings, watch Christmas movies, and enjoy a bottle of Port before winding down and waiting for Santa.

But this year, we had a much smaller group for Christmas Eve, and contrary to my usual starving of the guests before dinner, I decided to host a Christmas Eve Lunch and invite friends and neighbors to join us for some holiday cheer mid-day.  This meant serving a much lighter and simpler Christmas Eve dinner, but I think it made the entire day more enjoyable.  After all, what's there really to do on Christmas Eve?

Because I'm in my fifth month of pregnancy, I'm afraid I do not have as much energy, nor zest for cooking, than I usually do.  But that's ok...I'm pretty good at faking it.  The entire lunch took a matter of minutes to prepare, especially because I pre-cut everything.

The inspiration for this menu came from one trip to Costco.  Sometimes I find that wandering around Costco, Trader Joe's or World Market can inspire an entire meal.  So, two days prior to the 24th, and at a complete lapse for ideas, I pushed my way down the aisles of Costco until I stumbled upon a Pomegranate Habenearo sauce and I thought, "How festive!  What can I do with that?"  And then I remembered seeing some Cranberry Chicken and Jalapeno Chicken Meatballs in the meat aisle, which coincidentally is the same brand as my favorite Weight Watcher-friendly chicken burgers.

The final component - the Turkey, Brie, and Strawberry Sandwiches - were inspired by what happened next.  Starving, and with an hour to spare before my doctor's appoint, I headed to the local Village Bakery for a sandwich.  For some reason, this brie and turkey sandwich stood out to me.  It sounded fresh, yet festive, and OMG!  It was the best sandwich ever.  So I copied the recipe to best of my taste buds, made them open-faced, and broiled them in the oven for my own Newly Domestic twist!

Ok, so now that I've bored you with my culinary adventures during my Costco trip, I will cut to the chase...here are two great recipes for holiday hosting.

Turkey, Brie and Strawberry Salsa Sandies on Rosemary Bread


Strawberry Salsa -
1 Bag Frozen Strawberries, thawed
1 - 2 TBSP Cilantro, chopped
3 Green Onions, chopped

Sandwich -
1 Loaf of Rosemary Bread (I used snack-sized slices fresh from the bakery at Fred Meyer)
1lb Deli Fresh Smoked Turkey, thinly sliced
1 Round of Brie, cut into thick slices
1 English Cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
1 Red Onion, thinly sliced into slivers


In a medium bowl, mix together thawed strawberries, cilantro, and onions.  Mix together until strawberries start to bleed juices, almost to a jam consistancy.

Grease a shallow cookie sheet with olive oil, and line rosemary bread.  Spread a thick coat of mayo on the slices, followed by a 1/4" of strawberry salsa jam.  Then top sandwhiches in this order: turkey, cucumber, onion, salt, pepper, brie.

Broil for a few minutes, until brie is just beginning to melt.  Enjoy!

Kickin' Holiday Chicken Balls in Spicy Pomegranate Sauce


1 Package AmyLu Kickin' Cranberry Chicken Meatballs (Costco)
1 Jar of Robert Rothschild Cherry Pomegranate Habanero Sauce (Costco)
Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
Red Onion, diced
1 Fuji Apple, diced
4 Green Onions, sliced


Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low until meatballs are warm in center.

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